James Madison Papers

To James Madison from James Monroe, 6 December 1784

From James Monroe

Trenton Decr. 6. 1784.

Dear Sir,

I enclose you a paper wh. will give you a state of the representation of the States, beside wh. little else hath taken place worthy yr. attention. Mr Jay is here & will I understand accept the office of foreign affrs. upon condition Congress will establish themselves at any one place.1 The conduct of Spn. respecting the Mississippi &ca. requires the immediate attention of Congress. The affr. is before a Committee. I think we shall leave this place & either remove to Phila. or N. York but to wh. is uncertain.2 I am very respectfully yrs.

Jas. Monroe

RC (DLC). Cover missing. Docketed.

1Robert R. Livingston had resigned as Secretary for Foreign Affairs on 4 June 1783, and almost a year later Congress was still in search of a replacement. Jay was elected to the post on 7 May 1784, but he did not learn of the appointment until late July. “He was not anxious to accept it” and delayed his acceptance until assured that Congress “would sit thenceforth in New York City” and would allow Jay “the privilege of appointing his own clerks” (Samuel Flagg Bemis, ed., The American Secretaries of State and Their Diplomacy [10 vols.; New York, 1927–29], I, 193, 194, 200). Jay took the oath of office on 21 Dec. 1784 (Burnett, Letters description begins Edmund C. Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress (8 vols.; Washington, 1921–36). description ends , VII, 634 n.).

2On 24 Dec. Congress voted to adjourn until 11 Jan. and to reconvene then in New York.

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