Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA (BENJAMIN HARRISON) - The Works, vol. 4 (Notes on Virginia II, Correspondence 1782-1786)
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TO THE GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA (BENJAMIN HARRISON) - 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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TO THE GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA (BENJAMIN HARRISON)
Annapolis, Mar. 3. 1784.
—Mr. Hardy’s illness & Colo. Mercer’s absence deranged the order in which the office of corresponding member was to pass: so that mr Lee exercised it for January, Colo. Monroe for Feb. and mr Hardy takes it for the present month. I mention this that my own correspondence as an individual may not at any time be mistaken as having passed the sanction of the delegation. On receiving the act of assembly for the Western cession, our delegation agreed on the form of a deed; we then delivered to Congress a copy of the act, and the form of the deed we were ready to execute whenever they should think proper to declare they would accept it. They referred the act & deed to a committee, who reported the act of assembly to comport perfectly with the propositions of Congress, and that the deed was proper in its form, and that Congress ought to accept the same. On the question to agree to the report of the Committee 8 states being present, Jersey was in the negative & S. Carolina & Pennsylvania divided (being represented each by 2 members). Of course there were 5 ayes only & the report fell. We determined on consultation that our proper duty was to be still, having declared we were ready to execute, we would leave it to them to come forward and tell us they were ready to accept. We meddled not at all therefore, & shewed a perfect indifference. N. Hampshire came to town which made us 9 states. A member proposed that we should execute the deed & lay it on the table, which after what had been done by Congress would be final, urging the example of N. York which had executed their deed, laid it on the table, where it remained 18 months before Congress accepted it. We replied, no, if the lands are not offered for sale the ensuing spring, they will be taken from us all by adventurers, we will therefore put it out of our power by the execution of a deed to sell them ourselves, if Congress will not. A member from Rhode Island then moved that Congress should accept. Another from Jersey proposed as an amendment a proviso that it should not amount to an acknowledgement of our right. We told them we were not authorised to admit any conditions or provisions, that their acceptance must be simple, absolute & unqualified or we
could not execute. On the question there were 6 ayes, Jersey no, S. Carolina & Pennsylvania divided. The motion dropped & the house proceeded to other business. About an hour after the dissenting Pennsylvania asked & obtained leave to change his no, into aye, the vote then passed & we executed the deed. We have desired an exemplification of it under the seal of the states which we shall transmit you by the post if no safer opportunity occurs. This shows the wisdom of the assembly in not tacking any new conditions, which would certainly have defeated their accomodating intentions.
We have just received from the Superintendant of finance a report of the paiments made and the arrears still due on the requisition of Octo. 30. 1781 for 8 millions of dollars. This statement comes down to Jan. 1. 1784.
Colo. Harmer with the ratification of the Definative treaty which was executed in Congress Jan. 14th. got on board the French packet at N. York on the 20th. of Jan. Colo. Frank took his passage on another vessel a few days after. Neither sailed till the 17th of Feb. being blocked up by the ice. They have then not got to Paris to exchange them this day as had been stipulated. In right this can make no difference. We executed the ratification in time, and its passage across the Atlantic was prevented by circumstances not under our controul. The accomodation of the Turks and Russians, leaving Europe in Peace and France of course at liberty, keeps us safe. This accomodation is said to have been effected by the interposition of France & Prussia. This does not come from our ministers, from whom we have had no late intelligence on this subject, but is told me by Monsr. Marbois who sais he has it from good information. We are still farther insured against any ill effect from this accident if the news of the day be true. An English vessel, arrived at N. York, brings papers which say that Ld. North & mr Fox carried their E. India bill triumphantly by ⅔ of the voices through the house of commons, but lost it in the lords, when they resigned; and that mr Pitt & his friends would be at the head of the administration. The Prince of Wales voted against the bill & received a repremand from the King—so far the papers. The change would be fortunate for us, as L. North’s hostility is notorious, and Pitt rather well disposed to us. The movements of the K. of Prussia to emancipate the navigation of the Vistula, and of the emperor to free that of the Scheld do not I believe threaten the peace of Europe. On the contrary they indicate that they have no great work on hand. This assertion then of the natural right of the inhabitants of the upper part of a river to an innocent passage through the country below is rather pleasing to us. It tends to establish a principle favorable to our right of navigating the Missisipi.
We are now engaged in making an estimate of the expences of the current year. It appears that the commissioners sent to the several states to settle their accounts add so unreasonable a proportion to the expences of the Finance department, that it is my opinion Congress will recall them after some not very distant day. I mention this that your Excellency may keep an eye over the progress of the state-settlement with mr Turner & push it unremittingly to avoid the being obliged to send the vouchers, accounts &c to Philadelphia for such parts as shall not be completed before the recall.