James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Hubbard Taylor, 5 October 1809

From Hubbard Taylor

Winchester Clarke Cy. Octr. 5th. 1809

Dear Sir

I have just met with Major Morrison1 on his Way to the City of Washington, and I cannot omit droping you a line. I wrote you since the return of Major J. Taylor,2 wherein I informed you of your Land business &C. and also took the liberty to say some thing on the subject of Leasing the Saline Salt Works,3 & probably I may have exceeded the limits of an individual. If so hope you will excuse it, as I realy have no view, but the publics good, & not acquainted how far much information of a private nature is proper to go to you direct, or even thro any of the departments, but having felt a great Anxiety in the Article of Salt, was the strong inducement. And I am pleased to hear that that Article is geting in great plenty on the Great Kanawwa, by the abundance of Salt-Water found there. The prices of that Article is in the interior of our County hereabouts from $1.75 to $2—a price not to be complaind off.

I saw the old Comm’drore4 lately he has not recoverd the effects of his fall from his Horse, and his Lady I fear will live but a short time if she is not already Dead. All the rest of our relations are well as far as I hear lately excerpt [sic] a Son in Law of Mine, who was il[l] about 2 week’s past since which I have not hred [sic].

We are all anxiety to hear what may be the real object of Mr Jackson, but expect little at the hands of the British, where circumstances do not force them to what they ought to do. The Citizens of this State I believe feel all that just indignity aga[i]nst both Britain & France, for their agressions and will I am sure support the General Government in such Measures as they may adopt as most proper to be pursued. You will be pleased to present my sincere respects to Mrs. Madison and believe me to be with the most respectfull regar[d] yr obdt. Hble sert

H: Taylor

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1James Morrison (1755–1823), a veteran of the Revolution, moved to Lexington, Kentucky, in 1792 and became active in state politics. He was also a contractor for the U.S. Army and had recently supplied the troops under the command of Brig. Gen. James Wilkinson in the camp at Terre aux Boeufs. He was introduced to JM by Wilson Cary Nicholas and later served as deputy quartermaster general for the Northwest Army in the War of 1812 (The Biographical Encyclopedia of Kentucky … [1878; Easley, S.C., 1980 reprint], p. 108; James Ripley Jacobs, Tarnished Warrior: Major-General James Wilkinson [New York, 1938], pp. 255–56; Nicholas to JM, 19 Oct. 1809).

2Letter not found.

3See Hubbard Taylor to JM, 16 June 1809 (PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (2 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984-). description ends , 1:256–57).

4Richard Taylor (1749–1825), a first cousin of James Madison, Sr., married Catharine Davis circa 1771. He commanded schooners of the Virginia state navy during the Revolution and rose to the rank of commodore. For his Revolutionary services he was granted lands in what is now Oldham County, Kentucky, where he moved in 1794 (William Kyle Anderson, Donald Robertson and His Wife, Rachel Rogers;… also, A Brief Account of the Ancestry of Commodore Richard Taylor of Orange County, Virginia, and His Naval History during the War of the American Revolution [Detroit, 1900], pp. 234, 236, 245–55).

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