James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Theodorick Bland, 6 May 1783

To Theodorick Bland

MS (Virginia State Library). On the same small page, above JM’s receipt for pay as a delegate, appears one signed by Joseph Jones on behalf of himself and John Francis Mercer, and another signed by Arthur Lee. On a second small page, which originally may have been joined with the other to form a single folio, Bland wrote his own receipt, followed by: “The Auditors will be pleased to debit the delegates respectively for the sums opposite to their names in the Margin and to Issue Warrants for the same to the treasurer.” In the left margin Bland listed $332 15/90 for Lee, Madison, and himself, respectively, and $664 30/90 for Jones, who was to give one-half of that amount to Mercer. Below Bland’s writing, Jacquelin Ambler, the treasurer of Virginia, made two one-line entries which apparently are irrelevant to the present item. See Statement of Receipts, 28 May 1783, hdn. The auditors were John Boush, Harrison Randolph, and Bolling Stark.

May 6. 1783

Recd. of Col: Bland three hundred thirty two dollars fifteen ninteenths, being one fifth of five hundred pounds Virginia Currency remitted in a bill drawn by David Ross of Virga. on John Ross of Philada. in favor of J. Madison & by him endorsed to Col: Bland,

J Madison Jr.1

1Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (7 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , VI, 473; 474, n. 1. In the Charles Campbell Collection of Theodorick Bland Papers in the Virginia Historical Society is an undated document written by Bland and entitled: “Copy of Receipts from the Gentn. of the Delegation for their Proportion of a Bill of 500£ Virga. Currency drawn by D: Ross on J: Ross in favor of J. Madison—& remitted by J: Ambler Esqr. treasurer for the use of the delegates which Bill was negotiated by me T. B.” Below this title Bland copied for his own records the receipts and the request to the auditors mentioned in the headnote. Bland docketed his retained copy: “Copy of Rects. & memdms. the original delivd. to the Honble J: Madison to be transmitted to the treasy.” Joseph Jones, who left Philadelphia on either 6 or 7 May to return to Virginia, may have carried the recipient’s copy of these receipts to Richmond and delivered them to Ambler (JM to Randolph, 6 May 1783).

Since each of the five delegates received $332 15/90 ($332.17), they together were paid $1,660.83, even though at the exchange rate of 3⅓ to 1 the total of the £500 bill of exchange was $1,666.67. The discount was therefore $5.83—a fee assumed, proportionately, by the delegates rather than in toto by the treasury of Virginia. See Statement of Receipts, 28 May 1783.

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