James Madison Papers

Benjamin Harrison to Virginia Delegates, 18 October 1783

Benjamin Harrison to Virginia Delegates

FC (Virginia State Library). Addressed to “Delegates in Congress.” In the hand of Samuel Patteson.

In Council Octo: 18th. 1783.


I received your favor by the last post with its enclosures which shall be laid before the assembly as soon as they meet which I hope will be next week.1

The sooner Congress come to a determination on the subject of trade the better as I expect it will be the first thing of consequence that will be taken under consideration by this assembly2

I am &c.

B. H.

2About a month after JM’s tenure in Congress had ended, the Virginia House of Delegates unanimously adopted on 4 December a resolution declaring that Congress “ought to be empowered to prohibit,” or “to concert any other mode to be adopted by the States” to prohibit, “British vessels from being the carriers of the growth or produce of the British West India islands to these United States, so long as the restriction” imposed by King George III’s proclamation of 2 July on American merchantmen desiring to engage in that trade “shall be continued.” A bill embodying that resolution was enacted into law by the Virginia General Assembly on 22 December 1783. On the same day the Assembly directed Governor Harrison to send a copy of the statute to the executive of each state and also to the Virginia delegates for submission to Congress (JHDV description begins (1828 ed.). Journal of the House of Delegates of Virginia, Anno Domini, 1776 (Richmond, 1828). description ends , Oct. 1783, pp. 46, 50, 53, 55, 83; Hening, Statutes description begins William Waller Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619 (13 vols.; Richmond and Philadelphia, 1819–23). description ends , XI, 313–14; Randolph to JM, 18 July 1783, and n. 6).

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