James Madison Papers

Motion of Virginia Delegates in Congress, [19 February] 1781

Motion of Virginia Delegates in Congress

Printed text (Journals of the Continental Congress, XIX, 173–74).

[19 February 1781]

On motion of the delegates of Virginia;

Ordered, That the quartermaster general be and hereby is directed to transport to Fort Pitt four tons of powder, to be delivered to the order of the State of Virginia, and for which the said State is to be accountable; that the expence of such transportation be charged to the said State,1 and that a warrant be issued by the Board of Treasury, in favour of the said quartermaster general, on the treasury of Virginia, for twelve hundred dollars, in bills emitted pursuant to the resolution of 18 March last, for which the said State is to be credited.2

1See Jefferson to Virginia Delegates, 18 January 1781, and H. R. McIlwaine, ed., Official Letters of Virginia Governors, II, 338. The delegates probably introduced this motion after hearing about Jefferson’s needs as reported to them orally by Benjamin Harrison (Virginia Delegates to Jefferson, 13 February 1781). On 13 April 1781, Richard Peters, secretary of the Board of War, informed the president of Congress that four tons of powder for the use of General George Rogers Clark were en route to Fort Pitt (NA: PCC, No. 60, fol. 29). A letter of 18 February from “the Western Department,” read in Congress on 13 March 1781, reported that Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh) was in a “ruinous and defenceless” state and that its hungry and ill-equipped garrison consisted of part of a Pennsylvania and part of a Virginia regiment, as well as “a small detachment of Artillery and some independent companies” (Journals of the Continental Congress, XIX, 254, 279–80).

2For the act of 18 March 1780, see Jefferson to JM, 26 July 1780, n. 2.

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