James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Jonathan Trumbull, 3 March 1809

From Jonathan Trumbull

Connecticut—Hartford 3d March 1809.


In compliance with a request of the Legislature of this State, I have the honor to transmit the inclosed Resolutions which have been passed by them during their Session which is just now closed.1 With great Consideration & respect I have the honor to be sir Your Obet & hume Servant

Jona Trumbull.

RC (DLC). Enclosures not found, but see n. 1.

1Following passage of the Enforcement Act, Governor Trumbull called a special session of the Connecticut legislature. In his opening address Trumbull alluded to Secretary Dearborn’s letter to the several governors asking them to prevent further evasions of the Embargo by implementing the legislation and thus “put an end to this scandalous insubordination.” Instead, Trumbull told the legislators that the Enforcement Act itself contained “many very extraordinary, not to say unconstitutional provisions for its execution,” and he called on the body “to devise such constitutional measures as in their wisdom may be judged proper to avert the threatening evil.” The Connecticut legislators approved of Trumbull’s refusal to enforce the offending federal statute and maintained that they had “a sense of paramount public duty … to abstain from any agency in the execution of measures, which are unconstitutional and despotic.” Trumbull’s speech and the lawmakers’ defiant resolutions, which were enclosed, are found in the American Register description begins American Register, or General Repository of History, Politics, and Science (7 vols.; Philadelphia and Baltimore, 1807–11). description ends , 5:176–77, 179–81.

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