James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Levin Winder, 2 January 1813 (Abstract)

§ From Levin Winder1

2 January 1813, Annapolis. Transmits to JM “a Copy of a law passed by the General Assembly of Maryland” and requests that he “lay it before the Congress of the United States at their present Session.”2

RC and enclosure (DNA: RG 233, President’s Messages, 12A-D1); letterbook copy (MdAA: Executive Letter Book, fol. 225). RC 1 p.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Winder. For enclosure, see n. 2.

1Levin Winder (1757–1819) had been inaugurated as the Federalist governor of Maryland in November 1812, replacing Republican Robert Bowie. Reelected in 1813 and 1814, Winder left the governor’s chair in January 1816 and was elected the same year to the state senate, where he served until his death (Sobel and Raimo, Biographical Directory of the Governors, 2:653–54).

2Winder enclosed a three-page summary of the proceedings of the Maryland General Assembly at its 1812–13 session, during which, on 2 Jan. 1813, the Maryland legislature passed an “act to incorporate a company for the purpose of cutting and making a canal between the river Delaware and the Chesapeake Bay.” The Maryland legislature offered to take 250 shares in the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Company if the commonwealth of Pennsylvania would subscribe for 375 shares, the state of Delaware for 100 shares, and the U.S. government for 750 shares in the same company. In its winter session of 1812–13, the Pennsylvania legislature also passed an act authorizing a subscription to the canal company if the U.S. government and the state of Delaware would subscribe in proportional amounts. On 13 Jan. 1813, at the request of the Maryland General Assembly, JM transmitted to Congress “copies of their Act passed on the 2d instant” (DNA: RG 233, President’s Messages, 12A-D1; 1 p.), which was read before the House of Representatives on 14 Jan. and the Senate on 15 Jan. On 26 Jan. 1813 Maryland representative Stevenson Archer “presented a bill authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to subscribe for shares in the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Company, in behalf of the United States” (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 12th Cong., 2d sess., 46, 51–52, 804, 893). As with past subscription proposals to Congress from the canal company, Congress delayed consideration of the bill by referring it to committee. In 1816 the suspended canal project was linked with the chartering of the Second Bank of the United States, but hopes for federal aid for internal improvements were shattered by JM’s subsequent veto of the 1817 Bonus Bill (see Joshua Gilpin to JM, 28 Aug. 1809, PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (5 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends , 1:342 and n. 1, and Gray, The National Waterway, 24).

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