James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Monroe, 8 April 1814

From James Monroe

Department of State April 8 1814


In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 2d inst, I have the honor to transmit lists of the Ministers and Consuls of the United States who have been appointed, since the adoption of the Constitution, by the respective President’s of the United States, in the recess of the Senate; distinguishing the cases in which the respective appointments had not been before filled, from those which had been previously filled; and specifying by the dates of the letters of recall when the latter became vacant, in the case of Ministers.1

Altho’ strictly construed, the Resolution did not appear to carry the research back to a period anterior to the commencement of the present Government, yet the journals of the old Congress have been carefully examined and notice taken of appointments made under the confederation, of Ministers and Consuls to Governments and places, to which appointments were afterwards made under the present Government.

To these lists are added, copies of the Commissions granted to Albert Gallatin, John Q. Adams and James A Bayard to negotiate and sign a Treaty of Commerce with Great Britain, and a Treaty of commerce with Russia.2 With great respect I have the honor to be, Sir, your Ob Set.

Jas. Monroe

RC and enclosure (DNA: RG 46, Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages, 13A-E3). RC in a clerk’s hand, signed by Monroe. JM forwarded the report to the Senate on 9 Apr. 1814 (ibid.). For surviving enclosure, see n. 1.

1William W. Bibb introduced the resolution in the Senate on 2 Apr. 1814. The same day, in the course of arguing against Christopher Gore’s resolutions challenging the recess appointments of Gallatin, Adams, and Bayard (see Monroe to JM, 28 Mar. 1814, n. 2), Outerbridge Horsey presented a list of nineteen such appointments made by preceding administrations to newly established diplomatic positions. Most of these were included in the tables submitted by Monroe (2 pp.; printed in ASP, Miscellaneous, description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, 1832–61). description ends 2:243–44), which listed twenty-seven ministerial and secretarial recess appointments, nineteen of which were for positions being filled for the first time under the federal Constitution, and sixty-six consular and commercial agent recess appointments, of which twenty-six were for positions never previously filled. Answering the arguments of his opponents on 12 Apr., Gore undertook to demonstrate that several of the Washington appointments on the lists were made under circumstances that disqualified them as precedents for JM’s appointments of Gallatin, Adams, and Bayard, and dismissed as unconstitutional those made during John Adams’s and Thomas Jefferson’s administrations. Evidently less than overwhelmed by these efforts, Gore’s fellow senators thereupon postponed consideration of his resolutions until the next session of Congress (Annals of Congress, description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends 13th Cong., 2d sess., 705–22, 740–59).

2The enclosures have not been found, but for the commissions, see PJM-PS, description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends 6:210 n.

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