James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Francis Taylor, 25 June 1786

From Francis Taylor

25 June 1786.

Dear Sir

I request you to sell the two Certificates I handed you Last thursday, if you can get Twenty five dollars for them including the interest due: tho’ hope they will sell for somewhat more. If you cannot sell them altogether perhaps the interest may be drawn seperately.

I have taken the liberty to inclose a memorial which was intended to have been presented to Virga Assembly—and request, if you should have it in your power without much trouble, to enquire if my claim for half pay would be allowed by Congress.1

I have also inclosed the buttons which I desire to exchange for a round pair without a Cypher the brims somewhat thicker.

I wish you an agreeable journey, and am sincerely Your affecte. servant

Fra Taylor

RC and enclosure (DNA: Veterans’ Pension Files). Addressed by Taylor.

1The enclosure was a memorial to the Virginia House of Delegates outlining Taylor’s military service from September 1775 to June 1781. For his service as a major in the 2d Virginia Regiment he requested that a land warrant issued him be either recalled or “put on an equality with other Military warrants and allowed to be immediately located.” Because he commanded the Virginia regiment guarding so-called convention prisoners from March 1779 to June 1781 with the rank of colonel, Taylor also petitioned for half pay for that rank. The memorial is undated.

Apparently JM could not settle the claim. In a letter to A. M. Green, 13 Jan. 1834, JM regretted that he remembered nothing of Taylor’s claim although he testified to Taylor’s loyalty and service to the revolutionary cause.

On 22 Dec. 1837 the Committee on Revolutionary Claims reported that Taylor’s regiment had been repeatedly recognized as belonging to the Continental line and that the colonel was entitled to commutation. The committee therefore reported a bill in favor of Taylor’s representatives (Resolutions, Laws, and Ordinances, Relating to the Pay, Half Pay … to the Officers and Soldiers of the Revolution; … and to Funding the Revolutionary Debt [Washington, 1838], p. 363).

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