Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Monroe, 2 April 1794

From James Monroe

Phila. April 2. 1794.

Dear Sir

A committee of the H. of R. sits daily to provide funds for equiping the fleet and other measures connected with the exigency of the times. They have finally I believe agreed on nothing as yet, tho the fiscal party are for excises on tea &ca. The citizen party are for a land-tax, but seem backward on the subject in every view; regret that an occasion has been made for any great increase; this subject will take time. The fiscal party say to the other, you have taken the business from the Trsy. department, shew yourselves equal to it, and bring forward some system. The latter replies, the practice of reference has been condemned by the publick voice as other things will be when understood; the rejection of it is a triumph of the people and of the constitution over theirs and its abuse: but the provision of taxes is not the duty of those who have been more active in the rejection than of those who opposed it. If it is more the duty of one than the other side, it is particularly that of those who have made taxes necessary. The arrival by way of Hallifax of an account of some relaxation in […] from the orders of the 8. of Jany. suspe[nds the?] proceeding on the sequestration of debts. […] [Ross fr]om Washington is elected in the place of Gal[latin. He is?] perhaps not altogether the man whom the republicans would have chosen: but by them he was elected in opposition to one Coleman, from Lancaster county. Sincerely I am yr. friend & sevt.

Jas. Monroe

RC (DLC); parts of several lines torn and mutilated; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson […]”; franked and postmarked; endorsed by TJ as received 16 Apr. 1794 and so recorded in SJL.

Practice of reference: for Republican opposition to the practice in the House of Representatives of making legislative references to the Secretary of the Treasury, see Memorandum on References by Congress to Heads of Departments, [10 Mch. 1792], and note. The House’s recent rejection of a proposal for such a request is described in James Madison to TJ, 31 Mch. 1794, and note. The account of some relaxation, which appeared in the Philadelphia Gazette of 28 Mch. 1794, was a text of the British order in council of 8 Jan. 1794 revoking that of 6 Nov. 1793 and promulgating new restrictions that allowed the United States to carry on noncontraband trade with the French West Indies directly, though not to participate in the trade between those islands and France. President Washington submitted a text to Congress on 4 Apr. 1794 (Ritcheson, Aftermath of Revolution, description begins Charles R. Ritcheson, Aftermath of Revolution: British Policy Toward the United States, 1783–1795, Dallas, 1969 description ends 302–5; ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Foreign Relations, i, 429, 431).

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