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Benjamin Harrison to Virginia Delegates, 12 April 1782

Benjamin Harrison to Virginia Delegates

FC (Virginia State Library). In the hand of Charles Hay.

In Council April 12th. 1782


It certainly would forward the recruiting service much to have cloths lodged with every person appointed to that business, but as it would be attended with great trouble and expence and perhaps some loss to send them into every County, I think it will be sufficient if an order can be obtained from the War Office permiting the Executive to call for them as they may be wanted at the several places of rendezous1 There are nine fixed on in the first instance from which they are to be marched to the general one (which is at Cumberland old Court House) or to the Army when it is more convenient to do so.2 I am continually apply’d to for Commissions for vessels fiting out in and belonging to North Carolina which from some abuses that have been practiced I have refused.3 Will you inform the Delegates of that State of this, and request them to forward Commissions immediately; if they send them to my care I will contrive them to their Governor.4 I am, &c

2On 2 April 1782 the Virginia executive had “appointed the following places at which the men that are raised under the Act for recruiting the Virginia Line on the Continental establishment may be received to wit: Richmond, Fredericksburg, Winchester, Staunton[,] Cabin point, Prince Edward Courthouse, Cumberland old Courthouse, Peytonsburg, & Montgomery Courthouse.” Cumberland Old Court House in Powhatan County was “appointed the place of General rendezvous” (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, 70).

3In view of the delicate relations between Virginia and North Carolina resulting from the episode of the “Three Friends” (Harrison to Virginia Delegates, 23 March, and n. 1; Randolph to JM, 19 April 1782), Harrison was probably taking particular care to refrain from any further action which Governor Alexander Martin, a brother of JM’s former teacher Thomas Martin (Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (4 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , I, 43, n. 2), might regard as another infringement upon the sovereignty of North Carolina. For the “abuses” committed by privateers, see the resolution of Congress of 21 May 1782 (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXII, 280–81). On that same day an unsuccessful attempt was made in Congress to forbid any state executive to issue letters of marque and reprisal except to citizens of his own state.

4The delegates were unable, at least immediately, to honor this request, because North Carolina was unrepresented in Congress from about 4 March until 19 July 1782 (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXII, 114, 401).

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