James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Henry Lee, 14 January 1789

From Henry Lee

Marmion.1 14t. Jany 89

My dear sir

I am so far on my return from Richmond to Alexa. at which place Mrs Lee still is. The attack which commenced when you was in Alexa. has been very severe & her condition when I last heard from [her] was very unpromising. It may so happen that I shall be detained in Alexa. during the winter, tho’ my hope & intention is to return soon home.

Have you recovered my packet with the plan of the canal, & when will you find leisure to execute what was concerted between us & forward to me the work.2

In Richmond the reports concerning your election were unfavorable to its prosperous issue, but as I have approached upwards accounts have been gradually more pleasing.

In Culpepper we are told Genl. Stevens, Pendleton3 with many other influential characters are successfully active in your support, & that Strother the champion for your competitor fades in his influence daily.

In Amherst Rose with some few others are struggling to break the weight of the Cabals, & altho they will not be able to give you a majority there, they will add considerably to your poll.

If these things are true I reckon on your election as certain, for which I sincerely pray on principles very opposite to those of personal regard &c.

R. B. Lee will be elected, Page also—Sam Griffin4 has offered in the Henrico district, Harrison & Miles Selden his adversarys. In Norfolk Matthews & Parker contend, & Theodk. Bland is unrivalled. The last act of the Henryetts was to honor Crt Bullit with a station among our Judges.5 Yours always

H Lee

A Lee has declined pursuing his election, & I yielded in favor of Page. Cyrus Griffin is published as a candidate for my district, this will injure Page without the chance of assisting himself & should be immediately retracted.

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1The home of George Lewis, Washington’s nephew, in King George County (Waterman, Mansions of Virginia, p. 418).

3James Pendleton (PJM description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (vols. 1–10, Chicago, 1962–77; vols. 11—, Charlottesville, Va., 1977—). description ends , VIII, 273 n. 4).

4Samuel Griffin (d. 1810), the Williamsburg member of the House of Delegates from 1786 to 1788, was elected to the House of Representatives in 1789 and served until 1795 (Swem and Williams, Register description begins Earl G. Swem and John W. Williams, eds., A Register of the General Assembly of Virginia, 1776–1918, and of the Constitutional Conventions (Richmond, 1918). description ends , p. 381; Biographical Directory of Congress [1971 ed.], p. 1035).

5Cuthbert Bullitt had been elected a judge of the General Court on 27 Dec. 1788 (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 1777–1790 are brought together in three volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in either 1827 or 1828, and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , Oct. 1788, p. 126).

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