James Madison Papers

From James Madison to James Madison, Sr., 24 June 1784

To James Madison, Sr.

Richmond June 24. 84.

Hond Sir

Your letter by Capt: Cowherd with that of my brother’s1 have been just put into my hand. I shall leave to him the sale of the Tobo. belonging to Capt: Conway2 & Ambrose, not being at leisure myself to do it before he proposes to set out. I think it will be well to accept of Mr. Lawson’s offer of the Madeira. I shall do the best I can towards satisfying the Treasury on acct. of Mr. Winslow. Majr Lee’s warrant has been ordered by the assembly, but Mr. Harvey being a little puzzled by the peculiarity of the case, could not make it out immediately on my first application, & I have not time now to repeat it. I hope the delay will not be inconvenient to Majr. Lee. Much time has been lately spent by the Assembly in abortive efforts for amendment of the Constitution, and fulfilling the Treaty of peace in the article of British debts. The residue of the business will not be completed till next week. If my brother W. is at leisure as before, I beg him to bring down the Chair for me to be here by Wednesday next. I am your dutiful son

J. Madison Jr.

RC (DLC). Cover missing. Docketed by JM.

1Capt. Francis Cowherd (1757–1833), of Oak Hill, Orange County, formerly of the Continental Line, served as county deputy sheriff in 1785 and 1786. From the mid-1790s until 1802 he was a distinguished county public servant, being successively overseer of the poor, coroner, justice of the peace, and sheriff. In later years he was a federal military pensioner (ViHi: Martha Frances [Woodroof] Hiden Papers, ca. 1900–1958; Vi: Orange County Court Records, microfilm; Scott, History of Orange County, p. 61; Gwathmey, Historical Register of Virginians description begins John H. Gwathmey, Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution: Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, 1775–1783 (Richmond, 1938). description ends , p. 184).

Neither the letter of James Madison, Sr., nor that of JM’s undesignated brother, presumably Ambrose, has been found.

2Capt. Francis Conway (1749–1794), of Port Conway, King George County, erstwhile of the Continental Line, was JM’s first cousin. The May 1784 session of the General Assembly passed an act authorizing the settlement on his lands of a town bearing the name of his estate (George Norbury Mackenzie, Colonial Families of the United States of America … [7 vols.; New York and elsewhere, 1907–20; reprint, Baltimore, 1966], V, 138; Hening, Statutes description begins William Waller Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619 (13 vols.; Richmond and Philadelphia, 1819–23). description ends , XI, 363–64).

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