From James Monroe
Trenton Novr. 7 1784.
I enclose you a cypher which will put some cover on our correspondence.1 We have yet only 5. States, & not a man from the Eastward except Mr. Holton.2 There is nothing new without doors, wh. I have not communicated to the Governor &, of those within I must defer writing you, untill the next post; the present is certainly an important crisis in our affairs, but as I shall write you very fully by the next post shall only add that I am with Great respect & esteem yr. friend & servant
RC (DLC); enclosure (ViU). Cover missing. Docketed. This is the first known letter from a correspondent whom Jefferson had predicted that JM would probably find “an useful one” (Jefferson to JM, 8 May 1784).
1. The “enclosed cypher” was separated from the letter through the circumstances explained in Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (8 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , I, xx. Monroe began using it in his letter of 15 Nov. 1784. Monroe inadvertently omitted a cipher for 77.
2. “Mr. Holton” was Dr. Samuel Holten (1738–1816), the conscientious delegate from Massachusetts. The disappointing attendance record made it “seem as if this were the beginning of the end of the United States in Congress Assembled” (Burnett, The Continental Congress, p. 613). Delegations from the required seven states did not attend until 29 Nov., when a quorum finally was present.