Proposal to Renew Nonintercourse
[ca. 5 April 1810]
Re-enact the Non-Intercourse; with a proviso that its operation shall not commence untill the day of 1 Unless in the meantime either G. B. or Fr. shall have repealed &c. its Edicts &c., & the other shall fail to do the same; in which case it shall be lawful for the P. by proclamation, to fix an earlier day on which the Act shall go into operation, towards the Nation so failing to revoke &c.2
Ms (NHi: Gallatin Papers). In JM’s hand, written in pencil on a small slip of paper. Undated. Conjectural date assigned on basis of evidence in n. 2. Docketed by Gallatin, “Mr Madison’s proposition / 1810.”
1. Left blank by JM.
2. This proposal seems to have been JM’s response to the situation arising from the failure of the House of Representatives and Senate to reconcile their disagreements over Macon’s Bill No. 1. The House had voted to reject the Senate amendments to the bill on 31 Mar.; the same day, John Randolph of Roanoke had moved for the immediate repeal of the Nonintercourse Act. The House committee on foreign relations met on 5 and 6 Apr., and it is likely that JM then drafted this proposal for Gallatin to transmit to its members. According to Nathaniel Macon, the committee considered and rejected at this time a modification of the Nonintercourse Act before it reported to the House, on 7 Apr., a measure apparently drafted by John Taylor of South Carolina and subsequently known as Macon’s Bill No. 2. Macon disavowed all responsibility for the bill (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States ... (42 vols.; Washington, 1834-56). description ends , 11th Cong., 2d sess., 1701–5, 1763; Macon to Joseph H. Nicholson, 6 and 10 Apr. 1810 [DLC: Nicholson Papers]).