James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Edmund Pendleton, 29 September 1783

From Edmund Pendleton

Summary (LC: Madison Miscellany). Copied from a calendar, probably prepared about 1850 by Peter Force’s clerk. He noted that the manuscript of the letter, addressed “To James Madison,” consisted of “1 page 4°.”

1783, September 29 Virginia

Recovery from illness.1 Sir Guy Carlton.2 The people Eastward averse to the half-pay, or commutation.3 The British restrictive proclamation.4

1Pendleton probably referred to his own illness. His biographer wrote: “From the time of Pendleton’s fall from his horse in the winter of 1777, his health had gone into a gradual decline. There were frequent spells of illness, which troubled him the rest of his life, some of them prolonged” (David J. Mays, Edmund Pendleton, II, 208).

2Pendleton’s comment about General Sir Guy Carleton may have reflected JM’s mention of the general in a missing letter to Pendleton, probably dated 24 August. Writing on that day to Randolph, JM had presented Carleton’s views in regard to the Loyalists and the evacuation of New York City (JM to Randolph, 24 Aug.). See also JM to Pendleton, 8 Sept. 1783. The letter of 17 August, in which Carleton expressed his views to President Elias Boudinot, was printed in the Maryland Gazette (Annapolis) of 11 September, and in the Virginia Gazette, and Weekly Advertiser of 20 September 1783. Pendleton may have seen one or both of these weeklies. If a letter was posted by JM on 24 August, it would not have reached Pendleton until about 3 September. His illness seems to have prevented him from writing to JM between 1 and 29 September (Pendleton to JM, 1 Sept. 1783, and n. 1).

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