James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Jefferson, 9 December 1794

From Thomas Jefferson

Dec. 9. 94.

Th: J. To Mr. Madison.

I write this merely as a way bill. The Orange post arrives at Charlottesville on Tuesday morning about 10. oclock & returns in half an hour. The Richmond post arrives in Charlottesville on Tuesday evening & returns on Friday morning. I wish to know the difference this makes in the conveyance of a letter to Philadelphia. I therefore write this by the Orange post, and will write such another by that of Richmond, & pray you to note to me the days on which you recieve both. Your favor of Nov. 16. came to hand the 2d. inst. Our militia are returning it is said, without having been to Detroit. Where then have they been?1 The explanation of this phænomenon is ardently wished here. Adieu. Yours affectionately.

FC (DLC: Jefferson Papers).

1Jefferson’s rhetorical question raised the issue—of current concern to Republicans—that the military forces were suppressing domestic resistance (the Whiskey Insurrection) rather than attacking the British, who continued to occupy Detroit and other U.S. western posts. In his 20 Nov. 1794 letter to William Branch Giles (DLC: Jefferson Papers), Jefferson wrote, “We are here big with expectations of hearing that Detroit is attacked by Govr. Lee, as the declared purpose of that armament is hardly sufficient to be used as the ostensible one. It is presumed that the Executive must have serious information from mr. Jay.”

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