Front Page Titles (by Subject) ROUGH DRAFT - The Works, vol. 4 (Notes on Virginia II, Correspondence 1782-1786)
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ROUGH DRAFT - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 4 (Notes on Virginia II, Correspondence 1782-1786) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 4.
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Whereas it is stipulated in the definitive treaty of peace between the United States and his Britannic Majesty that the ratifications of the sd treaty shall be exchanged on or before the 3d. day of March next and there now remains before that period little more time than is requisite for the passage of the sd ratification across the Atlantic; and Congress consisting at present but of 7. states, these differ in opinion, some of them considering 9. states as requisite under the Confederation to the establishment of every treaty while others are of opinion that the provisional treaty nine states having ratified the Provisional treaty, and having instructed their Ministers to enter into a definitive one conformable thereto which is accordingly done, seven states may under these particular circumstances ratify what has been so declared by nine states to have their approbation; and those of the former opinion being equally desirous with the latter that no power which it may be supposed they possess should remain unexercised for the final ratification of this instrument establishment of peace provided it may be done with good faith the preservation of good faith towards the other contracting party and without being supposed to conveying any opinion of Congress that such ratification is authoritative, which supposition would be contrary to truth:
Resolved therefore that the states now present in Congress do declare their approbation of and ratification of the sd treaty; that the same be duly attested under the seal of the states; and transmitted to our Ministers with instructions to make use of it till the last point of time: that in the meantime so soon as nine states shall be present in Congress, the said treaty shall be submitted to them and their further ratification & when obtained this shall be transmitted to our Ministers also in hope of its reaching our Ministers them by the stipulated time in which case this shall be used and the former cancelled; that however they do not receive the ratification by nine states before the time for exchange & then tender produce the act of the seven states, at the same time expressing the doubts which Congress otherwise con are entertained of it’s validity, offering it to their acceptance of the other party in exchange for theirs with assurance that it may and opposing that that shall be accepted and shall will be followed by ratifications another expedited by nine states to be which shall be delivered to them also; otherwise on that they agree on a further day for the exchange of ratifications at their option and at the same time explaining (if they find it necessary for the preservation of our good faith) the differences of opinion which exist as to the compliance of seven states to this act: or if it be more eligible to the other party that then they agree on a further day for the exchange of ratifications.
RESOLUTION ON DEFINITIVE TREATY1
[Jan. 14?, 1784]
Resolved that the sd ratification be immediately expedited in good and & due form under the seal the following form to wit [here insert the ratification] and be transmitted to our ministers plenipotentiary by whom the said treaty was negotiated and signed.
RATIFICATION OF DEFINITIVE TREATY2
[January 14, 1784]
The United States in Congress assembled to all persons to whom these presents shall come greeting:
Whereas definitive articles of peace and friendship between the United States of America and his Britannic majesty were concluded and signed at Paris on the third day of September 1783, by the Commissioners Plenipotentiaries of the said United States and of his said Britannic majesty duly and respectively authorized for that purpose, which definitive articles are in these words following [here insert them]
Now know ye that we the United States in Congress assembled having seen and considered the definitive articles, aforesaid, have approved, ratified and confirmed and by these presents do approve ratify and confirm the said articles, and every part & clause thereof engaging and promising that we will sincerely & faithfully perform & observe the same and never suffer them to be violated by any one, or transgressed in any manner, as far as lies in our power.
In testimony whereof we have caused the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.
Witness his Excellency Thomas Mifflin President this — day of December, in the year of our Lord 1783 and of the sovereignty in the eighth year and independence of the United States the eighth fourteenth day of Jany in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty four and in the eighth year of the sovereignty & independence of the United States of America.
DRAFT FOR PROCLAMATION ANNOUNCING RATIFICATION OF DEFINITIVE TREATY1
January 14, 1784.
By the United States of America in Congress Assembled
Whereas Definitive articles of peace and friendship between these the United States of America of America and his Britannic majesty were concluded & signed at Paris on the third day of September 1783, by the Commissioners Plenipotentiaries of the said United States and of his said Britannic majesty duly and respectively authorized for that purpose which definitive articles are in the words following [here insert them].
And we the United States in Congress assembled having seen and duly considered the definitive articles aforesaid did by a certain act under the seal of the United States bearing date this 14 day of December Jany 1784, approve ratify & confirm the same & every part & clause thereof engaging & promising that we would sincerely & faithfully perform & observe the same, and never suffer them to be violated by any one, or transgressed in any manner, as far as should lie in our power.
And being sincerely disposed to carry the said articles into execution honestly, truly honestly and with good faith according to the intent & meaning thereof we have thought proper by these presents to notify the premises to all the good citizens of these States, hereby requesting requiring and enjoining all persons and all bodies of magistracy Legislative Executive and Judiciary all persons bearing office civil or military of whatever rank, degree, or powers and all others the good citizens of these States of whatever every vocation and condition that reverencing those stipulations entered into on & condition in obedience to these delegations their behalf under the authority of that federal moral political & legal whereby they are called bond by which their existence as an independant to the observance of stipulations duly & regularly people is bound up together, and is known and derived from their several laws & constitutions acknowledged by the nations of the world; and and with that good faith which is every honest with that good faith which is every man’s best comfort that within their man’s surest guide, within their several offices, jurisdictions & vocations, they carry into effect the said Definitive articles, & every clause & sentence thereof sincerely strictly & completely.
Given under the seal of the United States. Witness his Excellency Thomas Mifflin, our President at Annapolis this 14th day of Dec. Jany 1784 & of the sovereignty & independance of the United States of America the eighth.
TO MARTHA JEFFERSON1
Annapolis, Jan. 15th, 1783.
My dear Martha,
—I am anxious to know what books you read, what tunes you play, and to receive specimens of your drawing. With respect to your meeting M. Simitière2 at Mr. Rittenhouse’s, nothing could give me more pleasure than your being much with that worthy family, wherein you will see the best examples of rational life, and learn to esteem and copy them. But I should be very tender of intruding you on the family; as it might, perhaps, be not always convenient for you to be there at your hours of attending M. Simitière. I can only say, then, that if it has been desired by Mr. and Mrs. Rittenhouse, in such a manner as that Mrs. Hopkinson shall be satisfied that they will not think it inconvenient, I would have you thankfully accept it; and conduct yourself with so much attention to the family as that they may never feel themselves incommoded by it. I hope Mrs. Hopkinson will be as good as to act for you in this matter with that delicacy and prudence of which she is so capable. I have much at heart your learning to draw, and should be uneasy at your losing this opportunity, which probably is your last.
TO THE GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA (BENJAMIN HARRISON)
v. s. a.
Annapolis Jan. 16 1784
—The Southern post, which had not come in for three weeks past, surprised us by his arrival to day. Being to return in half an hour I could only, after a perusal of my letters, hastily inclose to your Excellency a copy of the proclamation announcing the ratification of the peace, which we were enabled to expedite on the 14th inst. that being the first day on which nine states have attended during the present Congress. This irregularity in the post will account for your having received no letter from Mr. Hardy, the corresponding member for the month. An indisposition at present puts it out of his power to write, in which case, according to our arrangement, the duty devolves on the next member in the nomination. The right of individual correspondence however still remaining to us I take the liberty of communicating the occurrences of the time:
The important subjects now before Congress are:
1. authorizing our Foreign ministers to enter into treaties of alliance & commerce with the several nations who have desired it.
2. arranging the Domestic administration.
3. establishing Arsenals within the states, & posts on our Frontier.
4. Disposing of the Western territory.
5. treaties of peace and purchase with the Indians.
Your Excellency will perceive that these are questions of such difficulty as must produce differences of opinion, and of such importance as forbid a sacrifice of judgment to one another. We have but nine states present, seven of which are represented by only two members each. There are 14 gentlemen then, any one of which differing from the rest, stops our proceeding, for all these questions require the concurrence of nine states. We shall proceed in a day or two to take them up, and it is my expectation that after having tried several of them successively and finding it impossible to obtain a single determination, Congress will find it necessary to adjourn till the spring, first informing the states that they adjourn because from the inattendance of members their business cannot be done, recommending to them to instruct & enable their members to come on at the day appointed, and that they constantly keep three at least with Congress while it shall be sitting. I believe if we had thirteen states present represented by three members each we could clear off our business in two or three months, and that hereafter a session of two or three months in the year could suffice.
The manifesto of the Empress of Russia against the Turks is come to hand—it is flimsy and groundless as that of the Turks is strong & substantial & masterly.
TO THE GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA1 (BENJAMIN HARRISON)
Annapolis Jan. 17. 1784.
—No post having arrived here from the Southward during the present month till this day, & being to return in a few minutes I am obliged without an opportunity of asking the concurrence of my colleagues to enclose you a copy of the proclamation of the Definitive treaty & it’s ratification which happily took place on the 14th instant. Two officers were immediately dispatched to seek passage by different vessels to France with this important document. I expect one of them would reach the French packet at New York which was to sail from thence on the 20th.
TO THE GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA1 (BENJAMIN HARRISON)
v. s. a.
Annapolis, Jan. 23, 1784.
—The inclosed papers from Oliver Pollock came to our hands a few days ago. Ignorance of the organisation of our government probably led him to make this improper address, on a business so foreign to the line of our duty. We take the liberty on his behalf of inclosing them to your Excellency with a copy of our answer to him.
We have the honor to be with the most profound respect & esteem Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble servants
TO OLIVER POLLOCK
Annapolis Jan 23. 1784.
—Your letter bearing date at the Havana Nov. 20, 1783, came to our hands a few days ago. The subject of it however is one of those submitted by the constitution of our State to its Executive power, our duties being such only as respect the Confederacy in general. We think it therefore the most likely means of promoting your wishes to inclose the letter with the papers accompanying it to his Excellency the Governor of Virginia which we will immediately do & have no doubt you will receive justice from the State on every well authenticated claim.
DRAFT OF A REPORT ON THE MEMORIAL OF ZEBULON BUTLER AND OTHERS1
[1 ]This resolution, though offered in Congress, does not appear in its Journals. It was probably in lieu of that adopted Jan. 14, 1784, which was reported by a committee, of which Jefferson was chairman.
[2 ]The draft, in Jefferson’s handwriting, was reported to Congress by a committee consisting of Jefferson, Gerry, Ellery, Read, and Hawkins, some time in December, but was not acted upon by Congress till the treaty was ratified Jan. 14, 1784. See Journals of Congress of that date.
[1 ]See Journals of Congress, Jan. 14, 1784. This proclamation was issued as a broadside with the headlines:
[1 ]From S. N. Randolph’s Domestic Life of T. Jefferson, 71, where it is printed with the above date. But either Jefferson misdated it, or it was wrongly inserted, for Jefferson being in Annapolis and his daughter being in Philadelphia makes it certain that the letter was written in 1784.
[2 ]An artist.
[1 ]From the original in the possession of Mr. F. J. Dreer, of Philadelphia.
[1 ]In Jefferson’s handwriting.
[1 ]The fair copy, presented to Congress, is endorsed “No. 71. Report of Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Lee, Mr. Williamson, on the meml. of Zebulon Butler & others. Read. Passed Jan 23, 1784.” As adopted, it was slightly modified. Cf. text in Journals of Congress, under Jan. 23, and April 24, 1784.