Notes from Congress’ Secret Journal
on Instructions to Peace Commissioners
MS (LC: Madison Papers). See Notes from Secret Journal, 28 May 1781, headnote.
June 8[, 1781]
2. The two motions introduced by the Virginia delegates were voted on separately, but both were designed to “limit power to cede boundaries.” JM evidently considered the votes cast on the two motions as being one, since they reflected the reaction of the delegates to a single issue. All members of the Virginia delegation voted “ay” on both motions; but actually William Sharpe voted “ay” on the first and “no” on the second while William C. Houston and James M. Varnum voted “no” on the first and “ay” on the second. Every other delegate voted “no” on both motions. See Motions on Boundaries, 8 June 1781, and JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XX, 612–13.
3. Each of the two parts of the Witherspoon motion was voted on separately. Only the vote on the first part was “all ay but Virga.” In the vote on the second part of the Witherspoon motion, which instructed the peace commissioner to co-operate closely with the French in the negotiations, all the state delegations, including the four delegates from Virginia, voted “ay,” except the delegation from Massachusetts (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XX, 614–15).