James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Joseph Jones, 29 January 1795

From Joseph Jones

Fredg. 29th. Janry. 1795

Dr. Sr.

I thank you for the papers and your late favor explaining the business of Monroe with Mr. Randolph. Be pleased to attend to transmitting the inclosed.1 Mr. Brent2 is not I presume the Author of the Pamphlet you sent,3 from him it was expected something would appear in answer to Lees address to the people of the district4 which savored not a little of selfimportance and exaltation of himself above his Colleagues. This pamphlet was I suppose written before his vote agt. Giles’s motion respecting the renunciation of Titles. There is a flying story here that Mercer is gone to Philadelphia in consequence of an invitation from H—l—n. Yr. friend

Jos: Jones

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1In his 23 Jan. 1795 letter to JM, Jones wrote that he would “trouble you with a short letter to Monroe by the next or following Post.” This letter has not been found.

2Richard Brent (1757–1814), Daniel Carroll’s nephew, represented Stafford County, 1788, and Prince William County, 1793–94, in the Virginia House of Delegates. During the campaign in the congressional district composed of Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties, he anonymously attacked the Federalist incumbent, Richard Bland Lee, in a pamphlet that helped him to win the election on 16 Mar. 1795. He served as a Republican in the House of Representatives, 1795–99 and 1801–3, House of Delegates, 1800–1801, state Senate, 1808–9, and U.S. Senate, 1809–14 (BDC description begins Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774–1971 (Washington, 1971). description ends , p. 633; Jones to JM, 10 Feb. 1795, and n. 1; Leonard, General Assembly of Virginia, p. 259 and n. 4).

3JM had probably sent Jones a copy of [Richard Bland Lee], Marcellus; Published in the Virginia Gazette, November and December, 1794 ([Richmond, 1794]; Evans description begins Charles Evans, ed., American Bibliography … 1639 … 1820 (12 vols.; Chicago, 1903–34). Roger P. Bristol, ed., Supplement to Charles Evans’ American Bibliography (Charlottesville, Va., 1970). description ends 27263). For Lee’s authorship of this pamphlet, which denied that the Federalists favored aristocracy, see Charles Lee to Richard Bland Lee, 31 Dec. 1794 (ViU).

4In his 8 Dec. 1794 circular letter to his constituents, Lee tried to justify his voting record, which had usually differed from that of the rest of the Virginia delegation in Congress. He gave his reasons for opposing JM’s commercial discrimination resolutions and for supporting the assumption of state debts, a Potomac site for the federal capital, Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation, and Jay’s mission to Great Britain (Philadelphia Dunlap and Claypoole’s Am. Daily Advertiser, 12 Feb. 1795).

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