James Madison Papers

To James Madison from the House of Representatives, 31 July 1813 (Abstract)

§ From the House of Representatives

31 July 1813. “Resolved, That the President of the United States be requested to have collected and presented to this House during the continuance of the present war, evidence of every departure by the enemy from the ordinary modes of Conducting war among Civilized Nations.”1

Printed facsimile of RC (Paul C. Richards Autograph Catalogue 216 [1986], item 371); Tr (DNA: RG 59, War of 1812 Papers, Agreements for Exchange of Prisoners of War). RC 1 p. In a clerk’s hand, signed by Henry Clay, Speaker of the House.

1On 26 May 1813 the House of Representatives passed a resolution, introduced by Henry Clay, referring to a “select committee” JM’s comments in his second inaugural address on “the spirit and manner in which the war has been waged by the enemy.” The committee’s report, presented by Nathaniel Macon on 31 July, included extensive documentation of British failures to adhere to the practices of “civilized” warfare, particularly in regard to prisoners of war, impressment, flags of truce, Indian allies, private property, and the treatment of women. Upon adopting the resolution printed above, as Macon’s report recommended, the House appointed a committee to present it to JM (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 13th Cong., 1st sess., 108–9, 488–92).

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