James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Monroe, 19 December 1785

From James Monroe

New York Decr. 19. 1785.

Dear Sir

I arriv’d last night & found only six States present. Mr. Hancock we hear is on the road & will be with us in a few days. He accepts the chair. The conduct of the legislature, in complying with the requisition of Congress,1 in the opinion of all here, does the highest honor to the State, and at the same time that it evinces a regard for publick justice & a mind superior to little resentments, gives an additional assurance of the strength & permanence of the fœderal government. We earnestly wish to have the result of the deliberations of the house upon the commercl. propositions. I find the most enlighten’d members here fully impress’d with the expedience of puting an end to the dismemberment of the old States—doubtful of the propriety of admiting a single new one into the confideracy—& well inclin’d to a revision of the compact between the U. S. & Virga. respecting the division of the country beyond the Ohio.2 Mr. Jones sd. he wod. visit Fredricksburg before Christmas. I will write him by the next post. I hop[e] you are both well—& am very sincerely your friend & servant

Jas. Monroe

RC (DLC). Cover missing. Docketed.

1Virginia was one of the few southern states attempting to comply with the requisition system (Nevins, American States during and after the Revolution, pp. 477–78). JM served on a special committee of the House of Delegates which reported on 8 Dec. 1785 that the state had paid $160,982 in specie on its 1784 requisition and was entitled to an additional credit “of 53,660 dollars paper” (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. 1785, p. 77). By a resolution of 8 Dec. the state treasurer was directed to pay the remainder of the 1784 requisition in paper “facility notes” totaling $32,186.

2Virginia had ceded title to its western lands (the Kentucky district and certain military warrant tracts above the Ohio excepted) early in 1781, but certain delegates had questioned whether the cession had strings attached (Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (8 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , VI, 471–72).

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