James Madison Papers

Benjamin Harrison to Virginia Delegates, 15 February 1783

Benjamin Harrison to Virginia Delegates

FC (Virginia State Library). In the hand of Thomas Meriwether. Addressed to “Virginia Delegates in Congress.”

In Council February 15th. 1783.


You will receive herewith an Authenticated Copy of the Certificate of Gen: Clarke and Col: Todd which was omitted by a Mistake of the Clerk when Nathans other Papers were forwarded to you. I hope they will get in Time to prevent his obtaining an Award in his favor which appears to me manifestly unjust. surely the Arbitrators will never proceed to a final Settlement without a Paper of such Consequence which they are assured is in being and will soon be sent them.1 A Baltimore hand Bill gives some people an Expectation that Peace is certainly proclaimed in Europe. I am not so sanguine, tho’ I wish it as much as they do, but think the whole report originates from Townsends Letter to the directors of the Bank.2

You were formerly so obliging as to favor me with the News Paper,3 if it is not inconvenient I wish a renewal of the favor, and that you would frank your Letters.4

I am Gentlemen Yours &c.

B. H.

1Harrison to Delegates, 4 Jan., and n. 8; 11 Jan., and n. 4; Delegates to Harrison, 21 Jan.; 28 Jan.; 4 Feb., and n. 2. The “Clerk” was Thomas L. Savage. See Harrison to Delegates, 11 Jan. 1783, hdn. The “Authenticated Copy” has not been found.

2JM to Randolph, 4 Feb. 1783, and n. 12. The “Baltimore hand Bill” printed an extract of a letter of 15 January from St. Kitts which began: “I congratulate you on the news of peace; indeed I may venture to assure you that it has already taken place in Europe” (Va. Gazette description begins Virginia Gazette, or, the American Advertiser (Richmond, James Hayes, 1781–86). description ends , 15 Feb. 1783).

3Probably the Pennsylvania Gazette, the Pennsylvania Journal, or the Pennsylvania Packet.

4For Harrison’s annoyance because of unfranked letters, see Harrison to Delegates, 4 Jan. 1783, and nn. 2, 4. By an ordinance of 18 October 1782, “letters, packets, and despatches to and from the members” of Congress, “while actually attending Congress,” were to “be carried free of postage” (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIII, 678).

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