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Resolved that the Executive be requested to take measures for procuring a Statue of General Washington to be of the finest marble and best Workmanship with the following inscription on its pedestal Viz: The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia have caused this Statue to be erected as a monument of affection and Gratitude to George Washington who uniting to the endowments of the...
Mr. M & Mr Grayson present their complts to Mr. King and beg leave to inform him that the doors of the Assembly were shut on a letter from Col Carrington & Col. Lee, which Mr. Grayson saw but did not sign for reasons irrelative to the present subject. Mr. M. was in the Legislature at the time and knows the cause was very different from the one mentioned to Mr. King. Both of them are satisfied...
Among the confederacies of antiquity, the most considerable was that of the Grecian republics associated under the Amphyctionic council. From the best accounts transmitted of this celebrated institution, it bore a very instructive analogy to the present confederation of the American states. The members retained the character of independent and sovereign states, and had equal votes in the...
To the People of the State of New-York. THE remaining charge against the House of Representatives which I am to examine, is grounded on a supposition that the number of members will not be augmented from time to time, as the progress of population may demand. It has been admitted that this objection, if well supported, would have great weight. The following observations will shew that like...
To the People of the State of New-York. A FIFTH desideratum illustrating the utility of a senate, is the want of a due sense of national character. Without a select and stable member of the government, the esteem of foreign powers will not only be forfeited by an unenlightened and variable policy, proceeding from the causes already mentioned; but the national councils will not possess that...
To the People of the State of New-York. FROM the more general enquiries pursued in the four last papers, I pass on to a more particular examination of the several parts of the government. I shall begin with the House of Representatives. The first view to be taken of this part of the government, relates to the qualifications of the electors and the elected. Those of the former are to be the...
To the People of the State of New-York. THE number of which the House of Representatives is to consist, forms another, and a very interesting point of view under which this branch of the federal legislature may be contemplated. Scarce any article indeed in the whole constitution seems to be rendered more worthy of attention, by the weight of character and the apparent force of argument, with...
The examples of antient confederacies, cited in my last paper, have not exhausted the source of experimental instruction on this subject. There are existing institutions, founded on a similar principle, which merit particular consideration. The first which presents itself is the Germanic body. In the early ages of Christianity Germany was occupied by seven distinct nations, who had no common...
To the People of the State of New-York. HAVING examined the constitution of the house of representatives, and answered such of the objections against it as seemed to merit notice, I enter next on the examination of the senate. The heads into which this member of the government may be considered, are—I. the qualifications of senators—II. the appointment of them by the state legislatures—III....
The United Netherlands are a confederacy of republics, or rather of aristocracies, of a very remarkable texture; yet confirming all the lessons derived from those which we have already reviewed. The union is composed of seven co-equal and sovereign states, and each state or province is a composition of equal and independent cities. In all important cases not only the provinces, but the cities...
To the People of the State of New-York. THE second charge against the House of Representatives is, that it will be too small to possess a due knowledge of the interests of its constituents. As this objection evidently proceeds from a comparison of the proposed number of representatives, with the great extent of the United States, the number of their inhabitants, and the diversity of their...
To the People of the State of New-York. TO what expedient then shall we finally resort for maintaining in practice the necessary partition of power among the several departments, as laid down in the constitution? The only answer that can be given is, that as all these exterior provisions are found to be inadequate, the defect must be supplied, by so contriving the interior structure of the...
To the People of the State of New-York. THE third charge against the House of Representatives is, that it will be taken from that class of citizens which will have least sympathy with the mass of the people, and be most likely to aim at an ambitious sacrifice of the many to the aggrandizement of the few. Of all the objections which have been framed against the Fœderal Constitution, this is...
To the People of the State of New-York. IT may be contended perhaps, that instead of occasional appeals to the people, which are liable to the objections urged against them, periodical appeals are the proper and adequate means of preventing and correcting infractions of the Constitution . It will be attended to, that in the examination of these expedients, I confine myself to their aptitude...
To the People of the State of New-York. THE next view which I shall take of the House of Representatives, relates to the apportionment of its members to the several States, which is to be determined by the same rule with that of direct taxes. It is not contended that the number of people in each State ought not to be the standard for regulating the proportion of those who are to represent the...
My last was of June 20. Your’s received since that date are May 15. and June 6. In mine I acknoleged the receipt of the Paccan nuts which came sealed up. I have reason to believe those in the box are arrived at Lorient. By the Mary Capt. Howland lately sailed from Havre to N. York I shipped three boxes of books one marked I.M. for yourself, one marked B.F. for Doctr. Franklin, and one marked...
A dispute between Mr. Joseph Jones of King George and Mr. William Lee being mutually referred to us: We are of opinion that Mr. Jones never was an enemy to the payment of British or other debts: We are also of opinion that Mr. Lee’s inference respecting the opposition of Mr. Jones to the payment of debts, was founded on Mr. Jones’ support to the prohibitory laws revived last session of...
The Federal Convention plunged into its momentous assignment without great delay chiefly because a prepared outline for a new government was ready for the delegates’ consideration—the so-called Virginia Plan. JM never claimed to be the author of this plan, but his guiding influence in the Virginia caucus, which drafted the resolutions, is beyond dispute. Some weeks before the delegates...
On 5 June, Patrick Henry leveled a lengthy attack on the Constitution. This evoked a Federalist rebuttal in general terms by Governor Randolph and JM’s point-by-point refutation. Mr. Madison then arose—(but he spoke so low that his exordium could not be heard distinctly). I shall not attempt to make impressions by any ardent professions of zeal for the public welfare: we know the principles of...
Nothing of consequence done Ms ( DLC ). Most of this session was spent considering a report on instructions to the superintendent of Indian affairs. The report came from a committee, headed by William Irvine, on which JM served ( JCC Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). , XXXII, 66–69).
I offer you my sincere acknowledgments for your two favors of May 7th. and Augst: 1. The latter has been rendered particularly valuable by the acquaintance it has afforded me with Monsr. Crevecoeur who has already verified the character under which you present him. The paper which I inclose for Mr. Jefferson will shew you the result of the Convention. The nature of the subject, the diversity...
Whereas by the 4th art: of the Definitive Treaty of peace between the U. S. of America & G. B. it was stipulated among other things by the contracting parties, “that Creditors on either side shall meet with no lawful impediment to the recovery of the full value in sterling money of all bona fide debts heretofore contracted”. Be it therefore enacted by the Genl. Assembly that so much of all...
The arrival of R. H. Lee yesterday has made up a Quorum of the Senate. A Quorum in the other House was made on wednesday last. The ballots will be opened today unless an indisposition of Mr. Basset should prevent, which was not probable yesterday afternoon. The notifications to the President & Vice President will be left to the Senate. Mr. Charles Thomson will be the Messenger to the former....
I arrived at this place the night before last only, having declined starting from Fredg. at the time I proposed when I parted with you & having staid at Baltimore one day. At the latter place I fell in with the Marquis & had his company thus far. He is proceeding Northwd. as far as Boston from whence he goes to the Indian Treaty at Fort Stanwix & from thence returns to Virga. about the same...
Mr. Madison . I take the liberty Mr. Chairman, at this early stage of the business to introduce to the committee a subject, which appears to me, to be of the greatest magnitude; a subject, Sir, that requires our first attention, and our united exertions. No gentleman here can be unacquainted with the numerous claims upon our justice; nor with the impotency which prevented the late Congress of...
The inclosed papers will give you the latest intelligence from Poughkepsie. It seems by no means certain what the result there will be. Some of the most sanguine calculate on a ratification. The best informed apprehend some clog that will amount to a condition. The question is made peculiarly interesting in this place, by its connexion with the question relative to the place to be recommended...
The importance of the spott at the great Falls of Potowmack, and the value of the property including it appear from the following considerations— First: The singular fitness of the situation for every species of water works. Merchants Mills, Forges, Slitting & Plating Mills, Saw Mills &c. &c. may be erected here with greater advantages from nature than at any place perhaps within the whole...
Inclosed is the final result of our conventional deliberations. The intended address of the minority proved to be of a nature apprehended by me. It was rejected by the party themselves when proposed to them, and produced an auspicious conclusion to the business. As I shall set out in a few days for N. York, I postpone further explanations. I have this instant the communications from N....
I was yesterday favored with yours of the 17th 18th under the same cover with the papers from Mr Pleasants. The Circular letter from this State is certainly a matter of as much regret, as the unanimity with which it passed is matter of surprize. I find it is every where, and particularly in Virginia, laid hold of as the signal for united exertions in pursuit of early amendments. In Pennsylva....
I have at length the pleasure to inclose you the favorable result of the Convention at Boston. The amendments are a blemish, but are in the least Offensive form. The minority also is very disagreeably large, but the temper of it is some atonement. I am assured by Mr. King that the leaders of it as well as the members of it in general are in good humour; and will countenance no irregular...
I have deferred writing since my arrival here in the hourly hope of being enabled to communicate the final news from Poughkepsie. By a letter from Hamilton dated the day before yesterday I find that it is equally uncertain when the business will be closed, and what will be its definitive form. The inclosed gazettes state the form which the depending proposition bears. It is not a little...
I have the pleasure of your’s of the 11 inst. acknowledging mine of the 2d. In some of your letters I observe you do not say whether any have been recd. from me or not. I have not omitted to write in a single instance since our correspondence commenced. The time approaches so nearly now when I shall have an opportunity of asking verbal communications on confidential points that I forbear to...
I have been favored with yours of the 28 Ult: and thank you for the paper which it inclosed. Your arguments appear to me to place the subject to which they relate in its true light, and must be satisfactory to the writer himself whom they oppose, if he can suspend for a moment his preconceived opinions. But whether they should have any effect or not on him, they will unquestionably be of...
Read moved that the term be nine years. Mr. Madison. In order to judge of the form to be given to this institution, it will be proper to take a view of the ends to be served by it. These were first to protect the people agst. their rulers: secondly to protect the people agst. the transient impressions into which they themselves might be led. A people deliberating in a temperate moment, and...
Mr. Madison observing to Congs. that he found a settled disinclination in some of the delegations to concur in any conciliatory expedient for defending the Missippi agst. the operation of the vote of seven States , and that it was hence become necessary to attack directly the validity of that measure to the end that the adversaries to it, and particularly the instructed delegations, might at...
Mr. Madison , adverting to Mr. Mason’s objection to the president’s power of pardoning, said, it would be extremely improper to vest it in the house of representatives, and not much less so to place it in the senate; because numerous bodies were actuated more or less by passion, and might in the moment of vengeance forget humanity. It was an established practice in Massachusetts for the...
[ Philadelphia, 19 Aug. 1787 . Recorded in SJL as received 13 Dec. 1787, “(recommendation of Tenche Cox).” Not found.]
The information conveyed in your favor of the 17th. ulto. lays me under great obligations. It was by no means my wish to have imposed the task of so full and particular a view of the subject. The general result in your own mind was all that I had in contemplation. One of the papers herewith enclosed will shew you the state of the election for the Senate in Massts. It was understood here that...
This will be handed to you by Mr. Governeur Morris who will embark in a few days for Havre, from whence he will proceed immediately to Paris. He is already well known to you by character; and as far as there may be a defect of personal acquaintance I beg leave to supply it by this introduction. My two last were of Ocr. 8. & 17th. They furnished a State of our affairs as they then stood. I...
The Committee appd. to confer with the Treasy. Board on the great business of a final settlemt. of the accts. of the U. States, reported that they be discharged; and the Board instructed to report an ordinance. Mr. King in explanation sd. that it was the sense of the Commtee and of the Treasy. board both, that Commissrs. shd. be appointed with full & final powers to decide on the claims of the...
Please to pay to the Honble. Edward Carrington or order two hundred and fifty dollars and charge the same against me as Delegate to Congress for the State of Virginia, computing from Ocr. 1st. 1788. RC ( Vi ). Docketed by John Pendleton (state auditor).
My last was intended for the Augst. Packet and put into the hands of Commodore Paul Jones. Some disappointments prevented his going, and as he did not know but its contents might be unfit for the ordinary conveyance, he retained it. The precaution was unnecessary. For the same reason the delay has been of little consequence. The rule of secresy in the Convention rendered that as it will this...
MS ( NA : PCC , No. 23, fol. 161). Undated and unsigned but in JM’s hand. That the district which may be ceded to & accepted by Congress for their permanent residence, ought to be entirely exempted from the authority of the State ceding the same; and the organization & administration of the powers of Govt. within the sd. district concerted between Congress & the inhabitants thereof. For...
I have just recd. your favor of the 18 inst: inclosing one from my amiable friend Mrs. Trist. I feel pathetically for her in case she should have proceeded down the river before the news of Mr. Trist’s death got to Fort Pitt. The situation in which she will find herself at the end of her voyage bereft of the object of her pursuit, and surrounded wholly by strangers whose very language will be...
The sanction given by your favor of the 12th inst. to my desire of remunerating the genius which produced Common Sense, led to a trial for the purpose. The gift first proposed was a moiety of the tract on the Eastern Shore, known by the name of “the Secretary’s land.” The easy reception it found induced the friends of the measure to add the other moity to the proposition, which would have...
I was yesterday favored with yours of the 17th. 18th. under the same cover with the papers from Mr. Pleasants. The Circular letter from this State is certainly a matter of as much regret, as the unanimity with which it passed is matter of surprize. I find it is every where, and particularly in Virginia, laid hold of as the signal for united exertions in pursuit of early amendments. In...
Inclosed is the account on which my claim is founded for another quarters advance; for which I have drawn a bill on the Treasurer in favor of Messrs. Wests Merchts. of this City. I was so unlucky as to make out & dispose of the bill before I adverted to the surplus of £14. advanced for the last quarter by mistake of your Clerk. I could not therefore correct the error at this time. In my next...
In pursuance of the plan intimated in my last I came to this City about three weeks ago, from which I continued my trip to New York. I returned last night and in a day or two shall start for Virginia. Col. Monroe had left Philada. a few days before I reached it, on his way to a treaty to be held with the Indians about the end of this month on the Wabash. If a visit to the Eastern States had...
No question has been yet taken by which the strength of parties can be determined. The calculations on different sides do not accord; each making them under the bias of their particular wishes. I think however the friends of the Constitution are most confident of superiority; and am inclined myself to think they have at this time the advantage of 3 or 4 or possibly more in point of number. The...
The second resolution of the Virginia Plan was under consideration. JM’s suggestion that the words “or to the number of free inhabitants” be struck out to avoid diversionary debates had led to a number of motions. JM finally moved “in order to get over the difficulties, the following resolution—‘that the equality of suffrage established by the articles of Confederation ought not to prevail in...