James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Nathaniel Ellicott, 27 November 1813

From Nathaniel Ellicott

Occoquan 27 Nov 1813

Respected Friend James Madison

Those Interested are about to Petition the next Legisture of Virginia to Pass a Law to open a road from this place to Normonds ford upon Rappc. I have had a Person out at the last Courts in Culpepper and Fauq: for the last Two getting Signers to the Petition, and I mean to Wait on the Legislature myself. Will you (if you approve of the road) do me the favor to Enclose to me a letter to Each of the members from your County Stating your Knowlege of the Necessity of Such a road, &ct &ct in So doing you will Confer a favor on the Public and on no Individual more than your Friend

N Ellicott.1


1Nathaniel Ellicott (1763–1841) was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and by 1795 had moved to Occoquan in Prince William County, Virginia. There he acquired numerous mills, constructed a toll bridge, and established a stagecoach line. In 1805 and 1806 he corresponded with Thomas Jefferson about the possibility of building a major road through Occoquan. Jefferson favored the project, and on 27 Nov. 1813 Ellicott wrote him a letter similar to the one he sent to JM. The road was not built, however, and Ellicott left Occoquan in 1816 (Deborah Beckel, “Nathaniel Ellicott and Thomas Jefferson: The Occoquan Connection,” Prince William Reliquary 6 [2007]: 75–80).

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