Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JAMES MADISON MAD. MSS. - The Works, vol. 8 (Correspondence 1793-1798)
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TO JAMES MADISON MAD. MSS. - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 8 (Correspondence 1793-1798) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 8
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TO JAMES MADISONMAD. MSS.
Apr. 17, 1796.
Yours of the 4th came to hand the day before yesterday. I have turned to the Conventional history, and enclose you an exact copy of what is there on the subject you mentioned. I have also turned to my own papers, & send you some things extracted from them, which shew that the recollection of the P has not been accurate when he supposed his own opinion to have been uniformly that declared in his answer of Mar 30. The records of the Senate will vouch for this. * * *
Extract, verbatim, from last page but one & the last page.
“Mr. King suggested that the journals of the Convention should be either destroyed, or deposited in the custody of the President. He thought, if suffered to be made public, a bad use would be made of them by those who would wish to prevent the adoption of the constitution.
“Mr. Wilson preferred the 2d expedient. He had at one time liked the first best; but as false suggestions may be propagated, it should not be made impossible to contradict them.
“A question was then put on depositing the journals & other papers of the Convention in the hands of the President, on which N H, ay, M, ay, Ct, ay, N J, ay, Penna, ay, Del, ay, Md, no, Virga, ay, N C, ay, S C, ay, Georgia, ay. This negative of Maryland was occasioned by the language of the instructions to the Deputies of that state, which required them to report to the state the proceedings of the Convention.
“The President having asked what the Convention meant should be done with the journals, &c., whether copies were to be allowed to the members, if applied for, it was resolved nem. con. ‘that he retain the journals & other papers subject to the order of the Congress, if ever formed under the Constitution.’
“The members then proceeded to sign the instrument, &c.”
“In the Senate, Feb 1, 1791.
“The commee, to whom was referred that part of the speech of the Prt of the U S, at the opening of the session, which relates to the commerce of the Mediterranean, & also the letter from the Secy of state, dated 20 Jan, 1791, with the papers accompanying the same, reported: whereupon,
“Resolved, that the Senate do advise & consent, that the Pr of the U S take such measures as he may think necessary for the redemption of the citizens of the U S, now in captivity at Algiers, provided the expense shall not exceed 40,000. Dolls, & also, that measures be taken to confirm the treaty now existing between the U S and the Emperor of Morocco.”
The above is a copy of a resoln of Senate, referred to me by the Pt, to prepare an answer to, and I find immediately following this, among my papers, a press copy, from an original written fairly in my own hand, ready for the P’s signature, & to be given in to the Senate, the following answer:
“Gent of the Senate,—
“I will proceed to take measures for the ransom of our citizens in captivity at Algiers, in conformity with your resoln of advice of the 1st inst, so soon as the moneys necessary shall be appropriated by the Legislature, & shall be in readiness.
“The recognition of our treaty with the new Emperor of Morocco requires also previous appropriation & provision. The importance of this last to the liberty & property of our citizens, induces me to urge it on your earliest attention.”
Tho’ I have no memm. of the delivery of this to the Senate, yet I have not the least doubt it was given in to them, & will be found among their records.
I find among my press copies, the following in my hand writing:
“The committee to report, that the President does not think that circumstances will justify, in the present instance, his entering into absolute engagements for the ransom of our captives in Algiers, nor calling for money from the treasury, nor raising it by loan, without previous authority from both branches of the legislature.”
“Apr 9, 1792.”
I do not recollect the occasion of the above paper with certainty; but I think there was a comme appointed by the Senate to confer with the P on the subject of the ransom, and to advise what is there declined, and that a member of the commee advising privately with me as to the report they were to make to the House, I minuted down the above, as the substance of what I conceived to be the proper report, after what had passed with the Prt, and gave the original to the member, preserving the press copy. I think the member was either mr. Izard or mr. Butler, and have no doubt such a report will be found on the files of the Senate.
On the 8th of May following, in consequence of questions proposed by the Prt to the Senate, they came to a resolution, on which a mission was founded. * * *