Joseph Reed to Virginia Delegates
Printed text (Pennsylvania Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds., Pennsylvania Archives (9 ser., 138 vols.; Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949). description ends , 1st ser., IX, 271). Endorsed, “1781, July 12th. To Hon’ble Delegates of Virginia in Congress.”
[12 July 1781]1
I take the earliest oppy to inform you that the Council fully concur with you in your Sentiments respecting the Seizure of Property of the Commonwealth of Virginia2 & that the most effectual Measures will be taken for the immediate Restoration of the Property to such Person as you shall direct,3 & if you think proper a Punishment of the offending Parties if upon Inquiry no mitigating Circumstances shall appear. We beg Leave to assure you, Gentlemen, that we shall on every Occasion be happy in manifesting our Attention & Respect to the State you represent.
I am Gent.
your obed. & very Hbble St,
1. This date is taken from the statement at the close of the printed copy, reading “Indorsed, 1781, July 12th,” and also from the opening sentence of the Virginia delegates’ reply on 13 July. Before writing on 12 July, Reed could have read Attorney General Bradford’s opinion submitted on the same date (Reed to Virginia Delegates, 10 July, n. 2), but he summarizes in the present letter the resolutions adopted the next day by the Supreme Executive Council. Evidently he was so confident of what the council would decide that he expressed its judgment before it convened.
3. When and by what means the property reached Virginia are unknown. Over a year later the state had not paid for at least a portion of the cargo (Calendar of Virginia State Papers description begins William P. Palmer et al., eds., Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts (11 vols.; Richmond, 1875–93). description ends , III, 260).