To James Madison, Sr.
Richmd. Decr. 7th. 1786
Yours by Mr. Porter has been handed to me. I have not had an oppy. of enquirg. of Mr. Anderson concerning the person who is to recieve Tobo. for his brother. I mentioned before that the rate of indents here was about a dollar in the pound. Whether I can get the certificates for your taxes I can not say, nor do I know the rate at which they pass. Mr Jones has returned hither & declines his appt. to Congs.1 Fresh butter will be very acceptable the supply formerly sent being already out. No other article of provision is wanted, as we dine at a Tavern. I prepare to go from Fredg. to N. York in the Stage, & shall consequently take no horses with me. When I shall set out I can not now decide, but expect to leave this before Christmas2 sometime. The representation of the State in Congs. during the Winter will be so precarious that I shall be able to stay a day or two only in Orange. I have other reasons also of a public nature for wishing to hasten my journey, and a private one arising from the probable increase of the cold in case of delay. Tell my brother Ambrose, I wish him to sound Mr. Cowherd as to the possibility of his making a payment before the first of Jany. instead of the time fixed. I will abate a reasonable interest, and be obliged to him into the bargain. My affections to the family. Yr. dutiful Son
Js. Madison Jr.
I wish my cloaths so far as they may require little amendmts. to be put in order before I get [to] Orange, that I may not be detained on that score.
RC (DLC). Later docketed by JM, “Decr 17. 1786.” Hunt (Madison, Writings, II, 298) also dates the letter 17 Dec. 1786. but on the basis of internal evidence the editors have accepted JM’s date in the heading of the letter.
1. Joseph Jones’s letter declining his appointment to the Virginia delegation to Congress was placed before the House on 27 Nov. Henry Lee, Jr., was elected in his place on 1 Dec. (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. 63, 70).
2. JM wrote “Xmas.”