James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Poindexter Jr., 4 September 1819

From Thomas Poindexter Jr.

Elba, Spotsyla, Septr 4th 1819.


Inclosed you will receive a deed of conveyance from you and Mrs. Madison, to Mr. Edge, for the land I sold him, belonging to you in this county, c⟨on⟩taing by a recent survey 90. acres;1 some time since, I sent you a simalar deed by Mr. Tood [sic], in that deed I had omitted the courses, because I had not at that time, any paper or information of any kind, by which I could find them out, and I supposed that you, probably had, and that if you had, you could have inserted them before you executed the deed; subjoined to this deed, is a certificate, that the justices, before whom you and Mrs. Madison must acknowledge the deed inclosed, must sign by a late law of the Virginia Legislature a commission to take the relinquishment of a feme covert’s dower, is dispensed, and a mere certificate of two justices is sufficient, both as to the dower, and also the admission to record, of the deed.2 If convenient execute the deed, and inclose it to me, without delay first because the 75. days will soon expire and secondly because, I shall about the 1st. of Ocr, start to the western count[r]y, and if I do not deliver the deed properly authenticated, before I start, I can not get the bond, till my return, and consequently the reception of the mony will be very much procrastinated; Be so good, as to inform me in your answer to this letter, whether you wish me, when I get the bond to retain it, till ’tis due and then collect it, or to remit it to you; if it is your wish for me to collect it, I will attend to it, with punctual diligence. With esteem your friend &c.

Thos. Poindexter Jr.3

RC (owned by University Archives, Westport, Conn., 2001).

1The enclosure was an unexecuted copy of the deed printed at 27 Sept. 1819 under the heading Indenture between James and Dolley Payne Madison and Philip Edge. In 1820 Philip Edge of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, was a landowner with thirteen slaves (U.S. Federal Census of 1820, Spotsylvania County, Virginia).

2Poindexter referred to section 15 of “An act, to reduce into one act the several acts for regulating Conveyances, and concerning wrongful alienations” (The Revised Code of the Laws of Virginia … [2 vols.; Richmond, Va., 1819; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 49998], 1:361, 365–66).

3Thomas Poindexter Jr. (1781–1825) was a lawyer and planter who lived near Fredericksburg, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. He advertised his Virginia property for sale in 1823 and moved to Woodville, Mississippi. He died at Ashwood Place, the home of his uncle, former Mississippi governor George Poindexter (Nealon Rhea Agee and Dorothy Louise Knox Brown, Poindexters in America with Related Families [Nashville, Tenn., 1995], 41–42, 46, 64; Virginia Herald, 31 May 1823; O’Levia Neil Wilson Wiese, comp., The Woodville Republican: Mississippi’s Oldest Existing Newspaper [6 vols.; 1990–2000; reprint, Westminster, Md., 2007], 1:14).

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