Virginia Delegates to Benjamin Harrison
Printed extract (Paul C. Richards Catalogue No. 11 , item 266). The catalogue describes the manuscript as comprising two pages written by JM and bearing the signatures of Joseph Jones, Theodorick Bland, JM, and Arthur Lee.
[17 April 1782]
We thought it necessary to have a decision from Congress relative to the cession of our western territory, for the information of the ensuing Assembly; & therefore moved for the appointment of a day, to take up the consideration of the report on that subject. Monday last was the day assigned; but a call for an adjournment put it by for that day.…1
A vessel just arrived here from the Cape, reports that 17 Spanish Sail of the Line & 12 thousand troops were then in that port.2 We … will comply with what your Excellency desires relative to the one for forty Emission.…3
1. Congress had resumed consideration of the Boudinot committee’s report on Tuesday, 16 April, “but came to no determination thereon” (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXII, 184). Although not mentioned in the printed journal, Congress adopted a motion, probably made by the Virginia delegates at the close of the debate, to designate this report the “order of the day” for 18 April (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXII, 191). See Motion To Amend Lee’s Motion on Western Lands, 18 April, n. 1; Virginia Delegates to Harrison, 14 May 1782.
2. The Pennsylvania Packet of 9 and 13 April 1782 reported the arrival at Cap Français, Haiti, of these ships and troops from Cadiz. Although at least most of this armament had not come recently from Spain, there were at Cap Français early in April about fourteen Spanish war vessels and 10,000 soldiers ready to join Grasse’s command in conquering Jamaica (JM to Pendleton, 9 April 1782, n. 3; J[ohn Dawson] G[ilmary] Shea, ed., The Operations of the French Fleet under the Count de Grasse in 1781–2, as Described in Two Contemporaneous Journals [New York, 1864], pp. 126–27, 129, 199; [Louis] É[douard] Chevalier, Histoire de la marine française pendant la guerre de l’independance américaine.… [Paris, 1877], p. 287).