James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Edmund Randolph, 15 July 1783

To Edmund Randolph

RC (LC: Madison Papers). Unsigned but in JM’s hand. Cover franked by him and addressed to “Edmund Randolph Esqr. Richmond.” Docketed by Randolph, “J. Madison July. 15. 1783.” Many years later, after recovering this letter, JM wrote “1783” on the docket under Randolph’s indistinct notation of that year.

Philada. July 15. 1783.

My Dear Sir

Yesterdays post brought me no letter from you.1 The Contents of the inclosed paper make up every thing of consequence which I have for a subject at present.2 The enquiry into the Mutiny has not advanced far enough to bring forth any discoveries.3 An address is circulating & will be generally signed by the Citizens here reciting to Congress the proofs they have heretofore given of attachmt. to the fœderal govt. professing a continuance of that attachmt. and declaring their readiness to support the dignity & privileges of Congs. in case the conveniency of this place for transacting the public affairs sd. give it a preference to others untill a final residence shall be fixed.4

Mr. Lee arrived here the day before yesterday and goes to Princeton today.5 Mr. Mercer’s indisposition, carries him to the Sea board of N. Jersey.6 My absence not producing any chasm in the Representation and some private business requiring my stay here, I shall not return to Princeton for 7 or 8 days.7

1If Randolph wrote to JM on or about 4 July, the letter is missing.

2The paper was probably the Pennsylvania Packet of 15 July. Among the items “of consequence” in that issue, JM may have included those about the many British and Hessian troops, as well as Loyalists, sailing from New York City to Canadian ports of debarkation; the announcement by inhabitants of a town in New York warning Loyalists not to return there, for they would be treated “with the greatest contempt” and not permitted to stay; the counterfeit “halfpence” circulating in Philadelphia; and the erroneous report that “two American gentlemen” were in Madrid on 6 May to negotiate a treaty of amity and commerce with the court of Spain. For the “halfpence,” see Colonial Records of Pa., XIII, 643–44, 650.

3Delegates to Harrison, 5 July 1783, nn. 35.

4JM to Randolph, 8 July 1783, and citations in n. 10.

7JM appears to have attended Congress from 22 through 26 July (JM to Randolph, 21 July; 5 Aug. 1783; JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 443, 444, n. 1; Syrett and Cooke, Papers of Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and Jacob E. Cooke, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (15 vols. to date; New York, 1961——). description ends , III, 414).

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