Virginia Delegates to Benjamin Harrison
Philadelphia April 17th. 1782
The enclosd relation was directed by Congress to be transmitted to the Executives of Virginia & Pensylvania, that they might make enquiry into the facts, & take such measures in it as they deemed proper.1 Your Excellency’s Letter, touching the capture in north Carolina, remains yet unreported on.2
We thought it necessary to have a decision from Congress, relative to the cession of our western territory, for the information of the ensuing Assembly; & therefore movd for the appointment of a day, to take up the consideration of the report on that subject. Monday last was the day assigned; but a call for an adjournment, put it by for that day. A Vessel just arrived here from the Cape, reports, that 17 Spanish Sail of the Line & 12 thousand troops were then in that port.
We had the honor of your last Letter, & will comply with what your Excellency desires relative to the one for forty Emission by the next post. With the highest respect we have the honor to be, Your Excellency’s most Obedt. & most Humb. Servts.
J. Madison Jr
RC (ViU). In the hand of Arthur Lee, except for the signatures of the other three delegates. Enclosure (Vi). The extract from this letter, published in Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (9 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , IV, 157, had as its source the portion shown in an autograph dealer’s catalogue. The excerpt omitted the first paragraph, divided Lee’s second paragraph into two, and added to that divided paragraph part of a sentence from Lee’s third paragraph.
1. See Cal. of Va. State Papers description begins William P. Palmer et al., eds., Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts (11 vols.; Richmond, 1875–93). description ends , III, 122–24. The news told of the massacre on 10 Mar. of friendly Indians of the Delaware tribe by a band of frontier militia under Col. David Williamson at the town of Gnadenhutten in the Ohio region. The militiamen lived in the area of southwestern Pennsylvania which in 1782 was claimed by both Virginia and Pennsylvania. There appears to be no evidence that any one responsible for the outrage (known as the “Gnadenhutten massacre”) was brought to justice by either Virginia or Pennsylvania (McIlwaine, Official Letters, III, 200; Butterfield, Washington-Irvine Correspondence, pp. 99 nn. 1, 2, 237 n., 238 n., 246 n., 288 n.).