James Madison Papers

Virginia Delegates to Benjamin Harrison, 15 January 1782

Virginia Delegates to Benjamin Harrison

RC (Virginia State Library). Written by Edmund Randolph and addressed to “His excellency the governor of Virginia Richmond.”

Philadelphia Jany. 15. 1782.


Having informed your excellency in our last letter, that we should repeat our dispatches, transmitted to Capt. Irish, unless you should announce the receipt of them by yesterday’s post, and hearing nothing from the executive, we shall prepare them for the mail of the next week. We unfortunately supposed, that he would convey them in the most expeditious manner. But we have now reason to believe, that his delay on the road has been occasioned by sickness.1

The inclosure contains an answer to the letter, addressed to General Washington by the speaker of the house of delegates on the subject of thanks. We beg leave to consign it to your excellency’s care.2

We have the honor, Sir, to be with great respect and esteem yr. mo. ob: servt’s

Jas. Madison Jr.

Jos: Jones.

Edm: Randolph.

1See 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 , III, 309, n. 1.

2On 17 December 1781 the Virginia House of Delegates unanimously passed a resolution praising Washington “for his late glorious services at Yorktown” (Journal of the House of Delegates description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond. In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used, unless otherwise noted, is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in 1827 or 1828, and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , October 1781, p. 42). John Tyler (1747–1813) of Charles City County, the speaker of the House of Delegates, forwarded the resolution on 21 December to the Virginia delegates for transmission to Washington. Washington’s acknowledgment of 8 January was relayed in the present letter to Governor Harrison for delivery to Tyler (Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Sources, 1745–1799 (39 vols.; Washington, 1931–44). description ends , XXIII, 435). He is usually referred to as Judge John Tyler in order to distinguish him from his son, President John Tyler. After 1784, except between 1808 and 1811, when Judge Tyler was governor of Virginia, he served again as speaker of the House and successively as a judge of the Court of Admiralty, the Supreme Court of Appeals, and the General Court of his state, and, for the two years before his death, of the United States District Court for Virginia (E. Griffith Dodson, Speakers and Clerks of the Virginia House of Delegates, 1776–1955 [Richmond, 1956], p. 23).

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