James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Dawson, 27 July 1797

From John Dawson

Philadelphia July 27. 97.

Dear Sir

We have nothing late from Europe—in our committee we go on well, & I have well grounded reasons, which I cannot communicate by letter, to say that we shall bring in some large fish.1

Colo Monroe is here & is very much engaged—he proposes to set out in about a week—in September I expect the pleasure of seeing you as I hope by that time I may with safety leave the committee. Yrs Truly

J Dawson.


1On Saturday, 8 July, a committee was appointed in the House of Representatives to “prepare and report articles of impeachment against William Blount,” a senator from Tennessee, for high crimes and misdemeanors. The committee, composed of Samuel Sitgreaves, Abraham Baldwin, John Dawson, Samuel W. Dana, and Robert Goodloe Harper, was authorized to “send for persons, papers, and records, … sit during the recess of Congress,” and investigate “the whole nature and extent of the offence whereof the said William Blount stands impeached, and who are the parties and associates therein.” Blount, who had been involved in a conspiracy to aid a joint Indian and British attack on Spanish possessions in North America, was expelled from the Senate on 8 July 1797 (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 5th Cong., 1st sess., 43–44, 463–66; Masterson, William Blount, pp. 301–23).

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