James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Barbour, 29 May 1811

From James Barbour

Orange May 29th. 1811


The inconvenience of my situation as connected with the post office is such as induces me to make an effort to remedy it. Not having the pleasure of an acquaintance with the head of the post office department I have taken the liberty to present the subject to your consideration. The most convenient post office in the County is Orange Court House. The road leading to Charlottesville by my house is the most convenient and the nearest way but notwithstanding this circumstance there is a Stage mail and also a horse mail on the town road. I feel no disposition to change that arrangement yet I think but Just that we should have at least a horse mail once a week. The population on this road is very numerous and respectable and from the remoteness of the post office it is to us almost useless. A post office established at a Public house on my land (called Barboursville) fourteen miles from the Ct House under the direction of John Bradley would produce a convenience to a multitude of People who with myself are anxious for such an establishment. If this subject is within your controul and you can spare time enough from business of more importance to attend to this, the favor will be duly appreciated by very many respectful Friends. I am with Sentiments of the highest esteem yr Obd Sert.

Js: Barbour1

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1James Barbour (1775–1842) was a resident of Barboursville, Virginia, and a near neighbor of JM’s. He entered the Virginia House of Delegates in 1798 supporting JM’s Virginia Resolutions, and he remained a member of that body almost continuously until 1812. He served as governor of Virginia during the War of 1812 and thereafter as U.S. senator for Virginia, 1815–25, secretary of war, 1825–28, and briefly, until 1829, as U.S. minister to Great Britain. Throughout his career Barbour’s political views and actions were usually in close harmony with those of JM. When JM died in 1836 Barbour served as a pallbearer at his funeral and then delivered the eulogy at the memorial service held at Orange Court House (Charles D. Lowery, James Barbour, a Jeffersonian Republican [University, Ala., 1984], pp. 18, 19, 61, 81, 151, 184, 234).

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