Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

states.

Seven years have nearly passed since the sword was Address of first unsheathed; the sums expended in so long a pe- the several riod, 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.

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 coun

[ocr errors]

Address of try, cau these considerations he al ressed? Joint lacongress to bourers, as we are, in the independence, duty the several states.

impels us to admonish 1. of the crisis: We possess no funds, which do not orig ir ate 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 de monstrate our watchfulness of your happiness.

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. By order of Congress,

JOHN HANSON, President. December 17th 1781.

THE STATE OF VIRGINIA.

Letter from

Letter from General lashington to gen. Wash

the Governor of Virginia.

ington to the governor of

Virginia.

Philadciphia, 19th December 1781.

CIRCULAR.

Sir,

You will have been furuished 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 nexi. 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 lime were I first to call for the returns, and then transmit them then back from hence or wherever I may lappen 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 fatter myself it is needless to impress upon your 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 suficient regular force to oppose to that of the enemny, 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

Letter from peed not be apprehensive of the force Great Britain has gen. Wash

remaining upon the continent, or which she can herelaington to the governor of ter probably bring. But the greatest encouragement to Virginia a vigorous preparation is, that it will be the most like

ly 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.

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 himn or reject him as circumstances may require. For want of a regulation of this kind, we have had bundreds 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 mo

ment they have joined the army; whereby the state has
been put to a vast expence for an useless man, and the
service has lost a man for the campaign, as the dis-
tricts from whence such have been seni, have scarce
ever replaced them. The Secretary at War will ad-
dress your excellency upon this subject, which I can
assure you is of the utmost importance to the constitu-
tion of the army.

I have the honor to be,
With the greatest respect, sir,
Your excellency's most obed't. servant,

G. WASHINGTON.
His Excellency,

GOVERNOR HARRISON.

END OF TENTH VOLUME.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

ACCOUNTS.

if they think they cannot sit
Act of 1748, prescribing the with safety 408.

method of proving book ADJUTANT GENERAL.
debts, repealed 133. Limi Commissioner of war to dis-
tation of actions on store ac charge the duties belonging
counts 133. Delivery of ar to the adjutant general's de-
ticles to be dated 133. Pen partment 428. Military com-
alty for post-dating 133. missions to issue from the war
When limitation to commence

office 428.
134. Courts and juries ex

ADMIRALTY.
officio to take notice of this Court of admiralty, when to sit
act 134.

at Richmond 89. Court of
ACTS OF ASSEMBLY. admiralty established 98.-
All acts of assembly which Number of judges 98. Juris-

would have expired at the end diction 98. By what laws go-
of, or during the session of verned 98. Provision where
March 1781, continued 401. regulations of congress con-
ADDRESS.

flict with laws of state 98.
Address of the general assembly Judges how chosen 98. Oatha

of Virginia, to congress, on of judges 98. Penalty for act-
the alarming situation of the ing without oath 99. Regis-
southern states, as it respects ter, advocate and marshal
the operations of the enemy 99. Tenure of office 99,-
539.

Court where to sit 99.

Sale
ADJOURNMENT.

of perishable goods 100.---
One judge, or more, of general Rules of practice 100. Libel,

court may adjourn 402. Jud citation, publication, defence,
ges may adjourn their courts depositions, 100.

Trial by

« ZurückWeiter »