Session of Virginia Council of State
Thursday February 12th 1778.
|Dudley Digges||David Jameson &||Esquires|
|John Blair||James Madison jr|
The Express sent with a Letter written by the Board Yesterday to the president of the Council at Rosewell being returned & unable to Cross York river by the Wind; and sundry other Matters of Importance presenting for the Consideration of the Council, a Letter was written to the Governor by Express informing him thereof and pressing his immediate attendance1 and then the Members present
Adjourned till Tomorrow
Signed Dudley Digges
1. This session highlights a problem which frequently disturbed the council during JM’s tenure. For a quorum, four members of the council, not counting the lieutenant governor if the governor did not attend, had to be present. On 11 February the four councilors present sent an emergency summons to President John Page, who was at his estate of Rosewell, across the York River only eight miles from Williamsburg. Governor Henry had been gone since 28 January, when he “informed the Board that his absence from this City for some time, was necessary, and that he had nothing particular at this time for their Consideration; He therefore advised their adjourning over till a distant Day; but that if in the interim any thing urgent should demand their attendance, the Lieutenant Governor should be advised thereof And desired to attend. The Board accordingly adjourned till the 18. Next Month” (Journals of the Council of State, II, 77). Page’s departure after the 5 February session broke the quorum until Nathaniel Harrison’s reappearance eight days later. During Page’s absence, Dudley Digges, the ranking member of the council under Page, acted as lieutenant governor to convene the council. Page finally returned on 17 February, and Governor Henry two days later.