From James Monroe
Department of State March 28th. 1814
In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 26 inst, I have the honor to transmit herewith copies of the Commissions heretofore granted by the President of the United States, in the recess of the Senate, to William Paca as Judge of the Maryland District, to William Nelson as Attorney of the Virginia District, to John Rutledge as Chief Justice of the United States,1 and to Albert Gallatin, John Quincy Adams and James A. Bayard as Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary to negotiate a Treaty of Peace with Great Britain.2 I have the honor to be with great respect & consideration Sir, your Ob Sert.
RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 46, President’s Messages, 13A-E2). RC in a clerk’s hand, signed by Monroe. JM forwarded the report to the Senate in a message dated 28 Mar. 1814 (ibid.). For enclosures (printed in ASP, Miscellaneous, description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, 1832–61). description ends 2:240–41), see n. 2.
1. George Washington’s appointment of Rutledge as chief justice was rejected by the Senate on 15 Dec. 1795. Rutledge was rumored to be mentally unstable, and later that month he attempted suicide. Oliver Ellsworth filled the position in March 1796 (PJM, description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison (1st ser., vols. 1–10, Chicago, 1962–77; vols. 11–17, Charlottesville, Va., 1977–91). description ends 16:139 n. 1, 216 n. 2).
2. Christopher Gore introduced the resolution in the Senate on 25 Mar. 1814. Nearly a month earlier, behind closed doors, he had resubmitted to that body his resolutions of 29 July 1813, challenging the constitutionality of JM’s recess appointments of Albert Gallatin, John Quincy Adams, and James A. Bayard as peace commissioners (see PJM-PS, description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends 6:494 n. 5). Gore argued for his resolutions at length on 7 Mar. 1814, and on 30 Mar. cited the commissions transmitted with this report as evidence that JM had deviated from George Washington’s precedent by failing to specify that the peace commissioners’ appointments were valid only until the end of the Senate’s next session, unless confirmed by it. William W. Bibb contested Gore’s conclusions the following day, noting among other points that Paca’s, Nelson’s, and Rutledge’s commissions, issued by Washington, were for internal appointments, whereas Gallatin’s, Adams’s, and Bayard’s were for diplomatic posts (for the commissions, see PJM-PS, description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends 6:209–10). He argued that it would be “absurd” to include expiration notices on diplomatic commissions, that Washington had not done so, that without confirmation the appointments would expire whether the commissions stated the fact or not, and that JM’s commissions for internal recess appointments included expiration statements (Annals of Congress, description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends 13th Cong., 2d sess., 648, 651–57, 685–86, 693–705; New-York Evening Post, 6 Apr. 1814).