Alexander Hamilton Papers
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From Alexander Hamilton to John Jay, [13 November 1790]

To John Jay

[Philadelphia, November 13, 1790]

My Dear Sir

I inclose you copies of two resolutions1 which have passed the house of representatives of Virginia. Others had been proposed and disagreed to. But the war was still going on. A spirited remonstrance to Congress is talked of.

This is the first symptom of a spirit which must either be killed or will kill the constitution of the United States. I send the resolutions to you that it may be considered what ought to be done.

Ought not the collective weight of the different parts of the Government to be employed in exploding the principles they contain? This question arises out a sudden & indigested thought.

I remain Dr Sir   Your Affectionate & Obedient   hum servant

A Hamilton

Chief Justice of the U States

ALS, Columbia University Libraries.

1These two resolutions were adopted on November 3 and 5 respectively.

The resolution of November 3 reads as follows:

Resolved, that it is the opinion of this committee, That so much of the act of Congress, entitled ‘an act making provision for the debt of the United States;’ as assumes the payment of the State debts, is repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, as it goes to the exercise of a power not expressly granted to the General Government.” (Journal of the House of Delegates of Virginia description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia … one thousand seven hundred and ninety (Richmond, 1828). description ends , 1790, 35–36.)

The resolution of November 5 reads:

Resolved, that it is the opinion of this committee, That so much of the act, entitled ‘an act making provision for the debt of the United States,’ as limits the right of the United States in their redemption of the public debt, is dangerous to the rights and subversive of the interest of the people, and demands the marked disapprobation of the General Assembly.” (Journal of the House of Delegates of Virginia description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia … one thousand seven hundred and ninety (Richmond, 1828). description ends , 1790, 38.)

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