James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Edmund Randolph, 12 June 1786

From Edmund Randolph

Richmond. June 12. 1786.

My dear friend.

When Major Moore1 came to town, I was under the severe regimen of blisters and purges, produced by four violent colds, which I caught at four different courts and for the management of which I could not find the least leisure. Even now I am as hoarse as a raven, but free from fever or pain. Indeed my past fevers were slight and my pain, except from the blisters, of no account. I have never conceived myself in danger; but I advance very slowly in the recovery of my strength.

After great anxiety we have received the plan of a capitol from Paris; and with some difficulty the directors have assented to conform the bricks already laid to that model. This will afford some comfort to Mr. J.2

I have never received any notification from Colo. Mason, that he accepts his appointment.3 Indeed a journey from home ex gratiâ seems not to be a hobby-horse of his. Nor can I learn, who will go, except yourself, Jones & Tucker. I have this day written letters to all the deputies, reminding them of their nomination, and the probability of a meeting. I need not mention to you the States, which have appointed. But what a dreadful chasm will the refusal of Maryland create? A chasm more injurious to us, than any other of the delegates. I shall go prepared with as accurate a state of the exports, and imports, as can be collected. For this purpose I have written to the governor, requesting him to set Wood to work on the investigation.4 He is so confidential a man, and has so much zeal in what he undertakes, that I expect the result of his labours will fulfil my expectations of precision.

I thank you for your tender of services; but I am so hurried by the general court now sitting, that I really cannot attend to my private matters. I am my dear friend yr’s mo. sincerely

E. R.

RC (DLC). Addressed and noted by Randolph, “Favd. by Major Cowherd.” Docketed by JM.

1William Moore, the Orange County sheriff and JM’s uncle (Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (9 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , I, 148 n. 2).

2Jefferson’s “plan of a capitol from Paris” reached Richmond after construction had begun, but by some architectural sleight-of-hand the existing plan was revised to follow the outline of the Maison Carrée at Nîmes, France (Jefferson to JM, 1 Sept. 1785, Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (9 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , VIII, 362–63).

3George Mason was among the delegates appointed to the Annapolis convention. Mason suffered from a chronic attack of gout that autumn and failed to attend both the Annapolis gathering and the October 1786 session of the Virginia General Assembly.

4Leighton Wood, the Solicitor General of Virginia, seems to have been assigned various bureaucratic tasks when his regular official duties permitted.

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