James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, 11 December 1798

To Thomas Jefferson

Decr. 11. 1798

Dear Sir

According to your favor by Mr. Richardson,1 I expect the pleasure of seeing you in the course of the present Week. Be so good as to bring a memorandum from your nailery of the amount of my debt to it. I had hoped that you were possessed of the aid of Mr. Chuning & his young men, but the Bearer Mr. W. Whitten tells me the contrary. Mr. C. left this saturday was two weeks, & promised to ride up to Monticello the day following. It has been impossible to spare L. Whitten. He has been under the spur to keep the way prepared for the Plasterers, and to finish off a number of indispensable jobbs always overlooked till the execution is called for. The Fredg paper of the 7th inst: contains the official confirmation from Nelson of the destruction of the French fleet as first brought from Cadiz.2 Adieu Affecly.

Js. Madison Jr

Please to forward the inclosed safely.

RC (ViU). Docketed by Jefferson, “recd. Dec. 13.” In a note on the verso, with the first line missing from a worn edge, Jefferson wrote: “… he inclosed me a draught on Moylan with orders to apply £48–11–3. balance for nails. / See Memn. book. 1799. Jan. 9. J. Barnes credits me 161.875 = £48–11–3 for mr Madison” (see JM to Jefferson, 29 Dec. 1798).

2On 1 Aug. 1798 the British Mediterranean fleet under the command of Horatio Nelson destroyed the French fleet off the coast of Egypt in the Battle of the Nile. News of Nelson’s triumph did not reach London until 1 Oct. (Marcus, Age of Nelson, pp. 131–38).

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