Virginia Delegates in Congress to Benjamin Harrison
Annapolis Mar: 22. 1784.
We inclose to your Excellency by the bearer Mr. McAlister an Exemplification of the deed of Cession executed according to the directions of the act of assembly transmitted us, and have the honor to be with very high respect Your Excellency’s Most obedt. & most humble servt.
John F. Mercer
Text from facsimile in Amer. Art Assoc. Catalogue, Turner-Munn Sale, 21–22 Jan. 1926, Lot 271, where it is erroneously described as being addressed to “Thomas Mifflin, President of the Continental Congress.” Also sold by Parke-Bernet, Hearst Sale, 16–17 Nov. 1938, Lot 304. MS now (1952) in possession of a dealer in autographs; the text is entirely in TJ’s hand and signed by the five Virginia delegates; docketed by a clerk. This MS, together with its enclosure, was sent to the General Assembly by Gov. Harrison in his letter to the Speaker of 3 May 1784 (Executive Letter Book, Vi). The enclosed “Exemplification of the deed of Cession” is in Vi (as is also a contemporary copy made by the clerk of the House of Delegates); it is described above in the notes to Document II in the group pertaining to the Virginia cession printed under 1 Mch. 1784. Both the letter and the exemplification are printed in Hening, xi, 571–5.
The news that Congress had accepted the Virginia cession reached the state some days before this official notification; on 20 Mch. the Va. Gaz. (Hayes) stated: “We are happy to inform the public, that Congress have accepted the cession of our Western territory, and that our delegates have executed a deed for the same.”