James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Elijah Craig, September 1786

From Elijah Craig

Fayette sept. 1786


I Take the liberty to Request your Attention to a petition from our County For a division of the saim which is not Yit ready and is a matter of Considerable Consiquence, and as we know their will Be violent opposition against it from intrestd Men who are byased by selfintrest.1 My Greatest reasons for wishing a division Is we are so numerous our roads veary bad And much the greatest in the district and other Countyes fair inferior in number are Striving for diviseons and in all probility In sum short time we shall be a seperate State and we shall not have an equal Representation without being divided, And as our rodes are veary bad our land Rich to hold Compact setlements and our Court tho they set five days at a time, leave much busines undon and as I think it Will afford two Courts as good as the preasent I wish it. I expect their will be a petition to the assembly for part of Fayette Bourbonn & Madison Counties to form one District, which I would wish to ly over Till our’n Comes in which will Be sumetime in november. I have rote To you at the request of my friends who inform me they wish the new County to be naimed Versailles, this from y’r Veary h’ble Servt.

Elijah Craig

N B   A line at lasure would be thankfuly recd. by

E—— C

RC (DLC). Addressed by Craig and conveyed by “Mr. Carnal.” JM worked some columns of figures on the verso of the cover.

1Craig was a former Orange County resident and dissenting preacher (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, 183 n. 7). After he moved to Kentucky, Craig became an associate of Robert Johnson, who was an active local political figure. No trace of this petition has been found in the 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 or the October 1786 legislative papers (Vi), but see Robertson, Petitions of the Early Inhabitants of Kentucky … 1769 to 1792, pp. 85–86, 107–8, 116–17. Madison and Mercer counties were created in the Kentucky district in 1786, and the only other counties formed under Virginia jurisdiction prior to statehood were Mason (1789) and Woodford (1789) (Hornbook of Virginia History, p. 13).

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