Notes on Debates
MS (LC: Madison Papers). For a description of the manuscript of Notes on Debates, see Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , V, 231–34.
A letter dated 19th. December from Genl Greene was recd. notifying the evacuation of Charlstown.1 It was in the first place referred to the Secy of Congs for publication, excepting the passage which recited the exchange of prisoners, which being contrary to the Resolution of the 16 of Ocr. agst. partial exchanges, was deemed improper for publication.2 It was in the next place referred to a come. in order that some complimentary report might be made in favor of Genl. Greene & the Southn. army. Docr. Ramsay havg come in after this reference and being uninformed of it, moved that a Committee might be appointed to devise a proper mode of expressing to Genl. Greene the high sense entertained by Congress of his merits & services. In support of his motion he went into lavish praises of Gl. Greene, and threw out the idea of making him a Lieutent. General. His motion being opposed as somewhat singular and unnecessary after the reference of Gl. Greene’s letter, he withdrew it.3
A letter was red. from Genl. Washington inclosing a certificate from Mr. Chittenden of Vermont acknowledging the receipt of the communication which Gl Washington had sent him of the proceedings of Congress on the day of .4
2. The extract from Greene’s dispatch, as printed in the Pennsylvania Packet of 16 January, closes with “Published by order of Congress, Charles Thomson, Secretary.” The resolution of 16 October 1782 declared, “That Congress will not go into any partial exchanges of prisoners of war in future, but will take most effectual measures in their power, for the safe keeping of all prisoners of war, until a general cartel on liberal and national principles be agreed to and established” (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIII, 661). The relevant passage in Greene’s dispatch reads, “I had the happiness to negotiate a few Weeks ago a general Exchange of all the Civil and Militia Officers, as well as privates of every denomination under military paroles, belonging to the Southern department” (NA: PCC, No. 155, II, 603–6).
3. Although the printed journal for 15 January includes the motion which David Ramsay introduced and later withdrew, it omits the motion adopted by Congress before his arrival (JCC, XXIV, 46–47, 47, n. 1). John Rutledge, chairman, Thomas Mifflin (Pa.), and Hugh Williamson comprised the committee. On 17 January 1783 Congress adopted by a unanimous vote the committee’s report, drafted by Williamson, expressing “the thanks of the United States in Congress assembled” to Greene and “the officers and private soldiers under his command” (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 47–48). On 24 January in a letter congratulating Greene, John Rutledge stated that the general’s “particular Friends” had “thought it not adviseable to propose” his promotion (Burnett, Letters description begins Edmund C. Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress (8 vols.; Washington, 1921–36). description ends , VII, 22).
4. Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , V, 334–35; 335, nn. 7, 10; 336, nn. 12, 13, 17, 19; 388, and n. 3; 396, and n. 6. On 5 December 1782 Congress adopted resolutions concerning Vermont which had been drafted by Hamilton and introduced by Thomas McKean (Del.) two days before (ibid., V, 367, n. 2; 368, n. 3; JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIII, 765–66, 769). On 11 December Elias Boudinot, president of Congress, forwarded a copy of these “proceedings” to Washington, who dispatched them on 23 December by a courier to “Governor” Thomas Chittenden at Bennington, Vt. Washington’s reply to Boudinot, enclosing Chittenden’s acknowledgment of receipt, under a “State of Vermont” superscription, was dated 8 January 1783 (Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Sources, 1745–1799 (39 vols.; Washington, 1931–44). description ends , XXV, 458; XXVI, 14–15; NA: PCC, No. 152, XI, 53–54, 57).