|Pages 547-567||Pages 583-592|
| Resolution approbatory of the conduct of Thomas
esq. while governor.
| Approval of conduct of T. Jefferson,
| A motion was made that the house do come to the following
Resolved, That the sincere thanks of the general assembly be given to our former governor Thomas Jefferson, esquire, for his impartial, upright, and attentive administration of the powers of the executive, whilst in office; Popular rumours, gaining some degree of credence, by more pointed accusations, rendered it necessary to make an enquiry into his conduct, and delayed that retribution of public gratitude, so eminently merited; but that conduct having become the object of open scrutiny, ten fold value is added to an approbation founded on a cool and deliberate discussion. The assembly wish therefore in the strongest manner to declare the high opinion which they entertain of Mr. Jefferson's ability, recittude, and integrity as chief magistrate of this commonwealth, and mean by thus publicly avowing their opinion, to obviate all future, and to remove all former unmerited censure.
And the said resolution being read a second time, was on the question put thereupon agreed to by the house, nemine contradicente.
|Resolution approving the conduct of Thomas Jefferson, esq. as governor.|
| 1781, December 15th. |
Agreed to by the Senate, with amendments unanimously.
|WILL. DREW, C. S.|
| Amendments proposed by the senate to the resolution of
to Thomas Jefferson, esq.
| Approval of conduct of T. Jefferson,
|WILL. DREW, C. S.|
|* The lines in the printed copy not agreeing with the manuscript, the amendments of the senate cannot be accurately ascertained by a reference to the number of lines. Suffice it to remark, that all the wordsprinted in Italics were stricken out by the senate.|
Resolution to present the Marquis De La Fayette
with a marble Bust.
| IN THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES,
Monday the 17th of December 1781.
Resolved unanimously, That a Bust of the Marquis de la Fayette be directed to be made in Paris, of the best marble employed for such purpose, and presented to the Marquis with the following inscription on it:
Resolution to present the Marquis La Fayette with a marble bust.
|"This Bust was voted on the 17th day of December 1781, by the General Assembly of the State of Virginia to the honourable the Marquis de la Fayette, major general in the service of the United States of America, and late commander in chief of the army of||Inscription.|
| the United States in Virginia) as a lasting monument of his merit and of their
Resolved, That the commercial agent be directed to employ a proper person in Paris to make the above Bust.
| Resolution to present the Marquis La Fayette with
Communication from Thomas Jefferson, esquire,
governor of Virginia to the general assembly.
|IN COUNCIL, MARCH 1, 1781.|
IT is with great reluctance that after so long and laborious a session as the last, I have been again obliged to give you the trouble of convening in general assembly within so short a time and in so inclement a reason, but such was the situation of public affairs as to render it indispensable.
|Communication from Thomas Jefferson, esq. governor of Virginia to the general assembly.|
|The six millions of pounds ordered to be emitted at the last session of assembly, the four millions which the executive were permitted to issue if necessary, and the money for the purchase of 1500 hogsheads of tobacco, estimated to be one million one hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds, have been all dispensed in paiment of public debts, in present defence, and preparation for the ensuing campaign, as fast as they could be emitted, and the calls uncomplied with appear to be numerous and distressing. One army of our enemies lodged within our country, another pointing towards it, and since in fact entered into it, without a shilling in the public coffers, was a situation in which it was impossible to rest the safety of the state.|
|The invasion which took place on the close of the last session of assembly, having necessarily called for the attendance of a number of militia in the field, interrupted of course the execution of the act for recruiting our quota of troops for the continental army. Sensible that this would be the consequence, we endeavoured to restrain the calls of militia to as few counties as possible, that the residue might proceed undisturbed in this important work; but such has been the course of events as to render indispensable subsequent applications to many other counties. So that while in some counties this law is in a regular train of execution, in others it is begun and proceeding under great obstacles and doubts, and in others it has been wholly suspended; this last measure the executive themselves were obliged to recommend or approve in some instances, from a conviction that they could not otherwise draw forth the force of the counties in the particular point in which that force was wanting.|| Communication from T. Jefferson, esquire.|
|Accidents derived from the same movements of the enemy delayed the promulgation of the act for supplying the army with cloths, provisions and waggons, until it became evident that the times of execution would be elapsed before the laws could be received in many counties. I undertook notwithstanding to recommend their execution at as early a day as possible, not doubting but that the general assembly, influenced by the necessity which induced them to pass the act, would give their sanction to a literal departure from it, where its substance was complied with. I have reason to believe that the zeal of the several counties has led them to a compliance with my recommendation, and I am therefore to pray a legal ratification of their proceedings, the want of which might expose the instruments of the law to cavil and vexation from some individuals.|
|These were the subjects which led immediately to the calling of the general assembly; others, though of less moment, it is my duty also to lay before you, being now convened.|
|As the establishment of your regular army will of course be under consideration, while amending the late law for raising regulars, I beg leave to lay before you a letter of the honourable major general Baron Steuben on that subject, and the proceedings of a convention|
|of commissioners from the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York, held at Hartford. As likewise a proposition from colonel Spotswood, for raising a legionary corps for the defence of the state. Whether it be practicable to raise and maintain a sufficient number of regulars to carry on the war is a question; that it would be burthensome is undoubted; yet it is perhaps as certain that no possible mode of carrying it on can be so expensive to the public and so distressing and disgusting to individuals as by militia.|| Communication from T. Jefferson, esquire.|
|The approach of the British army under Lord Cornwallis, having rendered supplies of horses for the purpose of mounting our dragoons indispensably necessary, for the reasons set forth in the inclosed extract of a letter from general Greene, and it being apparent that horses, in the route of their march if not used for us, would be taken by them and used in subduing us, I undertook to recommend to general Greene the applying to the use of his dragoons horses so exposed, first ascertaining their value by appraisement; and beg leave to rest the justification of the measure on the appearance of things at that moment, and the sense of the general assembly of its necessity. Could any further means be devised for completing those corps of horse, it might have the most important effects on the southern operations.|
|I am desired to lay before the general assembly the resolutions of congress of February 5 & 7, 1781, which accompany this, as also the representations of our offices in captivity in Charlestown in favor of general McIntosh. I likewise beg leave to transmit you the advice of council for re-forming the first and second state regiments, the state garrison regiment and regiment of artillery.|
|Mr. Everard having declined resuming the office of auditor, to which the general assembly had elected him, the executive have appointed Bolling Stark, esq. in his room, to serve till the meeting of assembly.|
|Not doubting but that the general assembly would wish to be informed of the measures taken by the executive, on the invasion which happened at the rising of the last session of assembly, as well as on the one lately made on our southern frontier, I shall take the liberty of giving them a succinct state of them.|
|Having received information on Sunday the last day of December, of the appearance of twenty-seven sail of vessels in our bay, which whether friendly or hostile was not then known, we got the favor of general Nelson to repair immediately to the lower country, with instructions to call into the field such a force from the adjacent counties as might make present opposition to the enemy, if it proved to be an enemy, according to an arrangement which had been settled in the preceding summer; waiting for more certain and precise information before we should call on the more distant part of the country, and in the same instant stationed expresses from hence to Hampton. I took the liberty of communicating this intelligence to the general assembly on their meeting the next morning. No further information, arrived till the 2d of January, when we were assured that the fleet announced was hostile. We immediately advised with major general Baron Steuben, the commanding officer in the state, on the force he would wish to have collected, and in the course of the day prepared letters calling together one fourth of the militia from the counties whose turn it was to come into service, or whom vicinity rendered it expedient to call on, viz. Brunswick, Mecklenburg, Lunenburg, Amelia, Powhatan, Cumberland, Prince Edward, Charlotte, Halifax, Bedford, Buckingham, Henrico, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Sussex, Southampton, Goochland, Fluvanna, Albemarle, Amherst, Rockbridge, Augusta, Rockingham and Shanandoah, amounting to 4650 men, and directing them not to wait to be embodied in their counties, but to come in detached parties as they could be collected. I at the same time required the counties of Henrico, Hanover, Goochland, Chesterfield, Powhatan, Cumberland, Dinwiddie and Amelia, to send the half of their militia, intending to discharge what should be over their equal proportion as soon as those from the more distant counties should arrive, and in the morning of the 4th, finding the enemy were coming up James river, I called for every man able to bear arms from the counties of Henrico, Goochland, Powhatan, Chesterfield and Dinwiddie. Nevertheless so rapid were the movements of the enemy, and so favorable to them the circumstances of wind and tide, that they were able to penetrate to this place and Westham on ????th to destroy what public|| Communication from T. Jefferson, esquire.|
|[Text in blue, indicates missing or unreadable text in my copy.]|
|stores we had not been able to get away, to burn the public buildings at Westham and some occupied by the public at this place, and to retire to their shipping before such a force had assembled as was sufficient to approach them. I have the pleasure however to inform you that we were enabled to withdraw almost the whole of the public stores, so as to render our loss in that article far less than might have been expected from the rapidity of the movements of the enemy, and the difficulty of procuring suddenly any considerable number of waggons and vessels.|| Communication from T. Jefferson, esquire.|
|General Nelson having collected and drawn towards the enemy a body of militia on the north, and Baron Steuben done the same on the south side of the river, the enemy withdrew making descents and committing depredations at places till they reached Portsmouth, where they have since remained environed by the militia of this state and of North Carolina.|
|On receiving intelligence of the advance of the British army under Lord Cornwallis through North Carolina, we directed one fourth of the militia of Pittsylvania, Henry, Montgomery, Washington and Botetourt, to march immediately to reinforce general Greene's army; but learning very soon after that the enemy were already arrived at or very near the Dan river, we ordered out all the militia who had arms or for whom arms could be procured, of the counties of Lunenburg, Brunswick, Amelia, Dinwiddie, Chesterfield, Powhatan and Cumberland. Colonel Lynch, who happened to be here when the intelligence was received, was instructed to carry on immediately the militia of Bedford. We at the same instant received notice that the militia of Prince Edward and Mecklenburg were already embodied, and we knew the counties of Halifax and Charlotte to be so immediately under the approach of the enemy, as that they must be embodied under the invasion law before our orders could reach them; the counties below these on the south side of James river we thought it expedient to leave as a barrier against the army within Portsmouth. The very rapid approach of the enemy obliged us in this instance to disregard that regular rotation of duty which we wish to observe in our calls on the several counties, and to summon those into the field which had|
| militia on duty at the very time; however, the several services of these as well as of
the other counties shall be kept in view, and made as equal as possible in the course of general
I have the honor to be, with the highest esteem and respect, sir,
| Communication from T. Jefferson, esquire.|
Letter from General Washington.
HEAD QUARTERS, NEW WINDSOR, 27th MARCH 1781.
|ON my return from Newport, I found your favor of the 16th of February, with its inclosures, at Head Quarters. I exceedingly regret that I could not have the pleasure of seeing you, not only from personal motives, but because I could have entered upon the subject of your mission in a much more full and free manner, than is proper to be committed to paper.||Letter from gen. Washington.|
|I very early saw the difficulties and dangers to which the southern states would be exposed for want of resources of clothing, arms and ammunition, and recommended magazines to be established as ample as their circumstances would admit. It is true that they are not so full of men as the northern states, but they ought, for that reason, to have been more assiduous in raising a permanent force, to have been always ready, because they cannot draw a herd of men together as suddenly as their exigencies may require. That policy has, unhappily, not been pursued either here or there, and we are now suffering from a remnant of a British army, what they could not, in the beginning, accomplish with their force at the highest.|
|As your requisition, go to men, arms, ammunition, and cloathing, I shall give you a short detail of our|
| situation and prospects as to the first, and of our supplies and expectations as to the
By the expiration of the times of service of the old troops; by the discharge of the levies engaged for the campaign only; and by the unfortunate dissolution of the Pennsylvania line, I was left, previous to the late detachment under the Marquis de la Fayette, with a garrison barely sufficient for the security of West Point, and two regiments in Jersey to support the communication between the Delaware and North river. The York troops I had been obliged to send up for the security of the frontier of that state. Weak however as we were, I determined to attempt the dislodgment of Arnold in conjunction with the French fleet and army, and made the detachment to which I have alluded.
| Letter from gen. Washington.|
|In my late tour to the eastward, I found the accounts, I had received of the progress of recruiting in those states, had been much exaggerated, and I fear we shall, in the end, be obliged to take a great proportion of their quotas in levies for the campaign, instead of soldiers for three years or for the war. The regiments of New York having been reduced to two, they have but few infantry to raise. Jersey depends upon voluntary inlistments, upon a contracted bounty, and I cannot therefore promise myself much success from the mode. The Pennsylvania line, you know, is ordered to compose part of the southern army. General Wayne is so sanguine as to suppose he will be soon able to move on with 1000 or 1200 men, but I fancy he rather over-rates the matter. You will readily perceive from the foregoing state, that there is little probability of adding to the force already ordered to the southward; for should the battalions from New Hampshire to New Jersey inclusive, be compleated, (a thing not to be expected) we shall, after the necessary detachments for the frontiers and other purposes a made, have an army barely sufficient to keep the enemy in check at New York. Except this is done, they will have nothing to hinder them from throwing further reinforcements to the southward; and to be obliged to follow, by land, every detachment of their army, which they always make by sea, will only end in a fruitless dissipation of what may be now called the northern army. You may be assured that the most powerful diversion that can be made in favor of the|
|southern states, will be a respectable force in the neighbourhood of New York. I have hitherto been speaking of our own resources; should a reinforcement arrive to the French fleet and army, the face of matters may be intirely changed.|| Letter from gen. Washington.|
|I do not find that we can, at any rate, have more than two thousand stand of arms to spare, perhaps not so many; for should the battalions, which are to compose this army, be compleat, or nearly so, they will take all that are in repair or repairable. The two thousand stand came in the Alliance from France, and I have kept them apart for an exigency.|
|Our stock of ammunition, though competent to the defensive, is, by a late estimate of the commanding officer of artillery, vastly short of an offensive operation of any consequence. Should circumstances put it in our power to attempt such an one, we must depend upon the private magazines of the states and upon our allies; on the contrary, should the defensive plan be determined upon, what ammunition can be spared, will be undoubtedly sent to the southward.|
|Of cloathing we are in a manner exhausted. We have not enough for the few recruits which may be expected, and except that, which has been so long looked for and talked of from France, should arrive, the troops must, next winter, go naked, unless their states can supply them.|
|From the foregoing representations, you will perceive that the proportion to the continental army already allotted to southern service is as much as, from present appearances, can be spared for that purpose; and that a supply of arms, ammunition or cloathing of any consequence must depend, in great measure, upon future purchases or importations.|
|Nothing which is within the compass of my power shall be wanting to give support to the southern states, but you may readily conceive how irksome a thing it must be to me to be called upon for assistance, when I have not the means of affording it.|
It is feared that the original miscarried with the last weeks mail, which is missing, and is supposed to have been taken and carried into New York.
HON. BENJAMIN HARRISON, Esq.
| Letter from gen. Washington.|
ADDRESS OF CONGRESS TO THE SEVERAL STATES.
WE are happy to observe that the present year hath been distinguished by the reduction of a powerful British garrison in Virginia, and that our arms have also been prosperous in other parts of the United States; but to infer that our inexorable foe is subdued beyond recovery may be attended with ruinous consequences; these events will yield but momentary advantages, unless supported by vigorous measures in future.
Address of Congress to the several states.
|From an assurance that peace is best attained by preparations for war, and that in the cabinet of negociations those arguments carry with them the greatest weight which are enforced not only with a retrospect of important victories, but by a well grounded prospect of future successes, we have called upon you for eight millions of dollars and for your respective deficiencies of the military establishment.|
|Seven years have nearly passed since the sword was first unsheathed; the sums expended in so long a period, in a just and necessary war must appear moderate, nor can this demand for pecuniary aid be deemed exorbitant by those who compute the extent of public exigencies and the proportion of the requisition to the abilities of the states.|| Address of Congress to the several states.|
|Suppose not that funds exist for our relief beyond the limits of these states. As the possessions of the citizens constitute our natural resources, and from a sense of their sufficiency the standard of war was erected against Great Britain, so on them alone we now rely. But even if loans were attainable, their amount would be merely commensurate with our ability and inclination to repay, and by nothing can both be more satisfactorily evidenced than by a generous exertion amidst the languor of public credit.|
|Arguing from the former dilatoriness of supplies, the enemy after having abandoned serious expectations of conquest by arms, anticipate it in imagination from the dissolution of our public credit. they cannot however deny the firmness of the basis on which it may be placed, when they survey the wide limits of this confederate country, the fruitfulness of its soil and the industry of its people.|
|But the want of money is not the only source of our difficulties, nor do the enemy gather consolation from the state of our finances alone, we are distressed by the thinness of our battalions. So vulnerable does the boldness of navigation render the very bosom of these states, so dispersed in some parts is the population, and so rapid our enemy in transportation, that they seize and exhaust large districts before their ravages can be checked. The requisition for the completion of your battalions is therefore not only reasonable but indispensable.|
|Tardiness in the collection of our troops has constantly encouraged in our enemy a suspicion, that American opposition is on the decline; hence money, from time to time, is poured into the coffers of our enemy, and the lender perhaps is allured by the prospect of receiving it with an usurious interest from the spoils of confiscation.|
|To whom then, rather than yourselves, who are called to the guardianship and sovereignty of your country,|
|can these considerations be addressed? Joint labourers, as we are, in the work of independence, duty impels us to admonish you of the crisis: We possess no funds, which do not originate with you −− we can command no levies, which are not raised under your own acts. Well shall we acquit ourselves to the world, should peace, towards the acquisition of which so illustrious a point hath been gained, now escape our embraces by the inadequacy of our army or our treasure: for an appeal to this exposition of your affairs will demonstrate our watchfulness of your happiness.|| Address of congress to the several states.|
|We conjure you to remember, what confidence we shall establish in the breast of that great Monarch, who has become a party in our political welfare, by a bold energetick display of our ability.|
|We therefore trust in your attention and zeal to avail yourselves at this important crisis, of the glorious advantages lately obtained, by a full compliance with the requisitions of men and money which we have made to you; the necessity of which hath been pointed out to us by the maturest consideration on the present circumstances of these United States.|
| December 17th 1781. |
THE STATE OF VIRGINIA.
| Letter from General Washington to the Governor of
Philadelphia, 19th December 1781.
| Letter from gen. Washington to the governor of
| Sir, |
YOU will have been furnished by his excellency the President, with the resolves of congress of the 10th instant, calling upon the several states to compleat their respective quotas of troops by the first of March next. In order to ascertain the deficiencies, I am directed to transmit to the executives of the states, returns, under particular discriptions, of the number of men each has in service. The troops of your state composing part of the southern army, it would occasion an immense loss of time were I first to call for the returns, and then transmit them them back from hence or wherever I may happen to be; I have for that reason directed major general Greene to furnish your excellency with the state of your line and give you credit for any men you may have serving in the legionary corps or artillery, deducting that amount from the quota assigned to you by the arrangement of the 3rd and 21st of October, 1780, will point out exactly your deficiency.
|I flatter myself it is needless to impress upon our excellency the necessity of complying as fully as possible with the requisition of congress above mentioned.|
|It is a well known fact, that the critical and dangerous situation to which all the southern states were reduced, was owing to the want of a sufficient regular force to oppose to that of the enemy, who, taking advantage of the frequent dissolutions of our temporary armies, had gained such footing in the four most southern, that their governments were totally subverted or debilitated, that they were not capable of exerting sufficient authority to bring a regular army into the field. Happily, this scene is changed, and a moment is allowed us to rectify our past errors, and, if rightly improved, to put ourselves in such a situation, that we|
|need not be apprehensive of the force Great Britain has remaining upon the continent, or which she can herefater probably bring. But the greatest encouragement to a vigorous preparation is, that it will be the most likely method of gaining more allies and forcing Great Britain into a negociation, which we have every reason to suppose would end in a peace honorable to the interests and views of America.|| Letter from gen. Washington to the governor of
|I will take the liberty of recommending a matter to your excellency which I must solicit you to urge to the legislature, as absolutely necessary to the filling your regiments with proper men, more especially if the mode of drafting should be adopted. It is, stationing continental officers of the rank of field officers at least, at the different places of rendezvous, who shall judge of the ability of the recruit and pass him or reject him as circumstance may require. For want of a regulation of this kind, we have had hundreds of old men, mere children, disordered and decripid persons passed by civil characters appointed for muster masters, and have been under the necessity of discharging them the moment they have joined the army; whereby the state has been put to a vast expence for a useless man, and the service has lost a man for the campaign, as the districts from whence such have been sent, have scarce ever replaced them. The Secretary of War will address your excellency upon this subject, which I can assure you is of the utmost importance to the constitution of the army.|
| His Excellency, |
END OF TENTH VOLUME
|Pages 547-567||Pages 583-592|