Motion on Outrages by Enemy
MS (NA: PCC, No. 36, II, 35). In JM’s hand. Docketed by Benjamin Bankson, Jr., a clerk in the office of the secretary of Congress: “Motion of Mr. Madison Passed Feby 26. 1783.”
Wednesday Feby 26. 1783.
Resolved1 That it be recommendd. to the Executives of the several States, whenever any outrages, unauthorised by the laws of war shall be committed on the persons or properties of their respective Citizens by any persons in the service of the Enemy, to transmit immediate information thereof to the Commander in chief or the Commanding officer of a separate army,2 in order that the measures may be pursued which are pointed out in the Resolution of the day 1782.3
1. Above “Resolved,” JM wrote “Mr Madison Mr. Mercer” to signify that he made the motion and John Francis Mercer seconded it. For the immediate context of this motion, see the first paragraph of JM Notes, 26 Feb. 1783, and nn. 1–4.
2. George Washington or Nathanael Greene.
3. Thomas McKean’s amended motion, which in its contents resembled the present motion, had been supported by JM and adopted by Congress on 8 November 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, 719–20; Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , V, 254–55; 256, nn. 12–15; 257, n. 17). The vote whereby the present motion was agreed to by Congress, perhaps because it was unanimous, was not entered in the journal (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 149).