James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William A. Burwell, 16 April 1810

From William A. Burwell

Washington April 16th 1810.

Dr Sir,

By a resolution of this House an adjournment will take place on the 23d.1 I am personally extremely anxious to get home, every consideration conspires to render me impatient, but I think from the prospect which the last intelligence from Europe presents us, much good might result from the arrival of the J. A.2 There are also several questions of great national Moment which would probably be decided—if the Session shall be protracted for 10 days. I have thought it right to suggest to you the propriety of advising by a message the continuance of the Session. I should not mention this circumstance except that I believe without such a step C. will adjourn on the 23d. & should you think the measure adviseable the earlier the better, because the members are dispersing very fast. Yours with great respect

W. A Burwell3


1The resolution Burwell referred to had been passed on 30 Mar. 1810. The session, in fact, ended on 1 May (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., 1693, 2054).

2On 15 Apr. 1810 the National Intelligencer printed a report from the London Morning Chronicle of 7 Feb. to the effect that Lord Wellesley and William Pinkney had amicably settled the disputes between Great Britain and the U.S. and that the frigate John Adams had been detained in order to carry a treaty to Washington. The report also declared that there would be changes in the British government and that a new British minister would be sent to the U.S.

3William Armisted Burwell (1780–1821) represented Franklin County in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1804–6, while serving as President Jefferson’s private secretary. He was a Republican congressman, 1806–21 (Swem and Williams, Register description begins Earl G. Swem and John W. Williams, eds., A Register of the General Assembly of Virginia, 1776-1918, and of the Constitutional Conventions (Richmond, 1918). description ends , pp. 70, 354).

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