Notes on Debates
MS (LC: Madison Papers). See Notes on Debates, 4 November 1782, ed. n. Immediately preceding the entry for 10 December, JM wrote, “Monday 9th. Decr. No Congress.”
A Motion was made by Mr. Ramsay directing1 the Secy. at War who was abt. to visit his family in Massachussetts,2 to take Vermont in his way & deliver the Resolutions passed a few days since to Mr. Chittenden.3 For4 the motion it was urged that it would insure the delivery, would have a conciliating effect, and would be the means of obtaining true and certain knowledge of the disposition & views of that people. on the opposite side it was exclaimed agst. as a degradation of so high a servt. of the U. S. as exposing him to the temerity of leaders who were on good grounds suspected of being hostile to the U. S.5 and as treating their pretensions to Sovereignty with greater complaisance than was consistent with the eventual6 resolutions of Congress. The motion was rejected.7
A motion was made by Mr. Gilman that a day be assigned for ditermining finally the affair of Vermont: The opposition made to the motion itself, by Rhode Island8 & the disagreement as to the day among the friends of the motion prevented a decision & it was suffered to lye over.9
For the letter of the Supert. of Finance To T. B. Comr. for settling accts. in Europe, agreed to by Congs. see secret Journal of this date.10
1. JM interlineated “directing” above a deleted “for sending.”
2. The home of General Benjamin Lincoln, secretary at war, was in Hingham, Mass.
3. Thomas Chittenden (1730–1797) was elected governor of Vermont in 1778, the year after he had shared prominently in creating the government of the “independent state.” As a young man he had migrated there from Connecticut. By the onset of the Revolution, he was a large landowner, a colonel of militia, and a delegate from his district in the provincial legislature of New Hampshire. With the exception of 1789, he served as governor of Vermont continuously from his first election until his death. For “the Resolutions,” see Notes on Debates, 3 December; 5 December 1782; JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIII, 765–66.
4. Interlineated above a canceled “Agst.”
6. JM used this word in the sense of “conditional.”
8. Between “the” and “affair” JM heavily deleted a word which may have been “question.” He interlineated “by Rhode Island.” For the pro-Vermont position of Jonathan Arnold and David Howell, the delegates from Rhode Island, see Notes on Debates, 14 November, and nn. 4, 6; 27 November, and nn. 12, 13; 3 December, and n. 25; 5 December 1782, and n. 9.
9. See JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIII, 782. Although the printed journal of Congress and JM’s Notes on Debates leave the impression that the issue of Vermont was suspended during the rest of the year, see JM to Randolph, 17 December 1782.
10. Probably some time after he wrote the original copy of his notes, JM inserted this sentence in the narrow space between the paragraph on the motion of John Taylor Gilman and the bottom of the page. For Robert Morris’ letter to “T. B.” (Thomas Barclay), see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIII, 773–82. See also Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (5 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , IV, 278–79; 280, n. 4; 291, n. 20; 441–42; JM to Randolph, 19 November 1782, n. 4.