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To James Madison from Edmund Randolph, [16] November 1782

From Edmund Randolph

RC (LC: Madison Papers). Unsigned but in Randolph’s hand. JM’s erroneous docket of “Novr. 10. 1782” may signify that he added it some years later, after the date line had become illegible. The contents of the letter permit no doubt that 16 November was the date when it was written. JM acknowledged it as of that date in his own letter of 26 November to Randolph (q.v.).

Richmond Novr. [16]. 1782.

My dear sir

The assembly have at last begun to move. From the constant impracticability of procuring a sufficient number of members to constitute a house for the first ten days of every session,1 it was proposed to reduce the majority, which alone can proceed to business, according to the present rules, to fifty. The favourers of the reduction were Mr. Jno. Mercer, its author, and Mr. R. H. Lee. Its opposers were, among many others, Mr. Thruston and Dr. Lee.2 The latter succeeded by arguments, drawn from the nature of government in general. When we inspect the state of parties, it seems astonishing, that there should be a division on this question, which might eventually influence the most important determinations, between those, whose measures in politics arise from similar opinions.3

Colo. R. H. Lee has received a letter from Cleves dated, as well as I recollect, on the 29. of June; in which the restoration of Arnold to a public appearance at court is announced, as one of the productions of the new ministry.4 From this fact his correspondent infers, that the plan of devastation, which had originated from this parricide during the reign of North, and would have been executed, but for the change in the cabinet, is now revived.5 Alarmed by this intelligence, Dr. Lee moved for the appointment of a committee to devise a plan of national defence. To it were referred all the communications from the governor, and consequently most of the intelligence, upon which the operations of the legislature were to be commenced.6 But on the day succeeding this appointment, Mr. Wm. Ronald moved for discharging the committee; alledging, that by thus putting all the budget into the hands of a few members, the rest of the house were dependent on them for such parts of the public affairs, as they might choose to bring into discussion. Colo. Mercer called this committee an oligarchical junto: Mr. R. H. Lee vindicated it upon the experience of the inefficacy of a multitude to perform with accuracy or dispatch. But a very great majori[t]y voted for dissolving the committee.7

A severe inspection is threatened, and indeed begun against the auditors.8 It has been declared in the house, that “an ugly ulcer is growing upon the body politic,” and that it springs from their office and conduct. To what this expression alludes in particular, I know not: but common report charges them with great delays as well as mistakes in posting their accounts. I suspect, that some misfeasance is imputed to them respecting the pensioners: since in the motion, which seems to be aimed at their heads, this class of people are required to be specified. Perhaps the extinction of their allowances is also intended; for they amount to a considerable sum. But nothing of this sort can be done with justice to those, who have been deprived of their limbs and bodily powers in the service of the country, without substituting some other form of relief9

Colo. Mercer on thursday last made a series of motions, by which, he said, remedies would be provided for most of the evils of the state. The first, after complaining of injustice to public creditors and especially to the officers, attempts a cure by proposing in general terms the establishment of a circulating medium. Under this is couched the erection of a bank: but its constitution is yet unknown.10 He observed in the course of his argument, that a bank had formed the wilderness of Scotland into a paradise. This account will scarcely impose upon us, who know the condition of that country under Douglass’s bank even from reading, and will never be accredited by any Scotchman, who has migrated hither for bread. There is indeed another bank, which proves of great utility to young merchants and mechanics:11 but I fear, that the establishment of even such an one presupposes too much cash for Virginia, and, if established, would not answer public necessity.

The second animadverted on the delinquency of the members in attending the assembly at the time appointed. The scheme of remedy was not fully disclosed.12

The third respected the stoppage of executions

Upon the two first[,] bills were ordered in: the last lies neglected, unless it was taken up yesterday.13

A son of old Mr. Wormeley arrived at Hampton some time ago in a flag from Charlestown, with his lady, who, you remember, being a daughter of a suffering Whig there, was allured to attempt the conveyance of intelligence to Nine[ty] Six by a promise of the liberation of her father. Mr. W. has been here soliciting the restoration of his son to the rights of citizenship.14 But he has relinquished his endeavours on this head from the appearance of a firm resolution in the assembly, ne[ver?] to countenance a suspicion of a wish to reunite with G. B or her subjects.15

General Morgan is here. His business, I have been told, is to urge the assembly to make better provision for discharging the arrears of the officers. He behaves with great propriety on the occasion; acknowledging, that the country cannot at present do complete justice, and desiring only those things, which seem to me to be within the power of the legislature.16

Altho’ every month publishes to the world, that Virginia has paid nothing into the treasury of the U. S, I entertain very little hope of the remittance being greater. The taxes, now existing, being, in the first instance, to be appropriated to other uses, will not, I fear, leave the balance of a shilling, and the opinions of the leading men in the assembly protest against an increase of them.17

I shall forward the cypher by a private hand in a day or two. My next letter will render it necessary.18

Pray inform Colo. Bland, that Mr. Pollock did not deliver his favor of the 1st. inst: until it was too late to answer it. But I communicated its contents, so far as it respected money, to Mr. Banks, who has promised to comply with his request.19

Mr. Jefferson has, I am told, lost the memorandums of his reply to the several questions of Mr. Marbois. Would it be possible to get a sight of them from that gentleman? I know there must be difficulty in effecting this, and therefore do not press it. But inform me, how the case stands.20

Mr. Henry certainly will not attend this session.21 I have not as yet heard any public observations on the motion, of Mr. Williamson which was seconded by Colo. Bland, in consequence of the acceptance of the cession of New-York.22 But it strikes me, as being illjudged, and that you ought to be forever obstinate in your secession. The enemies of our territorial claims are persevering: and by the addition of a little precedent one day to another little one on another, they would soon be able to throw the opinion of Virginia herself into her own teeth.23

1See JM to Randolph, 16–17 September 1782, n. 14. From the session of October 1776 through that of October 1782, an average period of between ten and eleven days separated the official convening date of the House of Delegates from the time when a sufficient number of members assembled to constitute a quorum.

2On 12 November the Virginia House of Delegates rejected a motion, reading: “Resolved, That during the continuance of the present session, fifty members of this House be a sufficient number to proceed to business” (Journal of the House of Delegates description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in 1827 or 1828, and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , October 1782, p. 12). See also Randolph to JM, 2 November 1782, n. 4. For John Francis Mercer, see Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , IV, 154, n. 14; for Richard Henry Lee, ibid., I, 150, n. 2; and for (“Dr.”) Arthur Lee, ibid., II, 108, n. 10. Except in the military emergency of June 1781, when the House of Delegates decided that a minimum of forty members would be enough to make a quorum during the latter days of the May session, the minimum number of delegates for the conduct of business was one—half of the full complement plus one-or seventy-six in the session of October 1782 (Journal of the House of Delegates description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in 1827 or 1828, and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , May 1781, p. 10; Swem and Williams, Register description begins Earl G. Swem and John W. Williams, eds., A Register of the General Assembly of Virginia, 1776–1918, and of the Constitutional Conventions (Richmond, 1918). description ends , pp. 15–16).

Charles Mynn Thruston (1738–1812) of Mount Zion in Frederick County was a member of the conventions of 1775 and 1776 and of the House of Delegates in 1783 and from 1785 to 1788. Born in Gloucester County, he attended the College of William and Mary and fought as a lieutenant in the French and Indian War. Having taken orders in the Church of England on 13 August 1765, he served as a minister of parishes in Gloucester and Frederick counties before the Revolution. He was a captain in the continental army in 1776 and, after losing an arm in battle, became a supernumerary colonel in 1779. In 1808 he moved to the vicinity of New Orleans. See 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 , III, 120–24; XIII, 128–29; Swem and Williams, Register description begins Earl G. Swem and John W. Williams, eds., A Register of the General Assembly of Virginia, 1776–1918, and of the Constitutional Conventions (Richmond, 1918). description ends , pp. 15, 17, 22, 24, 26; JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , X, 39; Mary Wiatt Gray, Gloucester County (Virginia) (Richmond, Va., 1936), pp. 69–70; National Intelligencer (Washington, D.C.), 5 May 1812; J. Adger Stewart, “Mount Zion—the Thruston Old Home,” Filson Club History Quarterly, X (1936), 178–81.

3The “astonishing” feature was the division within the Lee and anti-Lee factions on this issue. Richard Henry Lee and Arthur Lee usually supported or opposed the same measures; so, too, did their customary foes, Mercer and Thruston. The political rivalry between Richard Henry Lee and James Mercer was of nearly twenty years’ standing (Douglas Southall Freeman, George Washington: A Biography [7 vols.; New York, 1948–57; Vol. VII by J. A. Carroll and M. W. Ashworth], III, 169–70, 173; Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , IV, 307, n. 11). On 11 December Thruston and John Francis Mercer, a half brother of James, voted to censure Arthur Lee on the ground that he had written a letter “extremely injurious to the public interest” (Journal of the House of Delegates description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in 1827 or 1828, and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , October 1782, p. 62; Randolph to JM, 13 December 1782, and nn. 10–13).

4As printed in Worthington C. Ford, ed., Letters of William Lee, III, 867–71, this letter is dated 29 July 1782. William Lee informed his brother: “General Arnold is again openly at court, high in the King’s favor, and frequently closeted with Lord Shelburne.” Randolph used the word “restoration,” because Arnold had been welcome at court until the fall of the North ministry in March 1782 (Wharton, Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence description begins Francis Wharton, ed., The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States (6 vols.; Washington, 1889). description ends , V, 216).

5For the “devastation” by Brigadier General Benedict Arnold and his troops in Virginia and Connecticut in 1781, see Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , III, 91, and nn. 4, 5; 180; 183, n. 27; 258; 260, n. 3.

6Arthur Lee’s motion of 12 November read: “Resolved, That a committee be appointed, to form a plan of national defence against invasions; to examine into the state of the public arms, accoutrements, and ammunition; and to consult with the Executive on what assistance they may want from the legislature, for carrying the plan into execution.” Having adopted the resolution on that day, the House of Delegates named Lee to be chairman of an eleven-man committee, including Richard Henry Lee, appointed to give effect to the motion (Journal of the House of Delegates description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in 1827 or 1828, and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , October 1782, pp. 13–14). How a state legislature could devise and put into effect “a plan of national defence” is difficult to envisage, but Arthur Lee may have had in mind all or some part of the scheme advocated by Richard Henry Lee in his letter of 12 June 1781 to the Virginia delegates in Congress (Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , III, 156–59). See also Instructions in re Artillery, 25 and 26 December 1782.

7See n. 2, above. The printed journal for 13 November notes only the passage of a motion to discharge the committee (Journal of the House of Delegates description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in 1827 or 1828, and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , October 1782, p. 14). “Colo. Mercer” was John Francis Mercer. William Ronald (d. 1793), a native Scot of Powhatan County, began in 1781 eleven years of nearly continuous service in the House of Delegates. He also was a member of the Annapolis Convention of 1786 and of the Virginia Convention of 1788, which ratified the Constitution of the United States (Swem and Williams, Register description begins Earl G. Swem and John W. Williams, eds., A Register of the General Assembly of Virginia, 1776–1918, and of the Constitutional Conventions (Richmond, 1918). description ends , pp. 14–38, passim; Powhatan County Court Records, Will Book 1, p. 248, microfilm in Virginia State Library).

9Randolph’s quotation may have been of a remark by the unnamed delegate who introduced “the motion” on 13 November. Among the directives to the auditors in this motion, adopted that day, was the requirement that they submit “a list of all the pensioners, with the sums payable to each of them.” The “allowances” of the auditors were not their individual salaries of £400 specie annually but the pensions that, under provisions of the statute of December 1778 creating them as a board, they were empowered to “allow” annually to disabled soldiers and sailors or to the widows of military personnel, along with “sums in gross for their immediate relief.” The opportunities for “misfeasance” under these sweeping terms are obvious (Journal of the House of Delegates description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in 1827 or 1828, and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , October 1778, pp. 111, 122; October 1782, p. 14; 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 , IX, 537; X, 493).

On 16 November the auditors complied with the directive by submitting a report, including “a list of the pensioners on our Books with the allowance per annum and the time when the last warrant issued to each” (MS in Virginia State Library). In their report, which the House of Delegates ordered “to lie on the Table,” the auditors mentioned their “great multiplicity of other Business” and their insufficient “number of Clerks” as explanations of why the list of pensioners was not up to date, and why so few of “the claims from the several counties” had been examined. The auditors suggested that they be permitted to employ “three additional temporary clerks” and that the time limit for filing and settling claims be extended until October 1783.

During the session of the General Assembly the Board of Auditors was not subjected to “a severe inspection.” A motion on 9 December, introduced in the House of Delegates by Richard Lee of Westmoreland County on behalf of a committee, to reduce the number of auditors from three to one, expired in the committee of the whole (Journal of the House of Delegates description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in 1827 or 1828, and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , October 1782, pp. 25, 59, 60, 67).

A statute of 28 December “for adjusting certain public claims” authorized the auditors to employ one or two “temporary clerks” for approximately six months (ibid., October 1782, p. 91; 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, 183–84). On the same day, hoping to replace as far as possible “the loss of the proceedings and papers” of government officials, including the auditors, especially for the years “prior to January 1781, when all these papers were destroyed by the enemy,” the House of Delegates directed the solicitor general to seek all possible information in the form of “duplicate accounts” or otherwise from officials who had dispensed public funds before 1781 (Journal of the House of Delegates description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in 1827 or 1828, and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , October 1782, p. 88). See also Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , II, 216, n. 10; 276, n. 2; 288, n. 3; Instructions in re Settlement of Accounts, 28 December 1782.

To help establish a correct list of pensioners, a statute of 24 December 1782 required each of them who was receiving an allowance because of wounds to appear before his county court in April or May 1783 and demonstrate his continuing disability. Each court should report its findings to the next session of the General Assembly. In December 1782 the Assembly also authorized the treasurer to pay pensioned “officers and wounded soldiers” up to a maximum of “six-months’ pay” from the civil-list fund (Journal of the House of Delegates description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in 1827 or 1828, and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , October 1782, pp. 79, 89, 90; 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, 146).

Thus by the close of the session a majority of the members of the General Assembly evidently were convinced that the auditors had been honest and as competent in the performance of their duties as could justly be expected in view of invasions by the enemy, economic hard times, depreciated currency, and an inadequate clerical staff.

10The printed journal of “Wednesday, November 13,” not “thursday last,” records the “series of motions,” which Randolph attributed to Colonel John Francis Mercer, as having been introduced in the “committee of the whole House on the state of the Commonwealth.” As soon as Speaker John Tyler resumed the chair, Charles Carter, chairman of the committee, reported its “opinion” in the form of four resolutions. The first of these declared “That the establishment of a circulating medium, founded on a basis, which would ensure it credit and stability, would be one great means of extricating the Commonwealth from the difficulties which impend.” Thereupon a committee of twelve, with Carter as chairman, and Mercer, Thruston, Richard Henry Lee, and Arthur Lee among the members, was appointed to prepare legislation on the subject (Journal of the House of Delegates description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in 1827 or 1828, and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , October 1782, pp. 14–15). For the report of the committee, see Randolph to JM, 22 November 1782, and n. 9.

11In his speech Colonel Mercer may have been referring to the “Bank of Dundee” and the “Aberdeen Bank,” which through their loans and bank notes were greatly stimulating trade and manufacturing in eastern Scotland, according to Francis Douglas in his A General Description of the East Coast of Scotland, from Edinburgh to Cullen. Including a Brief Account of the Universities of Saint Andrews and Aberdeen; of the Trade and Manufactures carried on in the large Towns, and the Improvements of the Country. In a Series of Letters to a Friend (Paisley, Scotland, 1782), pp. 49, 142–43. For the “most wonderful success” of the Aberdeen Bank, see also Andrew William Kerr, History of Banking in Scotland (4th ed.; London, 1926), pp. 80–81. At the same time, with a plentiful gold reserve, the Bank of Scotland was extending branches throughout the kingdom (Charles A. Malcolm, The Bank of Scotland, 1695–1945 [Edinburgh, n.d.], p. 74).

“Douglass’s bank” was probably Douglas, Heron, and Company of Ayr, which, through easy loans, “over-trading,” and unrestrained issuance of bank notes, fostered business remarkably from 1769 until 1772, when a forced suspension of its operations caused widespread economic distress (The Precipitation and Fall of Mess. Douglas, Heron, and Company, Late Bankers in Air, with the Causes of their Distress and Ruin, Investigated and Considered, By a Committee of Inquiry, Appointed by the Proprietors [Edinburgh, 1778], pp. 5, 18, 19, 161). The reference to “another bank” may have been to Hunters and Company, successfully established in Ayr the year following the collapse of Douglas, Heron, and Company (William Graham, The One Pound Note in the History of Banking in Great Britain [2d ed.; Edinburgh, 1911], p. 123).

12See n. 10. Mercer’s “second” resolution became the “fourth” reported by Carter as chairman of the “committee of the whole House.” This resolution read, “Resolved, that it is the opinion of this committee, That the ordinance of Convention [of July 1775], affixing the meeting of the General Assembly, on the first Monday in May, annually, ought to be amended.” The House of Delegates on 13 November, appointed a committee of thirteen, with Henry Tazewell as chairman, to prepare legislation on the subject (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 , IX, 55–56; Journal of the House of Delegates description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in 1827 or 1828, and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , October 1782, p. 15). Following the committee’s submission of a bill on 3 December, the committee of the whole house deferred consideration of it almost daily until 14 December, when mention of the measure appears for the last time in the printed journal (ibid., October 1782, pp. 49, 50, 57–67, passim). If the “scheme of remedy” envisaged by Mercer included a provision to compel the attendance of delegates, he was disappointed because the proposed bill made no mention of the subject (MS in Virginia State Library).

13Although the matter of the “stoppage of executions” had not been “taken up” on 15 November, it would be on 22 November. See Randolph to JM, 22 November 1782, and n. 10.

14For General Nathanael Greene’s headquarters at Ninety-Six, S.C., see Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , III, 138, n. 11.

John Wormeley (ca. 1754–1809), a captain in the British army and a son of Ralph Wormeley (1715–1790) of Rosegill, Middlesex County, Va., had matriculated in 1773 at the University of Glasgow. While sharing in the campaign in the Carolinas, he married Mary Starke (d. 1828) (W. Innes Addison, ed., The Matriculation Albums of the University of Glasgow from 1728 to 1858 [Glasgow, 1913], p. 105; Pedigree of the Wormeley Family [a printed chart, n.p., 1888] in Virginia State Library; Frederick County Court Records, Will Book 8, pp. 524–55; and Will Book 14, pp. 505–7, microfilms in Virginia State Library). Captain Wormeley, accompanied by his wife and baby, John Cruger Wormeley, arrived at Hampton on the “Lord Mulgrave” (Harrison to Virginia Delegates, 2 November, n. 7). Although Governor Harrison held Ralph Wormeley in “very great personal regard” and permitted his daughter-in-law and child to remain in Virginia, he ordered the captain to leave for New York City. Subsequently the governor allowed the captain, at his request, to alter his place of exile to the West Indies (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, 138–39; McIlwaine, Official Letters description begins H. R. McIlwaine, ed., Official Letters of the Governors of the State of Virginia (3 vols.; Richmond, 1926–29). description ends , III, 363–66, 376; Journals of the Council of State description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds., Journals of the Council of the State of Virginia (3 vols. to date; Richmond, 1931——). description ends , III, 165–66, 174, 181).

In May 1783, after the news of the preliminary treaty of peace with Great Britain had reached the United States, Captain Wormeley returned to Rosegill without first obtaining permission from the Virginia authorities. Threatened anew with “immediate & close confinement” or exile, he seems to have chosen the former. On 19 December 1783 the General Assembly honored a petition of Ralph Wormeley by readmitting his son to citizenship, provided that he take “the oath of allegiance to this state” and be debarred for four years from holding any public office of “trust or profit” (ibid., III, 256, 260, 277; 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, 457, 483; Harrison to John Wormeley, 17 May and 5 July 1783 [Executive Letter Book, 1783–1786, pp. 129, 169, MS in Virginia State Library]; 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 , XXVI, 218, 365; Journal of the House of Delegates description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in 1827 or 1828, and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , October 1783, pp. 40, 73; 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, 316). Captain Wormeley spent the rest of his life at Cool Spring, a family estate in Frederick County (Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, XXXVI [1928], 388).

16For Brigadier General Daniel Morgan, see Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , II, 95, n. 4; 307, n. 1; III, 123, n. 11; 235, n. 12. Morgan had come to Richmond to promote a favorable response by the legislature to a memorial of “sundry officers of the Virginia line, in the army of the United States,” praying for effective measures to provide their overdue pay and to guarantee them a clear title to their bounty lands against any “claims of Congress” or “intrusions” of individuals. The general’s popularity and prestige no doubt helped to secure a redress of these grievances. On 3 December the Assembly enacted a statute granting officers and men, effective on 1 January 1783, interest of 6 per cent annually on their certificates until they were “fully paid and redeemed” and authorizing the veterans to use their certificates for payment of taxes. On 24–27 December the House and Senate jointly resolved that the bountyland claims of officers or men or their heirs should be certified by the Governor in Council to the register of the land office. In satisfaction of these claims he was empowered to issue warrants, “any law to the contrary thereof notwithstanding” (Journal of the House of Delegates description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in 1827 or 1828, and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , October 1782, pp. 12–13, 51, 63, 79, 85; 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, 106–7). Morgan also was gratified by another joint resolution, adopted on 21–23 November, to recompense him with £63 10s. 1d. for “sundry articles” which he had furnished to “a troop of light dragoons” (Journal of the House of Delegates description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in 1827 or 1828, and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , October 1782, pp. 28, 33–34).

17In compliance with Robert Morris’ instructions (Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , IV, 307, n. 7), George Webb, continental receiver of taxes for Virginia, published the following announcement in the Virginia Gazette description begins Virginia Gazette, or, the American Advertiser (Richmond, James Hayes, 1781–86). description ends of 9 November 1782: “I do hereby Certify, that I have not received any payment from the State of Virginia, on account of the United States from the first of October to the first of November, 1782.” For similar certifications by Webb in earlier issues of the same newspaper, see ibid., 3 August, 7 September, and 5 October 1782. See also JM to Randolph, 26 November, and n. 4. In spite of Randolph’s “very little hope,” the Virginia General Assembly before the close of the year authorized the payment of a small portion of the state’s quota. See Instructions in re Financial Quota, 28 December 1782.

18Randolph enclosed the cipher in his “next letter,” that of 22 November 1782 (q.v.).

19Upon being informed in Philadelphia that Congress could not settle his accounts with the United States until Virginia had determined how much money she owed him (Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , IV, 377–78, and n. 5; Virginia Delegates to Harrison, 22 October 1782, n. 5), Oliver Pollock returned to Richmond. The letter of 1 November which he carried from Theodorick Bland to Randolph is missing. See James Alton James, Oliver Pollock: The Life and Times of an Unknown Patriot (New York, 1937), pp. 277–80. Bland, who may still have been in debt to the mercantile firm of Hunter, Banks, and Company of Richmond, had used Randolph’s good offices to secure from the treasury of Virginia payment for his services as a delegate from Virginia in Congress. See Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , IV, 401, n. 7; Randolph to JM, 20 September, n. 2; 5 October, and n. 5; Ambler to JM, 12 October 1782; Charles Campbell, ed., Bland Papers, II, 93.

In the spring of 1780 John Banks (ca. 1757–1784), formerly of Green Bank near Fredericksburg in Stafford County, and James Hunter, Jr., had formed the partnership, mentioned above (Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , I, 298, n. 1; IV, 65, n. 5; Henry Banks, The Vindication of John Banks, of Virginia, against Foul Calumnies, Published by Judge Johnson of Charleston, South-Carolina, and Doctor Charles Caldwell, of Lexington, Kentucky [Frankfort, Ky., 1826], pp. 3, 4). In 1781 Benedict Arnold’s invasion of Virginia and capture of Richmond badly crippled the firm. In the autumn of 1782 Banks was engaging in speculative ventures in the Carolinas, including a contract to supply food and rum to the American army there, which would eventually bankrupt his company and greatly embarrass General Nathanael Greene (George W. Greene, Life of Nathanael Greene, III, 459–66, 520–21, 560–64; Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, LVI [1948], 18; 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, 435–36, 438–40).

20See Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , IV, 119; 121, n. 6; Memorandum for Barbé-Marbois, 1 August 1782, and ed. n. Jefferson may have wished “the memorandums” not only to prepare the manuscript of his Notes on the State of Virginia but also to send a copy of them to the Chevalier de Chastellux (Boyd, Papers of Jefferson description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (17 vols. to date; Princeton, N.J., 1950——). description ends , VI, 203–4, 339, 340 n.). See JM to Randolph, 26 November and 30 December; Randolph to JM, 13 December 1782.

22See JM to Randolph, 5 November 1782, and nn. 6, 7.

23By “obstinate in your secession,” Randolph referred to JM’s refusal to join Theodorick Bland in his support of Hugh Williamson’s motion in Congress on 30 October. For this motion and JM’s reasons for opposing it, see ibid., and nn. 6–9, 12.

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