James Madison Papers

From James Madison to William S. Stone, 1 July 1819

To William S. Stone

Montpellier July 1. 1819

Dear Sir

The Marshall I see has advertized for sale on saturday in Fredg. a piece of land which was mortged by Mr. Strode for a debt to me.1 Having no other prospect of being paid but from that property, and as it will probably not sell for the amount of the debt, it will be prudent to be myself the purchaser. My nephew Robt. Madison2 will be in Fredg. and be a bidder in my behalf: if nothing shd. happen to prevent him. Should he be not there, may I ask the favor of you, to have the purchase made for me, unless, which is not probable, there should be other bids approaching the amount of the debt; wch. I suppose must be $15 or 1600. The decree of the Ct. will shew what it is.3 Friendly respects

James Madison

RC (Fredericksburg, Virginia, Circuit Court, Madison v. Strode, 1819, CR–SC–H, 188–14, folder 3). Addressed by JM to Stone at Fredericksburg and franked. Docketed in an unidentified hand: “Filed with Mar.’s rept. 17th. Sepr. 1819.”

1The marshal’s sale of John Strode’s land was first advertised in the Fredericksburg Virginia Herald, 9 June 1819.

2Robert Lewis Madison (1794–1828), was JM’s nephew, the son of William Madison. He spent the winter of 1812–13 living with the Madisons in the White House, and JM provided at least some support for Robert’s attendance at Dickinson College through 1815. Robert Madison represented Madison County in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1821–23 (PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (6 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984—). description ends , 3:226; Ralph L. Ketcham, “Uncle James Madison and Dickinson College,” in Early Dickinsoniana: The Boyd Lee Spahr Lectures in Americana, 1957–1961 [Carlisle, Pa., 1961], 173–74, 177, 185, 189; Swem and Williams, Register, 403).

3The amount of the original debt Strode owed to JM was $1,068.97, to which was added interest in the amount of $593.83 and court costs of $40.87, making a total of $1,703.67 (John Stanard’s statement of sale of property appended to the 3 May 1819 foreclosure decree [Fredericksburg, Virginia, Circuit Court, Madison v. Strode, 1819, CR–SC–H, 188–14, folder 2]).

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