James Madison Papers
Documents filtered by: Contains page reference="JSMN-01-06-02-pb-0291"
sorted by: editorial placement
Permanent link for this document:
https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/01-06-02-0091

Notes on Debates, 26 February 1783

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.

Mr. Lee observed to Congress that it appeared from the Newspapers of the day that sundry enormities had been committed by the Refugees within the State of Delaware,1 as it was known that like enormities had been committed on the shores of the Chesapeak, notwithstanding the pacific professions of the Enemy;2 that it was probable however that if complaint were to be made to the British commander at N. York3 the practice would be restrained, He accordingly moved that a Committee might be appointed to take into consideration the means of restraining such practices. The motion was 2ded. by Mr. Peters. By Mr. Fitzimmons the motion was viewed as tending to a request of favors from Sr. Guy Carlton. It was apprehended by others that as Genl Washington & the Commanders of separate armies had been explicitly informed of the sense of Congress on this point, any fresh measures thereon might appear to be a censure on them; and that Congress cd. not ground any measure on the case in question; having no official information relative to it. The motion of Mr. Lee was negatived.4 But it appearing from the vote to be the desire of many members that some step might be taken by Congress, The motion of Mr. Madison & Mr. Mercer as it stands on the Journal was proposed and agreed to, as free from all objections.5

A motion was made by Mr. Hamilton to give a brevet Comm[issi]on to Majr. Burnet aid to Genl. Greene & messenger of the evacuation of Charleston, of L. Colonel: There being six ays only the motion was lost. N. H. no. Mr. Lee & Mercer no.6

No. X

1783. Feby. 26. Wednesday—(continued)—7

The Committee consisting of Mr. Lee &c. to whom had been referred a motion of Mr. Hamilton recommending to the States to authorize Congress [p. 290] to make abatements in the retrospective apportionment by a valuation of land, in favor of States whose ability from year to year had been most impaired by the war:8 reported that it was inexpedient to agree to such motion because one State (Virga.) having disagreed to such a measure on a former recommendation of Congress,9 it was not probable that another recommendation would produce any effect; and because the difficulties of making such abatements were greater than the advantages expected from them.10

Mr. Lee argued in favor of the report & the reasons on which it was grounded. The Eastern delegates were for leaving the matter open for future determination when an apportionment should be in question.11

Mr. Madison said he thought that the principle of the motion was conformable to justice & within the spirit of the Confederation: according to which apportionmts ought [to] have been made from time to time throughout the war according to the existing wealth of each State. But that it would be improper to take up this case separately from other claims of equity which would be put in by other States: that the most likely mode of obtaining the concurrence of the States in any plan wd. be to comprehend in it the equitable interests of all of them; a comprehensive plan of that sort would be the only one that would cut off all sources of future controversy among the States: That as soon as the plan of revenue sd. be prepared12 for recommendation to the States it would be proper for Congs. to take into consideration & combine with it every *object which might facilitate its progress, & form a complete provision for the tranquility of the U. States. The Question on Mr. Hamilton’s motion was postponed.13

The letter from Mr. Morris requesting that the injunction of secresy might be withdrawn from his preceding letter signifying to Congress his purpose of resigning was committed to.14

* He15 had in view the followg. objects—1. the abatements proposed by Mr. Hamilton.16 2. a transfer into the common mass of expences of all the separate expences incurred by the States in their particular defence.17 3. an acquisition to the U. States of the vacant territory.18 The plan thus extended would affect the interest of the States as follows. viz.; N. Hamshipire would approve the establishment of a General revenue, as tending to support the confederacy, to remove causes of future contention, and to secure her trade against separate taxation from the States thro which it is carried on.19 She would also approve of a share in the vacant territory.20 Having never been much invaded by the Enemy her interest would be opposed to abatements, & throwing all the separate expenditures into the common mass. The discharge of the public debts from a common treasury would not be required by her interest, the loans of her citizens being under her proportion. See the Statement of them.21

[p. 291]

Massachussetts is deeply interested in the discharge of the public debts. The expedition to Penobscot alone interests her, she supposes, in making a common mass of expences: her interest is opposed to abatements. The other objects wd. not peculiarly affect her.22

Rhode Island as a weak State is interested in a general revenue as tending to support the confederacy and prevent future contentions, but against it as tending to deprive Her of the advantage afforded by her situation of taxing the commerce of the contiguous States. as tending to discharge with certainty the public debts, her proportion of loans interest her rather against it.23 Having been the seat of the war for a considerable time, she might not perhaps be opposed to abatements on that account. The exertions for her defence having been previously sanctioned, it is presumed in most instances, she would be opposed to making a common mass of expences. In the acquisition of vacant territory she is deeply and anxiously interested.24

Connecticut is interested in a general revenue as tending to protect her commerce from separate taxation by N. York & Rhode Island: and somewhat as providing for loan office creditors. Her interest is opposed to abatements, and to a common mass of expences.25 Since the condemnation of her title to her Western claims,26 she may perhaps consider herself interested in the acquisition of the vacant lands.27 In other respects she wd not be peculiarly affected.

N. York is exceedingly attached to a general revenue as tending to support the confederacy and prevent future contests among the States. Although her citizens are not lenders beyond the proportion of the State, yet individuals of great weight are deeply interested in provision for public debts. In abatements N. York is also deeply interested.28 In makg. a common mass also interested, and since the acceptance of her cession, interested in those of other States.29

N. Jersey is interested as a smaller State in a general revenue as tendg to support the confederacy, and to prevent future contests and to guard her commerce agst. the separate taxation of Pensylvania & N.Y. The loans of her Citizens are not materially disproportio[n]ate.30 Although this State has been much the theatre of the war, she wd. not perhaps be interested in abatements. Having had a previous sanction for particular expenditures, her interest wd. be opposed to a common mass.31 In the vacant territory, she is deeply and anxiously interested.32

Penna. is deeply interested in a general revenue, the loans of her Citizens amounting to more than 1/3 of that branch of the public debt.33 As far as a general impost on trade would restrain her from taxing the trade of N. Jersey it would be against her interest.34 She is interested against abatements; and against a common mass, her expenditures having been always previously sanctioned.35 In the vacant territory she is also interested.36

Delaware is interested by her weakness in a general revenue as tending to support the confederacy & future tranquility of the States; but not materially by the credits of her Citizens: Her interest is opposed to abatements & to a common mass. To the vacant territory she is firmly attached.37

Maryland. Having never been the Seat of war & her Citizens being creditors below her proportion, her interest lies agst. a general revenue, otherwise than as she is interested in common with others in the support of the Confederacy & tranquility of the U. S. but against abatements, and against a common mass. The vacant lands are a favorite object to her.38

Virga. in common with the Southern States as likely to enjoy an opulent and defenceless trade is interested in a general revenue, as tending to secure her the protection of the Confederacy agst. the maritime superiority of the E. States; but agst it as tending to discharge loan office debts and to deprive her of the occasion of taxing the commerce of N. Carolina.39 She is interested in abatements, and essentially so in a common mass, not only her excentric expenditures being enormous; but [p. 292] many of her necessary ones havg. rcd. no previous or subsequent sanction. Her cession of territory would be considered as a sacrifice.40

N. Carolina. interested in a general revenue as tending to ensure the protection of the Confederacy agst. the maritime superiority of the E. States and to guard her trade from separate taxation by Virginia and S. Carolina. The loans of her Citizens are inconsiderable. In abatements and in a common mass she is essentially interested. In the article of territory, she would have to make a sacrifice.41

South Carolina is interested as a weak & exposed State in a general revenue as tending to secure to her the protection of the confederacy agst. enemies of every kind, and as providing for the public creditors, her citizens being not only loan offices creditors beyond her proportion, but having immense unliquidated demands agst. U. States. As restraining her power over the commerce of N. Carolina, a general revenue is opposed by her interests. She is also materially interested in abatements, and in a common mass. In the article of territory her sacrifice wd. be inconsiderable.42

Georgia as a feeble, an opulent, & frontier State is peculiarly interested in a general revenue, as tending to support the confederacy. She is also interested in it somewhat by the credits of her Citizens. In abatements She is also interested, and in a common mass, essentially so. In the article of territory She would make an important sacrifice.43

To make this plan still more complete for the purpose of removing all present complaints, and all occasions of future contests, it may be proper to include in it a recommendation to the States to rescind the rule of apportioning pecuniary burdens according to the value of land, & to substitute that of numbers, reckoning two slaves as equal to one free man.44

For a state of the loan office debt turn over.45

Specie dollars } This it is to be observed is only the list of loan office debts. The unliquidated debts and liquidated debts of other denominations due to individuals will vary inexpressibly the relative quantum of credits of the several States. It is to be further observed that this only shews the original credits, transfers having been constant. . heretofore they have flowed into Pa. Other States may hereafter have an influx.47
N. H. 336.579.58.7
Mas: 2.361.866.66.5
R. Island 699.725.37.4
Cont. 1.270.115.30 
N. York 949.729.57.5
N. Jersey 658.883.69. 
Pena. 3.948.904.14.4.
Delaware 65.820.13.7
Maryland 410.218.30. 
Virga. 313.741.82.3.
N. Carolina 113.341.11.1  }
S. Carolina 90.442.10.1 
Total46 11.437.410.80

1According to the Pennsylvania Packet of 25 February, a schooner from Grenada exchanged shots in Delaware Bay with “three refugee boats.” Two days later an item in the same newspaper told of looting, burning, and physical violence to residents by one band of “refugees” led by British officers from New York City, and another band of “pirates” in mid-February at Thoroughfare Point on Duck Creek, Bombay Hook, and elsewhere along the coast of New Castle County, Del. The anonymous author of the account stated that citizens of the state “lament the want of protection by water” because the raiders “threaten to lay our farms and stores in ashes.”

2The Virginia Gazette of 1 March 1783 published the letter of an unnamed correspondent stating that during the last two weeks of February “eleven bay and [p. 293] river crafts have been captured, and many of the people on shore plundered and the rest kept in perpetual dread. We pay chearfully every tax laid upon us, and think it cruel that we cannot be protected from the insults and ravages of a handful of refugees, in a small sloop and a few whale boats.” The writer wished to know what had become of the Virginia ship of war “Liberty,” which had been ordered to cruise in Chesapeake Bay “for the protection of the trade and inhabitants on the shores and rivers thereof.” See also 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, 448–49; Cal. of Va. 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; 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, 384, n. 5.

3General Sir Guy Carleton.

4The vote which “negatived” the Lee-Peters motion was not entered in the official journal (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 152, and n. 2).

6Harrison to Delegates, 11 Jan., and n. 6; JM Notes, 17 Jan. 1783. Neither the Hamilton motion nor the vote by which it “was lost” appears in the official journal.

7For the probable explanation of the Roman numeral and JM’s repetition of the date, 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 , VI, 231, ed. n.

8For Hamilton’s motion and its reference by Congress on 17 February to Arthur Lee, Eliphalet Dyer, and Samuel Holten, see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 138, and n. 1; JM Notes, 17 Feb. 1783, and nn. 3, 4.

9The reference was to the resolutions of the Virginia General Assembly on 28 May–7 June, which the Virginia delegates had laid before Congress on 24 July 1782 (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 , IV, 430; 431, n. 1; V, 348; 351, n. 23; JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXII, 413; JM Notes, 14 Jan. 1783, and n. 4).

10JM Notes, 27 Jan., n. 27; JM to Randolph, 25 Feb. 1783 and citations in n. 7; JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 152, and n. 3.

11That is, on the next occasion when Congress should have to allocate a financial requisition proportionately among the states. See JM Notes, 4 Apr. 1783.

13For Hamilton’s view of the issue discussed by JM in this paragraph, see Syrett and Cooke, Papers of Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and Jacob E. Cooke, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (15 vols. to date; New York, 1961——). description ends , III, 268–74, and esp. 271–72 and 273–74. See also JM Notes, 4–5 Mar. 1783.

14For a summary of Robert Morris’ “preceding letter” of 24 January, see JM Notes, 24 Jan., and nn. 20, 23. In his letter of 26 February, Morris emphasized that the creditors with whom he had “contracted engagements” as superintendent of finance were entitled to know of his intention to resign on 31 May. Besides complying immediately with his request, Congress referred both of his letters to a committee, John Rutledge, chairman (NA: PCC, No. 186, fol. 85; JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 151, 284–85; JM Notes, 27 Feb; 4–5 Mar; JM to Randolph, 4 Mar. 1783; E. James Ferguson, Power of the Purse, p. 169).

15JM wrote this long footnote in spaces of varying sizes in the lower portions of nine pages of the manuscript of his notes on debates. The upper portion of the first of these pages was devoted to the main text of his notes for 26 February, of the second page to the rest of that text and also to the beginning of that for the next day, and of the other pages to the balance of his notes for 27 February 1783.

This summary, besides recalling JM’s résumé of 1 May 1782 about the perplexing Vermont issue, is a source of his memorandum on a revenue plan, ca. 6 March 1783 (q.v.). See also 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 , IV, 200–202. To clarify his thoughts about a complex matter, to be of service to his successor in Congress, and to have a record of value in the event that he should prepare a history of the Revolution, were probably among the reasons why JM wrote the footnote. 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, 232–34.

In this summary JM stressed three of the four chief points embodied in his report on restoring public credit, 6 March (q.v.). Within a week after writing his footnote, JM concluded that he had misjudged the viewpoint of several of the state delegations [p. 294] toward one or more of the principal recommendations of the plan. See Memo. on a Revenue Plan, 6 Mar. JM’s report, as adopted in modified form on 18 April, was the last important attempt by Congress to persuade the states to endow the Confederation with sufficient economic power to survive (JM Notes, 18 Apr. 1783, and n. 7).

16JM to Randolph, 25 Feb. 1783 and citations in n. 7.

17Papers 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, 363; 366, n. 23. For examples of these “expences,” see JM Notes, 31 Jan., and n. 4; JM to Randolph, 25 Feb. 1783 and citations in n. 6. JM appears to have originated the proposal to have Congress assume most of the war-connected debts of the states, even though in 1790 he would oppose a similar recommendation by Hamilton. By then, however, the situation had much changed. See Clarence L. Ver Steeg, Robert Morris, pp. 175, 249, n. 32.

19That is, if Congress were granted the exclusive authority to levy an impost duty, the trade of New Hampshire to the extent that it did not center at Portsmouth would be spared the imposts levied by Massachusetts and other states. New Hampshire had been among the first, and Massachusetts among the last, of the thirteen states to ratify the impost amendment proposed by Congress on 3 February 1781 (Burnett, Letters description begins Edmund C. Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress (8 vols.; Washington, 1921–36). description ends , VI, 372, n. 4).

20New Hampshire, having no claim to territory west of the Appalachian Mountains, naturally would benefit from sharing in the possession of that area if it should be ceded to Congress by the states with “sea to sea” charters.

21The “Statement” is at the close of JM’s present footnote. Although New Hampshire or her citizens held few loan-office certificates, they owned a considerable amount of continental paper currency (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, 323, n. 8).

22For the large debt, including many loan-office certificates, owed by Congress to Massachusetts or her citizens, see the table closing this footnote of JM’s; also 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, 323, nn. 3, 8; JM Notes, 17 Feb., n. 1; JM to Randolph, 25 Feb. 1783. A detachment of the British army, which had established a post at the mouth of the Penobscot River in the summer of 1778, was still there. In July and August 1779 an expedition of Massachusetts militia and ships against the British stronghold along the Penobscot River in the district of Maine had been a most costly “Catastrophe.” In his letters of 2 and 21 September 1779 to John Jay, president of Congress, Jeremiah Powell, president of the council of Massachusetts, emphasized that the treasury of the Confederation should reimburse the state for the expense of the operation, totaling some $7,000,000, since it had been undertaken with the hope “of great good accruing to the United States” (NA: PCC, No. 65, I, 404, 412; II, 27, 35, 53). During the next decade Massachusetts often, but unsuccessfully, with the exception of a warrant for $2,000,000 issued to her by Congress on 8 April 1780, sought to have this claim satisfied (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XVI, 341–42). For these reasons, it was to Massachusetts’ financial “interest” to oppose “abatements.”

23See the table at close of JM’s present footnote. Between “loans” and “interest” JM canceled “does not materially.” Partly because Rhode Island derived so much income from “taxing the commerce” of Connecticut, she had refused to ratify the proposed impost amendment to the Articles of Confederation (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, 289; 291, n. 9; JM Notes, 29 Jan., and n. 28; 12 Feb., n. 6; 19 Feb., and n. 5; 20 Feb. 1783, and n. 14). See also Memo. on Revenue Plan, 6 Mar. 1783, ed. n.

24Although for the following reason, JM seemed warranted in assuming that “in most instances” Rhode Island would oppose “making a common mass of expences,” he soon decided that this conclusion needed to be modified. See Memo. on Revenue Plan, 6 Mar. 1783, ed. n. In the autumn of 1777 and late in the summer of the next year, the British armed forces, which occupied Newport and the rest of the island of Rhode Island from December 1776 to October 1779, repulsed attempts to dislodge them. In contrast with the Penobscot expedition of Massachusetts, these fiascoes [p. 295] primarily involved continental troops, although Rhode Island militia participated. For this reason, Congress unhesitatingly assumed the cost (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , VII, 124; VIII, 661–62; IX, 975–76; X, 46–47, 290; XI, 645–47, 758–61). The delegates in Congress from Rhode Island were among the most insistent that states with claims to trans-Appalachian territory should cede it to the United States (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 , III, 74–75; IV, 35, n. 9; 201; 221, n. 11; V, 200; 201, n. 8; 246, n. 10; 375, n. 15).

25JM Notes, 29 Jan., and n. 28; 8 Feb., n. 3; 25 Feb. 1783, and nn. 1, 2, 11. JM evidently believed that, although Connecticut had suffered severely from British raids, she would be little helped by “abatements,” for she had not been a main theater of war (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 , III, 258; 260, n. 3; 271; 272, n. 1). JM soon discovered that he had overlooked a circumstance which influenced the Connecticut delegation to favor a “common mass of expences.” See Memo. on Revenue Plan, 6 Mar. 1783, ed. n.

26Papers 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, 419, n. 23; JM Notes, 1 Jan. 1783, and n. 1.

27Papers 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 , III, 281–82; 284; IV, 32–33; 35, n. 8; 201; 203, n. 11; 390, n. 22; V, 246, n. 11; 247, n. 16.

28Ibid., V, 366, n. 26; 407, n. 1; JM Notes, 27 Jan.; 28 Jan., and nn. 12, 43; 29 Jan., and n. 41; 31 Jan., and n. 11; 12 Feb., nn. 8, 15; 17 Feb., and n. 4; 18 Feb.; 19 Feb., and nn. 11, 20; 20 Feb., n. 14; 21 Feb., and n. 28. Having suffered severely during the Revolution both from frequent invasions of her “upstate” by the enemy and its Indian allies and from the British occupation of New York City and its environs ever since August 1776, New York naturally would be “deeply interested” in abatements. For loan-office certificates owned by her citizens, see the table concluding JM’s present footnote.

29For the cession by New York of her claims to territory in the Old Northwest, 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, 242–43; 245, nn. 3–5; 246, nn. 6, 10; 247, n. 14.

30JM Notes, 29 Jan. 1783, and n. 34. See table at close of JM’s present footnote.

31Being the land-bridge between New York City and Philadelphia, New Jersey had been crossed, recrossed, and fought over frequently by the contending armies between 1775 and 1781. Congress, on the other hand, had guaranteed “particular” military expenditures of the state on numerous occasions during those years. See, for example, JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , III, 345; IV, 150–51; VI, 874–75, 1013; VII, 184; VIII, 600, 659, 712, 750–51; IX, 1036, 1051, 1070; X, 89, 208, 329; XI, 680; XV, 1438.

32Papers 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 , II, 74–75; III, 210, n. 4; 283, n. 6; IV, 32–33; 201; V, 200; 201, n. 8; 246, n. 10.

33JM Notes, 27 Jan., and nn. 12, 16; 28 Jan., and nn. 3, 9, 36; 29 Jan., and nn. 14, 19; 18 Feb., and n. 4; 19 Feb., and nn. 14, 20, 23; 20 Feb. 1783, and n. 7.

34JM Notes, 29 Jan. 1783, and n. 34.

35For examples of Pennsylvania’s “previously sanctioned” expenses, see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , II, 237; III, 463; IV, 130, 156, 239, 255, 271, 276, 322; V, 819–20, 834; VII, 113, 184, 240, 314; VIII, 475–76, 557, 592, 741; X, 242–43; XI, 642; XII, 722; XV, 1438–39; XVIII, 1223. For Pennsylvania’s willingness to assume the debts owed to her citizens by Congress, see JM Notes, 28 Jan., and nn. 2, 23; 30 Jan., and n. 6; 19 Feb. 1783. By 6 March JM had somewhat changed his estimate of Pennsylvania’s stand on these issues. See Memo. on Revenue Plan, 6 Mar. 1783, ed. n.

36Papers 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 , II, 74–75; III, 14, n. 17; 138, n. 7; IV, 200–201; 203, n. 11; V, 201, n. 8; 246, n. 10; 276–77, and nn. 5, 8, 9; 352.

37See table at close of this long footnote by JM. In 1787, Delaware was not only the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States but also one of the three states (New Jersey and Georgia, the other two) to ratify it unanimously. “The only battle of the American Revolution on Delaware soil” was a “spirited little affair” on 5 September 1777 at Cooch’s Bridge “on the upper waters of the Christina” River (Christopher L. Ward, The Delaware Continentals, 1776–1783 [Wilmington, Del., 1941], pp. 190–92, 499–501). Because her war-caused property [p. 296] loss had been small, Delaware naturally opposed “abatements.” For her wish to share in “the vacant territory” west of the Appalachian Mountains, 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 , II, 74–75; IV, 200–201; V, 200; 201, n. 8; 242, n. 8; 246, n. 10.

38See table concluding the present footnote of JM. The Maryland General Assembly had long hesitated to ratify the proposed impost amendment to the Articles of Confederation (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 , IV, 220; 221, n. 11; 389, n. 16). During most of January and February 1783 Daniel Carroll was Maryland’s only delegate in Congress. As chairman of the committee of the whole, he appears to have shared infrequently in the debates on financial issues. Although he had favored providing Congress with a general revenue, he had opposed “abatements” to states which had been main theaters of the war (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 114–16, 126–27). Maryland had been more inflexible than any other state in opposing the claim of Virginia to territory west and northwest of the Ohio River (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 , II, 54, n. 3; 74–77; 100–101; 300; 301, n. 4; III, 283, n. 6; 304; 305, n. 2; IV, 131, n. 2; 179, nn. 7, 8; 200–201; 221, n. 11; 340; V, 50; 200; 201, n. 8; 246, n. 10; 378, n. 5).

39JM Notes, 29 Jan., and nn. 33, 34; 21 Feb.; JM to Randolph, 25 Feb. 1783, and n. 16; and the table at the close of JM’s footnote.

40Papers 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, 278; 323, n. 8; 363; 366, nn. 19, 23; Harrison to Delegates, 7 Feb., and nn. 3, 4; JM Notes, 19 Feb. 1783, n. 6. Especially in 1779, 1780, and 1781, the war had been very costly to Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, in money disbursed and in the value of destroyed property and lost slaves. Consequently, these states would benefit if the war expenses of all the states were merged into a “common mass” and equitably apportioned among them. In view of the charter claims of Virginia to the Old Northwest and her outlay of “blood and treasure” during the Revolution in seeking to drive British troops out of that area, she reasonably could expect her “sacrifice” for ceding the territory to the United States to appear conspicuously on the credit side of her ledger when a financial accounting with the Confederation should be made. Although these were weighty considerations, JM soon would be less positive that he had correctly assessed the interest of Virginia in regard to “abatements.” See Memo. on Revenue Plan, 6 Mar. 1783, ed. n.

41See n. 40; also the table at the close of JM’s footnote; JM Notes, 29 Jan., and n. 33; JM to Randolph, 25 Feb. 1783, and n. 16. For North Carolina’s claim to the area which would become the state of Tennessee, 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 , II, 73; 76; 77; III, 226, n. 13; IV, 9; 201; 203, n. 16; V, 115–16; 118, n. 13.

42See n. 40; also the table at the close of JM’s footnote; JM Notes, 27 Jan., n. 13; 29 Jan., and n. 33; JM to Randolph, 25 Feb. 1783, and n. 16. The western lands claimed by South Carolina were “inconsiderable” in area as compared with those of Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia (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 , II, 73; III, 226, n. 13; IV, 9; 201–2; 203, n. 16). As “enemies of every kind,” JM could have cited Indians, European powers, and even the other American states, if the Confederation should dissolve.

43JM to Randolph, 25 Feb. 1783, and n. 16. Georgia’s interest in “abatements” reflected the presence of enemy troops on her soil from December 1778 to July 1782 (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 , I, 271, n. 2; IV, 440, n. 5). According to the charter of June 1732 granted to twenty trustees, the western limits of the colony of Georgia were “the south seas” (ibid., IV, 203, n. 16). Even by confining those limits to the Mississippi River, Georgia’s “article of territory” was of immense extent and, except for a narrow strip, not overlapped by the claim of any other state. Burdened with a large war debt in proportion to her small population, and menaced by Indians, and perhaps by the Spanish in Florida and Louisiana, Georgia naturally would favor a strong confederation (n. 37) and the merger of her liabilities “in a common mass” (n. 40). See also 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 , II, 73; 77; 197, n. 4; III, 226, n. 13; IV, 9; 15, nn. 13, 14; 17, n. 30; 201; V, 115; 118, n. 13; JM Notes, 14 Jan. 1783, n. 9.

[p. 297]

44For “the rule” adopted by Congress on 17 February 1783, see JM Notes, 17 Feb. 1783, and n. 1; JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 135–37. This “rule” required each state to count its inhabitants, “distinguishing white from black,” but did provide for differentiating freemen and slaves when apportioning a financial requisition among the states. A two-for-one ratio apparently had not been suggested during the debates about what the “rule” should be. John Rutledge expressed regret that the Articles of Confederation barred an allocation of financial quotas solely on the basis of a census, with “certain qualifications as to Slaves.” JM and probably most delegates from southern states were of the same mind. Oliver Wolcott favored amending the Articles of Confederation to authorize a census base of apportionment, counting Negroes only between sixteen and sixty years of age. Robert Morris recommended the levying of a poll tax payable by all freemen and all male slaves in that same age bracket. JM also favored a poll tax, “rating blacks somewhat lower than whites” (JM Notes, 14 Jan.; 28 Jan., and nn. 35, 42; 11 Feb., and n. 4; Randolph to JM, 7 Feb. 1783, n. 3). See also Memo. on Revenue Plan, 6 Mar. 1783, ed. n.

45JM wrote this sentence at the bottom of a page of his manuscript notes.

46With a covering letter of 10 March, Robert Morris, superintendent of finance, submitted to Congress an analysis of the Confederation debt as of 1 January 1783 (Randolph to JM, 15 Jan. 1783, n. 13; NA: PCC, No. 137, II, 199, 205). Although JM clearly took most of his entries from an advance copy of that list or from the ledger entries upon which it was based, he made one mistake in transcribing and probably found his figures for New Hampshire and Connecticut in a source or sources unknown to the present editors. His own column of figures adds to $11,219,367.80.7 rather than $11,437,410.80.7. Almost all of the discrepancy results from his omission of Georgia, from attributing the sum for that state to South Carolina, and from overlooking the South Carolina total of $218,042.48.3. Adding this amount to $11,219,367.80.7 produces $11,437,410.29, or only about 50 cents less than his own total. Robert Morris’ entry for New Hampshire was $300,092.30, for Connecticut, $1,269,677.43, and his total was $11,400,485.64. 1/8.

Index Entries