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301Census, [8 February] 1790 (Madison Papers)
A six-month time limit was proposed to complete the census. Mr. Madison said, that some states had been in the practice of taking a census, but to others it was a new business; and this consideration should demand a longer time. But there was another consideration—the marshal might die, during the time of transacting his business; the President must be made acquainted with this, and it would...
Pardon the liberty I take in addressing myself to you, who I have not the Honor to be Known to. My presuming on this freedom, is as much from the severity of my present unhappy Situation, as from a persuasion, that you are a Gentleman of Humanity who can make allowances for improprieties, which are the Offspring of Necessity and real distress: The World sir has severely frown’d upon me, and...
By the last mail I acknowledged the receipt of your favor of the 9th. Ult: and hazarded a few remarks on the subject of that of Sepr. last from Paris. The newspapers forwarded by me from time to time will have exhibited something of the complexion of the politics here, particularly as they relate to the public debt. On this subject the H. of Reps. is at this moment deliberating. All that can...
FitzSimons presented an address of the fall 1789 meeting of the Quakers of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and the western parts of Maryland and Virginia. Laurance presented one from the New York Quakers. These petitions urged Congress to consider measures leading to the abolition of the slave trade. A debate arose over a motion to refer the petitions to a committee. Mr. Madison. The...
On 8 February the Committee of the Whole took up Secretary Hamilton’s report on public credit. FitzSimons submitted eight resolutions which served as a framework for the debate. The first declared “that adequate provision ought to be made for fulfilling the engagements of the United States, in respect to their foreign debt.” This passed unanimously. The second resolution called for “the...
By the last mail I acknowledged the receipt of your favor of the 9th. Ult: and hazarded a few remarks on the subject of that of Sepr. last from Paris. The newspapers forwarded by me from time to time will have exhibited something of the complexion of the politics here, particularly as they relate to the public debt. On this subject the H. of Reps. is at this moment deliberating. All that can...
A memorial from the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, signed by Benjamin Franklin and calling upon Congress to give its “serious attention to the subject of slavery” and to “step to the very verge” of its powers to discourage the slave trade, was read. Debate resumed on a motion to commit the Quaker petition that had been presented the previous day and read a second time on this day....
Since my Respects of 6 October, I have your favor of 21 June by Mr James, who did not come here, but sent it from London. I should have been happy to have attended to him had he passed this way. It is not in my power by this opportunity to hand you Sales of your Tobaccoes by the Venus and Cyrus—this last named Consignment is under considerable Inconvenience & disadvantage for having been...
We proceed slowly in business. The Report of Mr. Hamilton has been, of late, the principal subject of debate. On the foreign debt the vote has been unanimous. On the domestic, a reduction of the transferred principal has been brought into view by several arguments and propositions. My idea is that there should be no interference of the public in favour of the public either as to principal or...
I received your favor of Jan. 24. the day before yesterday; the President’s of the 21st. was 16 days getting to my hands. I write him by this occasion my acceptance, and shall endeavor to subdue the reluctance I have to that office which has increased so as to oppress me extremely. The President pressed my coming on immediately, and I have only said to him in general that circumstances,...
Letter not found. 14 February 1790. Acknowledged in Carrington to JM, 2 Mar. 1790 . Explains his motion in Congress to discriminate between the original and present holders of public securities.
I received your favor of Jan. 24. the day before yesterday; the President’s of the 21st. was 16 days getting to my hands. I write him by this occasion my acceptance, and shall endeavor to subdue the reluctance I have to that office which has increased so as to oppress me extremely. The President pressed my coming on immediately, and I have only said to him in general that circumstances,...
We proceed slowly in business. The Report of Mr. Hamilton has been, of late, the principal subject of debate. On the foreign debt the vote has been unanimous. On the domestic, a reduction of the transferred principal has been brought into view by several arguments and propositions. My idea is that there should be no interference of the public in favour of the public either as to principal or...
I take the liberty to ask your attention to that part of the domestic debt which is registered in the name of foreigners. There are circumstances attending this portion of the debt which, in addition to the usual obligations of justice, give peculiar force & solemnity to the demands of present holders of the Certificates. It should be observed that the first transfers of the domestic debt to...
I have taken the liberty of inclosing you copies of a number of letters I have written to a friend in Congress published at his request relating to the important subject of finance now before that honorable body. The practicability of effecting a separate provision for original holders, I am well convinced of. I have carried into effect a similar plan in Penna. adopted by the Legislature with...
I expected that the establishment of the federal Goverment, and the reformation of the Constitution of Pennsylvania would have gratified all my wishes for the prosperity of my Country, and have left me to enjoy in private life the pleasures of science and professional pursuits. But I find I cannot be an indifferent Spectator of the great Question which now agitates your house. It involves in...
On 15 February the Committee of the Whole resumed consideration of JM’s amendment. JM listened silently for the next three days as numerous speakers attacked his proposal. Mr. Madison next rose and observed that the opponents of his proposition had imposed on its friends not only a heavy task, by the number of their objections, but a delicate one by the nature of some of them. It had been...
Speaking against JM’s motion, Burke said that many officers and soldiers had received conspicuous marks of gratitude for their services, notably in appointments to civil offices. Mr. Madison. If paper, or the honor of statues or medals, can discharge the debts of justice, payable in gold and silver, we can not only exonerate ourselves from those due to the original holders, but from those of...
I return Mr Jefferson’s letter with thanks for the perusal of it. I am glad he has resolved to accept the appointment of Secretary of State, but sorry it is so repugnant to his own inclinations that it is done. Sincerely & Affectly I am—Yrs ALS , NjP : Straus Autograph Collection. Madison had undoubtedly shown GW the letter Jefferson had written to him from Monticello on 14 Feb. 1790. The...
I have taken the Liberty of requesting the favour of you to transact an affair of the greatest consequence to my poor Brother George’s Estate, his Acct with united States as an Officer of the 3d Regiment of Light Dragoon, is yet unsettled, a Statement of which by Capt: Barret one of his officers and also his Deposition respecting the Accts: are in Mr. Pearce’s office, or with the Commissioners...
After the defeat of JM’s discrimination amendment, the second and third resolutions proposed by FitzSimons (on 8 February) were approved. The fourth resolution, “That the debts of the respective states ought, with the consent of the creditors, to be assumed and provided for by the United States,” had been under consideration for two days. Mr. Madison Observed, on the measure, that the...
You’ll be pleasd to accept my thanks for your favour of the 31st ulto which I recievd in due time. I am by no means astonishd at the reports of the two Secretaries given rise to a variety of opinions. The subjects to which they refer are both incricate [ sic ], and the interest of different persons will induce them to adopt various opinions. Mr. Hamilton’s plan, altho it discovers knowledge &...
With this letter you will receive a Pamphlet, you was so obliging as to lend me, & which from inadvertency I never returned. I was much surprised on opening my things here to find it among them. I congratulate you most heartily on the facility you are likely to meet with in the various objects of the Legislature. It was always my opinion that you might be bolder, particularly in your...
JM’s amendment to the assumption resolution was still before the Committee of the Whole. On 25 February, White moved to confine the assumption to the surplus funds a state had “advanced beyond its just and equal proportion of the expences, incurred in the defence of the common rights of America.” After two days’ debate, this motion was defeated by a vote of 32 to 18. Mr. Madison Then begged...
I have not yet recd. a single line from Orange since I left it. The letter from my brother when at Alexa. is the only written information that I have had the pleasure of, A few lines from Mr. Hite excepted. These gave me an account of my sisters marriage, and added that about that period my mother was better. I am anxious to hear more on that subject, and indulge my hopes that her health will...
In answer to your polite letter, I have only to repeat my congratulations to you for the honor you have done to the claims of justice and patriotism by your motion. The small number of the minority that rose to support it, does not lessen its merit. The decision upon that great Question will leave a stain upon our Country which no time nor declammation can ever wipe away. History will decide...
I return Mr. Jefferson’s letter with thanks for the perusal of it. I am glad he has resolved to accept the Appointment of Secretary of State, but sorry it is so repugnant to his own inclinations that it is done. Sincerely & Affectly. I am—Yrs. RC ( NjP ); Tr ( MH : Sparks Transcripts). RC addressed by Washington; docketed by JM late in life: “G. Washington—no date / 1789–90.” For dating of the...
Letter not found. 28 February 1790. Acknowledged in Jones to JM, 25 Mar. 1790 . Reports recent illness.
I forgot to take your final opinion last night as to the mode of conveying official communications from the states through the channel of the President to the two federal houses . Whether it will be best to do it Be so good as to say what you think. I must be troublesome to you till I know better the ground on which I am placed. Indeed this consultation is by the desire of the president....
I am informed that a vacancy has happened in the Supreme Court for the Western Territory, which perhaps may not be yet fill’d. I am strongly press’d by my Freinds in the Western Country to solicit the appointment which I confess wou’d be highly agreeable to me. The vacancy I mean is in consequence of the death of General Parsons. If my pretensions shou’d meet your Approbation—your kind offices...