Notes for Speech in Congress
[22 April 1790]
- No security for final balances
- Criterion of federalism—
- —consistent with former argts.
- —inconsistency on other side
- —distrust of States—goes to private debts &c.
- Criterion of nationality
- —threat from Cont. vs fedl Dbts & Govt.
- —offend ½ Sts—especially N. Carolina
- no Sts call for it but S. Carolina
- —concentrate debts still more in one part
- —prolong the national evil of Nat. debt
- Sts can pay sooner
- —not true that more funds given up than
- proportion of fedl. quotas—
- —case of Genessee lands1
- Not just—proper to know its operation
- on every State. Virga. Col: Bland
- —paid not less during war
- —paid off her own debt
- —ultimately Creditor
- yet advance now—& beyond ratio of ⅙
—will pay near ⅕ ratio ⅙ —little more received 1/7
—Massts. pay little more than 1/7 ratio 1/7 & ½ —receive more than ⅕
- This disproportion increased by
- —drawbacks on salt &c.
- —by coasting & land imports
- —by probable accumulation of State Dbts
- Col: Bland supposes
- 1. assumption to look
- 2. Virga. not to pay after it
- Relieve State from 1/7 by imposing ⅕–3 Mil: 5 dr
- plundered—district from due share of 3 by impose
- more than share of 5. Million
- Mode of excises obnoxious
- —unequal among Sts & individls.
- —arbitrary & vexatious
- —frauds & perjuries, part[icular]ly
- —Seller charge more than tax
- —more expensive in collection
- in G. B. 10 Pt. direct taxes less than 3 Pt.
- —discourage manufactures America has
- run from one extreme to another—
- case of Maryland Constitution
- Not equalize condition of Citizens
- —public debt—a private debt
- —internal private debts of Va.
- —British debts £1,500,000
- —payable at once
- —Money sent [out] of Country
- —not urged as just tho’ accumulated by war
- —enforced by estabt. of New Govt.
- Massts—Genessee lands
- State of S. Carolina—hard
Distrust of Sts— ☞ sd. Sts done all they cd.
- 1—partial subscription of Credrs.
- 2. Who & how discriminate nature of debts
- 3. Compound Certificates
- 4. Certificates not bearing interest
- 5. paper money of States
- 6. private transactions referring to
State certificates & State paper money.
- 7. Depreciation made up in some States
to more of army than in others—
- 8. Some States have provided for army
in ways not forming an existing dbt.
- 9. State debts in part unliquidated
—as Illinois claims— if rejected unjust if admitted dangerous
- 10. Kentucky Indian Expeditions since peace
- 11. Case of 500,000 drs. liquidd. to Va. by Comsrs.2
- 12 Is it meant to provide funds now?
Not beneficial to Natl. Govt. in
Not equalizing not practicable
Since 31. Mar: 1783 pd. to Treay. U. S.
|Old money paid in|
|On requisitions of 93,000,000||for which New 1|
|Specie||Old paper money prior to 1780||Specifics||for 40 to issue3|
|N. H||—||3,000,000||New Emission||Specie||value||N. H.||5,200,000|
|R. I||49,417||1,401,988||R. I||2,593,353|
|N. York||17,224||2,760,438||N. Y||7,905,355|
|N. Jersy||53,993||1,647,370||5,149||N. J||6,826,675|
|N. Ca.||—||2,380,000||N. C||—|
|S. C.||343,301||—||S. C.||87,925||S. C||—|
Aggregate of Specie & Indents pd. before & after peace4
Ms (DLC). In JM’s hand. Listed under date of February 1790 in the Index to the James Madison Papers. Undoubtedly these notes were made by JM as a memorandum for his speech of this day in the assumption debate.
1. The Genesee lands in western New York were acquired by Massachusetts in 1786. In April 1788 Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham contracted to purchase this tract from the legislature for £300,000 in Massachusetts currency, payable in depreciated state securities. The purchase was never consummated, however, owing to difficulties from securing Indian titles and from the rise in value of the securities (in anticipation of the federal assumption of state debts). In March 1790 they returned two-thirds of the purchase to the state.
2. In 1787 the commissioners for settling accounts awarded Virginia $500,000 as compensation for its cession of the Northwest Territory (PJM description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (vols. 1–10, Chicago, 1962–77; vols. 11—, Charlottesville, Va., 1977—). description ends , X, 353–54 n. 1).
3. JM’s figures in this column agree with those in the statement appended to Secretary Hamilton’s report of 11 May 1790 to the House (ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, 1832–61). description ends , Finance, I, 58–59).
4. Except for a slightly lower specie sum for New Jersey, and lower indent sums for Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, JM’s figures match those in Hamilton’s report (ibid., I, 54).