James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Jefferson, 15 September 1793

From Thomas Jefferson

Schuylkill Sep. 15. [1793]

I have to acknolege yours of Aug. 27. & Sep. 2. The fever in town is become less mortal, but extends. Dupont1 the Fr. Consul is dead of it. So is Wright2 the painter. His wife also. Lieper3 is said to be dead, but that is not certain. J. Barclay ill.4 Ham. and his wife recovered. Willing5 on the recovery. The banks are not shut up, as I had been falsely informed when I wrote you last. I have some expectation to set out tomorrow, and shall make it eight days to your house; but it is very possible I may yet be detained here two or three days. The arrangement on which I had consented to remain another quarter was that the President was to be absent three weeks, and after that I was to be absent 6. weeks. This got me rid of 9. weeks of the 13. and the remaining 4. Congress would be setting. My view in this was precisely to avoid being at any more councils as much as possible, that I might not be committed in any thing further. This fever by driving me off sooner, will bring me back sooner, & so far counteract my view. But I need not take the trouble of writing on this subject, as I shall see you as early as you will get this letter. Adieu.

RC (DLC); FC (DLC: Jefferson Papers). Unsigned.

1François Dupont had been the French consul in Philadelphia since 25 May (Nasatir and Monell, French Consuls, p. 549).

2Joseph Wright studied in London with Benjamin West and John Trumbull. Since 1792 he had been the first draftsman and diesinker of the U.S. Mint, which was then part of Jefferson’s responsibility in the Department of State.

3Thomas Leiper, a leading Philadelphia tobacco merchant, rented Jefferson the house that the Virginian vacated in the spring of 1793. Leiper corresponded with JM concerning Montpelier tobacco crops and methods of curing tobacco. He was a Republican presidential elector when JM was elected president in 1808 (Jefferson to Leiper, 11 Apr. 1793 [DLC: Jefferson Papers]; JM to Ambrose Madison, 19 May 1791, PJM description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (1 vol. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984—). description ends , 14:24; Leiper to JM, 15 Dec. 1805 [DLC]).

4John Barclay was an alderman and former mayor of Philadelphia, president of the Bank of Pennsylvania, and prominent Republican organizer (Powell, Bring Out Your Dead, p. 69; Walters, “Origins of the Jeffersonian Party,” Pa. Mag. Hist. and Biog., 66 [1942]: 449, 452).

5Thomas Willing, a business partner of Robert Morris, was president of the Bank of the United States, 1791–1807 (Burton Alva Konkle, Thomas Willing and the First American Financial System [Philadelphia, 1937], pp. 28, 143, 189).

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