To James Madison
Philadelphia Mar. 25. 1800.
Your’s of the 15th. is safely recieved. I percieve by that that I had by mistake sent you Ramsay’s Eulogy instead of Cooper’s smaller pamphlet, which therefore I now inclose, merely for the last paper in it, as the two first were in the copy I first sent you. I inclose also mr Nicholas’s amendment this day proposed to the bill concerning President & V.P. formerly sent you. we expect it will be rejected by 17. to 13. in Senate1 but that it may be brought forward in the lower house with better prospects. we have nothing from Europe but what you will see in the newspapers. the Executive are sending off a frigate to France; but for what purposes we know not. the bankrupt law will pass. a complimentary vote of a medal to Truxton will pass. a judiciary law adding about 100,000 D. to the annual expence of that department is going through the H. of R. a loan of 3½ millions will pass. the money it is said will be furnished by some English houses. bankruptcies continue at Baltimore; and great mercantile distress & stagnation here. the Republican spirit beginning to preponderate in Pennsva, Jersey & N.Y. and becoming respectable in Mass. N. Hampsh. & Connect. of R.I. & Vermont I can say nothing. there are the strongest expectations that the republican ticket will prevail in the city election of N.Y. Clinton, Gates, & Burr are at the head of it. it’s success decides the complexion of that legislature. we expect Gouvr. Morris to be chosen by the present legislature a Senator of the US. in the room of Watson resigned. the legislature here parted in a state of distraction; their successors, as soon as chosen, will be convened: but it is very questionable if the Senate will not still be obstinate. we suppose Congress will rise in May. respectful & affectionate salutations to mrs Madison & yourself. Adieu.
RC (DLC: Madison Papers, Rives Collection). PrC (DLC); in ink at foot of text: “J. Madison.” Enclosures: see below.
Thomas Cooper’s smaller pamphlet was Political Arithmetic (n.p., n.d.; Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends No. 2804). See TJ to Philip Norborne Nicholas, 7 Apr. 1800, for TJ’s explanation of its separate printing.
Wilson Cary Nicholas’s amendment to James Ross’s bill on disputed elections, which called for an open procedure to count electoral votes and for a majority vote in Congress to determine any challenges to the electoral college, was defeated on 27 Mch. by a vote of 15 to 10 (Annals description begins Annals of the Congress of the United States: The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States… Compiled from Authentic Materials, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1834–56, 42 vols. All editions are undependable and pagination varies from one printing to another. The first two volumes of the set cited here have “Compiled … by Joseph Gales, Senior” on the title page and bear the caption “Gales & Seatons History” on verso and “of Debates in Congress” on recto pages. The remaining volumes bear the caption “History of Congress” on both recto and verso pages. Those using the first two volumes with the latter caption will need to employ the date of the debate or the indexes of debates and speakers. description ends , 10:119–20, 124–5, 144, 179, 182; see also the Appendix).
On 10 Apr. John Adams issued a passport for Captain Daniel McNeill of the Portsmouth to sail the frigate from New York to Havre de Grace under a flag of truce and carrying dispatches for the commissioners in Paris. Before getting underway, McNeill learned of a mutiny plan among 17 members of his crew. The secretary of the navy advised him against waiting for trial of the offenders but recommended that they be left in jail locally and a replacement crew recruited without delay. On 13 Apr. Benjamin Stoddert instructed McNeill to accept as a passenger on the Portsmouth Mr. J. Parrott, who was traveling to France on private business and would be a “proper person to send from Havre with the dispatches to our Ministers at Paris.” Upon arrival in France, McNeill was to send one of his officers to Paris to receive orders from the commissioners, and provide return passage either to Boston or Rhode Island for Oliver Ellsworth and William R. Davie as directed upon the conclusion of their business. The Portsmouth arrived in Le Havre on 20 May after a passage of 36 days from New York and was expected to return to America by the end of June (NDQW description begins Dudley W. Knox, ed., Naval Documents Related to the Quasi-War between the United States and France, Washington, D.C., 1935–38, 7 vols. description ends , Jan.-May 1800, 222, 395, 399, 404–5, 408, 412, 539).
After some debate and Republican criticism, the House of Representatives approved, on 24 Mch., the presidential award of a medal to Captain Thomas Truxton for his good conduct and gallantry in the battle between the U.S. Constellation and the French La Vengeance. The Senate concurred on 27 Mch. (Annals description begins Annals of the Congress of the United States: The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States… Compiled from Authentic Materials, Washington, D.C., Gales & Seaton, 1834–56, 42 vols. All editions are undependable and pagination varies from one printing to another. The first two volumes of the set cited here have “Compiled … by Joseph Gales, Senior” on the title page and bear the caption “Gales & Seatons History” on verso and “of Debates in Congress” on recto pages. The remaining volumes bear the caption “History of Congress” on both recto and verso pages. Those using the first two volumes with the latter caption will need to employ the date of the debate or the indexes of debates and speakers. description ends , 10:122, 640–2).
A bill to increase the size of a loan for the public service, as requested by the president, passed the House on 19 Mch. and the Senate on 30 Apr. before it was approved on 7 May (same, 10:170–1, 630, 633; U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, Boston, 1855–56, 8 vols. description ends , 2:60).
The Federalist Gouverneur Morris from New York was elected to the Senate upon James Watson’s resignation and served from 3 Apr. 1800 to 3 Mch. 1803. He was unsuccessful in seeking reelection in 1802 (Biog. Dir. Cong.).
1. Preceding two words interlined.