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Federal funds, raised hopes, which were disappointed by the refusal of Rhode Island to agree to the tax. The welcome intelligence was conveyed, on May 28, that the King of France had granted a subsidy of 6,000,000 livres tournois, and had taken steps to enable Franklin to borrow 4,000,000
What appeared to be inevitable bankruptcy was thus averted. Fortunately, also, there was a Superintendent of Finance, and, on May 26, the Bank of North America was established.
The evident fact that the war was drawing to a close served to show all the more clearly how feeble the Government would be, when its energies should be relaxed in peace.
On January 17 the battle of the Cowpens was won by Daniel Morgan; other fighting in the Southern Department, during the year, was, in the main, successful to the American forces; the juncture was effected with the French fleet under De Grasse; Cornwallis surrendered October 19.
The peace negotiations became active. On June 11 the mission to France was made a commission, with Franklin, Jay, Adams, Henry Laurens, and Jefferson as members; but Laurens and Jefferson did not serve. The commissioners were instructed, June 15, to require recognition of the independence of the United States by Great Britain, as a condition of any treaty of peace.
These volumes have been belated in coming from the press. They should have appeared last summer; but, although the copy was in the printer's hands in due season, twice the condition of the Library's allotment for printing required the postponement of the publication. The delay has been productive of some benefit, however, since it has encouraged a further revision of the copy, and the proper placing of a few reports which had, at first, eluded identification.
As the work progresses the editorial difficulties do not decrease. The Journal itself becomes meager for the latter part of the year 1781; for some days there are only a few lines of entry; but the collateral papers for these dates are numerous, and their identification requires much painstaking comparison and extensive research. The result, however, is of such unquestionable historic value that it fully repays the time and labor which are expended upon it.
GAILLARD HUNT Chief of Division of Manuscripts, Editor HERBERT PUTNAM
Librarian of Congress, July, 1912
JOURNALS OF THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS
MONDAY, JANUARY 1, 1781 A letter, of December 20, from General Washington, was read: 1
Ordered, That it be referred to a committee of three:
The members, Mr. (John) Sullivan, Mr. (James Mitchell] Varnum, Mr. [Theodorick] Bland.
The delegates for Virginia laid before Congress a letter, of 28, from Colonels Mathews and Febiger, which was read; Whereupon,
On motion of Mr. (James) Madison, seconded by Mr. (John) Sullivan,
Resolved, That in the new arrangement of the army it is the sense of Congress, that the officers of the continental lines, who have been exchanged since the said arrangement, or are now in captivity, ought to be considered and arranged according to their respective ranks, in the same manner with those who have not been prisoners.3
A letter, of 23 December, from the Board of War, was read: 4
Ordered, That it be referred back to the Board of War.
A letter, of 27 December, from General Washington, and a letter of
from the president of the State of Newhampshire, were read."
* This letter is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 152, IX, folio 405. It is printed in The Writings of Washington (Ford), IX, 68. 2 This letter is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 78, XVI, folio 109.
3 A copy of this resolution, as an extract from the minutes, is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 41, II, folio 174.
* This letter is in the Papers of the Continental Congess;t No. 148, I, folio 265. 5 Washington's letter is in the Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 152, IX, folio 421; the New Hampshire letter, dated December 19, 1780, is in No. 64, folio 162.
The report of the committee on Mr. J. Adams' letter of 23 August, was called for, and, after debate,
Ordered, That it be recommitted.
A motion was then made by Mr. (James] Madison, seconded by Mr. [Thomas] Bee,
That so much of the letter from Mr. Adams as relates to the probable operations of the enemy against the southern states be transmitted to the Commander in Chief; and that he be informed that it is the desire of Congress that he should immediately make such a distribution of the forces under his command, including those of our allies under the Count de Rochambeau as will most effectually counteract the views of the enemy and support the southern states.
A motion was made by Mr. [William] Sharpe, seconded by Mr. [James Mitchell] Varnum, to strike out the latter clause from the word "chief” to the end, and on the question, shall those words stand, the yeas and nays being required by Mr. [Richard] Howly, New Hampshire,
ay} ay Massachusetts Bay,
Bland, Mr. Ward,
North Carolina, (Rhode Island]
Mr. Burke, Mr. Varnum, no } no
ay ay New York,
ay Mr. Floyd,
no } no Georgia, Pennsylvania,
ay Mr. Montgomery,
no ay Clymer,
ay So it passed in the negative, and the words were struck out.
It was then moved by Mr. [Thomas] Burke, seconded by Mr. (William] Sharpe, to insert, in lieu of the words struck out;
no } *