In this letter, dated September 8, 1783,writes to his father James Madison Sr. about his decision to not bring Billy Gardner, an enslaved man, back to Virginia after he had accompanied Madison during his three years with the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. In Gardner, Madison recognized a desire for freedom that was not dissimilar from his own involvement in the American Revolution. Madison feared that Gardner might inspire the other to seek their own freedom. Constrained by Pennsylvania law from selling Gardner outright, Madison sold Gardner into a seven-year term of indenture. Afterward, Gardner lived as a free man.