James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William W. Hening, 29 July 1799

From William W. Hening

Albemarle 29th. July 1799


The inclosed proceedings upon the claim of Doctr. Inglis before the board of Commissioners under the 6th. article of the treaty of amity &c. between Great Britain & the United States, exhibit the causes of dissension between the commissioners of the two nations.1 It is made public “with a view to general information,” and will, I doubt not, afford you much satisfaction in the perusal, especially when it is perceived that the commissioners on the part of the United States have not yielded to the very extraordinary interpretation sought to be applied to the treaty of 1794 by the commissioners of his Britanic Majesty. I am respectfully yrs.

Wm. W: Hening2

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1Hening evidently enclosed The Claim and Answer with the Subsequent Proceedings, in the Case of the Right Reverend Charles Inglis, against the United States … (Philadelphia, 1799; Evans description begins Charles Evans, ed., American Bibliography … 1639 … 1820 (12 vols.; Chicago, 1903–34). description ends 36504). In examining the claim of Inglis, the former bishop of New York, the U.S. commissioners insisted that claimants should first have pursued their cases through the state courts before carrying them to the board for consideration. The British commissioners opposed this and sought to establish general rules for handling all cases, complaining that continued litigation only added expense and frustration to debts already unpaid. The conflict between the commissioners, which resulted in the breakup of the commission, is laid out in FitzSimons to Wolcott, 3 Sept. 1799, Gibbs, Memoirs of the Administrations of Washington and Adams, 2:262; Rufus King to the secretary of state, 25 May, 14 June, and 11 Oct. 1799, and Robert Troup to King, 2 Sept. 1799, C. R. King, Life and Correspondence of Rufus King, 3:22, 43, 91, 128.

2William Waller Hening (ca. 1767–1828) was born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. He studied law and practiced in Fredericksburg before moving to Albemarle County in 1791. He was best known as a legal writer, especially for his compilation of the laws of Virginia (Hening, Statutes description begins William Waller Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619 (13 vols.; Richmond and Philadelphia, 1819–23). description ends , 1:xxv–xxvi).

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