James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Hickley, 7 March 1796

From James Hickley

Balte. March 7th. 1796.


I last month call’d on Coln. Madison, Orange County, on my return from Virginia & was requested by him to write to you the result of a commission he gave me concerning some business I had to transact for him here—which was as follows: I was to call on Mr. Robb1 of Baltimore to enquire if he had recd. advice from Mr. Dunbar of Norfolk respecting some cash, which I understood that Gentn. was to receive & out of which I was to be paid for 2 pr. of 5 Feet Burr Millstones which he bespoke of me. Mr. Robb inform’d me he had not heard from Mr. Dunbar on the subject, but was in daily expectation of a letter.

The Coln. also requested me to look out a pr. of 4 Feet Colognes2 & inform you of the price—&c. There are not in Balte. a pr. of that diameter but 4. Feet 4.’s and 4. Feet 3. Inchs. of excellent quality the price of either size 52 £. 10S. For the size of 4. Feet (were they to be had) 30 £.

I was likewise to make enquiries concerning a Miller—a good managing hand, capable of undertaking the charge of a Merchant Mill—& find their terms are from 80 to 100 £ pr. year.

Thus far I have endeavour’d to discharge my commission, & with respect to the Burr’s hope to have them ready agreeable to appointment & also hope they may prove satisfactory. I am Sir, with much respect Your Oblig’d Hble. Servt.

James Hickley3

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1William Robb was a merchant with a residence at 9 Water Street and a store and countinghouse at 77 South Street on Bowley’s Wharf in Baltimore (William Thompson and James L. Walker, The Baltimore Town and Fell’s Point Directory [Baltimore, (1796); Evans description begins Charles Evans, ed., American Bibliography … 1639 … 1820 (12 vols.; Chicago, 1903–34). description ends 31297], p. 65).

2Probably Cologne millstones (see Boyd, Papers of Jefferson description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (22 vols. to date; Princeton, N.J., 1950—). description ends , 13:15, 265, 447–48).

3Within the week that he wrote JM, James Hickley advertised plaster of paris for sale in Baltimore. Presumably he was related to Samuel Hickley, a burr millstone maker in Cow-pen Lane (Md. Journal, and Baltimore Advertiser, 11 Mar. 1796; Thompson and Walker, Baltimore Town and Fell’s Point Directory, p. 36).

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