Notes on Debates
MS (LC: Madison Papers). For a description of the manuscript of Notes on Debates, see Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , V, 231–34.
The Report of Revenue was taken into consideration; and the 5 & 6 paragraphs after discussion being judged not sufficiently explicit were recommitted to be made more so.1
A motion was made by Mr. Clarke 2ded. by Mr. Bland to complete so much of the report as related to an impost on Trade & send it to the States immediately apart from the residue.2
In support of this motion, it was urged that the Impost was distinct in its nature was more likely to be adopted, & ought not therefore to be delayed or hazarded by a connection with the other parts of the Report. On the other side it was contended that it was the duty of Congs. to provide a system adequate to the public exigences; & that such a system wd. be more likely to be adopted by the States than any partial or detached provision, as it would comprize objects agreeable as well as disagreeable to each of the States, and as all of them wd feel a greater readiness to make mutual concessions & to disregard local considerations in proportion to the magnitude of the object held out to them.3
The motion was disagreed to: N. J. being in favor of it & several other States divided.4
1. JM Notes, 20 Mar. 1783, and citations in n. 5. The fifth paragraph of the report recommended that for twenty-five years each state should establish “substantial & effectual revenues,” sufficient to provide its equitable share of an annual unspecified total, which would be applied to the interest and principal of the public debt. These revenues, according to the sixth paragraph, were to be credited to each state “within wch. they shall be collected, and be liquidated & adjusted among the States” proportionately “to the quotas which may from time to time be allotted to them” (Report on Restoring Public Credit, 6 Mar. 1783, and nn. 7–10; JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 171–72). See also Amendment to Report on Public Credit, 27 Mar. 1783.
2. This motion referred to the fourth paragraph of the report, as submitted on 6 March, and to the first three paragraphs, as amended and passed “without opposition” on 18 March 1783 (Report on Restoring Public Credit, 6 Mar. and nn. 1–6; 18 Mar. 1783, and n. 1; JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 170–71).
4. New Jersey and Delaware supported the motion; Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and South Carolina opposed the motion; the ballots of New Hampshire, Virginia, and North Carolina were ineffective because their delegates divided equally in voting; Rhode Island was represented by only one delegate; and Georgia was still unrepresented. Among the Virginia delegates Madison and Mercer voted “no”; Bland and Lee, “ay”; Jones was absent (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 205–6).