Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Benjamin Harrison, 8 May 1784

From Benjamin Harrison

Council Chamber May 8th 1784.


I received your favor by post and shall lay the enclosures before the Assembly as soon as a sufficient number of members arrive to make a house.

It will give me great pleasure to hear certainly that the noted bills are taken up and paid on the other side of the water. If they are not I think you will not collect a sufficient sum to do it on this.

From what I can at present judge I think there will be more new than old members in the present Assembly and of course a change of measures is to be expected, but whether this will be a misfortune or not time alone can discover. My compliments to Mr. Hardy. I have received his obliging favor. He must wait for a return till I have something worth notice to communicate. I am &c., B. H.

FC (Vi).

Your favor by post and … the enclosures: On 3 May Harrison wrote the Speaker of the House of Delegates in part: “You have also several letters from Mr. Jefferson, one from Mr. Monroe, and one from Mr. Hardy which may be useful to the Assembly as they give some insight into the Politics of Europe and the important business depending in Congress. Mr. Jeffersons of the 18th March covers a paragraph of a letter from Dr. Franklin to Congress. It is of great moment and authority and will no doubt be seriously attended to by the Assembly. You will also receive two joint letters from our Delegation.” These were the letters from TJ and others in the delegation that had accumulated since the Oct. 1783 session of the General Assembly; the particular letter that Harrison was referring to was that of 30 Apr. which came to hand while he was engaged in writing the letter of 3 May to the Speaker, in consequence of which he added: “Since the foregoing I have received a letter from Mr. Jefferson enclosing a plan adopted by Congress for the temporary Government of the Western territory which with their estimate and requisitions for the present year I beg the favor of you to lay before the Assembly. I thought it more advisable to send it in its present form than to wait for the authenticated form, that the Assembly might have the subject under consideration on the early part of the session” (Harrison to Speaker, 3 May 1784, Executive Letter Book, Vi). On 13 May Harrison sent to the Speaker “two others from Mr Jefferson"—that is, the two of 7 May (same, 13 May 1784).

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