James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Richard Taylor, 11 October 1794

From Richard Taylor

Jefferson Kentucky 11th. Ocr. 1794

Dear Sir

When your Brother the late Mr. Ambrose Madison1 was in Kentucky I purchased a Tract of Eight hundred Acres of Land of him the remainder of Hancock Eustaces Survey after he had sold Majr Croghan One hundred & six acres2 & Mr. Hancock Lee3 had got his claim satisfied. I have payed for the Land all but one Thousand Acres of Land on Green river oposit the mouth of Rough creek which I am ready to convey at any time. Your Brother beeing on his Journey & in a Hurry he cou’d not make me a Deed nor did I ask him for any obligation for his makeing one for he gave Mr. Hubard Taylor a Genl. Power to do all his Business in Kentucky Directing him to make me a Deed to the afore-mentioned Land, but from his remote Situation from me & the Land it has been Neglected. Now I shou’d bee obliged to you to Inform me How I can gett a Title to the Land as I expect Mr. Taylors Power ceases on the Death of your Brother. This sir is a mater of present concern to me as I have parted with some of the Land. As for News we have very little here, only Major Whitley4 went against the Chickamogas with Five hundred Kentucky & Cumberland Volunteers Kill’d & Took upwards of Fifty & did not loose one man. As for Politticks as you corrispond with Mr. Hubard Taylor and Mr. Nicholas one of whom is a Violent Democrat the other for supporting Government so long as he thinks it a good one of which last I believe there is a large Majorraty in our State. As for Famaly News we have Six sons & one Daughter all well. Have nothing more to add but that I remain with great regard your most Obt. Servt

Richd: Taylor

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1Ambrose Madison died on 3 Oct. 1793. For details of Kentucky lands purchased by him, his father, and JM, see Ambrose Madison to Hubbard Taylor, Sept. 1792 (KyU: Hubbard Taylor Papers); James Madison, Sr., to John Lee, 5 Apr. 1794, 30 Oct. 1794, and 1 May 1795 (NcD); Brant, Madison, 3:357–58.

2William Croghan purchased this “land lying on the Ohio River about 5 miles above the falls” on 12 Mar. 1792. Taylor later received Croghan’s payment of £94 for Ambrose Madison (Richard Taylor, undated receipt [DLC]).

3Hancock Lee (1740–1819) was a brother of Maj. John Lee and Mary Willis Lee Madison (the widow of Ambrose Madison). A native of Fauquier County, he explored Kentucky with his cousin (and JM’s second cousin) Hancock Taylor, who was killed by Indians. The Indians held Lee in captivity, circa 1771–74. He had settled permanently in Kentucky by 1776 (Rutland, Papers of George Mason, 1:lxix; Lee, Lee of Virginia, p. 537).

4William Whitley (1749–1813) moved from Augusta County to Kentucky in 1775. He led the expedition that on 13 Sept. 1794 burned Nickajack, a Chickamauga town on the south bank of the Tennessee River. A member for Lincoln County in the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1797, he died at the battle of the Thames (Collins, Collins’ Historical Sketches of Kentucky [1878 ed.], 2:760–61, 776; Philadelphia Gazette, 1 and 8 Nov. 1794).

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