James Madison Papers

To James Madison from A. Calvin, 17 February 1813

From A. Calvin

Newyork Feby 17. 1813.

Honored Sir,

I understand that there is a Bill With the Committee of Foreign Relations and that it is Expected that they Will Report in favour of taking off the Non-Importation act.1 This is, and what the Federals, Wants, and I hope they may be Dispointed, for if that Should be the Case the Country is done, and the War Will Continue or We must give up, a Rigid Embargo ought to be Laid, and Every thing but Death to brake it, a bold Stand Taken, for the Feds & Clintonians Will Kill you & the Goverment to if Possible, let all the Officers be appointed by Merritt, be firm, and fear Nothing, let all and every Contempt, and Disobedience of every kind be treated With Severity, if a Change Should take Place, that it may not be Said that the Rulers Were Pusillanimous, or fear’d to do Right for fear of being Displaced, if [sic] is Said Hull Will never be Call’d to Trial, that all our Bread Stuffs may be Exported, for fear the Farmers Will be oppos’d to War measures. If nothing Might go nor any thing come into our Country, the War Would Soon be at an End, We Want nothing from abroad, Remember our Old War, we made our own Clothing & I want no better, be Strong & of good Corage & the God of all Power (I do Believe) Will enable us to Gain & to Maintain our Rights, neither oppoint too yong, nor too Old Men to Office. Forgive my freedom Sir, but I feel my Countrys Cause at Heart, I Court none for thats no Way to get Friends in the end. Be Honest, be firm, and I find I need not fear, this from your Well Wisher, Brother & Friend for ever & ever Amen

A. Calvin

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM. Calvin wrote in the left margin of the second page: “Starving Will bring a Foe to Duty, an Embargo or Non-Importation Will Stop the Sale of there goods, and Prevent there geting ours.”

1On 15 Feb. 1813, citing the need to increase revenues in order to meet war expenses in 1814, Langdon Cheves of the House Ways and Means Committee proposed a bill to partially suspend the laws prohibiting British imports, to more effectively enforce the remaining prohibitions, and to lay an additional duty on salt (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., 1061–65).

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