James Madison Papers

To James Madison from David Owings and David Woods, 12 December 1791

From David Owings and David Woods

Albemarle County Decr. 12th 1791


Permit us (th’o Stranger[s]) to beg leave to trouble you, with a matter that there is no one but you Can do for us.

We were Soldierers in the late Continen⟨tal⟩ army—and never have had our Claims Settled and have laid the matter before the Assembly of this State—and they have Judged it reasonable. And sent the papers on to Congress—in order to have them paid but we are inform’d Congress refus’d to take the matter up—and sent them back again to the Assembly. The Assembly have resolv’d to Send them back again to Congress. Therefore we Entreat you when the papers Comes to hand again—to Examine our claims and present them Seperate from the other Claims and take the matter up in our behalf—and write us word what is their fate or if there is any other voughers wanting more than is Contain’d among the papers. And you will much oblige your most obt. And very Humble Sts.

David Owings 


David Woods1

NB. If you write to us please to direct the letter to mr. Richd. Bruce2 who manages the matter for us.



RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1David Owings (or Owen) and David Woods were veterans of the Virginia line whose claims were later adjusted and allowed by the Treasury Department. On 25 July 1792 each received certificates of registered debt in the amount of $14.36, with interest commencing 1 Mar. 1779, in accordance with “An act providing for the settlement of claims of persons under particular circumstances barred by limitations heretofore established” of 27 Mar. 1792 (DAR Patriot Index, pp. 509, 757; ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, 1832–61). description ends , Claims, p. 389; U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends , I, 245–46; JM to Jefferson, 5 Mar. 1792).

2Richard Bruce of Albemarle County wrote to Jefferson on 12 Dec. 1791 on behalf of Owings and Woods, noting that “they have wrote to mr. Madison to lay them [the claims] seperately before Congress” (DLC: Jefferson Papers).

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