James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Albert Gallatin, 18 February 1813

To Albert Gallatin

Feby. 18. 1813

For perusal & to be returned.

Why not prohibit altogether fine Cottons & Woolens, which we do not want—& which in fact are not imported from any Country other than G.B. unless bought there from G.B. Such a total prohibition of these & some other Articles perhaps, wd. render a partial repeal of the Non Impn. Act, more operative, than the act at present is, or will be, under the new arts for evading it.1

RC (DLC). Unsigned. Addressee not indicated; identified as Gallatin on the basis of evidence presented in n. 1.

1The pending bill to partially suspend the non-importation laws (see A. Calvin to JM, 17 Feb. 1813, n. 1) specified the continuing prohibition of British woolens and cottons, but only those in certain price ranges. Since Langdon Cheves of the House Ways and Means Committee had sought and received Gallatin’s advice on the drafting of the bill, JM probably wrote this note to suggest that Gallatin encourage the committee to amend the legislation as JM proposed. The question became moot, however, when the House voted on 20 Feb. 1813 to strike the suspension measures from the bill, leaving under consideration only those sections that did not alter the existing non-importation laws (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 12th Cong., 2d sess., 1063–65, 1090–1100).

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