Obrázky stránek

way with reinforcements. Arnold had gone up to Montreal on business, or as some say, disgusted by Wooster.

The congress having ordered a new battalion of riflemen to be raised in Virginia, Innis wishes much to be translated to it from the Eastern shore which was so disagreeable to him that he had determined to have resigned.


C. C.

[May 21, 1776.] R. 1. post

Resolved that the Commissioners for Indian affairs pon'd in the Northern department be directed to use their utmost endeavors to procure the assistance of the Indians within their department to act against the enemies of the Colonies, that they particularly endeavor to engage them to undertake the reduction of Niagara, engaging on behalf of Congress to pay them 133} dollars for every prisoner they shall take and bring to headquarters, or to the said Commissioners. R. 2. post

Resolved that the Commissioners for Indian affairs pon'd in the Middle department be directed to use their utmost endeavors to procure the assistance of the Indians within their department, that they particularly endeavor to engage them to undertake the reduction of Detroit upon the same terms offered the Indians who shall go against Niagara.

1 On May 14, 1776, “a letter of the 11th from general Washington inclosing sundry papers ; a letter of the 3d from general Schuyler; and a letter of the 9th from Daniel Robertson, were laid before Congress and read : Resolved, That they be referred to a committee of three. The members chosen, Mr.W. Livingston, Mr. Jefferson, and Mr. J. Adams.” On May 16th letters from the Commissioners of Congress in Canada, and from Washington, were referred to the same Committee. They presented the above report May 21st, which was read the same day, and consideration postponed. It was again considered on the 22d, and sundry resolutions adopted. Cf. Journal of Congress. This report is printed from the original in Jefferson's handwriting, which is headed “Report on Indians."

Resolved that the Commissioners in each of the R. 3. postsaid departments be directed to employ one or more pon'd able partisans whom the Congress will liberally reward for their exertions in the business to be committed to them.

Resolved that it is the opinion of this Committee R. 4.referred that there be raised for the Service of the United to N. J. & P.

for Colonies one battalion of Germans.'

R. 5.

Resolved that the companies of riflemen from Virginia and Maryland be regimented and that the regiment be compleated to the original number of the Pennsylvania battalion.

R. 7.

Resolved that the Pennsylvania battalion of rifle

R. 6. a men be compleated to their original establishment. Resolved that two Companies of the forces now in

R. 6. b the Delaware counties be ordered to Cape May.

Resolved that the Committee appointed to Contract for cannon

be directed to procure a number of brass or iron field pieces to be made or purchased immediately (and sent to Canada.] ?

R. 8. Come. Resolved that a proper assortment of Medicenes be already ap

pointed to sent to Canada.


medec.? Resolved that Mr. James Mease be directed to purchase & forward to the Quarter Master general in New York as much cloth for tents as he can procure.

Resolved that proper persons be appointed by R.10. Comd. Congress to purchase such articles as may be wanted of which Mr.

R. 9.

to the Come. for the use of the soldiers in Canada & send the Shearman is

Chairman same to Albany, that they may be forwarded to the

* This paragraph is stricken out.
: The words in brackets are stricken out.

army in Canada : and that they be particularly attentive to provide in time a sufficient number of leathern breeches & under waistcoats, and such other winter cloathing as may be necessary for them.

[ocr errors]

R. 13.

Resolved that the Committee appointed to contract R. II.

for the making of shoes for the army be directed to forward with all expedition to the Quarter Master in Canada such as are already provided.

Resolved that Prisoners taken by continental arms R. 12.

be not exchanged by any authority but the Continental Congress.

Resolved that it is the opinion of this Committee

that all vessels which sailed from the port or harbor of Boston whilst the town of Boston was in possession of the enemy, having on board the effects belonging to the enemies of America & which have been or may be seized be liable, together with the said effects, to confiscation ; in the same manner and proportions as have been heretofore resolved by Congress.

Resolved that the Continental agents in the respec

tive colonies where no courts have been established for the trial of captures have power & be directed to dispose at public sale of such articles of a perishable nature as shall be taken from the enemies of America, and that the money arising from such sale be liable to the decree of such court whenever established.

R. 14.

Resolved that the inventory of the Ordinance Stores taken by Capt. Manly be sent to General Washington, & that he be requested to appoint a person on the part of the Colonies to join one on the part of Captain Manly & his crew, who, having first taken an oath for that purpose, shall proceed to value the same, & if they cannot agree in the value they shall call in a third person to determine the same : that the report of such persons be returned to Congress so soon as may be, and the value of the stores belonging to Captn. Manly & his crew be thereupon transmitted them.

[blocks in formation]

'The fair copy is endorsed in Jefferson's handwriting, “A Bill for new modelling the form of government, & for establishing the fundamental principles thereof in future. It is proposed that this bill, after correction by the Convention, shall be referred by them to the people, to be assembled in their respective counties and that the suffrages of two thirds of the counties shall be requisite to establish it." The rough draft has no preamble, though space was left for it. In both copies the erasures and interlineations are indicated. The bracketed portions in Roman are so written by Jefferson. Those in italic are inserted by the editor. For these most important papers I am under obligation to the courtesy of Mr. Cassius F. Lee of Alexandria, Va., and Mr. Worthington Chauncey Ford, of Brooklyn, N. Y., not merely for photographic reproductions, but also for the facts concerning them given at large in his Jefferson's Constitution for Virginia (The Nation, LI, 107). This constitution, though mentioned in several of the histories and other works concerning Virginia, and though seen by Wirt (Life of Patrick Henry, p. 196), and by Leigh (Debates of Virginia Convention, 1830, p. 160), has never yet been printed or even quoted. The history of its production is as follows:

On December 4, 1775, the Continental Congress resolved that if the “Convention of Virginia shall find it necessary to establish a form of government in that Colony, it be recommended to that Convention to call a full and free representation of the people, and that the said representatives, if they think it necessary, establish such forms of government as in their judgment will best produce the happiness of the people.” The Convention received this resolution on Dec. 13th, but took no action upon it. In April a new Convention was elected, which met on May 6th, and on May 15th appointed a Committee to pre* This heading is written on a separate sheet, the remainder of the page being

left blank.

heretofore entrusted with the
exercise of the kingly office in
this government hath endeay.
ored to pervert the same into a
detestable and insupportable
tyranny ;
by putting his negative on laws

the most wholesome & neces-
sary for ye public good ;

pare a “ Declaration of Rights" and a “ Form of Government." In the mean time the Continental Congress, on motion of John Adams, May 10, 1776, “recommended to the respective assemblies and conventions of these United Colonies where no government sufficient to the exigencies of their affairs hath been hitherto established, to adopt such government as shall in the opinion of the representatives of the people best conduce to the happiness and safety of their constituents in particular, and America in general.” On May 27th the resolutions of the Virginia Convention were laid before the Continental Congress, and between that date and the middle part of June, Jefferson, while attending Congress, drew up this constitution. This he forwarded to Pendleton in the Convention, by George Wythe, who was returning from Congress to Virginia, and the latter wrote him, July 27, 1776 :

“When I came here the plan of government had been committed to the whole house. To those who had the chief hand in forming it the one you put into my hands was shewn. Two or three parts of this were, with little alteration, inserted in that : but such was the impatience of sitting long enough to discuss several important points in which they differ, and so many other matters were necessary to be dispatched before the adjournment that I was persuaded the revision of a subject the members seemed tired of would at that time have been unsuccessfully proposed.” Of it, Jefferson, in 1825, wrote:

“I was then at Philadelphia with Congress; and knowing that the Convention of Virginia was engaged in forming a plan of government, I turned my mind to the same subject, and drew a sketch or outline of a Constitution, with a preamble, which I sent to Mr. Pendleton, president of the convention, on the mere possibility that it might suggest something worth incorporation into that before the Convention. He informed me afterwards by letter, that he received it on the day on which the Committee of the Whole had reported to the House the plan they had agreed to ; that that had been so long in hand, so disputed inch by inch, and the subject of so much altercation and debate ; that they were worried with the contentions it had produced, and could not, from mere lassitude, have been induced to open the instrument again; but that, being pleased with the Preamble to mine, they adopted it in the House, by way of amendment to the Report of the Committee; and thus my Preamble became tacked to the

« PředchozíPokračovat »