Senate Resolution on Appointment of Charles C. Pinckney
[5 June 1797]
Resolved that the1 Senate do advise and consent to the appointment of Chas. Cotesworth Pinckney as one of 3. envoys extraordinary and Min. Plenipotentiary with joint and several powers to the2 republic of France.
MS (DNA: RG 46, Senate Records, 5th Cong., 1st sess.); entirely in TJ’s hand; with emendations as noted below; conjoined with canceled passage at top of page in TJ’s hand: “and encouraging the importation thereof,” being a note on the Senate’s consideration of “A Bill Prohibiting for a limited time, the exportation of Arms and Ammunition, and for encouraging the importation thereof,” legislation passed earlier on 5 June, with the expanded title; endorsed in clerk’s hand: “Statement of question on Nomination Ministers plenipo: Repub France June 5th 1797. L. 5th Con: 1 Sess.” Printed in executive journal under this date (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828 description ends , i, 243).
This was the first of three resolutions passed by the Senate on 5 June 1797, consenting to the appointments of Charles C. Pinckney, Francis Dana, and John Marshall, respectively, as envoys extraordinary to France as recommended by John Adams in his letter of nomination submitted to the Senate on 31 May. When Dana declined to serve, Adams on 20 June sent the nomination of his friend Elbridge Gerry to the Senate without consulting his cabinet, who had earlier opposed Gerry for the position. The debate on the appointment has not been preserved but Gallatin noted “The real reason of the opposition was that Gerry is a doubtful character, not British enough; but the ostensible pretence was that he was so obstinate that he would not make sufficient concessions.” The Senate confirmed Gerry’s appointment, with six dissenting Federalist votes, on 22 June (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828 description ends , i, 241–5; Henry Adams, The Life of Albert Gallatin [Philadelphia, 1879], 185; Alexander De-Conde, The Quasi-War: The Politics and Diplomacy of the Undeclared War with France 1797–1801 [New York, 1966], 28–9).
1. TJ first wrote “Resolved that it is the opinion” before altering the passage to read as above.
2. TJ here canceled “French.”