James Madison Papers
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Expense Account as Delegate in Congress, 20 March 1782

Expense Account as Delegate in Congress

MS (Virginia State Library). In LC: Madison Papers are notes by JM written on four sheets of paper. All of these notes, except for one entry mentioned below, relate to the present account. Although the writing on one of these pages is largely illegible because of fading and water stains, the jottings evidently served JM as a rough draft for a more orderly listing of his debits and credits, grouped one above the other on a separate page. On a third he recorded the sums received by him from Peter Whiteside and Company on 2, 6, 9, and 23 March 1782. The last of these payments, of course, does not appear on the present tally. Finally, JM retained in his files a copy of the account sent to the Board of Auditors of Virginia. This file copy is docketed, “Expenses from Decr 21 1781 to March 20 1782.” In the footnotes, the first three of these pages will be referred to as No. 1, 2, and 3, in the order listed above.

From Decr. 20–1781—to March 20–1782
1781. Pena. Curry.
Decr 28. To Cash recd. of T. Pleasants1 £ 75    By balance on Decr. 20th. 17814  £
1782. March 20 By Board & Lodg. includg. liqrs. &Ca 96..10..65
Jany. 9. To do. recd. of Haym Solomons2 by order from do 100      By incidental expences not included in the above 4.. 7...6
March 2d–9 To do recd. of Peter Whitesides in By expence of 2 Horses 18.. 5..47
  consequence of directions from Mr. Ross 106..53 By Washing 6..11..28
£281..5 By Wood abt. 4 Cord 10..12..69
By allowance for 90 days at10
E. Excd.12 J. Madison Jr.

2Haym Salomon (1740–1785), who spelled his name “Solomons” until late in 1781. Of Polish birth, he emigrated to New York City about 1772 and was a money broker and merchant there until 1778. In that year, after being condemned to death by the British as a spy, he allegedly bribed his way out of prison and escaped to Philadelphia. At his office on Front Street, between Market and Arch streets, he bought and sold on commission “Bills of Exchange on France, or any other part of Europe: Likewise all kinds of Merchandize. He also, discounts inland Bills or Drafts, and has it often in his power to procure Money on Loan for a short time” (Pennsylvania Packet, 12 January 1782). On 20 January 1827, replying to an inquiry from Salomon’s son, JM wrote, “Among other members of Congs. from Virginia whose resources public & private had been cut off, I had occasion once perhaps twice myself to resort to his pecuniary aid on a small scale for current wants. We regarded him as upright, intelligent and friendly in his transactions with us” (LC: Madison Papers).

3See Virginia Delegates to Harrison, 5 March 1782, n. 1. According to page No. 3, mentioned in the headnote, this sum was received from Peter Whiteside and Company in the following installments:

2 March $50 or £18 15s.
6 March  50 or  18 15s.
9 March 150 or  56  5s.
1 case of Claret  12 10s.

At the above ratio of $2.66⅔ to £1, a case of imported wine in lieu of $33.33 was probably a bargain.

4See Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (4 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , III, 333, n. 3; 334. JM could not know the balance due him from Virginia, because the General Assembly had not yet determined the per diem allowance to be paid to a delegate from the state in Congress.

5Page No. 2 (see headnote) reveals that this amount is a consolidation of “By Bd. & Logg, £61 .. 15” and “By Liqrs &Ca. 34 .. 15 .. 6.”

6This item probably includes the indistinct jotting on page No. 1 (see headnote), apparently reading, “12[?] Jany By expences on a party to Frankfort, £2.” What official business this entry connotes is unknown. Frankford, Pa., was five miles north of Philadelphia, on the highway to Trenton, N.J.

7On page No. 1 (see headnote), a few of the several entries making this total appear to be £5 for stablage, 33s. 4d. for oats, and £2 2s. for oats. Together these add to £8 15s. 4d., or about £10 less than is shown on the expense account.

8The four entries for washing on page No. 1 (see headnote) are 8s. 4d., £1 16s. 5d., 18s. 9d., and £3 7s. 8d. These add to £6 11s. 2d.

9The only purchases of wood which can be read on page No. 1 (see headnote) are for £2 5s., £3, and £2 7s. 6d. These add to £10 12s. 6d., or £3 short of the entry on the expense account.

10See n. 4, above.

11On page No. 2 (see headnote) the five entries in this credit column are totaled correctly as £136 6s. 6d.

12Errors excepted.

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