James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Edmund Randolph, 24 August 1783

To Edmund Randolph

RC (LC: Madison Papers). Cover franked by “J Madison Jr” and addressed to “Edmund Randolph Esqr. Richmond.” Docketed by Randolph, “J. Madison Aug: 24. 1783.” Beneath this docket is written in an unknown hand, “Letters of the honble J Madison (of Congress),” probably signifying that at one time the cover was at the top of a packet of JM’s letters.

Philada. Aug: 24. 1783

My dear Sir

Mr. Jones who arrived the beginning of the week1 acquainted me with your abortive mission to Maryland which I had not before heard of. To this absence from Richmond I impute your silence by the late mails. I hope for the pleasure of a line by the mail now on its way,2 which will not however be acknowledged till the ensuing week, as I am about returning to Princeton where it will find me too late for the post of this week.3 All that I have now to tell you is that Sr G. Carlton has notified to Congs. his having recd. orders for the evacuation of N. York; but he specifies no time fixed either by the orders or by his own plans. He repeats his lamentations touching the Loyalists and insinuates that the proceedings of the people agst. them are a proof that little or no Govt. exists in the U. States.4

With great affection I am Yr. frd & Svt

J. M Jr

1In 1783 the twenty-fourth of August was a Sunday. For this reason, JM could have written “to-day” rather than “the beginning of the week,” but he probably meant that Joseph Jones had been in Philadelphia for about a week (Jones to JM, 4 Aug., and n. 1; JM to Randolph, 18 Aug. 1783).

3JM almost certainly received Randolph’s letter of 23 August, but he did not acknowledge it in any letter known to the editors.

4Delegates to Harrison, 23 Aug., and n. 1; 4 Oct. 1783. Many years later JM or someone at his bidding placed a bracket at the end of the paragraph. Although the bracket may have been to signify that the entire letter, except for its complimentary close, should be published in the first extensive edition of his writings, only the last two sentences of the paragraph appear in Madison, Papers (Gilpin ed.) description begins Henry D. Gilpin, ed., The Papers of James Madison (3 vols.; Washington, 1840). description ends , I, 566.

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