James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Barbour, 17 February 1814

From James Barbour

Richmond, February 17th. 1814.


I have the honor in conformity to a Resolution of the House of Delegates of this Commonwealth, to transmit you the enclosed documents.1 By a recurrence thereto you will perceive the deep interest which that branch of the Legislature takes in the completion of Fort Powhatan and the very great advantage which is likely to accrue from a compliance with its wishes. The sentiments entertained upon this subject by the Executive of this State are disclosed in my correspondence with the Secretary of War, which forms a part of the accompanying documents. An answer as soon as your convenience will permit will place me under obligations. I tender you assurances of my profound respect.

Js Barbour

RC and enclosures (DLC); letterbook copy (Vi: Executive Letterbook). RC docketed by JM. For enclosures, see n. 1.

1Barbour enclosed a 16 Feb. 1814 report by a committee of the Virginia House of Delegates with an appended resolution (8 pp.; docketed by JM), calling on the governor to submit the case of Fort Powhatan to JM, and taking issue with chief engineer Col. Joseph Gardner Swift’s opinion that the fort was “worthless,” which had formed the basis of John Armstrong’s refusal to comply with Barbour’s earlier requests that it be repaired. The legislators argued that the structure, situated on a high bluff at the confluence of the James and Appomattox rivers, was essential to the defense of Richmond and Petersburg. Barbour also enclosed copies of his letters to Armstrong of 7 May 1813 (3 pp.) and 4 Oct. 1813 (2 pp.) on this topic, to which the committee’s report referred. Accompanying each copy was a 15 Feb. 1814 certification of its accuracy (1 p.) by William Munford, clerk of the House of Delegates.

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