James Madison Papers

Draft of a Resolution on the Nonintercourse Bill, [ca. 14 April] 1794

Draft of a Resolution on the Nonintercourse Bill

[Ca. 14 April 1794]

Resold. that if from the operation of the foregoing suspension of commercial intercourse with G. B. the public revenue arising from imports shd. become inadequate to the punctual discharge of the interest on the public debt, it will he the duty of the Legislature to make up such deficiency by other resources, and to discharge the accruing arrears with as little delay as possible; and that for so doing the public faith ought to be particularly & solemnly pledged.

Ms (DLC: Rives Collection, Madison Papers). In JM’s hand; headed by him at a later time, “Philada. 179–.” Dated March 1794 in the Index to the James Madison Papers. Probably written while the House of Representatives in Committee of the Whole considered resolutions for the nonintercourse bill. This draft resolution appears to answer objections raised on 14 Apr. by Federalists Zephaniah Swift and Samuel Dexter, Jr., who argued that the bill, by reducing imports, would jeopardize revenue necessary for paying the public debt and its interest (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 3d Cong., 1st sess., 581, 590; see also JM’s speech of 18 Apr. 1794 and nn.). No evidence has been found that the resolution was introduced in the House.

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