Madison, James (1751-1836) to [Gov. Benjamin Harrison] re: provisional peace treaty, Carleton & Washington
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Signed by Madison as "James Madison Jr." Countersigned by Theodorick Bland and John Francis Mercer. Written to Governor Benjamin Harrison of Virginia, as state delegate (per Madison Papers and Library of Congress, Papers of the Members of Congress project). Madison mentions the controversy with slaves ("Negroes") fleeing with British loyalists to Canada. Carlton had argued that owner claims could be made through normal diplomatic channels once a peace treaty had been finalized.
Signer of the U.S. Constitution.
Philada. May 20th 1783.
Your Excellency's favor of the 9th inst: was duly recd. by yesterday's mail. We had communicated to Mr. Thomson the mistake contained [struck: contained] in your preceding letter, relative to a recall of the Territorial Cession, but have now corrected it as you desire.
If our official & joint correspondence with your Excelly [sic] be less circumstantial than that which individual delegates may enter into with their private friends, we persuade ourselves that your Excellency is too sensible both of our public & private respect for your character, to impute to any defect of either. The difference can only proceed from the necessity in the former case of confining ourselves [inserted: not only] to such matters as are [struck: illegible] [inserted: worthy of] the public & for which we can be officially responsible, but to such also with respect to which no dibersity [sic] of private opinions may exist.
Notwithstanding the numerous arrivals from Europe we receive no other information than what passes through the public prints. Sir G. Carlton in answer to a letter from General Washington on the subject of the provisional Treaty repeats the same sentiments regarding the Negroes, which he advanced in the Conference at Orange Town; entering a Caution however against their being considered as a final construction of the article.
We have the honor to be with great esteem
Yr. Excellency's obt. & humble Servants
J. Madison Jr
Thedr . Bland
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