James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Jefferson, 12 January 1791

From Thomas Jefferson

Jan. 12. 1791.

My dear Sir

It being impossible to entertain a doubt that the horse I bought of you was fairly sold, & fairly bought, that his disorder was of the instant, & might have happened years after as well as when it did, so as to exonerate you as is justly established, from all responsibility, I should as soon think of filching the sum from your pocket, as of permitting the loss to be yours. I therefore send you a check on the bank for 95.26 Dollars including the two balances.1 Yours affectionately

Th: J.


1Because he added rather than subtracted a balance in his favor, Jefferson overpaid JM. The $95.26 added to $50 made a total expenditure of $145.26 on Jefferson’s part. JM had spent $38.66 in traveling expenses for Jefferson which, added to the $83.33 price of the horse, amounted to a credit of $121.99. JM accordingly refunded $23.26 (this should have been $23.27 to make the accounts exactly balance) to Jefferson (JM to Jefferson, 11 Jan. 1791; Jefferson’s Account Book, 12 Jan. 1791 [ViU, typescript]).

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