Notes on Debates
MS (LC: Madison Papers). For a description of the manuscript of Notes on Debates, see Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , V, 231–34.
The following is an extract from the report “he (one Israel Smith) further sd. that Knowlton & Wells had recd. a lettr. from Jonathan Arnold Esqr. at Congress part of which was made public, which informed them that affairs in Congress were unfavorable to them & wd. have them look out for themselves. What other information this letter contained he cd. not say—I found in my March thro’ the State that the last mentioned gentleman was much in favor with all the principal men in that State I had any conversation with”4
Mr. Arnold being present at the reading informed Congress that he was surprized how such a notion should have prevailed with respect to him; that he had never held any correspondence with either Knowlton or Wells; and requested that he might be furnished with the extract above. In this he was indulged without opposition. But it was generally considered, notwithstanding his denial of the correspondence, that he had at least at second hand, conveyed the intelligence to Vermont.5
A long petition was read signed as alledged by near two thousand inhabitants (but all in the same hand writing) of the territory lately in controversy between Pa. & Va. complaining of the greivances to which their distance from public authority exposed them & particularly of the late law of Pena. interdicting even consultations about a new State within its limits; and praying that Congress wd. give a sanction to their independence & admit them into the Union. The Petition lay on the table without a single motion or remark relative to it.6 The order of the day was called for, towit the Resolution of saturday last in favor of adequate & substantial funds.7
This subject was introduced by Mr. Wilson with some judicious remarks on its importance & the necessity of a thorough & serious discussion of it. He observed that the U States had in the course of the revolution displayed both an unexampled activity in resisting the enemy, and an unexampled patience under the losses & calamities occasioned by the war. In one point only he said they had appeared to be deficient & that was a cheerful payment of taxes.8 In other free Govts. it had been seen that taxation had been carried farther & more patiently borne than in States where the people were excluded from the Govts., the people considering themselves as the sovereign as well as the subject; & as receiving with one hand what they paid with the other. The peculiar repugnance of the people of the U S. to taxes he supposed proceeded first from the odious light in which they had been under the old Govt. in the habit of regarding them; 2dely. from the direct manner in wch. taxes in this Country had been laid; whereas in all other countries taxes were paid in a way that was little felt at the time.9 That it cd. not proceed altogether from inability he said must be obvious: Nay that the ability of the U. S. was equal to the public burden might be demonstrated. According to the calculations of the best writers the inhabitants of G. B. paid before the present war at the annual rate of at least 25s. Sterlg per head. According to like calculations the inhabitants of the U. S. before the revolution paid indirectly & insensibly at the rate of at least 10s. Sterlg per head10 According to the computed depreciation of the paper emissions, the burden insensibly borne by the inhabitants of the U. S. had amounted during the first three or four years of the war to not less than twenty Million of dollars per annum, a burden too which was the more oppressive as it fell very unequally on the people.11 An inability therefore could not be urged as a plea for the extreme deficiency of the revenue contributed by the States, which did not amount during the past year to 1/2 a million of dollars, that is to 1/6 of a dollar per head.12 Some more effectual mode of drawing forth the resources of the Country was necessary. That in particular it was necessary that such funds should be established as would enable Congress to fulfill those engagements which they had been enabled to enter into.13 It was essential he contended that those to whom were delegated the power of making war & peace should in some way or other have the means of effectuating these objects; that as Congress had been under the necessity of contracting a large debt justice required that such funds should be placed in their hands as would discharge it; that such funds were also necessary for carrying on the war; and as Congress found themselves in their present situation destitute both of the faculty of paying debts already contracted, and of providing for future exigences, it was their duty to lay that situation before their constituents; and at least to come to an eclaircissement on the subject; he remarked that the establisht. of certain funds for payg wd. set afloat the public paper;14 adding that a public debt resting on general funds would operate as a cement to the confederacy, and might contribute to prolong its existence, after the foreign danger ceased to counteract its tendency to dissolution15 He concluded with moving that it be Resold.
“That it is the opinion of Congress that complete justice cannot be done to the Creditors of the United States, nor the restoration of public credit be effected, nor the future exigences of the war provided for, but by the establishment of general funds to be collected by Congress.”16
This motion was seconded by Mr. Fitzimmons[.] Mr. Bland desired that Congress wd. before the discussion proceeded farther, receive a communication of sundry papers transmitted to the Virga. Delegates by the Executive of that State; two of which had relation to the question before Congress. These were 1st. a Resolution of the Genl. Assembly declaring its inability to pay more than £50,000 Va. currency towards complying with the demand of Congress. 2dly. the Act repealing the Act granting the impost of 5 PerCt. These papers were received and read.17
Mr. Wolcot expressed some astonishment at the inconsistency of the two acts of Va.; supposed that they had an unfavorable aspect on the business before Congress; & proposed that the latter sd. be postponed for the present.18 He was not seconded.
Mr. Ghorum favored the general idea of the motion, animadverting on the refusal of Virga. to contribute the necessary sums & at the same moment repealing her concurrence in the only scheme that promised to supply a deficiency of contributions.19 He thought the motion however inaccurately expressed, since the word “general” might be understood to refer to every possible object of taxation as well as to the operation of a particular tax throughout the States:20 he observed that the nonpayment of the 1,200,000 Drs. demanded by Congress for paying the interest of the debts for the year21 demonstrated that the constitutional mode of annual requisitions was defective; he intimated that lands were already sufficiently taxed; & that polls & commerce were the most proper objects. At his instance the latter part of the motion was so amended as to run “establishment of permanent & adequate funds to operate generally throughout the U. States.”22
Mr. Hamilton went extensively into the subject the sum of it was as follows: he observed that funds considered as permanent sources of revenue were of two kinds 1st. such as wd extend generally & uniformly throughout the U. S. & wd. be collected under the authority of Congs. 2dly. such as might be established separately within each State, & might consist of any objects which were chosen by the States, and which might be collected either under the authority of the States or of Congs. Funds of the 1st. kind he contended were preferable; as being 1st. more simple. the difficulties attending the mode of fixing the quotas laid down in the confederation rendering it extremely complicated & in a manner insuperable:23 2d as being more certain; since the States according to the secd. plan wd. probably retain the collection of the revenue and a vicious system of collection prevailed generally through the U. S. a system by which the collectors were chosen by the people & made their offices more subservient to their popularity than to the public revenue24—3d. & as being more œconomical, since the collection would be effected with fewer officers under the management of Congress, than under that of the States.
Mr. Ghorum observed that Mr. Hamilton was mistaken in the representation he had given of the collection of taxes in several of the States; particularly in that of Massachussetts, where the collection was on a footing which rendered it sufficiently certain.25 Mr. Wilson having risen to explain somethings which had fallen from him; threw out the suggestion that several branches of Revenue if yielded by all the States, would perhaps be more just & satisfactory than any single one; for example an impost on trade combined with a land tax.
Mr. Dyer expressed a strong dislike to a collection by officers appointed under Congress & supposed the States would never be brought to consent to it.26
Mr. Ramsay was decidedly in favor of the proposition. Justice he said entitled those who had lent their money & services to the U. S. to look to them for payment; that if general & certain revenues were not provided, the consequence wd. be that the army & public Creditors would have soon to look to their respective States only for satisfaction; that the burden in this case wd. fall unequally on the States;27 that rivalships relative to trade wd. impede a regular impost & wd. produce confusions amg. the States; that some of the States would never make of themselves provision for half pay28 and that the army wd. be so far defrauded of the rewards stipulated to them by Congress; that altho’ it might be uncertain whether the States wd. accede to plans founded on the proposition before the house, yet as Congress was convinced of its truth & importance it was their duty to make the experiment
Mr. Bland thought that the ideas of the states on the subject were so averse to a general revenue in the hands of Congs. that if such a revenue were proper it was unattainable; that as the deficiency of the contributions from the States proceeded not from* complaints of their inability but of the inequality of the apportionments, it would be a wiser course to pursue the rule of the confederation, towit to ground the requisition on an actual valuation of lands; that Congress wd. then stand on firm ground & try a practicable mode.
1. For a probable explanation of this Roman numeral, see Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , V, 231.
2. Washington’s letter from “Head Quarters, Newburgh” was to the president of Congress (Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Sources, 1745–1799 (39 vols.; Washington, 1931–44). description ends , XXVI, 52, 53). At the time of his death on 14 January, Major General William Alexander (1726–1783), “Lord Stirling,” commanded the “Continental and State Troops at and above Albany on the Hudson and Mohawk rivers” (ibid., XXV, 86, 89, 100, 326). Prior to the Revolution Stirling gained military experience in the British army in North America, resided in Great Britain from 1755 to 1761 while unsuccessfully prosecuting his claim to the earldom of Sterling, and served as surveyor general and member of the governor’s council of his native province of New York. The Continental Congress commissioned him a colonel on 7 November 1775, a brigadier general on 1 March 1776, and a major general on 19 February 1777 (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , III, 335; IV, 181; VII, 133). His participation in the battles of Long Island, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth was especially noteworthy, even though not uniformly distinguished by success. On 28 January 1783 a resolution of Congress testified to his “early and meritorious exertions … in the common cause” and his “bravery, perseverance and military talents” (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 96).
3. Within these parentheses, JM intended to insert a reference to his notes of 25 and 27 November 1782 (Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , V, 315–16; 317, n. 3; 334; 336, n. 17). Upon receiving instructions from Congress to apprehend Judge Luke Knoulton and Colonel Samuel Wells of Vermont for alleged traitorous intercourse with the British, Washington directed Lord Stirling to handle the “delicate affair.” Stirling, in his turn, entrusted the execution of the mission to a detachment of forty-eight Rhode Island troops who, with the exception of their leader, Captain Ebenezer Macomber (Macumber), understood that their objective was to capture deserters (Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Sources, 1745–1799 (39 vols.; Washington, 1931–44). description ends , XXV, 407–8). Macomber (d. 1829) had been an officer of the Rhode Island state line since 1776. He was commissioned captain on 17 March 1782 and served in that grade for exactly one year before returning to civilian life (Heitman, Historical Register Continental description begins F. B. Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution (Washington, 1914). description ends , p. 376).
4. Captain Macomber and his men had left Saratoga on 25 December 1782 and returned there on 6 January 1783. In accounting to General Stirling on 7 January for the failure of the mission, Macomber reported that he had been told by Israel Smith at Brattleboro, Vt., of the departure of Judge Knoulton from that town and of Colonel Wells from Newfane for an unknown destination, about six days before Macomber’s detachment arrived, and soon after each of the fugitives had received letters “from the southward.” Among these letters was allegedly one from Jonathan Arnold, a delegate from Rhode Island. Except that JM omitted “very” before “unfavorable,” he quoted Macomber’s report with approximate accuracy. See Burnett, Letters description begins Edmund C. Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress (8 vols.; Washington, 1921–36). description ends , VII, 37–38.
Macomber believed that Smith, who was known favorably by Governor George Clinton of New York, was a “man of veracity” (NA: PCC, No. 152, XI, 63–66). Israel Smith (1759–1810) was graduated by Yale College in 1781 and admitted to the bar of Vermont in 1783. He was a representative in the Vermont state legislature, 1785, 1788–1791; a representative in Congress, 1791–1797, 1801–1803; chief justice of the Supreme Court of Vermont, 1797–1798; a United States senator, 1803–1807; and governor, 1807–1808.
5. Arnold the next day wrote to Washington, hotly denying involvement in “this at present dark and mysterious affair”; but he had laid himself open to suspicion by opposing measures advocated in Congress for coercing the de facto government of Vermont, to which “state” he would remove in 1787. See Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , V, 336, n. 13; 354, n. 25; 389, n. 8; Burnett, Letters description begins Edmund C. Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress (8 vols.; Washington, 1921–36). description ends , VII, 23.
6. Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , IV, 184, n. 2; 215, n. 2; 287, n. 27; V, 276–77; 277, nn. 5, 9; 440. Although President John Dickinson of Pennsylvania in his message of 24 January 1783 to the General Assembly mentioned that he had “sent a large number of copies” of the statute “to prevent the erecting any new and independent State within the limits of this Commonwealth” for distribution “among the inhabitants” of the three westernmost counties, he showed no awareness of the unrest of which the present petition, unnoted in the official journal of Congress, was an expression (Colonial Records of Pa., XIII, 489; JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 96).
The petition, bearing approximately 1800 signatures, all written in the same hand, purported to be from settlers “on the west side of Laurel Hill and Western Waters.” After setting forth the usual grievances of frontiersmen—unjust taxes, insecure land titles, lack of protection against marauding Indians, and a too distant government which treated them “more like Slaves than freemen”—the memorialists affirmed that they, as much as easterners, had served the “common cause of liberty and independence” by guarding the western flanks of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Having thus earned the “Rights, Privileges and Immunities of free Citizens of America” and living in an isolated region which “God and Nature seem to have designed” for a separate government, the petitioners asked that Congress erect their area as a “New State,” confirm their claims to land, maintain the garrison at Fort Pitt, and, if possible, establish other military posts in the neighborhood (NA: PCC, No. 48, fol. 251).
7. JM Notes, 25 Jan. 1783, and n. 13; JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 94–95.
9. That is, indirect taxes such as imposts and excises as compared with direct taxes on polls and real estate.
10. Certainly one of “the best writers” was Dr. Samuel Johnson. To him has been attributed an anonymous pamphlet in which the writer proved, at least to his own satisfaction, that even in times of peace Britons paid four times the taxes paid by American colonials; and in times of war, fought largely on behalf of those colonials, the ratio widened to ten-to-one (The Right of the British Legislature To Tax the American Colonies Vindicated: and the Means of Asserting That Right Proposed [London, 1774], pp. 32 n., 33). Lord North, on the other hand, remarked in the House of Commons on 2 February 1775 that he estimated the taxes paid annually by “every inhabitant” of Great Britain to be “at least 25 shillings” as compared with the “no more than sixpence” for which “an inhabitant of America” was liable (Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates description begins William Cobbett, ed., The Parliamentary History of England from the Earliest Period to the Year 1803 (36 vols.; London, 1806–20; continued as Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates). description ends , XVIII [1774–1777], col. 222). Being subject to so many variables, the “sixpence” is especially vulnerable, but so too is the “10s. Sterlg per head.” Members of the House of Lords or House of Commons who were friendly to the colonists in 1775 and early in 1776 frequently insisted either that the Americans indirectly paid heavy taxes because of the duties levied on their exports and imports, or that British subjects living in the mother country would have had to bear a much heavier load of taxation, except for the revenue which accrued to the treasury from this profitable trade (ibid., XVIII, cols. 262, 452, 485–90, 517–19, 521, 534, 1047, 1225). A circular letter, unanimously adopted by Congress on 13 September 1779, and addressed to “Friends and Fellow-Citizens,” states that before the Revolution the colonists had “paid an annual tax to Britain of 3,000,000 sterling in the way of trade” (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XV, 1051–62, and esp. 1057).
11. Between 1775 and 1779 the Continental Congress emitted a total of $226,200,000 in paper currency. The amount issued annually during this period rose from $6,000,000 in 1775 to $124,800,000 in 1779. Although the worth of this currency in terms of gold varied from state to state, merchants in Philadelphia were applying a depreciation ratio of 1.25 to 1 by the close of 1776 and of about 42 to 1 three years later. Thereafter the gold value of these “continentals” declined at an increasingly rapid pace. Writing of the situation early in 1781, one authority states: “Approximately $226,000,000 in currency, from which Congress derived a real income of over $40,000,000 in specie, had shrunk to almost nothing. The loss was carried by the people of the nation as money depreciated in their hands—a process sometimes considered as a form of taxation in rough proportion to ability to pay” (E[lmer] James Ferguson, The Power of the Purse [Chapel Hill, N.C., 1961], pp. 29–32, 67). James Wilson evidently did not agree that this “form of taxation” had been equitable in its impact.
12. Taking this sentence in conjunction with the sentence immediately preceding it, Wilson seems to have contended, although not altogether persuasively, that because the “inhabitants” had “insensibly borne” from 1775 to 1780 an “oppressive” weight of at least $20,000,000 annually, they should have been able, with comparative ease, to furnish $8,000,000 in taxes during 1782 so as to enable the state governments to meet the requisitions of Congress totaling that amount. Of the $8,000,000, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia had paid nothing before 1 January 1783, and the other nine states had supplied only $422,161.44 (NA: PCC, No. 137, II, 757–61). Therefore, to arrive at “1/6 of a dollar per head,” Wilson must have estimated the total population, excluding Indians, at about 2,814,125. This figure may be fairly accurate, for a scholarly analysis of primary data, mainly from 1774 to 1776, resulted in an estimate of 2,507,180 (Stella H. Sutherland, Population Distribution in Colonial America [New York, 1936], p. xii).
13. That is, the financial obligations incurred by Congress in exercising its constitutional powers sanctioned by the states both before and after the inauguration of the government under the Articles of Confederation on 1 March 1781. According to a report to Congress by Robert Morris, superintendent of finance, the total “Public debt” of the United States on 1 January 1783 could not be stated “with any tolerable precision,” but five of the main “engagements” were (1) owed in Europe, $11,925,925; (2) owed to the troops, $11,300,000; (3) owed to holders of loan-office certificates, $11,400,485.64⅛; (4) the “liquidated” or funded debt, $638,042.25; and (5) owed to winners in the four lotteries, $63,316.64. These totaled $35,327,769.53⅛. To this should be added, as Morris pointed out, the very large but unknown sums which would be required to cancel “the old continental Bills,” to meet the “arrearages of Half Pay” owed to retired or deranged officers, and to discharge the so-called “unliquidated Debt being the monies due to the several states, and to individuals in the several states” (NA: PCC, No. 137, II, 195–207; JM Notes, 13 Jan., and n. 20; 17 Jan., and n. 6; Randolph to JM, 15 Jan. 1783, n. 13). The “unliquidated debt” comprised, for example, the disproportionately large advances of money and supplies by the southern states in 1780–1782 to General Nathanael Greene’s army and the written promises to pay given by commissary agents and other military officers upon impressing grain, cattle, horses, etc., from civilians.
14. By providing dependable and adequate sources of revenue, Congress should be able once more to float domestic loans, and the exchange value of the depreciated paper currency should rise.
15. Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , IV, xviii–xix; V, xvii; xviii–xix.
16. JM no doubt underlined “general” to reflect Wilson’s stress upon according the same treatment to every classification of at least the precisely known debt, and funding all of it in the same manner. See n. 13. Wilson’s proposal that Congress should collect the funds also deserved emphasis because similar recommendations had been and would be a principal matter of controversy (ibid., II, 304, and n. 3; III, 128, and n. 5; IV, 387; V, 414–15; 416, n. 3; Randolph to JM, 3 Jan., n. 5; JM Notes, 13 Jan., and n. 17; 24 Jan., n. 40; 25 Jan. 1783). See also JM’s summary of speeches on this issue, later in his notes for this day.
17. Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , V, 385, n. 12; 442; 445, n. 16; 457–58; 458, n. 5; 474, n. 5; 477; 478, n. 2; JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 96; Delegates to Harrison, 28 Jan. 1783, and n. 2.
18. Oliver Wolcott was chairman of the grand committee appointed on 6 January to consider the memorial from the army. This committee’s report on 24 January occasioned a discussion of general financial problems which were still “the business before Congress” three days later (JM Notes, 6 Jan., and n. 2; 9–10 Jan.; 13 Jan.; 24 Jan., and nn. 20, 25, 40; 25 Jan. 1783, and n. 13).
JM was painfully aware of his awkward situation. He had supported an amendment that the Virginia General Assembly repudiated. He was urging the states to fulfill overdue obligations to Congress which that Assembly confessed itself able to help discharge only by a minute contribution, and he was favoring nationalistic measures at a time when the growing emphasis of Richmond appeared to be toward state sovereignty (Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , V, 372; 374, n. 12; 419–20; 449; 472; 477–78; Delegates to Harrison, 7 Jan., n. 5; JM to Randolph, 7 Jan.; 14 Jan., and n. 5; 22 Jan.; 28 Jan.; JM Notes, 9–10 Jan.; 25 Jan. 1783, and n. 7).
19. The opening remarks of Nathaniel Gorham were evidently of the same tenor as those of Wolcott.
21. Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , V, 127; 129, n. 13; 209; 211, n. 10.
22. See James Wilson’s motion, and n. 16, above.
23. Alexander Hamilton referred to “the Mode” of determining financial quotas prescribed by the first paragraph of Article VIII of the Articles of Confederation. For comment upon its “complicated” provisions, see Randolph to JM, 3 Jan., and n. 4; JM Notes, 9–10 Jan., and nn. 3, 8; 14 Jan. 1783, and nn. 4, 6, 7.
24. For Hamilton’s own description of the method of tax assessment and collection in New York, see Syrett and Cooke, Papers of Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and Jacob E. Cooke, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (15 vols. to date; New York, 1961——). description ends , III, 135–37, 154, 181. In Virginia the tax collectors were traditionally the sheriffs. Nominated by the justices of peace of their respective counties, appointed by the executive, directed by legislation of the General Assembly, chargeable in any delinquencies by the solicitor general, and subject to judgments of the General Court, they were little amenable to direct popular influence (Hening, Statutes description begins William Waller Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619 (13 vols.; Richmond and Philadelphia, 1819–23). description ends , IX, 117, 169–70; XI, 168; Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , V, 182, n. 1).
25. In Massachusetts the collectors of the excise were appointed by the General Court (legislature). Other taxes were levied upon the towns by the General Court in proportion to the “valuation of estates within the commonwealth”—a valuation which had to be “taken anew” at least every ten years. The local assessors and the constables who collected these taxes were elected by the town meetings. The sheriffs of the counties, who were appointed by the governor “with the advice and consent of the council,” supervised the constables in the performance of their duty in this regard. It was provided that “any or all officers of the commonwealth” should be removed upon impeachment by the House of Representatives and conviction by the Senate (Francis N. Thorpe, ed., Federal and State Constitutions, III, 1894, 1897, 1899, 1902; Albert Bushnell Hart, ed., Commonwealth History of Massachusetts [5 vols.; New York, 1927–30], III, 347–53). See also JM Notes, 29 Jan. 1783, n. 20.
26. Eliphalet Dyer. See n. 16.
27. Except that some of the civilian and military creditors of the Confederation had looked already “to their respective States only for satisfaction” and had been reimbursed, David Ramsay’s statement was accurate (Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , V, 174–75; 293–94; 362–64; 366, nn. 19, 23, 26; JM Notes, 24 Jan. 1783, and nn. 17, 20, 40; E. James Ferguson, Power of the Purse, pp. 69, n. 41, 143–45, 180–81). The distribution of the war’s “burden,” whether viewed in terms of the number of troops recruited, the amount of money or supplies furnished, or the destruction of property incurred, obviously had not been in proportion to the comparative wealth or population of the thirteen states.
29. The “assertion” to which JM referred was that of his colleague Theodorick Bland. For the “paper just read,” see above, and Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , V, 457–58; JM Notes, 31 Jan. 1783. There had been many “complaints” about “the inequality of the apportionments,” even though “the paper just read” did not mention them. See Papers of Madison description begins William T. Hutchinson, William M. E. Rachal, et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (6 vols. to date; Chicago, 1962——). description ends , III, 301, n. 2; 328–29; 329, n. 6; 336; IV, 72, n. 3; 122–23; 123, n. 3; 124, nn. 6, 7; V, 127; 129, n. 13; 169; 423, and n. 2. JM’s abrupt close of his notes for 27 January 1783 probably signifies that, having come “to no resolution” on “the order of the day,” Congress adjourned (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 96).