James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Richard E. Parker and John T. Lomax, 6 September 1813 (Abstract)

§ From Richard E. Parker and John T. Lomax

6 September 1813, Westmoreland County. “At a meeting of the Officers of the Counties of Westmoreland, Richmond, Northumberland and Lancaster we were appointed a deputation to present to you the enclosed memorial1—which we were instructed to accompany with Such verbal explanations and details as our knowledge of the country and of the views of the memorialists would enable us to make.

“Understanding that you have left the seat of Government and yet believing it proper to communicate on the subject of the memorial with the war department we have determined to forward the enclosed to you at your seat—and to go on ourselves to Washington—& shall be extremely happy if a restoration of your health should have permitted your return e’er our arrival at that place. Should your return however have been delayed by a continuance of your indisposition or any other cause less to be regretted we will do ourselves the honor to wait upon you agreably to the expectations of our constituents—if found necessary to our success or if you require any other information than is contained in the memorial itself—or any specifick plan of defense.

“We should be happy—if the views taken in the memorial are satisfactory—to obtain your instructions at the City, to the secretary at War to authorise him to comply with the earnest wishes of those we represent—or to receive at Fredericksburg any other communications which you may be pleased to make on this subject.”

RC and enclosure (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, P-261). RC 2 pp. Docketed as received in the War Department on “Sept. […] 1813.” Docketed also by Daniel Parker, over Joseph Bloomfield’s signature, with Parker’s note: “Nov: 13: 1813. Capt. Reisen, with 100 Men of 36: Regt. & 10,000 Ball Cartridges ordered to Sandy-Point-Virginia &c. See instructs. &c.” (JM received and docketed a copy of Bloomfield’s 13 Nov. 1813 instructions to Capt. Samuel Reisen regarding the defense of Virginia’s Northern Neck [DLC]). Damaged by removal of seal. For enclosure, see n. 1.

1Parker and Lomax enclosed a 26 Aug. 1813 memorial (4 pp.) from militia officers of the “lower part of the Northern Neck” of Virginia, which stated that because of its abundant resources and isolated situation, their region would be particularly subject, for the duration of the war, to depredations and perhaps even permanent occupation by British forces, thereby facilitating an attack on Washington; and that it was impossible, in a crisis, to bring reinforcements quickly across the Rappahannock from the better-defended counties to the south. The memorialists requested that the federal government provide troops for the defense of their region, or funds to equip, muster, and train local militia.

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