<br /> Lee Letter: n705

Washington and Lee University

Sender: James Madison
Recipient: Arthur Lee

Dear Sir

The bill which you lately inclosed to me1 was
duly honored, and the contents of it are in my hands subject to any
order which you may wish to give.

A private letter from Mr. Adams of the 11th of April, informs his
correspondent that Friesland, Holland, Utrecht, Zealand & Overyssel
had taken decided resolutions for a treaty with the U. States, and that
like resolutions might be expected in a few days from the two remaining
provinces. A Leyden paper of posterior date, says that six provinces
had concurred in this measure. This revolution ap[pear]s t[o have] been
exceedingly stimulated by the [… int]erest which apprehended that
if the [. . .] was lost, they might be excluded [. . .]tion from
some of the commercial privileges which England may
obtain.2 It is observed in a long memorial
from the Merchants to the States General3
that, the importance of the American trade was experienced by them very
sensibly prior to the loss of St. Eustatius, as it has been throughout
the war by France; that the Ordinance of Congress agst. British
Manufacturers4 presents a precious season
for substituting those of other nations, & that this season ought
the rather to be improved as nothing will be so likely to open the ears
of G.B. to the demands of the U.S. & to a general Peace, as the
prospect of being supplanted in the commercial preference, which she
still expects from the habits of America.

The trafic with the Enemy’s lines, had increased to so great a degree that
it was thought necessary for Congress to renew their exhortations to
the States upon this subject,5 and to
summ[on …] of the people in aid of the public […]
Resolutions will be laid before you […]tive character. We also
understand […]cious intercourse with the Enemy is carryed on
under collusive captures preconcerted between Vessels from N.Y. &
vessels fitted out on the neighbouring coasts. This abuse lies more
within the purview of Congress and a remedy for it is now under
consideration. If the trade with N.Y. cannot be suppressed by some
means or other it will very shortly steal from us all our hard money,
and render our taxations abortive.

I am Dr. Sir with much respect, Yr obt friend & servt.

J Madison Jr.


Receiver’s copy, Lee Family Papers, Houghton Library, Harvard University.
Madison, Papers (Hutchinson), 4:367 – 68.

1 See ibid., pp. 244 – 45.

2 For the meaning of this fragmentary passage see the second paragraph of the
Virginia delegates’ letter of this date to Benjamin Harrison.

3 This “long memorial” is in Wharton, Diplomatic Correspondence, 5:251 – 54.

4 That is, the ordinance of January 2, for which see John Hanson to the
States, January 6, 1782, note.

5 See Madison to Edmund Randolph, June 18, note 3; and John Hanson to the
States, June 24, 1782.