Motion of Instructions to Peace Commissioners
MS (NA: PCC, No. 69, II, 433–34). In JM’s hand and docketed by him, “Motion of Mr. Madison May 20. 1783.”
[20 May 1783]
That the sd. Ministers1 be instructed also to endeavor to insert in the Difinitive Treaty of peace between U. S. & G. B, reasonable provision for the interests of such of the Inhabitants of Canada as may have suffered by confiscations or sequestrations of their effects, in Consequence of their engaging in the service of the U. S.2
That the sd. Ministers be further instructed to contend for an express stipulation in the difinitive Treaty of peace providing for a fair liquidation of all charges for subsistance of prisoners of war and other just purposes, & for discharge of the balances which may appear to be due.3
1. These opening words suggest that while Congress was in session on 20 May, JM drafted the motion as an addendum to the report of the committee to which the memorial of the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council and the instruction of the Virginia General Assembly to its delegates in Congress had been referred on 20 March. See JM Notes, 19 May 1783, and n. 1. The “Ministers” were Franklin, John Adams, and Jay.
2. This recommendation recalls the memorials of Thomas Wiggans and Moses Hazen. See Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (7 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , VI, 191, n. 16; 442; 443, n. 1; 445, n. 10. Although this first paragraph of the motion is canceled with crosshatches in ink, JM’s notes for 20 May (q.v.) are warrant for concluding that the paragraph had been referred to a committee before the deletion was made.
3. JM Notes, 19 May, and n. 1; 20 May 1783, and n. 5. The issue of inducing the British to recompense Congress for subsisting their many troops held as prisoners of war by the Americans had been of long duration. See Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (7 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , II, 277, n. 1; IV, 172, n. 6; 330–31; 331, n. 5; V, 105, n. 8; 191, n. 27; VI, 457. For the embodiment of JM’s second recommendation in instructions adopted by Congress on 30 May, see JM Notes, 30 May 1783, n. 3.