James Madison Papers

To James Madison from the Maryland General Assembly, 7 January 1812 (Abstract)

§ From the Maryland General Assembly

7 January 1812, Annapolis. Forward in compliance with a resolution passed by the General Assembly of Maryland an authenticated copy of sundry resolutions passed at the November 1811 session.1

RC and enclosure (DLC). RC 1 p.; signed by William Thomas, president of the Senate, and Tobias E. Stansbury, Speaker of the House of Delegates. For enclosure (3 pp.; docketed by JM), see n. 1.

1On 19 Nov. 1811 the Maryland Senate, “at this eventful crisis in our foreign relations,” resolved that “the measures of the administration with respect to Great Britain, have been honorable, impartial and just; that in their negotiations they have evinced every disposition to terminate our differences on terms not incompatible with our national honour; and that they deserve the confidence and support of the nation.” The Senate further resolved “That the measures of Great Britain have been, and still are, destructive of our best and dearest rights; and being inconsistent with justice, with reason and with Law can be supported only by force; Therefore if persisted in, by force should be resisted.”

The Senate also passed two resolutions supporting the administration’s conduct toward France and condemning that nation’s “acts of injustice and violence” against American neutral rights, but noted: “France … having now ceased to violate our neutral rights we trust the period is not far distant, when by acts of ample justice all cause of complaint will be removed.” Another resolution called JM’s message to Congress “temperate, impartial and decisive,” deserving “all our praise and support” for pointing out “the best course to an honourable independence.” The final resolution declared “That the Independence established by the aid and valor of our Fathers will not tamely be yielded by their Sons.” “The same spirit which led the Freemen of Maryland to battle, still exists in the State and waits only for its country’s call.”

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