Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JAMES MADISON - The Works, vol. 4 (Notes on Virginia II, Correspondence 1782-1786)
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TO JAMES MADISON - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 4 (Notes on Virginia II, Correspondence 1782-1786) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 4.
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TO JAMES MADISON
Annapolis, April 25, 1784.
—My last to you on the 16th of March, as was the latest I have received from you. By the proposition to bound our country to the westward I meant no more than the passing an act declaring that that should be our boundary from the moment that the people of the Western country & Congress should agree to it. The act of Congress now inclosed to you will shew you that they have agreed to it, because it extends not only to the territory ceded, but to be ceded, and shews how and when they shall be taken into the union. There is nobody then to consult but the people to be severed. If you will make your act final as to yourselves, as soon as those people shall have declared their assent in a certain manner to be pointed out by the act, the whole business is settled. For their assent will follow immediately. One of the conditions is that they pay their quota of the contracted. Of course no difficulty need arise on this head: as no quota has been fixed on us unalterably. The minuter circumstances of selling the ungranted lands will be provided in an ordinance already prepared but not reported. You will observe two clauses struck out of the report, the 1st respecting hereditary honors, the second slavery. The 1st was done not from an approbation of such honors, but because it was thought an improper place to encounter them. The 2nd was lost by an individual vote only. Ten states were present. The 4 Eastern states N. York, and Penns., were for the clause. Jersey would have been for it, but there were but two members, one of whom was sick in his chambers. South Carolina, Maryland, and !Virginia! voted against it. N. Carolina was divided, as would have been Virginia, had not one of its delegates been sick in bed.
The place at which Congress should meet in Nov. has been the subject of discussion lately. Alexandria, Philadelphia, & Trenton were proposed. The first was negatived easily. Trenton had the 4 Eastern states, N. Y., N. J., & Penns. We expect Georgia & Delaware shortly, in which case it will become possible that Phila. may be determined on. The question is put off to be considered with the establishment of a com. of the states, which, to my astonishment, would have been negatived when first proposed had not the question been staved off. Some of the states who were against the measure, I believe, because they had never reflected on the consequences of leaving a government without a head, seem to be come over.
Dr. Lee is appointed an Indian com. He is not present, but is known to have sought it, & of course will accept. This vacates his seat here. I wish Short could be sent in his room. It is a good school for our young statesmen. It gives them impressions friendly to the federal government instead of those adverse which too often take place in persons confined to the politics of their state.
I like the method you propose of settling at once with Maryland all matters relative to Potowmac. To introduce this more easily, I have conversed with Mr. Stone (one of their delegates) on the subject & finding him of the same opinion, have told him I would by letters bring the subject forward on our part. They will consider it therefore as originated by this conversation.
Mercer is 604 ing a very 590. or 745 part. He is a candidate for the 188 [secretary?] ship of foreign 575 [affairs?] and tho he will not get the vote of one state I believe he expects the appointment. He has been endeavoring to defeat all foreign treaties to force the nations of Europe to 400. 255 treat here that he may have the execution of 238. 789. 243. 926. 523. this 467. 364 tho he 960. not 374 the vote of his state. He intrigued with a 312. 730 1017 ol from wes 66 & an old one from New York 890 424 [?] them to divide their state by voting in the 1095 and there being but 586 states present one of which was 728 before to be divided the 467 set of 99 were re 921. 278. 539. 359 tho approved by twenty-one out of twenty-five members the 467 364 has been in the 895. 565. for a month and whether it can be resumed & 835 depends on the uncertainty of 160 or 343 coming on. Vanity & ambition [?] seem to be the 398 ing passion of this 312 730. man and as his 898 are in 818. re as also are his mean intrigue is a principal one on 820 47 as party attachment is in the able his 6 now about one 760 of the time of Congress to himself & in conversations with Read, 651, 746, 776. 14. 364. inconceivable that 823. the 794 is col 66 & no otherwise of Ken[tucky?] than as by his vote 24 can divide his state.
The more I reflected on your proposition for printing the Revisal, the more I have liked it. I am convinced too from late experiments it cannot be passed in the detail. One of the Eastern States had their laws revised and then attempted to pass them through their legislature, but they got so mangled that all consistence was destroyed, & I believe they dropped them altogether. Should this be printed, I will ask you to send me half a dozen copies wherever I shall be.
Would it not be well for Virginia to empower persons privately to buy up her quota of old Continental Money. I would certainly advise this were I not afraid that the possession of her quota on such easy terms would tempt her to refuse justice to the other states on this matter. For surely there would be no justice in wiping off her part of this debt by so much smaller a contribution than the others. If she would avail herself of it only to shield herself against injustice and to enable her from a high ground to declare & do what is right, I should much wish to see her adopt secret measures for the purchase. I think some other states will do thus & fear with unjust views. You know that many gentlemen of this state had money in the hands of merchants in England. I am well informed that these merchants have uniformly refused to pay them interest, saying the money was always ready if they would have called for it. This adds another to the many good reasons we had before against paying interest during the war. * * *
Congress hope to adjourn by the last of May. The estimate and requisitions for the year, the arrangements for the land office, and foreign treaties, are subjects they will endeavor to complete. Vermont is pressed on them by New York, and a day declared beyond which they will await no interposition, but assert their right of government. The Chevalier Luzerne has taken his leave of us. He makes a tour to the lakes before he leaves the continent. Marbois acts as chargé des affaires till the arrival of a successor. * * *
April 30. A London ship is arrived here which left that port the 25th March. Pitt was still in place, supported by the King, lords, and nation in general, the city of London enthusiastically in his favor. Still there was a majority of twelve in favor of Fox, who was supported by the Prince of Wales. It was thought that parliament would be dissolved. Congress has determined to adjourn on the 3d June to meet in November at Trenton. Adieu.