Notes on Debates
MS (LC: Madison Papers). For a description of the manuscript of Notes on Debates, 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 , V, 231–34.
1. The resolutions of instruction concerning “the Negroes,” which were largely drafted by John Rutledge but introduced by Alexander Hamilton, directed the American peace commissioners in Europe “to remonstrate thereon to the Court of Great Britain, and take proper measures for obtaining such reparation as the nature of the case will admit.” The commissioners were to be sent copies of the letters between Washington and Carleton on the subject, while Washington, armed with a copy of the above resolutions, was directed “to continue his remonstrances to Sir Guy Carleton, respecting the permitting negroes belonging to the citizens of these states to leave New York and to insist on the discontinuance of that measure” (NA: PCC, No. 36, II, 129–30; JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 363–64). Robert R. Livingston dispatched a copy of the resolutions to the peace commissioners on 28 May (Wharton, Revol. Dipl. Corr description begins Francis Wharton, ed., The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States (6 vols.; Washington, 1889). description ends ., VI, 453). For Washington’s fulfillment of the direction to him, see 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 , XXVI, 465. For the background of the resolutions, see Jones to JM, 25 May 1783, and citations in n. 14.
2. By underlining “unanimously,” JM apparently meant that each of the two motions on “furloughing” received a unanimous vote. The first resolution, drafted and introduced by Hamilton, directed Washington to furlough “the noncommissioned officers and soldiers,” who had enlisted “to serve during the war,” and also “a proportionable number of commissioned officers of the different grades.” He should assure them that they would “be discharged as soon as the definitive treaty of peace is concluded.” Washington and Benjamin Lincoln, secretary at war, were instructed to have those troops escorted “to their respective homes” in a manner “most convenient to themselves and to the states through which they may pass,” and to permit them “to take their arms with them” (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 364; Syrett and Cooke, Papers of Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and Jacob E. Cooke, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (15 vols. to date; New York, 1961——). description ends , III, 364 and the second n. 1). See also JM Notes, 20 May, and nn. 1, 3; 23 May, and nn. 1–3; 19 June 1783, n. 10.
In the second motion, offered by Hugh Williamson, which instructed Nathanael Greene to furlough the troops of North Carolina who had enlisted for a term of eighteen months and a proportional number of officers, the privilege of retaining their arms was not included. Greene and Lincoln were also to “take measures for conducting such troops to their respective homes” (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 365, and n. 1; JM Notes, 11 June 1783, n. 1). The troops under Greene’s command from Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania had already been similarly favored (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, 190, n. 13).