James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Andrew Dunscomb, 24 November 1784

From Andrew Dunscomb

Commissioners Office; Richmond
Nov: 24. 1784.


To accomodate the late Officers of the Regular Line of this State and others on their settlements, I have to request Your influence for leave to bring in a Bill granting power to me to administer the necessary Oaths or Affirmations in the execution of my official duties.1 With esteem and regard I am &c

Andrew Dunscomb2

FC (Vi). A letterbook copy, addressed to JM, “In assembly.”

1On 15 Nov. JM was appointed a member of a special committee of five directed “to inquire into the progress made by the solicitor with the continental commissioner.” On 30 Dec. committee chairman Edward Carrington reported on the unsatisfactory condition in which nonexistent records and restrictive directives had placed the commissioner, and successfully moved that the Virginia delegates in Congress be instructed to procure the authority Dunscomb sought along with additional powers. The Senate concurred on the following day (JHDV description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in either 1827 or 1828 and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , Oct. 1784, pp. 23, 97–98, 99).

2Maj. Andrew Dunscomb (ca. 1758–1802), a native New Yorker and Revolutionary veteran, succeeded Zephaniah Turner when in Aug. 1783 the latter resigned as the confederation commissioner appointed to settle accounts with Virginia. Later settling in Richmond, Dunscomb from 1792 to 1795 served successively as common councilman, alderman, auditor-treasurer, and mayor (Va. Gazette description begins Virginia Gazette, or, the American Advertiser (Richmond, James Hayes 1781–86). description ends , 8 May 1782; Vi: “Records of the Common Hall,” 2 Ms vols., I, 254, 273; II, 7; ViHi: Madge Goodrich, “Mayors of Richmond,” typescript, pp. 11–12; Andrew H. Christian, Jr., A Brief History of the Christian, Dunscomb, and Duval Families [Richmond, 1909]).

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