From Joseph Jones
Fredg. 25th. Janry. 1794
I have yours1 inclosing a paper of the 20th. inst. which rather weakens than strengthens the report of the good fortune of the French in vanquishing and capturing the D. York & his army, and of the retaking Toulon—events if they shall be verified that cannot fail to make a deep impression on the British nation and increase the number of opponents to the prosecution of the War. The vote agt. refering to the S. T. the ways and means for raising the necessary sum for defence2 affords a gleam of hope that the influence of that department has not a majority in your House tho’ I fear it will be found from some determinations in the Senate that the greater number still consists of the old leven. If our legislature shall not by some proper regulations counteract the British policy respecting our commerce and in an effectual manner too, we shall be contemptible in the eyes of all other nations who possess ideas of independence and national honor—these things have to me appeared so proper that I was among the number of those who in this State before general regulations could be effected was disposed to enact laws to counteract so far as we were able the policy of their navigation act.3 It should have been among The first acts of the present general government and now when so many additional reasons concur to justify the measure it is astonishing to find any advocates for continuing the old System which is so pernicious to our prosperity and dishonorable to those who advocate and support it. Success attend your endeavours. Yr. friend & Servt
RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.
1. Letter not found.
2. On 2 Jan. JM voted with the majority when the House amended a resolution appointing a committee to report on the naval force against the Algerine corsairs. The amendment authorized the committee to report on ways and means to defray the expenses of such a force. Referring legislative proposals to congressional committees rather than to the secretary of the treasury was an issue important to Republicans, particularly Jones (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 3d Cong., 1st sess., 154; Jones to JM, 22 Mar. 1792, PJM description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (1 vol. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984—). description ends , 14:259–60 and n. 2).
3. In 1783 the General Assembly adopted a concurrent resolution, drafted by Jones, instructing the Virginia delegation in Congress “that the Legislature approve a treaty of Commerce with Great Britain upon principles of reciprocity” (Instruction to Virginia Delegates, 23–24 May 1783, Jones to JM, 25 May 1783, PJM description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (1 vol. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984—). description ends , 7:69, 77).