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Mr. George James of Virginia is recommended to me by a friend as of integrity and worth, and on that ground I take the liberty of introducing him to you. He is not sure that his objects in visiting Europe will carry him to Paris, but the possibility of such an event interests him in the means of becoming known to you, and I lend my aid for the purpose the more readily, as it affords an...
Letter not found. 21 June 1789. Acknowledged in Maury to JM, 13 Feb. 1790 (DLC). Introduces George James.
The bill establishing a department of foreign affairs was still being debated in the Committee of the Whole. On 19 June the motion to strike out the clause, “to be removable from office by the President,” was defeated. The objection arose, however, that this clause had the appearance of being a grant of power by the legislature. To avoid this difficulty, Benson moved that whenever the...
Letter not found. 22 June 1789. Acknowledged in Johnston to JM, 8 July 1789 . Encloses President Washington’s reply to the address from North Carolina. Recommends the publication of both the address and the reply.
Accept my acknowledgments for your favor of the 18th. instant. The printed remarks inclosed in it are already I find in the Gazettes here. It is much to be wished that the discon[ten]ted part of our fellow Citizens could be reconciled to the Government they have opposed, and by means as little as possible unacceptable to those who approve the Constitution in its present form. The amendments...
My last stated a question relating to the power of removal from offices then on the anvil of the H. of Rs. I now inclose the discussions as conveyed to the public thro’ the Newspapers. It is not necessary to apprize you that the reasonings on both sides are mutilated, often misapprehended, and not unfrequently reversed. You will perceive yourself that much of the reasoning is also founded on a...
In a letter of March 15. from Mr. Jefferson I am requested to communicate to you the result of his application for leave to make a visit to America. The application was made long ago, but never decided on under the old Congress, nor taken up under the present Government till a few days ago. His wish is now complied with and notice that he has leave of absence will be forwith transmitted...
Objections arose against the clause in the treasury department bill enjoining the secretary “to digest and report plans for the improvement and management of the revenue, and the support of the public credit.” Mr. Madison observed that by looking into the Journals of the late Congress, it would be found that, when the department of finance was established, the same words or very similar words...
The Senate proposed to strike the clause in the tonnage bill providing for discrimination against vessels from countries which had no commercial treaty with the United States. On this clause it was observed, by Mr. Madison, that nothing had been urged at the conference, by the managers on the part of the senate, in favor of this amendment, but what had been repeated over and over again, by the...
Mr. Madison Observed, that the committee had gone through the bill without making any provision respecting the tenure by which the comptroller is to hold his office. He thought it was a point worthy of consideration, and would therefore submit a few observations upon it. It will be necessary, said he, to consider the nature of this office, to enable us to come to a right decision on the...
By this conveyance you will receive permission through Mr. Jay to make your proposed visit to America. I fear it will not reach you in time for your arrival here before the commencement of the windy season; yet I hope the delay will not oblige you to postpone your voyage till the Spring. The federal business has proceeded with a mortifying tardiness; chargeable in part on the incorrect...
The last letter from my brother A. left me in much anxiety for the State of my mother’s health. I have ventured to hope from the silence which has followed, that she has been on the recovery. I wish much to hear oftener from the family than I do and would set the example if other occupations, and particularly a very extensive correspondence would permit. The business goes on still very slowly....
Your favor of May 8th. was duly handed me by Mr. Bro[wn.] I thank you for the information it contains. You are right in su[pposing] that the importance of the Western Country is not sufficiently unders[tood.] Many errors with regard to it have been corrected, but many still lurk in the minds of those who view it at so great distance and through the medium perhaps of local prejudices. I hope...
Letter not found. Ca. 5 July 1789. Acknowledged in Monroe to JM, 19 July 1789 . Reports passage of impost and tonnage bills by Congress.
Letter not found. 12 July 1789. Acknowledged in Jones to JM, ca. 25 July 1789 . Indicates JM’s willingness to correspond with Jones concerning legislative matters.
I am particularly obliged by your favor of the 3d. which incloses your remarks on the Judiciary bill. It came to hand yesterday only, and I have not had time to compare your suggestions with the plan of the Senate. Nor do I know the alterations which may have taken place in it since it has been under discussion. In many points, even supposing the outline a good one, which I have always viewed...
I have been favd. with yours of the 30 Ult. and thank you for your remarks on the Judiciary bill. I am glad to find you concurring in the decision as to the power of removal. It seems to meet with general approbation North of Virga. and there too as far as I yet learn. Mr. Pendleton is fully in opinion with you. So is Monroe I am told . The more the question is weighed the more proper I think...
An annual salary of $5,000 was proposed for the vice-president. White objected to any salary being appropriated to the office. Mr. Madison. I do not concur, Mr. Speaker, in sentiment with my colleague on this subject. I conceive, sir, if the constitution is silent on this point, that it is left to the legislature to decide according to its nature, and its merits. The nature of the office will...
A daily pay of six dollars for both senators and representatives was proposed. Sedgwick moved to reduce the representatives’ pay to five dollars. Mr. Madison Was of opinion that a discrimination was necessary; he observed, that it had been evidently contemplated by the constitution, to distinguish in favor of the senate, that men of abilities and firm principles, whom the love and custom of a...
I inclose herewith the only printed addition which has been made to the sheets of the Journal forwarded by Mr. Hopkins. The bill imposing duties on imports having been published in all the Newspapers as it finally passed both houses I do not inclose it. The bill imposing duties on tonnage has since become a law in the hands of the President, but is not yet in print. The clauses discriminating...
Letter not found. 23 July 1789. Acknowledged in Turner to JM, 2 Aug. 1789 . Discusses the availability of various federal government offices. Recommends that Turner solicit a judgeship in the Northwest Territory.
I was duly honored with your favor of the 8th instant, inclosing a copy of the President’s answer to the address of the Executive of your State. The arrival coincided with the very moment when the subject of amendments had been resumed, and was certainly not an unpropitious circumstance. You will find the result of a committment of the business in the inclosed paper. From the dispatch and...
Your favor of the 15th of June has been some time in my hands, but no opportunity of acknowledging it has hitherto occurred; and I write now more in order to be ready for the first casual conveyance rather than with a reliance on any known one. I do not make use of the mail, because it is rendered ineligible by the delay & uncertainty incident to it. I can not undertake to decide on the merits...
My last inclosed a continuation of the printed Journals of the H. of Reps. I now add two sheets more. They are no otherwise valuable than as they serve to make up an entire sett. The commercial bills are at lengths off our hands. They have been so long delayed that an interregnum of a day or two will take place even in this & the adjacent ports, and an inconvenient one in the distant ports....
I have been some days in debt for your favour of the 19th. Ult. Notwithstanding the time I have been here Taylor has never made any application on the subject of our purchase nor have I ever found that he has himself been in the City. Whence his silence has proceeded I am not able to say. It has frequently occurred to me to write to him, and I should probably have done so long since; had I not...
I am just favd. with yours of the 30th. inst: and am glad to find your sentiments so decided as to the power of removal by the Presidt. Every letter to me, and as far as I know to others here, from Virga. ratifies the propriety of the decision of Congress. Our last discussions of moment have turned on the Compensations. The bill as gone to the Senate, allows Six dollars a day to the members of...
On 21 July, JM moved that the House take up amendments in the Committee of the Whole, as provided in his resolution of 8 June. After some debate, the House referred the 8 June resolution and all the amendments proposed by the state ratifying conventions to a select committee of one member from each state. This committee reported on 28 July ( JM to W. C. Nicholas, 2 Aug. 1789 and n. 1). On 13...
Under consideration was an amendment providing for one representative for every thirty thousand people until the number reached one hundred. Ames proposed a ratio of one for every forty thousand. Mr. Madison. I cannot concur in sentiment with the gentleman last up, that 1 representative for 40,000 inhabitants will conciliate the minds of those to the government, who are desirous of amendments;...
The committee took up the fourth amendment (containing a bill of rights) proposed by the select committee. The first clause, “No religion shall be established by Law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed,” was under discussion. Mr. Madison Said he apprehended the meaning of the words to be, that congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it...
Letter not found. 15 August 1789. Acknowledged in Smith to JM, 22 Sept. 1789 . Discourages Smith’s hopes for a federal appointment.
Tucker moved to strike out, “No state shall infringe the equal rights of conscience, nor the freedom of speech, or of the press, nor of the right of trial by jury in criminal cases.” Mr. Madison Conceived this to be the most valuable amendment on the whole list; if there was any reason to restrain the government of the United States from infringing upon these essential rights, it was equally...
The last proposition of the select committee read: “The powers not delegated by this Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively.” Tucker moved to insert “expressly” before “delegated.” Mr. Madison Objected to this amendment, because it was impossible to confine a government to the exercise of express powers. There must necessarily be admitted...
I have been much delighted with the extract from your collection of fables, and should have told you so sooner, were I less incumbered with a number of involuntary correspondencies, which stand in the way of those which my inclination would cherish. May I hope that “The wise Cooks & foolish Guests” is but a sample of the treat you meditate for your friends, out of the “Aunciente & connynge...
The last 8 or 10 days have been spent on the subject of amendts. The work has been extremely difficult and fatiguing, as well on account of the dilatory artifices of which some of the antifederal members are suspected, as of the diversity of opinions & fancies inseparable from such an Assembly as Congress. At present there is a prospect of finishing to day, the plan so far as it lies with the...
For a week past the subject of amendts. has exclusively occupied the H. of Reps. Its progress has been exceedingly wearisome not only on account of the diversity of opinions that was to be apprehended, but of the apparent views of some to defeat by delaying a plan short of their wishes, but likely to satisfy a great part of their companions in opposition throughout the Union. It has been...
The week past has been devoted to the subject of amendments. All that remains is a formal vote on a fair transcript which will be taken this morning; and without debate I hope as each of the propositions has been agreed to by two thirds of the House. The substance of the report of the Committee of eleven has not been much varied. It became an unavoidable sacrifice to a few who knew their...
The judiciary bill, originating in the Senate, had been sent to the House on 20 July. Consideration of it had been postponed until the House completed the business of amendments to the Constitution. Livermore’s motion to strike the third section (providing for district courts) provoked a lengthy debate as to whether inferior federal tribunals were necessary. Mr. Madison Said it would not be...
The Committee of the Whole took up Scott’s motion of 27 August: “That a permanent residence ought to be fixed for the general government of the United States, at some convenient place, as near the centre of wealth, population, and extent of territory as may be consistent with convenience to the navigation of the Atlantic ocean, and having due regard to the particular situation of the western...
Debate continued on Goodhue’s motion to fix the permanent location of the capital on the east bank of the Susquehanna in Pennsylvania. Mr. Madison Said, if this delay should not have produced any alteration in the sentiments of the gentlemen, it will at least soften that hard decision which seems to threaten the friends of the Potowmack. He hoped that all would concur in the great principle on...
I was favd. on saturday with yours of the 2d. instant. The Judiciary is now under consideration. I view it as you do, as defective both in its general structure, and many of its particular regulations. The attachment of the Eastern members, the difficulty of substituting another plan, with the consent of those who agree in disliking the bill, the defect of time &c. will however prevent any...
Your favor of the 9th. was not received till it was too late to be answered by the last mail. I now beg you to accept my acknowledgments for it. The Newspaper paragraph to which it alludes discoloured much the remarks which it puts in my mouth. It not only omits the occasion which produced them, but interpolates personal reflections which I never meant, wch. could not properly be expressed,...
Goodhue moved to strike $4,500, the proposed salary of the chief justice of the Supreme Court, and insert $3,000 ( Gazette of the U.S. , 23 Sept. 1789). Mr. Madison Said, he did not wish to trouble the committee with a recapitulation of observations respecting the first abilities; but he would observe, that it ought to be considered, that these judges must make a new acquisition of legal...
The seat of government bill was under consideration in the Committee of the Whole. Mr. Madison Felt himself compelled to move for striking out that part of the bill, which provided, that the temporary residence of congress should continue at New-York; as he conceived it irreconcileable with the spirit of the constitution. If it was not from viewing it in this light, he should have given the...
The pressure of unfinished business has suspended the adjournment of Congs. till saturday next. Among other articles which required it was the plan of amendments, on which the two Houses so far disagreed as to require conferences. It will be impossible I find to prevail on the Senate to concur in the limitation on the value of appeals to the Supreme Court, which they say is unnecessary, and...
Burke moved that the House no longer permit reporting of the debates, but he later withdrew the motion. Tucker then moved that the House sanction an accurate and impartial publication of the debates. Mr. Madison Thought it improper to throw impediments in the way of such information, as the house had hitherto permitted from the purest motives; but he believed it equally improper to give the...
The Senate amended the residence bill by substituting for the Susquehanna site a district adjoining Philadelphia, including Germantown. Mr. Madison . However different our sentiments, with respect to the place most proper for the seat of the federal government, I presume we shall all agree, that a right decision is of great importance; and that a satisfactory decision is of equal moment to the...
Debate continued on the Senate amendment to substitute Germantown for the Susquehanna site. Mr. Madison Contended that the amendment proposed by the senate, was a departure from every principle adopted by the house; but he would not trouble them with a recapitulation of arguments, which, he feared, would be unavailing; he wished, however, that the house would provide against one inconvenience,...
I Meant to have acknowledged your favor of the 8th Ult. by your brother, but in the hurry of the occasion missed even the pleasure of seeing him after the adjournment. He will give you the details of our proceedings, particularly on the subject of the seat of Government. I am extremely afraid that the hopes of the Potomac do not rest on so good a foundation as we wish. Every circumstance which...
The bearer will deliver two of your books which have been some time in my hands. I add to them a pamphlet recd. not long since from France. I can not recommend it because I have not read it. The subject tho’ a hackneyed is an interesting one, and the titles of some of the chapters promising. You will soon discover how far it may be worth your perusal. The inclosed letter to Genl. Schuyler...
Letter not found. 5 October 1789, New York. Acknowledged in Schuyler to JM, 1 Nov. 1789 , and enclosed in JM to Hamilton, ca. 5 Oct. 1789 . Asks Schuyler to contact John Taylor of Albany regarding a contract with JM and James Monroe to buy 900 acres in the Mohawk Valley.