James Madison Papers

Virginia Delegates to Benjamin Harrison, 30 July 1782

Virginia Delegates to Benjamin Harrison

RC (Virginia State Library). In Theodorick Bland’s hand, except for JM’s and Lee’s signatures. Addressed to “His Excellency the Governor of Virginia.” Docketed, “Virga Delegates Lr., July 30. 82 July, 1782.” Cover missing.

Philadelphia July 30th. 1782


We deliverd the Letter to the Chevalier de la Luzerne, enclosd in that your Excellency honord us with on the 19, together with the apology you desird for your Congratulations, on the auspicious event of the birth of a Dauphin, having arrivd so late[.]1 The Minister expressd his satisfaction in recieving it.

The Secretary for foreign Affairs2 will pay proper attention in future to your Excellency’s Address. Due enquiry will be made by the Post-master-general,3 into the miscarriage of our Letter of the 9th. ult. of which we now send a Copy.4 We shall make all possible enquiry concerning Mr. J. Todd & his proceedings here.5

That part of your Excellency’s Letter of the 11th. relating to the expence of garrisoning York & Glocester, was laid before Congress, & referrd to a Committee, which has not yet reported upon it.6 We shoud be happy to hear, from time to time, of the success of the recruiting plan.7

It is so confidently reported here, that a fleet of 13 Sail of french Ships of war, with 4000 land Forces & a numerous Convoy, are arrivd in the Chesapeake;8 that we cannot help congratulating your Excellency on an event, which promises so much to our State & to the Union.

With sentiments of the9 profoundest respect, We have the honor to be Yr. Excellency’s most Obedt. & most Humbe. Servants.

Theok: Bland Jr.

J. Madison Jr.

A. Lee

2Robert R. Livingston.

3Ebenezer Hazard.

4See Virginia Delegates to Harrison, 9 July 1782. The copy, in the hand of Arthur Lee, is certified by him to be a “True Copy from the Book” (Ms in Virginia State Library).

8In his journal on 28 July 1782, Baron von Closen, then in Baltimore, noted that Rochambeau had just received “dispatches from M. de Vaudreuil, who had passed by the Capes of the Chesapeake on the 25th” on his way to Boston, where he would obtain supplies for his thirteen ships. “The Néréide, a frigate of 40 cannon, entered the bay and sent some packets to Hampton, after which it rejoined the fleet” (Acomb, Journal of Closen description begins Evelyn M. Acomb, trans. and ed., The Revolutionary Journal of Baron Ludwig von Closen, 1780–1783 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1958). description ends , p. 216). The delegates evidently had read the Pennsylvania Packet of 30 July 1782, which left the impression that Chesapeake Bay was the destination of these vessels. They had sailed from Cap Français, Haiti, on 3 July.

9Bland inadvertently repeated “of the.”

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