James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Edmund Randolph, 18 October 1782

From Edmund Randolph

RC (LC: Madison Papers). Unsigned but in Randolph’s hand. Cover addressed by Randolph to “The honble James Madison jr. esq. of congress. Philadelphia.” Erroneously docketed by JM, “Aug: 18th. 1782.” On the cover he wrote, “Huddy Camp Front: N.Y Brit: fleet. Mr. Jones. Finance Contr: Money Mattrs. Cessions.” These jottings were to remind him of subjects to mention in his reply of 29 October (q.v.).

Richmond Octr. 18. 1782

My dear friend

My omission to write by the post of the last week must be imputed to the hurry and tumult of business. Indeed my matter must be too uninteresting to admit the swelling of it into a long letter, until the assembly meets.1 I shall then repay you for your profitable communications to me.

I do not see the necessity of being discouraged by the governor’s letter from the representation I hinted at formerly.2 Certain it is, that the specifics are now for sale.3 Unless Mr. Ross’s demand should absorb too much, I do not conceive there can be an objection to the application of the balance to the relief of the dependents of the little Levite. That demand is said to amount [to] 1200 hds. of tobo.!!!4

My Dearest Betsy was delivered of a daughter about a week ago. She and the infant are in good health. Mrs. Triste will not, I hope, believe, that she does not cordially thank her for her letter:5 for I assure her, that Mrs. R. has determined more than 20 times to take up her pen in answer, and has been always deterred by the rustiness of her fingers. But she now declares, that the first moment of her emancipation from her room shall be devoted to the support of a correspondence with Mrs. T.

Pray inform Colo. Bland, that the necessity of my immediately departing for court will prevent my answering his late favor now.6

4David Ross, former state commercial agent, had advanced heavily from his own funds to sustain Virginia’s credit. See Ambler to JM, 16 September, n. 2; and 18 October; Randolph to JM, 20 September 1782, and n. 6; Calendar of Virginia State Papers description begins William P. Palmer et al., eds., Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts (11 vols.; Richmond, 1875–93). description ends , III, 315, 328, 344. A hogshead held nearly 1,000 pounds of tobacco. Both on 17 October and 21 December 1782, the Council of State authorized the payment to Ross of 200,000 pounds of tobacco, “in part of his demand,” but as late as October 1787 his claim against Virginia remained unsatisfied (Journals of the Council of State description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds., Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia (3 vols. to date; Richmond, 1931——). description ends , III, 158, 198, 537). See also Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , III, 60, n. 8. Haym Salomon was “the little Levite” in Philadelphia upon whom JM and others of the Virginia delegates depended for loans. See JM to Randolph, 27 August 1782, and n. 18.

5See Randolph to JM, 6 August, and nn. 28 and 29; JM to Randolph, 27 August 1782, and n. 25.

6Although the date of Theodorick Bland’s “late favor” to Randolph has not been ascertained, it may have been in response to Randolph’s letter of 20 September to him (Charles Campbell, ed., Bland Papers, II, 93).

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