James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Jacquelin Ambler, 1 June 1783

From Jacquelin Ambler

RC (LC: Madison Papers). Docketed by JM, “June 1. 1783.” Cover addressed by Ambler to “The Honobl. James Madison of Congress Philadelphia.”

Richmond Virga. 1st. June 1783.

Dr. Sir

As Colo. Bland was the only Member left at Congress, beside yourself, to whom any considerable Arrears could be due,1 I made no doubt of your being able to draw a part of yours on the receipt of the £1000. last sent, without any difficulty on yours, or inconvenience on the part of your Colleagues;2 and therefore did not mention the matter in a general letter to them, which perhaps I ought to have done. I hope, however, the business has been settled to your satisfaction, and that the surplus of the general remittance and the £300. sent on your own particular Accot. by Mr. Webb will have rubbed off a good part of the Score of Arrears.3 I am the more anxious on this head because there is very little probability of the Treasurys being in such Circumstances soon as to enable me to make any considerable payment on this or any other Accot.4 The Assembly have passed a Law for postponing the collection of the Taxes for the present Year, so that no supplies will get into the Treasury til April next.5 We have nothing to depend on for support of Government, and to answer pressing Claims made every hour of the day to the amount of hundreds of thousands of pounds but the deficiencies of the Taxes of the last, Year; which, if paid in Commutables, in Hemp particularly, as I expect they will, there will be scarce sufficient raised to pay the bal. of the £80000 ordered at the last Session to be paid to the United States.6 I know not what will be the consequence

God bless you

J. A.

1John Francis Mercer, the only one of JM’s colleagues besides Bland in Philadelphia, had been in Congress for less than four months (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 110). Jones and Arthur Lee were in Richmond attending the House of Delegates (Ambler to JM, 3 May, and n. 4). See also Summary of Accounts, 28 May 1783, and nn.

4Except for a payment of £346 15s. in September, JM received no more from the treasury of Virginia until after he returned to the state in December (Settlement of Accounts, 31 Dec. 1783).

6Papers 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, 501, n. 8. If, as seems certain, Ambler was referring to the resolution of the General Assembly on 28 December 1782, he should have written £50,000 rather than £80,000 (ibid., VI, 174, n. 2; JHDV description begins (1828 ed.). Journal of the House of Delegates of Virginia, Anno Domini, 1776 (Richmond, 1828). description ends , Oct. 1782, p. 86). See also Randolph to JM, 9 May, and n. 5; 14 June, and n. 9; Pendleton to JM, 26 May 1783, and nn. 5, 11.

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