To James Madison, Sr.
Richmd. Novr. 16. 1786.
Mr. Anderson in answer to your enquiries tells me that you shall have goods at 87½ Per Ct. and that he will take Tobo. for his brother if it be ready by the 10th. of next month. The H. of Delegates have done little since my last, and some of what was then done is still ineffectual for want of a Senate. A proposition for stopping the receipt of indents was made, and met with so little countenance that it was withdrawn. They will continue to be receivable as far as the law now permits, and those who have them not would do well to provide them.1 A bill is depending which makes Tobo. receivable in lieu of the specie part of the current tax: according to its value at the different Warehouses. Whether it will pass or not is uncertain.2 I think it most probable that it will pass. Nothing has yet been done as to the certificate tax. I have sent Mr. R. Taylor his French Dicty by Mr. Pannel.3 Its price was 14/. With best regards to the family I remain Yr. dutiful son
Js. Madison Jr.
I have a letter from Mr. J. Smith giving me the first information that J. W & J. M are not to return to the Academy, and asking for the balances.4 I hope my brother F. has taken steps for remitting his.
1. Indents were certificates issued in lieu of cash payments for the interest on various loan office certificates. They were acceptable for taxes at par, and since they were heavily discounted, a taxpayer could escape a considerable part of his burden by purchasing these “indents” on the open market and then presenting them to the sheriff when his taxes were due. See Hening, Statutes description begins William Waller Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619 (13 vols.; Richmond and Philadelphia, 1819–23). description ends , XII, 95.
2. The bill providing for tax payments in merchantable tobacco had been introduced the previous day and passed its final reading on 24 Nov. (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. 1786, pp. 41, 58).
3. “Mr. Pannel”—one of the Pannill family that lived near Montpelier. William Pannill served with JM on the Orange County Committee of Safety in 1775, David Pannill was an artillery officer, and John Pannill was active in the Orange militia during the Revolution (Scott, History of Orange County, pp. 65, 255; McAllister, Virginia Militia in the Revolutionary War, p. 220).