James Madison Papers

Virginia Delegates to Samuel Nightingale Jr., 14 October 1780

Virginia Delegates to Samuel Nightingale Jr.

Philadelphia Octr. 14th 1780


You will observe by the enclosed letter from his Excellency the Govr. of Virginia1 how much that State are obliged by your kind, and voluntary interposition, in its favor in the Affair of the Comitee. Its present distresses in which the welfare of the whole Union in [sic] much concernd from your passd Conduct induces us to hope you will Continue your good offices in procuring as much of the Cargo as is adjudged to Virginia to be sent on to that State which is now Invaded by a powerfull Land and Sea force, and which renders the Contents of that Cargo of infinite importance to that State; Virginia having heretofore greatly disfurnishd herself by lending Arms &.c. to the Neighbouring States & the Continent.

We have taken the proper steps to facilitate the whole being transported by land to Virginia, (if the State of Rhode Island shd. comply with the request of Congress in purchasing what may be adjudged to the Recaptors;)2 or a part—that part which may be adjudged to the State—the Qr. Mastr. Genl. being directed by a resolution of Congress to have them transported without loss of time. Could we request the favor of you to sti⟨p⟩ulate […]

RC and enclosure (RHi: Samuel Nightingale II Papers). RC in the hand of Theodorick Bland; docketed by Nightingale as received 6 Dec. Lower part of RC torn, with end of letter and signatures missing. For enclosure, see n. 1.

1The enclosure (1 p.) is Jefferson to Nightingale, 28 Oct. 1780 (see Nightingale to the Virginia delegates, 6 Dec. 1780), thanking Nightingale, informing him that JM and Bland would deal with him about the case from then on, and forwarding a letter from Jefferson to Judge John Foster of the Court of Admiralty of Rhode Island.

2On 2 Oct. 1780 the Continental Congress resolved “that it be recommended to the State of Rhode Island to take effectual measures for procuring for the use of the army such part of the cargo of the schooner Le Comite consigned by Messrs. P. Penet, du Costa, Brothers & Co. merchants at Nantz, to the State of Virginia, lately recaptured from the enemy and carried into the port of Providence in the said State, as shall be adjudged to the recaptors and may be suited to the use of the army” (Ford et al., Journals of the Continental Congress, 18:890).

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