James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Gardiner, 20 June 1814

From John Gardiner

Washington 20th June 1814


As it is possible that the resolution of Congress passed 14th. Augt. 1776 may have escaped your recollection, I take the liberty of pointing to it, beleiving that if the resolution was now to be, published in our Newspapers, & numerous copies of it (on oiled paper) set afloat near the squadrons of the Enemy, it would induce numbers of their men to desert, who are now doubtfull of the reception they may meet; or the publication & dispersion of the resolution might intimidate the Commanders from leading their men into the Country where situations favorable for desertion are presented to the Men.1 I presume the resolution has not been repealed, because Mr Gallatin has introduced it into the Volume of Land Laws—see page 207.2 With the highest respect & esteem I have the honor to be Sir your obedt servt.

J Gardiner

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1The resolution offered citizenship and fifty acres of land to Hessians and other “foreigners” who deserted the British service (Ford et al., Journals of the Continental Congress, 5:653–55).

2Gardiner referred to Laws, Treaties and Other Documents, Having Operation and Respect to the Public Lands (Washington, 1810; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 21674). The page he cited also reprinted a Continental Congress resolution of 27 Aug. 1776, promising larger amounts of land, in quantities according to rank, to “foreign officers” deserting British service (Ford et al., Journals of the Continental Congress, 5:705, 707–8).

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