Front Page Titles (by Subject) To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States: - The Writings, vol. 8 (1808-1819)
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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:
The tendency of our commercial and navigation laws, in their present state, to favor the enemy, and thereby prolong the war, is more and more developed by experience. Supplies of the most essential kinds find their way, not only to British ports and British armies at a distance, but the armies in our neighborhood, with which our own are contending, derive from our ports and outlets a subsistence attainable with difficulty, if at all, from other sources. Even the fleets and troops infesting our coasts and waters are, by like supplies, accommodated and encouraged in their predatory and incursive warfare.
Abuses, having a like tendency, take place in our import trade. British fabrics and products find their way into our ports, under the name and from the ports of other countries; and often in British vessels, disguised as neutrals, by false colors and papers.
To these abuses it may be added, that illegal importations are openly made, with advantage to the violators of the law, produced by undervaluations, or other circumstances involved in the course of the judicial proceedings against them.
It is found, also, that the practice of ransoming is a cover for collusive captures, and a channel for intelligence advantageous to the enemy.
To remedy, as much as possible, these evils, I recommend:
That an effectual embargo on exports be immediately enacted.
That all articles, known to be derived, either not at all, or in any immaterial degree only, from the productions of any other country than Great Britain, and particularly the extensive articles made of wool and cotton materials, and ardent spirits made from the cane, be expressly and absolutely prohibited, from whatever port or place, or in whatever vessels, the same may be brought into the United States; and that all violations of the non-importation act be subjected to adequate penalties.
That, among the proofs of the neutral and national character of foreign vessels, it be required that the masters and supercargoes, and three-fourths at least of the crews, be citizens or subjects of the country under whose flag the vessels sail.
That all persons concerned in collusive captures by the enemy, or in ransoming vessels or their cargoes from the enemy, be subjected to adequate penalties.
To shorten, as much as possible, the duration of the war, it is indispensable that the enemy should feel all the pressure that can be given to it; and the restraints having that tendency, will be borne with the greater cheerfulness by all good citizens; as the restraints will affect those most, who are most ready to sacrifice the interest of their country in pursuit of their own.
December 9, 1813.
TO GEORGE W. CAMPBELL.1
Montpelier, May 7, 1814.
I have had the pleasure of receiving yours of the 4th. inst.2 Altho’ a just estimate by the lenders ought to have afforded us better terms, yet under all circumstances of the moment, the loan has been obtained on terms equal to the public expectation, and will have a favorable influence on our affairs. I hope no difficulty will grow out of the individual case you mention. The fulfilment of his former contract, & the effect of his present offer in improving the general terms of the loan were both in favor of receiving his subscription. I do not see however why he might not have disclosed spontaneously his connections in the business. If there were grounds, which I know of no facts to presume, for suspecting a defect of responsibility, the danger would be that an individual under such circumstances might take the chance of a rise of Stock, without incurring more than a failure otherwise hanging over him, in the event of a fall of Stock. Having secured a livelihood for the war for a few months, we shall have time to deliberate on a further experiment, and with a prospect of receiving from abroad imformation that may enlighten our calculations.
Mrs. Madison returns her best wishes to Mrs. Campbell who will please to accept mine also. We accomplished our journey within the time allotted, but thro’ roads which made the utmost exertions necessary. A very seasonable spring has given a fine countenance to the country. I fear an exception is about to take place in our Wheat fields which abound with the Hessian fly.
Accept assurances of my esteem and friendly regards.
[1 ]From a copy kindly furnished by Mrs. Susan P. Brown, of Spring Hill, Tenn.
[2 ]By the act of March 24, Congress authorized a loan of $25,000,000. Campbell wrote to Madison, May 4, saying he had disposed of $10,000,000 of the loan “at $88 in money for $100 in 6 per cent. stocks: the government agreeing that if any part of the 25 millions authorized to be borrowed for the present year should be given on terms more favorable to the lenders, the benefit of such terms should be extended to the persons then holding the stock issued for the present year. . . . A considerable portion of it has been offered by public institutions and individuals of whose ability there is no reason to doubt. There is, however, a large sum (5 millions) taken by or in the name of one man, Mr. Barker; who at an early day put in his proposal for that amount on the foregoing terms. It is presumed he acts in conjunction with others, or is supported by some public institutions which will enable him to comply with his proposal.”—Mad. MSS.