James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Ambrose Coleman, 15 October 1801

From Ambrose Coleman

October 15th. 1801

Dear Sir

I hope you will excuse my Assurance in Troubling you with these lines But necessity will compel a person to do that he is ashamed of. I do inform you there was a store kept at our Courthouse before the war and when the British Merchts. were ordered out of this state or take the oat[h] to Join use; the Merchant Made himself very busy Amongst his Customers and took every bond he could get, and then took his books & papers and carried them all to Scotland and they were never hern of till this Summer and then every bond Sued without the Least Notice I was indebted £8.17:9 and Never heard the least sentence of it till the Sheriff Came to my house with a Writ. I have been twice at Fredericksburg with Tobo. each time with a desire to discharge the bond but could hear nothing only as a bove—we have had a poor Crop year with us and I am not Able to discharge it without selling something that I can Illey spare I got the best Advise I could get and to save Expence I confessed Judgment Staying Till our March Court on paying Seventeen Years Interest—which is very hard on me as I was both willing and Able to discharge it but could get no one to Receive it and now both my wife & Self are Quite Cripples and one Not Able to help the other as Mr. Camp can i[n]form you. The grate favour I have to beg of you if you please to be so much my friend as to inform my Brother1 by a line how my wife and self is and that I would be very thankfull for his Assistance in discharging this Unexpected debt. My brother has been so good as to Assist me these Many Years past by the Assistance of my good & Great deceast frie[n]d your Dear parent and would Again was he as Usial, I have Never hearn one Sentance from my Brother since his death—therefore it Imboldens me to beg this great favour of you to inform him how we are & how thankfull I should be for his favours—as I am Sertain no man Now on earth could prevail on him so soon as yourself—my wife Join me With our greatest Respect to you & your Lady & do Remain Dr. Sir your Affectionate & Sincear well wisher till death—

Ambrose Coleman2

NB. My brother if he pleases may have Opertunities by the way of the Assembly. I am afraid I shall be Oblige to sell a Negro & it will All but Ruen me for that small debt.

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