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1810 - To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States: - James Madison, The Writings, vol. 8 (1808-1819) 
The Writings of James Madison, comprising his Public Papers and his Private Correspondence, including his numerous letters and documents now for the first time printed, ed. Gaillard Hunt (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1900). Vol. 8.
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To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:
January 3, 1810.
The act authorizing a detachment of 100,000 men from the militia will expire on the 30th of March next. Its early revival is recommended, in order that timely steps may be taken for arrangements such as the act contemplated.
Without interfering with the modifications rendered necessary by the defects or the inefficacy of the laws restrictive of commerce and navigation, or with the policy of disallowing to foreign armed vessels the use of our waters, it falls within my duty to recommend also that, in addition to the precautionary measure authorized by that act and to the regular troops for completing the legal establishment of which enlistments are renewed, every necessary provision may be made for a volunteer force of 20,000 men, to be enlisted for a short period and held in a state of organization and readiness for actual service at the shortest warning.
I submit to the consideration to Congress, moreover, the expediency of such a classification and organization of the militia as will best insure prompt and successive aids from that source, adequate to emergencies which may call for them.
It will rest with them also to determine how far further provision may be expedient for putting into actual service, if necessary, any part of the naval armament not now employed.
At a period presenting features in the conduct of foreign powers toward the United States which impose on them the necessity of precautionary measures involving expense, it is a happy consideration that such is the solid state of the public credit that reliance may be justly placed on any legal provision that may be made for resorting to it in a convenient form and to an adequate amount.
TO GEORGE JOY.1d. of s. mss.
Washington, Jan 17th, 1810.
I have recd your favor of the 10th. Your anxiety that our Country may be kept out of the vortex of war, is honorable to your judgment as a Patriot, & to your feelings as a man. The same anxiety is, I sincerely believe, felt by the great body of the nation, & by its Public councils; most assuredly by the Executive Branch of them. But the question may be decided for us, by actual hostilities agst. us or by proceedings leaving no choice but between absolute disgrace & resistance by force. May not also, manifestations of patience under injuries & indignities be carried so far as to invite this very dilemma?
I devoutly wish that the same disposition to cultivate peace by means of justice, which exists here, predominated elsewhere, particularly in G. B. But how can this be supposed, whilst she persists in proceedings, which comprize the essence of hostility; whilst she violates towards us rules, which she enforces agst. us in her own favor; more particularly whilst we see her converting the late reconciliation thro one of the Ministers, into a source of fresh difficulties & animosities thro another. For in this light must be viewed her disavowal of Mr. Erskine, and the impressions made thro his successor. Had the disavowal been deemed essential to her interests, a worse plaister could not have been devised for the wound necessarily inflicted here. But was the disavowal essential to her interests? was it material to them, taking for the test, her own spontaneous change of system, and her own official language? By the former I refer to her orders of April, restricting their original orders agst neutrals, to a trade with France & Holland; by the latter to the conversation of Mr. Canning with Mr. P., in which he abandons as he could not but do, two of the conditions which had been contemplated; & admits that a non-intercourse law here agst. Holland was not a sine qua non. So that the arrangement of Mr. E. was disavowed essentially for want of a pledge that our non-intercourse would be continued agst. France & her dominions. But why disavow absolutely, why at all, on this account? The law was known to be in force agst. France at the time of the arrangement. It was morally certain that if put in force agst F whilst she was pleading the British orders, it would not be withdrawn if she should persist in her Decrees after being deprived of this plea. And there would be no fair ground to suppose, that the condition wd. not be pledged & stipulated, if required, as soon as the Requisite Authorities here should be together. The disavowal is the more extraordinary, as the arrangement was to be respected till the 20th of July, and therefore with the addition of four or five weeks only would have afforded an opportunity of knowing the sense of this Govt., and of supplying all that was wanted to satisfy the British Ultimatum. This course was so obvious, and that pursued so opposite, that we are compelled to look to other motives for an explanation, & to include among these, a disinclination to put an end to differences from which such advantages are extracted by British Commerce & British Cruisers.
Notwithstanding all these grounds of discontent & discouragement, we are ready as the B. Govt. knows, to join in any new experiment, and thro either our diplomatic channel there or hers here, for a cordial and comprehensive adjustment of matters between the two countries.
Let reparation be made for the acknowledged wrong committed in the case of the Chesapeak, a reparation so cheap to the wrong-doer, yet so material to the honor of the injured party; & let the orders in Council, already repealed as to the avowed object of retaliation; be repealed also as an expedient for substituting an illicit commerce, in place of that to which neutrals have as such, an incontestable right. The way will then be open for negotiation at large; And if the B. Govt would bring into it the same temper as she would find in us; and the same disposition to insist on nothing inconsistent with the rule of doing as she would, or rather as she will be done by, the result could not fail to be happy for both.
Permit me to remark that you are under a mistake in supposing that the Treaty concluded by Messr. M. & P. was rejected because it did not provide that free ships should make free goods. It never was required nor expected that such a stipulation should be inserted. As to deserting Seamen, you will find that G. B. practises agst us the principles we assert agst. her, and in fact goes further; that we have always been ready to enter into a convention on that subject founded on reciprocity; and that the documents long since in print shew, that we are willing, on the subject of impressment, to put an end to it, by an arrangement, which most certainly would be better for the British Navy, than that offensive resource; and which might be so managed as to leave both parties at liberty to retain their own ideas of right. Let me add that the acceptance of that Treaty would have very little changed the actual situation of things with G. B. The orders in Council wd. not have been prevented, but rather placed on stronger ground; the case of the Chesape, the same as it is; so also, the case of impressments, of factitious blockades &c all as at present pregnant sources of contention and ill humour.
From this view of the subject, I cannot but persuade myself that you will concur in opinion, that if unfortunately, the calamity you so benevolently dread should visit this hitherto favored Country, the fault will not lye where you would not wish it to lye.
Accept assurances of my esteem & friendship
TO WILLIAM PINKNEY.1
Jany 20, 1810.
I received some days ago a letter of the 10th instant from Doctor Logan, containing observations on the posture and prospect of our foreign relations. Before the answer was out of my hands, I received another dated four days after, in which he merely informed me that he should embark for England in about eight days, with an offer to take charge of any communications for you. As his first letter did not glance at any such intention, it must be presumed to have been very suddenly formed. And as his last is silent as to the object of the trip, this is left to conjecture. From the anxiety expressed in his first letter for the preservation of peace with England, which appeared to him to be in peculiar danger, and from his known benevolence and zeal on the subject, it may reasonably be supposed that his views relate, in some form or other, to a mitigation of the hostile tendencies which distress him; and that his silence may proceed from a wish to give no handle for animadversions of any sort on the step taken by him.
You will receive from the Secretary of State, unless, indeed, opportunity fail through the shortness of the notice, such communications and observations as may be thought useful to you. You will find that the perplexity of our situation is amply displayed by the diversity of opinions and prolixity of discussion in Congress. Few are desirous of war; and few are reconciled to submission; yet the frustration of intermediate courses seems to have left scarce an escape from that dilemma. The fate of Mr. Macon’s Bill,1 as it is called, is not certain. It will probably pass the House of Representatives, and, for aught I know, may be concurred in by the Senate. If retaliated by G. Britain, it will operate as a non-importation act, and throw exports into the circuit of the non-intercourse act. If not retaliated, it may be felt by the British navigation, and, thro’ that interest, by the Government, since the execution of the law which relates to the ship, and not to the merchandize, cannot be evaded. With respect to the E. Indies, the proposed regulation will have the effect of compelling the admission of a direct and exclusive trade for our vessels, or a relinquishment of this market for India goods, farther than they can be smuggled into it. It just appears that a proposition has been made in the House of Representatives to employ our ships of war in convoys, and to permit merchantmen to arm. However plausible the arguments for this experiment, its tendency to hostile collisions is so evident, that I think its success improbable. As a mode of going into war, it does not seem likely to be generally approved, if war was the object. The military preparations which have been recommended, and are under consideration, are what they profess to be, measures of precaution. They are not only justified, but dictated by the uncertainty attending the course which G. Britain may take, or, rather, by the unyielding and unamicable traits in her Cabinet and her countenance. Measures of that sort are also the more adapted to our situation, as, in the event of accommodation with G. Britain, they may possibly be wanted in another quarter. The long debates on the Resolution of Mr. Giles,1 on the subject of Mr. Jackson, have terminated in affirmative votes, by large majorities. This, with the refusal of the Executive to hold communication with him, it is supposed, will produce a crisis in the British policy towards the United States; to which the representations of the angry Minister will doubtless be calculated to give an unfavorable turn. Should this happen, our precautionary views will have been the more seasonable. It is most probable, however, that instead of expressing resentment by open war, it will appear in more extended depredations on our commerce; in declining to replace Mr. Jackson; and, perhaps, in the course observed with respect to you, in meeting which your own judgment will be the best guide. Should a change in the composition or calculations of the Cabinet give a favorable turn to its policy towards this country, it is desirable that no time may be lost in allowing it its effect. With this view, you will be reminded of the several authorities you retain to meet in negotiation, and of the instructions by which they are to be exercised; it being always understood, that with the exception of some arrangement touching the orders in Council, reparation for the insult on the Chesapeake must precede a general negotiation on the questions between the two countries. At present, nothing precise can be said as to the condition on our part for the repeal of the orders in Council; the existing authority in the Executive to pledge one being expirable with the non-intercourse act, and no other pledge being provided for. As it is our anxious desire, however, if the British Government should adopt just and conciliatory views, that nothing may be omitted that can shew our readiness to second them, you may offer a general assurance that, as in the case of the Embargo and the non-intercourse acts, any similar power with which the Executive may be clothed will be exercised in the same spirit. You will doubtless be somewhat surprised to find among the communications to Congress, and in print, too, the confidential conversations with Mr. Canning, reserved from such a use by your own request.1 It was, in fact, impossible to resist the pointed call for them, without giving umbrage to some, and opportunity for injurious inferences to others. The difficulty was increased by the connection between those and other communications necessarily falling within the scope of the rule of compliance in such cases. Finally, there did not appear to be any thing in the conversations which could warrant British complaint of their disclosure, or widen the space between you and the British Ministry.
As it may not be amiss that you should know the sentiments which I had expressed to Doctor Logan, and which, though an answer to his letter written previous to the notification of his intended trip, he will of course carry with him, I enclose a copy of the answer.
The file of newspapers from the Department of State will give you the debates on the case of Jackson. I enclose, however, a speech I have just looked over, in a pamphlet form. Although liable to very obvious criticisms of several sorts, it has presented a better analysis of some parts of the subject than I have observed in any of the speeches.
TO THOMAS JEFFERSON.mad. mss.
Washington, Apl 23, 1810.
Yours of the 16th, has been recd. It is not improbable that there will be an early occasion to send for public purposes, a ship to G. B. & France: & that Norfolk will be the port of Departure. I recommend therefore that your plow be lodged there as soon as may be, with the proper instructions to your Agent. It may not be amiss to include in those a discretion to forward the plow to any other port if he shd learn in time, that another is substituted for Norfolk. Congs. remain in the unhinged state which has latterly marked their proceedings; with the exception only that a majority in the H. of R. have stuck together so far as to pass a Bill providing for a conditional repeal by either of the Belligts. of their Edicts; laying in the mean time, an addition 50 Per Ct. to the present duties on imports from G. B. and France. What the Senate will do with the Bill is rendered utterly uncertain by the policy which seems to prevail in that Branch. Our last authentic information from G. B. is of the 28, Feby, & from France of the 2d of Feby. The information in both cases, has an aspect rather promising; but far from being definite; and subsequent accts., thro. the ordinary channels, do not favor a reliance on general professions or appearances. Bonaparte, seems not to have yet attended to the distinction between the external & internal character of his Decrees; and to be bending his augmented faculties for annihilating British Commerce with the Contt. with which our corrupt traders have confounded the Amn. flag. And it will be a hard matter for Wellesley, shd. he be well disposed, to drag his Anti-American Colleagues into a change of policy; supported as they will be by the speeches and proceedings of Congs. From those the inference will be that one party prefers submission of our trade to British regulation, and the other confesses the impossibty of resisting it. Without a change of Ministry, of which there is some prospect, it wd. be imprudent to count on any radical change of policy. For the moment, I understand that the Merchts will not avail themselves of the unshackled trade they have been contending for; a voluntary Embargo being produced by the certainty of a glutted Market in England, and the apprehension of Brit Blockades and French confiscations. The experiment about to be made will probably open too late the eyes of the people, to the expediency & efficacy of the means which they have suffered to be taken out of the hands of the Govt., and to be incapacitated for future use. The Merinos are not yet heard of. Be assured of my constant & affe. respects.
TO WILLIAM PINKNEY.1
Washington, May 23d, 1810.
You will learn from the Department of State, as you must have anticipated, our surprise that the answer of Lord Wellesley to your very just and able view of the case of Jackson corresponded so little with the impressions of that Minister manifested in your first interviews with him. The date of the answer best explains the change; as it shows that time was taken for obtaining intelligence from this Country, and adapting the policy of the answer to the position taken by the advocates of Jackson. And it must have happened that the intelligence prevailing at that date was of the sort most likely to mislead. The elections which have since taken place in the Eastern States, and which have been materially influenced by the affair of Jackson, and the spirit of party connected with it, are the strongest of proofs that the measure of the Executive coincided with the feelings of the Nation. In every point of view, the answer is unworthy of the source from which it comes.
From the manner in which the vacancy left by Jackson is provided for, it is inferred that a sacrifice is meant of the respect belonging to this Government, either to the pride of the British Government, or to the feelings of those who have taken side with it against their own. On either supposition, it is necessary to counteract the ignoble purpose. You will accordingly find that on ascertaining the substitution of a Chargé to be an intentional degradation of the diplomatic intercourse on the part of Great Britain, it is deemed proper that no higher functionary should represent the United States at London. I sincerely wish, on every account, that the views of the British Government, in this instance, may not be such as are denoted by appearances, or that, on finding the tendency of them, they may be changed. However the fact may turn out, you will, of course, not lose sight of the expediency of mingling in every step you take as much of moderation, and even of conciliation, as can be justifiable; and will, in particular, if the present despatches should find you in actual negotiation, be governed by the result of it in determining the question of your devolving your trust on a Secretary of Legation.
The act of Congress, transmitted from the Department of State, will inform you of the footing on which our relations to the belligerent powers were finally placed. The experiment now to be made, of a commerce with both, unrestricted by our laws, has resulted from causes which you will collect from the debates and from your own reflections. The new form of appeal to the policy of Great Britain and France, on the subject of the Decrees and Orders, will most engage your attention. However feeble it may appear, it is possible that one or other of those powers may allow it more effect than was produced by the overtures heretofore tried. As far as pride may have influenced the reception of these, it will be the less in the way, as the law in its present form may be regarded by each of the parties, if it so pleases, not as a coercion or a threat to itself, but a promise of attack on the other. Great Britain, indeed, may conceive that she has now a compleat interest in perpetuating the actual state of things, which gives her the full enjoyment of our trade, and enables her to cut it off with every other part of the world; at the same time that it increases the chance of such resentments in France at the inequality as may lead to hostilities with the United States. But, on the other hand, this very inequality, which France would confirm by a state of hostilities with the United States, may become a motive with her to turn the tables on G. Britain, by compelling her either to revoke her orders, or to lose the commerce of this country. An apprehension that France may take this politic course would be a rational motive with the British Government to get the start of her. Nor is this the only apprehension that merits attention. Among the inducements to the experiment of an unrestricted commerce now made, were two which contributed essentially to the majority of votes in its favor; first, a general hope, favoured by daily accounts from England, that an adjustment of differences there, and thence in France, would render the measure safe and proper; second, a willingness in not a few to teach the advocates for an open trade, under actual circumstances, the folly as well as degradation of their policy. At the next meeting of Congress, it will be found, according to present appearances, that instead of an adjustment with either of the belligerents, there is an increased obstinacy in both; and that the inconveniences of the embargo and non-intercourse have been exchanged for the greater sacrifices, as well as disgrace, resulting from a submission to the predatory systems in force. It will not be wonderful, therefore, if the passive spirit which marked the late session of Congress should at the next meeting be roused to the opposite point; more especially as the tone of the nation has never been as low as that of its Representatives, and as it is rising already under the losses sustained by our commerce in the Continental ports, and by the fall of prices in our produce at home, under a limitation of the market to G. Britain. Cotton, I perceive, is down at 10 or 11 cents in Georgia. The great mass of Tobacco is in a similar situation. And the effect must soon be general, with the exception of a few articles which do not at present glut the British demand. Whether considerations like these will make any favorable impression on the British Cabinet, you will be the first to know. Whatever confidence I may have in the justness of them, I must forget all that has past before I can indulge very favorable expectations. Every new occasion seems to countenance the belief that there lurks in the British Cabinet a hostile feeling towards this Country, which will never be eradicated during the present reign; nor overruled, whilst it exists, but by some dreadful pressure from external or internal causes.
With respect to the French Government, we are taught by experience to be equally distrustful. It will have, however, the same opportunity presented to it, with the British Government, of comparing the actual state of things with that which would be produced by a repeal of its Decrees, and it is not easy to find any plausible motive to continue the former, as preferable to the latter. A worse state of things than the actual one could not exist for France, unless her preference be for a state of war. If she be sincere, either in her late propositions relative to a chronological revocation of illegal Edicts against neutrals, or to a pledge from the United States not to submit to those of Great Britain, she ought at once to embrace the arrangement held out by Congress, the renewal of a non-intercourse with Great Britain being the very species of resistance most analogous to her professed views.
I propose to commit this to the care of Mr. Parish, who is about embarking at Philadelphia for England; and finding that I have missed a day in my computation of the opportunity, I must abruptly conclude, with assurances of my great esteem, &c.
TO THOMAS JEFFERSON.1
Washington, May 25, 1810.
I have duly received your favor of the 13th. The general idea of disposing of the supernumerary Merino Rams for the public benefit had occurred to me. The mode you propose for the purpose seems well calculated for it. But as it will be most proper, as you suggest, to let our views be developed to the public by the execution of them, there will be time for further consideration. When the sheep came into my hands, they were so infected with the scab that I found it necessary, in order to quicken and ensure their cure, to apply the mercurial ointment. I hope they are already well. One of the ewes has just dropt a ewe lamb, which is also doing well. I expect my overseer every day to conduct them to Orange. As he will have a wagon with him, the trip, I hope, may be so managed as to avoid injury to his charge.
A former National Intelligencer will have given you our last communications from G. Britain. That of this morning exhibits our prospects on the side of France. The late confiscations by Bonaparte comprise robbery, theft, and breach of trust, and exceed in turpitude any of his enormities not wasting human blood. This scene on the continent, and the effect of English monopoly on the value of our produce, are breaking the charm attached to what is called free trade, foolishly by some, and wickedly by others. We are hourly looking for the “John Adams.” There is a possibility that the negotiations on foot at Paris may vary our prospects there. The chance would be better, perhaps, if the last act of Congress were in the hands of Armstrong; which puts our trade on the worst possible footing for France but, at the same time, puts it in the option of her to revive the non-intercourse against England. There is a possibility, also, that the views of the latter may be somewhat affected by the recent elections; it being pretty certain that the change in the tone of Wellesley from that first manifested to Pinkney was, in part, at least, produced by the intermediate intelligence from the United States, which flattered a fallacious reliance on the British party here.
TO THOMAS JEFFERSON.mad. mss.
Washington, June 22, 1810.
I enclose an authentication of the blood of our Merinos, as translated from the Original by Mr. Graham: also a state of the charges incident to their passage, &c. The half falling to your share, of course, may be left for any convenient occasion of being replaced. You need not trouble yourself to remit it hither.
On the first publication of the despatches by the John Adams,1 so strong a feeling was produced by Armstrong’s picture of the French robbery, that the attitude in which England was placed by the correspondence between P. & Wellesley was overlooked. The public attention is beginning to fix itself on the proof it affords that the original sin agst. Neutrals lies with G. B. & that whilst she acknowledges it, she persists in it.
I am preparing for a departure from this place immediately after the 4th. July. Having been deprived of the Spring visit to my Farm, I wish to commence the sooner the full recess. Be assured of my highest & most affece. esteem.
Have you recd. a copy of Coopers (the Pena Judge) masterly opinion1 on the question whether the sentence of a foreign Admiralty Court in a prize Cause be conclusive evidence in a suit here between the Underwriter & Insured? It is a most thorough, investigation, and irrefragable disproof of the B. Doctrine on the subject, as adopted by a decision of the Supreme Court of the U. S. If you are without a copy, I will provide & forward one.
TO THOMAS JEFFERSON.mad. mss.
Montpelier, July 17, 1810.
Among the papers relating to the Convention of 1787, communicated to you, that copies in your hands might double the security agst destructive casualties, was a delineation of Hamilton’s plan of a Constitution in his writing.2 On looking for it among the Debates &c, which were returned to me, this particular paper does not appear.3 I conclude therefore that it had not then been copied, or was at the time in some separate situation. I am very sorry to trouble you on such a subject, but being under an engagement to furnish a Copy of that project, I must ask the favor of you to see whether it be not among your papers, & if so, to forward it by the mail.
I reached home on Wednesday last, and have since been somewhat indisposed. My fever has left me and if as I hope, it was the effect of fatigue only, I consider myself as again well. I am not however, without sensations which make me apprehensive that if the bile was not the sole cause, it was a partial one, & that it has not yet been entirely removed. Be assured of my affectionate respects & best wishes
TO ROBERT SMITH.d. of s. mss. miscl. lets.
Montpelier, July 17, 1810.
The letter from Govr. Holmes,1 with that from Mr. Lowry & copy of the answer, which were inclosed to me, are now returned.
I think Govr. Holmes should be encouraged in keeping a wakeful eye to occurrences & appearances in W. Florida, and in transmitting information concerning them. It will be well for him also to be attentive to the means of having his militia in a state for any service that may be called for. In the event either of foreign interference with W. F. or of internal convulsions, more especially if threatening the neighboring tranquility, it will be proper to take care of the rights & interests of the U. S. by every measure within the limits of the Ex. authority. Will it not be advisable to apprize Govr. H. confidentially, of the course adopted as to W. F. and to have his co-operation in diffusing the impressions we wish to be made there?
The anecdote related by Mr. L.1 is interesting in several respects. I take it for granted that the papers to be sent him from the Dept of State will be adapted to the unsettled state of things in Caracas; yet I do not recollect to have recd. for signature any commission varied from the ordinary consular form. Accept my respects & friendly wishes,
TO ROBERT SMITH.d. of s. mss. miscl. lets.
Montpelier July 26th, 1810.
I return herewith the letters from Vanderhorst, & Bernaben. It would have been better if Lowrey had more carefully concealed his destination. The case of the Spanish Goods landed from the French privateer, must be decided by the result of the judicial inquiry into the character of the latter. If equipped from our jurisdiction, the capture gives claim to restitution. If not so equipped, the law as it stands in relation to prize goods brought into the U. S. must decide on the course to be pursued. It would seem proper to transmit the representation of Bernaben, to the collector & the District Attorney, with a request to the latter to do what may be right in the cases.
I find by a letter from the Secretary of the Navy, that another insult to our national Flag, has been offered by a British Commander. I have desired him to communicate to you the circumstances of the case; on which you will please to found whatever instructions to Mr. Pinkney, they may render proper.
Accept my respects & best wishes.
TO JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.mad. mss.
Washington Octr. 16th 1810.
Previous to my return to his City, I received a letter from Mrs. Adams, your highly respectable mother, communicating your anxiety to leave a situation1 rendered insupportable by the ruinous expences found to be inseparable from it, and taking it for granted that you had written or would write to the Secretary of State to the same effect. The answer to her was, that as it was not the intention of the Executive to expose you to unreasonable sacrifices, it could not withhold a permission to retire from them, and that you would be so informed from the Department of State. You will accordingly receive a letter of leave, and a blank Commission, providing for the care of our affairs, till a successor may be appointed. As no communication of your wishes, however, has yet been received from yourself, I cannot but hope, that the peculiar urgency manifested in the letter of Mrs. Adams was rather hers, than yours; or that you have found the means of reconciling yourself to a continuance in your station. Besides that confidence in the value of your services which led to the call upon them, there are considerations which you will readily appreciate, bearing against a sudden return, from a short mission; the occasion for which has been made the subject of so much lucubration. Among them, is the difficulty of shielding the step against unfavorable conjectures as to its cause in the mind of the Emperor; and the evil might become the greater, from the possibility of a protracted intermission, if not entire discontinuance, of a representation of the U. S. at St Petersburg, corresponding with the grade of the Russian Minister here. It will for this reason, be particularly expedient, in case you should make immediate use of the document sent you, to spare no pains, in guarding against a misconstruction of your departure, and in preparing the Russian Government for a delay in filling the vacancy; which may be unavoidable, notwithstanding the purpose of preventing it. As far as assurances of unabated friendship here, can be of aid to you, they may be given with every emphasis which the sincerity of these sentiments can warrant.
I will add that whilst I do not disguise my wish that the continuance of your valuable services, may be found not inconsistent with your other and undeniable duties; I cannot, on the other hand, wish that the latter should be sacrificed, beyond a reasonable measure; and within that measure, I am entirely persuaded that your patriotism will cheerfully make the sacrifice.
Accept my sincere respects and friendly wishes
TO THOMAS JEFFERSON.mad. mss.
Washington Octr 19, 1810.
I have recd. your favor of the 15th. All we know of the step taken by France towards a reconciliation with us, is thro the English papers sent by Mr. Pinkney, who had not himself recd any information on the subject from Genl A. nor held any conversation with the B. Ministry on it, at the date of his last letters. We hope from the step, the advantage at least of having but one contest on our hands at a time. If G. B. repeals her orders, without discontinuing her mock-blockades, we shall be at issue with her on ground strong in law, in the opinion of the world, and even in her own concessions. And I do not believe that Congs. will be disposed, or permitted by the Nation, to a tame submission; the less so as it would be not only perfidious to the other belligerent, but irreconcilable with an honorable neutrality. The Crisis in W. Florida, as you will see, has come home to our feelings and our interests. It presents at the same time serious questions, as to the Authority of the Executive, and the adequacy of the existing laws of the U. S. for territorial administration. And the near approach of Congs might subject any intermediate interposition of the Ex. to the charge of being premature & disrespectful, if not of being illegal. Still there is great weight in the considerations, that the Country to the Perdido, being our own, may be fairly taken possession of, if it can be done without violence, above all if there be danger of its passing into the hands of a third & dangerous party. The successful party at Baton Rouge have not yet made any communication or invitation to this Govt. They certainly will call in either our Aid or that of G. B., whose conduct at the Caraccas gives notice of her propensity to fish in troubled waters. From present appearances, our occupancy of W. F. would be resented by Spain, by England, & by France, and bring on not a triangular, but quadrangular contest. The Vacancy in the Judiciary is not without a puzzle in supplying it. Lincoln,1 obviously, is the first presented to our choice, but I believe he will he inflexible in declining it. Granger is working hard for it. His talents are as you state, a strong recommendation; but it is unfortunate that the only legal evidence of them known to the public displays his Yazooism; and on this as well as some other accts the more particularly offensive to the Southern half of the Nation. His bodily infirmity with its effect on his mental stability is an unfavorable circumstance also. On the other hand, it may be difficult to find a successor free from objections, of equal force. Neither Morton, nor Bacon, nor Story have yet been brought forward, And I believe Blake will not be a candidate. I have never lost sight of Mr. Jefferson of Richmond. Lee I presume returns Bourdeaux. Jarvis is making a visit to the U. S. but apparently with an intention to return to Lisbon. All the other consulships worthy of him are held by persons who manifest no disposition to part with their berths. My overseer G. Gooch is just setting out with the Algerine Rams, Two of them, I have directed him to forward to Monticello. I beg you to accept whichever of them you may prefer, and let Capt: Isaac Coles have the other. Of the 8 sent from Algiers, one was slaughtered on the passage, and a Wether substituted. Another was not of the large tail family; but a very large handsome sheep with 4 horns. His fleece is heavy, but like the others coarse. I send him to Virga. with the others, tho’ at a loss what to have done with him there. Two of the large tails I have disposed of here, one to Claiborne for the benefit of the Orleans meat Market. I send also by this oppy. six Marino Ewes, two of them recd. from Jarvis, & the rest purchased here out of his late shipment. I have purchased also the Ewe lamb, which had been destined for Hooe of Alexanda. Finding that the arrangements necessary for the original pair, would provide for a small flock, I have been tempted to make this addition to them, as a fund of pure Marino blood, worth attending to. The Ewes will stand me in at $175 a piece.
Accept my affectionate respects
Whereas the territory south of the Mississippi Territory and eastward of the river Mississippi, and extending to the river Perdido,1 of which possession was not delivered to the United States in pursuance of the treaty concluded at Paris on the 30th April, 1803, has at all times, as is well known, been considered and claimed by them as being within the colony of Louisiana conveyed by the said treaty in the same extent that it had in the hands of Spain and that it had when France originally possessed it; and
Whereas the acquiescence of the United States in the temporary continuance of the said territory under the Spanish authority was not the result of any distrust of their title, as has been particularly evinced by the general tenor of their laws and by the distinction made in the application of those laws between that territory and foreign countries, but was occasioned by their conciliatory views and by a confidence in the justice of their cause and in the success of candid discussion and amicable negotiation with a just and friendly power; and
Whereas a satisfactory adjustment, too long delayed, without the fault of the United States, has for some time been entirely suspended by events over which they had no control; and
Whereas a crisis has at length arrived subversive of the order of things under the Spanish authorities, whereby a failure of the United States to take the said territory into its possession may lead to events ultimately contravening the views of both parties, whilst in the meantime the tranquility and security of our adjoining territories are endangered and new facilities given to violations of our revenue and commercial laws and of those prohibiting the introduction of slaves;
Considering, moreover, that under these peculiar and imperative circumstances a forbearance on the part of the United States to occupy the territory in question, and thereby guard against the confusions and contingencies which threaten it, might be construed into a dereliction of their title or an insensibility to the importance of the stake; considering that in the hands of the United States it will not cease to be a subject of fair and friendly negotiation and adjustment; considering, finally, that the acts of Congress, though contemplating a present possession by a foreign authority, have contemplated also an eventual possession of the said territory by the United States, and are accordingly so framed as in that case to extend in their operation to the same:
Now be it known that I, James Madison, President of the United States of America, in pursuance of these weighty and urgent considerations, have deemed it right and requisite that possession should be taken of the said territory in the name and behalf of the United States. William C. C. Claiborne, governor of the Orleans Territory, of which the said Territory is to be taken as part, will accordingly proceed to execute the same and to exercise over the said Territory the authorities and functions legally appertaining to his office; and the good people inhabiting the same are invited and enjoined to pay due respect to him in that character, to be obedient to the laws, to maintain order, to cherish harmony, and in every manner to conduct themselves as peaceable citizens, under full assurance that they will be protected in the enjoyment of their liberty, property, and religion.
In testimony &c.,
(October 27, 1810.)
TO JOHN ARMSTRONG.1
Washington Octr 29, 1810.
. . . . . . .
You will learn from the Dept. of State that altho’ no direct authentication of the repeal of the F. decrees has been recd. from you, a proclamation issues1 on the ground furnished by your correspondence with Mr. Pinkney. It is to be hoped that France will do what she is understood to be pledged for, & in a measure that will produce no jealousy or embarrassment here. We hope in particular that the sequestred property will have been restored; without which the Ex. may be charged wth. violating their own instructions to you on that point. Whether that instruction was not itself a departure from the law, & must not have been set aside in case the repeal of the decrees had arrived, with a knowledge that F. had made no satisfactory provision as to sequestrations, are questions which it wd. be well to have no occasion to decide. The course which G. B. will take, is left by Wellesley’s pledge, a matter of conjecture. It is not improbable that the orders in C. will be revoked & the sham blockade be so managed if possible, as to irritate France agst. our non-resistance, without irritating this Country to the resisting point. It seems on the whole that we shall be at issue with G. B. on the ground of such blockades, and it is for us, a strong ground.
You will see also the step that has been produced by the posture of things in W. Florida. If France is wise she will neither dislike it herself, nor promote resentment of it in any other quarter. She ought in fact, if guided by prudence & good information, to patronize at once, a general separation of S. America from Old Spain. This event is already decided, and the sole question with F. is whether it is to take place under her auspices, or those of G. B. The latter, whether with or without the privity of the expiring authority at Cadiz, is taking her measures with reference to that event; and in the mean time, is extorting commercial privileges as to the recompense of her interposition. In this particular her avarice is defeating her interest. For it not only invites F. to outbid her; but throws in seeds of discord which will take effect, the moment peace or safety is felt by the party of whom the advantage is taken. The contrary policy of the old Fr. Govt. in its commercial Treaty with the U. S. at the epoch of their Independence, was founded in a far better knowledge of human nature, and of the permanent interest of its nation. It merits the consideration of France also, that in proportion as she discourages, in any way, a free intercourse of the U. S. with their revolutionary neighbours, she favors the exclusive commerce of her rival with them; as she has hitherto favor’d it with Europe, by her decrees agst. our intercourse with it. As she seems to be recovering from the one folly, it may be hoped she will not fall into the other.
The ship sent on this occasion will afford you & your family good accommodations, if you should be decided agst. prolonging your important services at Paris, and a Winter passage should not be an insuperable objection.
Accept dear Sir assurances of my great esteem and most friendly wishes.
TO WILLIAM PINKNEY.1
Washington, October 30, 1810.
Your letter of August 13  was duly received. Its observations on the letter and conduct of Lord Wellesley are an interesting comment on both. The light in which the letter was seen by many in this Country was doubtless such as gave to its features an exaggerated deformity. But it was the natural effect of its contrast to the general expectation founded on the tenor of your private letter to Mr. Smith, and on the circumstances, which, in the case of Jackson, seemed to preclude the least delay in repairing the insults committed by him. It is true, also, that the letter, when viewed in its most favorable light, is an unworthy attempt to spare a false pride on one side at the expence of just feelings on the other, and is in every respect infinitely below the elevation of character assumed by the British Government, and even to that ascribed to Lord Wellesley. It betrays the consciousness of a debt, with a wish to discharge it in false coin. Had the letter been of earlier date, and accompanied by the prompt appointment of a successor to Jackson, its aspect would have been much softened. But every thing was rendered as offensive as possible by evasions and delays, which admit no explanation without supposing a double game, by which they were to cheat us into a reliance on fair promises, whilst they were playing into the hands of partizans here, who were turning the delays into a triumph over their own Government. This consideration had its weight in the decision last communicated, with respect to your continuance at London, or return to the United States.
The personal sensibilities which your letter expresses are far greater than I can have merited by manifestations of esteem and confidence which it would have been unjust to withhold. As a proof of your partiality, they ought not, on that account, to excite less of a return. As little ought your readiness to retire from your station, from the honorable motives which govern you, to be viewed in any other light than as a proof of the value which attaches itself to your qualifications and services. It is not to be denied that a good deal of dissatisfaction has issued through the press against some of your intercourse with the British Government. But this could have the less influence on the Executive mind, as the dissatisfaction, where not the mere indulgence of habitual censure, is evidently the result of an honest misconstruction of some things, and an ignorance of others, neither of which can be lasting. I have little doubt that if your sentiments and conduct could be seen through media not before the public, a very different note would have been heard; and as little, that the exhibitions likely to grow out of the questions and discussions in which you are at present engaged will more than restore the ground taken from you.
The sole question on which your return depends, therefore, is whether the conduct of the Government where you are may not render your longer stay incompatible with the honor of the United States. The last letter of the Secretary of State has so placed the subject for your determination, in which the fullest confidence is felt. Waiving other depending subjects, not of recent date, a review of the course pursued in relation to Jackson and a successor excites a mixture of indignation and contempt, which ought not to be more lightly expressed than by your immediately substituting a Secretary of Legation for the grade you hold; unless the step be absolutely forbidden by the weighty consideration which has been stated to you, and which coincides with the sound policy to which you allude, of putting an adversary compleatly in the wrong. The prevailing opinion here is, that this has been already abundantly done.
Besides the public irritation produced by the persevering insolence of Jackson in his long stay, and his conduct during it, there has been a constant heart-burning on the subject of the Chesapeake, and a deep and settled indignation on the score of impressments, which can never be extinguished without a liberal atonement for the former, and a systematic amendment of the latter.
You have been already informed that the Proclamation would issue giving effect to the late act of Congress, on the ground of the Duke de Cadore’s letter to Genl Armstrong, which states an actual repeal of the French Decrees. The letter of W. to you is a promise only, and that in a very questionable shape; the more so, as G. Britain is known to have founded her retaliating pretensions on the unprecedented mode of warfare against her; evidently meaning the exclusion of her trade from the Continent. Even the blockade of May, 1806, rests on the same foundation. These considerations, with the obnoxious exercise of her sham blockades in the moment of our call for their repeal, backed by the example of France, discourage the hope that she contemplates a reconciliation with us. I sincerely wish your next communications may furnish evidence of a more favorable disposition.
It will not escape your notice, and is not undeserving that of the British Government, that the non-intercourse, as now to be revived, will have the effect of giving a monopoly of our exportations to G. Britain to our own vessels, in exclusion of hers; whereas, in its old form, G. Britain obtained a substantial monopoly for hers through the entrepots of N. Scotia, E. Florida, &c. She cannot, therefore, deprive our vessels, which may now carry our exports directly to G. Britain, of this monopoly, without refusing the exports altogether, or forcing them into difficult and expensive channels, with the prospect of a counteracting interposition of Congress, should the latter experiment be resorted to. Nothing would be necessary to defeat this experiment but to prohibit, as was heretofore contemplated, the export of our productions to the neighboring ports belonging to Great Britain or her friends.
The course adopted here towards West Florida will be made known by the Secretary of State. The occupancy of the Territory as far as the Perdido was called for by the crisis there, and is understood to be within the authority of the Executive. East Florida, also, is of great importance to the United States, and it is not probable that Congress will let it pass into any new hands. It is to be hoped G. Britain will not entangle herself with us by seizing it, either with or without the privity of her allies in Cadiz. The position of Cuba gives the United States so deep an interest in the destiny, even, of that Island, that although they might be an inactive, they could not be a satisfied spectator at its falling under any European Government, which might make a fulcrum of that position against the commerce and security of the United States. With respect to Spanish America generally, you will find that G. Britain is engaged in the most eager, and, if without the concurrence of the Spanish authority at Cadiz, the most reproachful grasp of political influence and commercial preference. In turning a provident attention to the new world, as she loses ground in the old, her wisdom is to be commended, if regulated by justice and good faith; nor is her pursuit of commercial preferences, if not seconded by insidious and slanderous means against our competitions, as are said to be employed, to be tested by any other standard than her own interest. A sound judgment of this does not seem to have been consulted in the specimen given in the Treaty at Caraccas, by which a preference in trade over all other nations is extorted from the temporary fears and necessities of the Revolutionary Spaniards. The policy of the French Government at the epoch of our Independence, in renouncing every stipulation against the equal privileges of all other nations in our trade, was dictated by a much better knowledge of human nature, and of the stable interest of France.
The elections for the next Congress are nearly over. The result is another warning against a reliance on the strength of a British Party, if the British Government be still under a delusion on that subject. Should France effectually adhere to the ground of a just and conciliatory policy, and G. Britain bring the United States to issue on her paper blockades; so strong is this ground in right of opinion here, and even in the commitment of all the great leaders of her party here, that G. Britain will scarce have an advocate left.
SECOND ANNUAL MESSAGE.
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:
Washington, December 5, 1810.
The embarrassments which have prevailed in our foreign relations, and so much employed the deliberations of Congress, make it a primary duty in meeting you to communicate whatever may have occurred in that branch of our national affairs.
The act of the last session of Congress concerning the commercial intercourse between the United States and Great Britain and France and their dependencies having invited in a new form a termination of their edicts against our neutral commerce, copies of the act were immediately forwarded to our ministers at London and Paris, with a view that its object might be within the early attention of the French and British Governments.
By the communication received through our minister at Paris it appeared that a knowledge of the act by the French Government was followed by a declaration that the Berlin and Milan decrees were revoked, and would cease to have effect on the 1st day of November ensuing. These being the only known edicts of France within the description of the act, and the revocation of them being such that they ceased at that date to violate our neutral commerce, the fact, as prescribed by law, was announced by a proclamation bearing date the 2d day of November.
It would have well accorded with the conciliatory views indicated by this proceeding on the part of France to have extended them to all the grounds of just complaint which now remain unadjusted with the United States. It was particularly anticipated that, as a further evidence of just dispositions toward them, restoration would have been immediately made of the property of our citizens seized under a misapplication of the principle of reprisals combined with a misconstruction of a law of the United States. This expectation has not been fulfilled.
From the British Government no communication on the subject of the act has been received. To a communication from our minister at London of a revocation by the French Government of its Berlin and Milan decrees it was answered that the British system would be relinquished as soon as the repeal of the French decrees should have actually taken effect and the commerce of neutral nations have been restored to the condition in which it stood previously to the promulgation of those decrees. This pledge, although it does not necessarily import, does not exclude the intention of relinquishing, along with the orders in council, the practice of those novel blockades which have a like effect of interrupting our neutral commerce, and this further justice to the United States is the rather to be looked for, inasmuch as the blockades in question, being not more contrary to the established law of nations than inconsistent with the rules of blockade formally recognized by Great Britain herself, could have no alleged basis other than the plea of retaliation alleged as the basis of the orders in council. Under the modification of the original orders of November, 1807, into the orders of April, 1809, there is, indeed, scarcely a nominal distinction between the orders and the blockades. One of those illegitimate blockades, bearing date in May, 1806, having been expressly avowed to be still unrescinded, and to be in effect comprehended in the orders in council, was too distinctly brought within the purview of the act of Congress not to be comprehended in the explanation of the requisites to a compliance with it. The British Government was accordingly apprised by our minister near it that such was the light in which the subject was to be regarded.
On the other important subjects depending between the United States and that Government no progress has been made from which an early and satisfactory result can be relied on.
In this new posture of our relations with those powers the consideration of Congress will be properly turned to a removal of doubts which may occur in the exposition, and of difficulties in the execution, of the act above cited.
The commerce of the United States with the north of Europe, heretofore much vexed by licentious cruisers, particularly under the Danish flag, has latterly been visited with fresh and extensive depredations. The measures pursued in behalf of our injured citizens not having obtained justice for them, a further and more formal interposition with the Danish Government is contemplated. The principles which have been maintained by that Government in relation to neutral commerce, and the friendly professions of His Danish Majesty toward the United States, are valuable pledges in favor of a successful issue.
Among the events growing out of the state of the Spanish Monarchy, our attention was imperiously attracted to the change developing itself in that portion of West Florida which, though of right appertaining to the United States, had remained in the possession of Spain awaiting the result of negotiations for its actual delivery to them. The Spanish authority was subverted and a situation produced exposing the country to ulterior events which might essentially affect the rights and welfare of the Union. In such a conjuncture I did not delay the interposition required for the occupancy of the territory west of the river Perdido, to which the title of the United States extends, and to which the laws provided for the Territory of Orleans are applicable. With this view, the proclamation of which a copy is laid before you was confided to the governor of that Territory to be carried into effect. The legality and necessity of the course pursued assure me of the favorable light in which it will present itself to the Legislature, and of the promptitude with which they will supply whatever provisions may be due to the essential rights and equitable interests of the people thus brought into the bosom of the American family.
Our amity with the powers of Barbary, with the exception of a recent occurrence at Tunis, of which an explanation is just received, appears to have been uninterrupted and to have become more firmly established.
With the Indian tribes also the peace and friendship of the United States are found to be so eligible that the general disposition to preserve both continues to gain strength.
I feel particular satisfaction in remarking that an interior view of our country presents us with grateful proofs of its substantial and increasing prosperity. To a thriving agriculture and the improvements related to it is added a highly interesting extension of useful manufactures, the combined product of professional occupations and of household industry. Such indeed is the experience of economy as well as of policy in these substitutes for supplies heretofore obtained by foreign commerce that in a national view the change is justly regarded as of itself more than a recompense for those privations and losses resulting from foreign injustice which furnished the general impulse required for its accomplishment. How far it may be expedient to guard the infancy of this improvement in the distribution of labor by regulations of the commercial tariff is a subject which can not fail to suggest itself to your patriotic reflections.
It will rest with the consideration of Congress also whether a provident as well as fair encouragement would not be given to our navigation by such regulations as would place it on a level of competition with foreign vessels, particularly in transporting the important and bulky productions of our own soil. The failure of equality and reciprocity in the existing regulations on this subject operates in our ports as a premium to foreign competitors, and the inconvenience must increase as these may be multiplied under more favorable circumstances by the more than countervailing encouragements now given them by the laws of their respective countries.
Whilst it is universally admitted that a well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people, and whilst it is evident that the means of diffusing and improving useful knowledge form so small a proportion of the expenditures for national purposes, I can not presume it to be unseasonable to invite your attention to the advantages of superadding to the means of education provided by the several States a seminary of learning instituted by the National Legislature within the limits of their exclusive jurisdiction, the expense of which might be defrayed or reimbursed out of the vacant grounds which have accrued to the nation within those limits.
Such an institution, though local in its legal character, would be universal in its beneficial effects. By enlightening the opinions, by expanding the patriotism, and by assimilating the principles, the sentiments, and the manners of those who might resort to this temple of science, to be redistributed in due time through every part of the community, sources of jealousy and prejudice would be diminished, the features of national character would be multiplied, and greater extent given to social harmony. But, above all, a well-constituted seminary in the center of the nation is recommended by the consideration that the additional instruction emanating from it would contribute not less to strengthen the foundations than to adorn the structure of our free and happy system of government.
Among the commercial abuses still committed under the American flag, and leaving in force my former reference to that subject, it appears that American citizens are instrumental in carrying on a traffic in enslaved Africans, equally in violation of the laws of humanity and in defiance to those of their own country. The same just and benevolent motives which produced the interdiction in force against this criminal conduct will doubtless be felt by Congress in devising further means of suppressing the evil.
In the midst of uncertainties necessarily connected with the great interests of the United States, prudence requires a continuance of our defensive and precautionary arrangement. The Secretary of War and Secretary of the Navy will submit the statements and estimates which may aid Congress in their ensuing provisions for the land and naval forces. The statements of the latter will include a view of the transfers of appropriations in the naval expenditures and the grounds on which they were made.
The fortifications for the defense of our maritime frontier have been prosecuted according to the plan laid down in 1808. The works, with some exceptions, are completed and furnished with ordnance. Those for the security of the city of New York, though far advanced toward completion, will require a further time and appropriation. This is the case with a few others, either not completed or in need of repairs.
The improvements in quality and quantity made in the manufacture of cannon and small arms, both at the public armories and private factories, warrant additional confidence in the competency of these resources for supplying the public exigencies.
These preparations for arming the militia having thus far provided for one of the objects contemplated by the power vested in Congress with respect to that great bulwark of the public safety, it is for their consideration whether further provisions are not requisite for the other contemplated objects of organization and discipline. To give to this great mass of physical and moral force the efficiency which it merits, and is capable of receiving, it is indispensable that they should be instructed and practiced in the rules by which they are to be governed. Toward an accomplishment of this important work I recommend for the consideration of Congress the expediency of instituting a system which shall in the first instance call into the field at the public expense and for a given time certain portions of the commissioned and non-commissioned officers. The instruction and discipline thus acquired would gradually diffuse through the entire body of the militia that practical knowledge and promptitude for active service which are the great ends to be pursued. Experience has left no doubt either of the necessity or of the efficacy of competent military skill in those portions of an army in fitting it for the final duties which it may have to perform.
The Corps of Engineers, with the Military Academy, are entitled to the early attention of Congress. The buildings at the seat fixed by law for the present Academy are so far in decay as not to afford the necessary accommodation. But a revision of the law is recommended, principally with a view to a more enlarged cultivation and diffusion of the advantages of such institutions, by providing professorships for all the necessary branches of military instruction, and by the establishment of an additional academy at the seat of Government or elsewhere. The means by which war, as well for defense as for offense, are now carried on render these schools of the more scientific operations an indispensable part of every adequate system. Even among nations whose large standing armies and frequent wars afford every other opportunity of instruction these establishments are found to be indispensable for the due attainment of the branches of military science which require a regular course of study and experiment. In a government happily without the other opportunities seminaries where the elementary principles of the art of war can be taught without actual war, and without the expense of extensive and standing armies, have the precious advantage of uniting an essential preparation against external danger with a scrupulous regard to internal safety. In no other way, probably, can a provision of equal efficacy for the public defence be made at so little expense or more consistently with the public liberty.
The receipts into the Treasury during the year ending on the 30th of September last (and amounting to more than $8,500,000) have exceeded the current expenses of the Government, including the interest on the public debt. For the purpose of reimbursing at the end of the year $3,750,000 of the principal, a loan, as authorized by law, had been negotiated to that amount, but has since been reduced to $2,750,000, the reduction being permitted by the state of the Treasury, in which there will be a balance remaining at the end of the year estimated at $2,000,000. For the probable receipts of the next year and other details I refer to statements which will be transmitted from the Treasury, and which will enable you to judge what further provisions may be necessary for the ensuing years.
Reserving for future occasions in the course of the session whatever other communications may claim your attention, I close the present by expressing my reliance, under the blessing of Divine Providence, on the judgment and patriotism which will guide your measures at a period particularly calling for united councils and inflexible exertions for the welfare of our country, and by assuring you of the fidelity and alacrity with which my co-operation will be afforded.
SPECIAL MESSAGE TO CONGRESS.
[1 ]September 23, 1809, Pinkney wrote to Smith:
[1 ]From Wheaton’s Life, Writings, and Speeches of William Pinkney, p. 437.
[1 ]The bill was introduced in the House Dec. 19, 1809, by Macon from the Committee on Foreign Relations, and prohibited public vessels of France or England or private vessels owned by subjects of either power from entering American ports; forbade the importation of goods from either country or its colonies; and provided that whenever either country should revoke or modify her edicts so that they would cease to violate the neutral commerce of the U. S. the President should issue a proclamation announcing the cessation of the prohibitions of the act towards the revoking power. He afterwards moved an amendment to make the act expire with the present session of Congress, when by its terms it would not go into effect till April 15, his object being to make it useless. It finally passed by the unsatisfactory vote of 73 to 52. The Senate amended it by striking out all but the sections prohibiting British and French public vessels from entering American ports and limiting the act to the next session of Congress. The House refused to recede and the bill was lost. On April 8, 1810, Macon brought in another bill providing that if France or Great Britain should revoke her edicts before March 3 next the President should proclaim the fact, and if within three months thereafter the other nation did not repeal her edicts the non-intercourse regulations should be effective against her. This bill after undergoing various amendments passed the House April 19, by a vote of 61 to 40. It was sent back to the Senate with further amendments and finally passed on the last day of the session, May 1st, being approved on the same day.
[1 ]In the Senate, approving the President’s course towards Jackson.
[1 ]See ante, p. 70, n.
[1 ]From Wheaton’s Life, Writings, and Speeches of William Pinkney, p. 441.
[1 ]From the Works of James Madison (Congressional Edition).
[1 ]Communicated to Congress November 29, 1809, February 19 and May 1, 1810. Annals of Cong., 11th Cong., 2d Session, p. 2124.
[1 ]Given in the case of Dempsey, assignee of Brown, v. The Insurance Co. of Pennsylvania. The case was argued twice, in 1807 and 1808, before the High Court of Errors and Appeals of Pennsylvania, and Judge Cooper’s opinion is discussed in Calhoun v. The Insurance Co. of Pennsylvania (1 Binney, 293). See also Maryland Insurance Co. v. Woods, 6 Cranch, 29. Ch. Justice Marshall rendered the opinion.
[2 ]See ante Vol. III., 197, n., for the text of the plan.
[3 ]Afterwards found. (Madison’s note.)
[1 ]David Holmes, appointed Governor of Mississippi Territory in 1809.
[1 ]Robert K. Lowry, of Maryland, left for La Guayra, Caracas, towards the end of July, but no regular commission was issued to him until Feb. 3, 1812, when he was appointed Consul at that place. From Baltimore, July 10, 1810, he wrote Secretary Smith: “In the course of conversation two days since, Mr. Bolivar informed me that a considerable order for muskets has been received by him for the Govt. of Caraccas.
[1 ]He was then Minister to Russia, having been appointed the year before.
[1 ]Gideon Granger was Postmaster-General at the time. Levi Lincoln was appointed January 7, 1811, but he declined on account of failing eyesight; on February 22 John Quincy Adams was appointed, but he preferred to remain in Russia, finally, November 18th, Joseph Story was appointed. On the subject of Granger Madison wrote to Jefferson Dec. 7, 1810. “Granger has stirred up recommendations throughout the Eastern States. The means by which this has been done are easily conjectured, and outweigh the recommendations themselves. The soundest Republicans of N. England are working hard agst. him as infected with Yazooism, and intrigue. They wish for J. Q. Adams as honest, able, independent, & untainted with such objections. There are others however in the view of the Southern Republicans, tho perhaps less formidable to them, than Yazooism on the Supreme Bench If there be other Candidates they are disqualified either politically, morally or intellectually. Such is the prospect before me which your experience will make you readily understand”—Mad. MSS.
[1 ]February 24, 1804, Congress passed a law extending the customs regulations over Louisiana and authorizing the President, whenever he should deem it expedient to do so, to make the bay and river Mobile a separate district. Jefferson deemed it inexpedient to put this part of the law into effect. In the summer of 1810 a revolution broke out among the people of the region and West Florida was declared independent and asked annexation to the United States. As the United States had already asserted the territory to be hers, the opportunity to extend her authority over it was not to be resisted. See Henry Adams, v., 306.
[1 ]The original of this letter is at Rokeby, General Armstrong’s country seat on the Hudson River.
[1 ]The proclamation was dated November 2. It recited the terms of the Act of May 1, 1810, and proceeded: “And, Whereas it has been officially made known to this Government that the edicts of France violating the neutral commerce of the United States have been so revoked as to cease to have effect on the 1st of the present month,
[1 ]From the Works of Madison (Congressional Edition). The letter is also printed in part in Wheaton’s Life, Writings, and Speeches of William Pinkney, 449. Pinkney’s letter was dated August 14th. Lord Wellesley’s letter to him of July 22d contained but two sentences: “I think it may be difficult to enter upon the subject of your last note, (respecting the diplomatic rank of our minister in America,) in any official form.