James Madison Papers
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Release of Lafayette, [3 March] 1797

Release of Lafayette

[3 March 1797]

On 2 March, Harper (South Carolina) had moved a resolution that the House inform the president of the United States that it would “see with the highest satisfaction, any measures which he may deem expedient to adopt towards effecting the restoration of their said fellow-citizen to liberty” (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 4th Cong., 2d sess., 2362).

Mr. Madison did not think there was time to do all the business requisite to render due justice to the motion, and he hoped the House would do more than was intended by the motion. He believed the only regular mode would be to appoint a committee to bring in a bill. He therefore moved the House to go into a Committee for that purpose.

American Senator, 3:774. The motion failed to pass (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 4th Cong., 2d sess., 2367).

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