NOTES FOR CHAPTER 26

I have been quite tired--Edward Coles to Dolley Madison, Feb. 22, 1832, New York Public Library. Back

The final tally was--Theodore Pease, ed., Illinois Election Returns, 1818-1848 (Illinois Historical Collections, XVIII, Springfield, 1923), pp. 72-73. See also Edward Coles to James Madison, June 12, 1831, William and Mary Quarterly ser. 2, vol. 7 (1927) p. 36. Back

carry some messages from General Winfield Scott--Winfield Scott to Edward Coles, Aug. 11, 1832 and March 8, 1833, Princeton University Library. Back

he met and courted Sally Logan Roberts--William B. Coles, ed., The Coles Family of Virginia, New York, 1931, p. 113. Back

Upon the death of his father-in-law--Ralph Ketchum, "The Dictates of Conscience: Edward Coles and Slavery," The Virginia Quarterly Review (Winter 1960) p. 62. Back

Coles had three children--William B. Coles, p. 114. Back

he writes Dolley delightedly in 1841--Edward Coles to Dolley Madison, Aug. 29, 1841, Illinois State Historical Library. Back

He lived in Philadelphia at 1303 Spruce Street--William B. Coles, p. 122. Back

In 1835 he attempted--See Joseph Duncan to Edward Coles, Feb. 25, 1835; Edward Coles to Joseph Duncan, March 16, 1835; Joseph Duncan to Edward Coles, March 20, 1835; Robert Dyson to Edward Coles, April 9, 1835; and Edward Coles to Joseph Duncan, June 13, 1835; all in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Back

In 1841 Coles served on a committee--Edward Coles to [?], April 20, 1841, New York Public Library; Edward Coles to Isaac Coles, April 11, 1841, Princeton University Library. Coles tells Isaac that he was offered the directorship but turned it down because he didn't want to spend his summers in Philadelphia. The change in his circumstances from April to July is baffling. Back

writing his old schoolfriend--Edward Coles to President Tyler, July 7, 1841, Princeton University Library. In an earlier letter to Tyler, Coles, writing on behalf of the renomination of his brother-in-law Andrew Stevenson to the position of ambassador to England, calls Tyler his boyhood friend from college, and Tyler answers in the same vein (Edward Coles to John Tyler, Jan. 26, 1835; John Tyler to Edward Coles, Jan. 31, 1835; both in the Princeton University Library). Back

write to General Winfield Scott--Winfield Scott to Edward Coles, April 30, 1842, Princeton University Library. Back

Coles also wrote to Dolley--Edward Coles to Dolley Madison, May 17, 1842; Dolley Madison to Edward Coles, May 1842, Princeton University Library. Back

There the matter rested--Edward Coles to John Tyler, April 5, 1843; John Tyler to Edward Coles, May 5, 1843; both in the Princeton University Library. Back

I think that I shall meet with indulgence--Edward Coles, History of the Ordinance of 1787, read before the Historical Society of Pennsylvania on June 9, 1856. In Alvord, p. 200. Back

In 1845 he got involved in a controversy--Edward Coles to James Gallatin, Nov. 12, 1845; James Gallatin to Edward Coles, Nov. 20, 1845; Edward Coles to Cutts, Dec. 17, 1845; Dolley Madison to Edward Coles, Jan. 29, 1846, Princeton University Library. Back

I console myself with the hope--Edward Coles to J.R. Poinsett, March 15, 1851, William and Mary Quarterly ser. 2, vol. 7 (1927) 112. In the Roberts Coles Collection there is a receipt dated 1855 for a $1000 contribution from Coles to be a "Life director" of the African Colonization Society. Back

To another correspondent--Edward Coles to Robert Winthrop, August 5, 1856, William and Mary Quarterly ser. 2, vol. 7 (1927) 165-166. Back

To yet another correspondent--Edward Coles to Henry Randall, May 11, 1857, William and Mary Quarterly ser. 2, vol. 7 (1927) 166-170. Back

In 1832 Coles wrote to Madison--Edward Coles to James Madison, Jan. 8, 1832, William and Mary Quarterly ser. 2, vol. 7 (1927) 37. Back

Coles later insisted--A note by Coles in the Princeton University Library, written in Sept. 1849, says that Madison had mentioned to Robert Taylor, his lawyer, that he had asked Dolley to free his slaves after he died (it being too difficult to do in his will) and that Dolley had confirmed this story in a conversation with Henry Clay. In 1855 Coles wrote to the Willises (Mrs. Willis was Madison's niece) for their recollections. Mrs. Willis believed that Madison had left a separate sealed envelope to be opened by my wife should she be living at the time of my death. This envelope was lost, but both Coles and Mrs. Willis believe that it left instructions for Dolley to free his slaves after her death. John Willis, however, says that his mother doesn't think that the letter contained that instruction, since Madison was afraid that if his slaves knew they were to be freed on Dolley's death, they would kill her. (Edward Coles to John and Nelly Willis, Dec. 10, 1855; John Willis to Edward Coles, Dec. 19, 1855; both in the Princeton University Library.) This fear, of course, is precisely what Coles had communicated to Madison back in 1832. The discrepancy between Coles' story in 1849 (that Madison had told Dolley to free his slaves immediately after his death) and in 1855 (that, ignoring Coles' advice, he had left a sealed note instructing Dolley to free his slaves after her death) makes one conclude that, despite his protestations, Coles wasn't at all clear on what Madison had done. Back

writing to his brother-in-law--Edward Coles to Andrew Stevenson, July and Nov. 1836, William and Mary Quarterly ser. 2, vol. 7 (1927) 107-108. Back

Such is the nervous character of my feelings--Edward Coles to John Rutherfoord, Oct. 1861, Princeton University Library. Back

His youngest son, Roberts Coles--Roberts Coles returned to Virginia when he was 21 (1859) and bought about 900 acres from Tucker Skipwith Coles north of the portion of the Enniscorthy estate owned by Tucker's father, John Coles III, together with a small wooden house and outbuildings. When the Civil War began, despite some attempts by the family in Virginia to induce him to return to Philadelphia or stay neutral by going abroad, he joined the Confederates and was killed at the Battle of Roanoke Island on Feb. 8, 1862. Roberts Coles' will gave all of his property to Peyton Skipwith Coles, but he stilled owed Tucker Skipwith Coles $19,000 in principal and interest for the estate. So Tucker took back the land and cancelled the $14,000 in principal, but Edward Coles, in what must have been a melancholy duty, sent Tucker the $5,000 in interest owed by his dead son (William B. Coles, The Coles Family of Virginia, New York, 1931, p. 700). In the Roberts Coles Collection is a letter written by Roberts Coles on the eve of battle, in which he makes clear that his father knows nothing about his whereabouts. Back

another attempt at autobiography--in the Princeton University Library. Back

He died in Philadelphia in 1868--William B. Coles, p. 113. Back

Edward Coles

Chapter 26