VI.

INSTRUCTIONS TO VIRGINIA SENATORS.

IN THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES,
Saturday, January 11, 1800.

THE House proceeded to consider the instructions from the General Assembly of Virginia, to STEPHENS THOMPSON MASON and WILSON GARY NICHOLAS, senators from the state of Virginia, in the Congress of the United States. The instructions are as follows: —

The General Assembly of the commonwealth of Virginia, though it entertains no doubt of your punctual performance of your duty, or of your faithful adherence to the great principles of constitutional law, and national policy, deems it incumbent on it to communicate its opinions, formed after the most mature deliberation, on certain subjects essentially connected, as it solemnly believes, with the dearest rights, and most important interests of the people.

The General Assembly of Virginia will not now enter into a minute detail of all the facts and reasonings which justify and require the instructions hereto subjoined. It cannot, however, forbear to remind you of some facts and observations, which it deems too expressive and important to be passed over in silence. It had indulged a hope, when there was a prospect of an accommodation of differences with the French republic, or, if even the existing mission should not terminate in that desirable event,1 when all the belligerent nations of Europe are too much occupied with European concerns, to meditate an invasion of the United States, that the people would have been relieved from the evils and expenses incident to a military establishment, such as that authorized by the fifth Congress; but it has been with the most painful emotions, that it has seen, at the opening of the present session of Congress, a total disappointment in this just and pleasing expectation. The following intimation is contained in the speech of the President, and approved in the answers of the two houses of Congress. " The result of the mission to France is yet uncertain, but however it may terminate, a steady perseverance in a system of national defence, commensurate with our resources and the situation of the United States, is an obvious dictate of wisdom." This recommendation, if carried into practice, would materially lessen the advantages which would naturally result from an accommodation with the French republic, the most important of which would be a relief from the evils incident to a preparation for a rupture, and seems to establish a position never before officially advanced in the United States — that war in Europe is of itself a sufficient cause for raising a standing army here, equal at least to the present military establishment. The experience of all ages has shown that the respite from wars amongst the European nations is too short to justify disbanding an existing army, and raising another during the intervals of peace, as a preparation for the next rupture; and of course, if European wars be a sufficient cause for raising military establishments here, a perpetual standing army would be the certain consequence of the recommendation. It cannot have escaped your notice, that the present war in Europe has not hitherto been deemed a sufficient cause for increasing the military establishment of the United States. So far from it, that during the existence of the war, the former establishment was actually reduced. It is equally notorious that the only motive avowed for augmenting the military force, arose from the apprehension of an actual invasion from France; and the same law which gave rise to the army, contains a provision for disbanding it, upon an accommodation with that republic. It cannot therefore but produce much concern, that notwithstanding the existing prospect of accommodation, it should not only be considered as necessary to go on with the immense expense of such an establishment, but that it should be deemed expedient to persevere in a system of defence commensurate with the resources and situation of the United States, even in the event of a successful termination of the pacific mission and a restoration of that state of things which preceded the crisis which was supposed by Congress to require so great an augmentation of the military force. Although the Constitution submits the right of raising armies to the discretion of Congress, yet, it evidently contemplated the militia as the great bulwark of national defence, as well, to use the language of the Constitution, to repel invasions, as to execute the laws of the union and suppress insurrections, and contemplated the right of raising armies for pressing and extraordinary emergencies. That the militia, except in such emergencies, is the only safe and adequate defence of the nation, is a political axiom hitherto held sacred in the United States. This is not only the obvious meaning of the Constitution, but is still more strongly evidenced by the practical construction thereof under the former administration, as will appear by reviewing its proceedings for several successive years after the government was put into operation. Shortly after that event, the first President in his speech on the 8th of January, 1790, called the attention of Congress, to the great business of providing for the national defence in the following words: "A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined, to which end an uniform and well-digested plan is requisite." Acting under the same impression in his speech on the 25th of October, 1791, he again reminded Congress of the militia, as the great depository of national force. Speaking of the several objects referred to the consideration of Congress, in referring to the militia, he observes: "The first is certainly an object of primary importance, whether viewed in reference to the national security, or to the satisfaction of the community, or to the preservation of order; in connexion with this, the establishment of competent magazines and arsenals, and the fortifications naturally present themselves to consideration. The safety of the United States, under divine protection, ought to rest on the basis of systematic and solid arrangements, exposed as little as possible to the hazard of fortuitous circumstances."

These recommendations being considered as relating exclusively to the militia, gave rise to a law more effectually to provide for the national defence, by establishing an uniform militia throughout the United States. The President again recurring to the militia, as the safe and adequate defence of the nation, in his speech on the third of December, 1793, after speaking of the necessity of procuring arms and other military apparatus, emphatically observes : — "Nor can such arrangements, with such objects, be exposed to the censure or jealousy of the warmest friends of republican government. They are incapable of abuse in the hands of a militia, who ought to possess a pride in being the depositary of the force of the republic, and may be trained to a degree of energy equal to every military exigency of the United States. But it is an inquiry which cannot be too solemnly pursued, whether the act has organized them so as to produce their full effect." And again, after the militia had demonstrated their efficacy in promptly marching to suppress an opposition to the laws in Pennsylvania, on the 19th of November, 1794, in his speech the President observes: "The devising and establishing a well-regulated militia, would be a genuine source of legislative honour, and a perfect title to public gratitude. I therefore entertain a hope, that the present session will not pass, without carrying to its full energy the power of organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and thus providing in the language of the Constitution for calling them forth, to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions, as auxiliary to the state of our defence, to which Congress can never too frequently recur; they will not omit to inquire whether the fortifications which have been already licensed by law, be commensurate with our exigencies." These quotations require no illustration. They demonstrate the principle contended for by the General Assembly. Until the fifth Congress this principle appears to have been duly respected. It was then materially varied by the substitution of a military establishment, and by volunteer corps officered by the President and not by the states, as the Constitution requires that the militia should be, at the same time refusing to arm and equip any portion of the militia for the purposes of defence.

The solicitude of the Virginia Assembly for disbanding the army and reinstating the great constitutional principle of national defence, is greatly increased by referring to the enormous sums appropriated for supporting the army and navy. During the last year, whilst money was procured at eight per centum, the appropriations for the support of the army alone, amounted to 4,200,000 dollars; for fortifications, 700,000; for the navy, 4,350,000; amounting in the whole to 9,250,000, exclusively of a great and unascertained sum of voluntary subscriptions for building and equipping vessels of war for which the subscribers receive an interest at six per centum. Thus imposing an annual debt, or an annual tax upon the people of nearly two dollars for every individual throughout the United States, to say nothing of the moral and political evils incident to a standing army and some of which are already developing themselves in the United States. Considering the great distance of the United States from the powerful nations of Europe, the natural strength of the country, the spirit of the people, and the fate of one invading experiment made at a time and under circumstances infinitely unfavourable to the United States compared with their present situation, the General Assembly is persuaded that as long as the nations of Europe continue at war with each other, no formidable invasion is to be apprehended at all, nor a sudden and formidable invasion at any time. Under this prospect of things the General Assembly holds it as the dictate of true policy in the federal government to husband the public resources, to arrange and prepare the militia, and to cultivate harmony by removing as far as possible, causes of jealousy and disapprobation. With these advantages it cannot be doubted that the United States would be in a better posture for facing any danger that can be seriously apprehended, than can be given them by the present military establishment accompanied with the anticipation of resources and the accumulations of public debts and taxes inseparable therefrom.

In reviewing the measures adopted by the fifth Congress, the General Assembly cannot overlook the act suspending all commercial intercourse with the French dominions.2 However ready the General Assembly and its constituents may be to bear with cheerfulness their full share of all necessary burdens, and to be among the foremost, in making all necessary sacrifices, they cannot be insensible to some of the effects of this measure, which press with peculiar weight on them, at the same time that they must be in some degree felt, by every part of the United States. The article of tobacco, as you well know, constitutes a principal staple in the exports of this state. For several years past it has been an increasing one. France and the markets supplied, or that could be supplied through her, consume a very great proportion of all the tobacco made in the United States. Great Britain is supposed to consume not more than ten or twelve thousand hogsheads. The consequence of passing this prohibitory act, cutting off one part of the continental market, in Europe, whilst the British fleet under the pretext of blockades had cut off another, has been to throw almost the whole of this great and valuable staple into the ports of Great Britain; from which, as a belligerent country, re-exportation to other markets, must be made with great difficulty, risk, and charges, whilst the monopoly thus thrown into a single market has had the natural effect of reducing the price of the article far below its usual standard, at the very time when, within the prohibited markets, it would have sold at a rate still more above the usual prices. At the time of passing the law, the average price of tobacco in Virginia was about ten dollars — at present the price is not more than about three dollars and thirty-three cents, and although other circumstances may possibly in some degree have contributed to produce this immense difference, yet it cannot be doubted that the act in question has been the principal cause. From this state of things it necessarily happens, that the merchants who were engaged in this branch of trade have been most extensively injured; the planter receives not more than a third of the value of his labour bestowed on the article of tobacco; the ability to pay the requisite taxes, is proportionably diminished, and the revenue from imports likely to be reduced, by the reduction of the value of the exports. On this consideration we think it proper to instruct you, to solicit a revision of the act aforesaid, which we cannot, from any information known to the public, perceive to be in any manner conducive in its operation to the national interest. Nor do we perceive, that any inconvenience can result from such a measure, to the existing posture of things between the United States and the French republic. If it should have any influence on the negotiations depending, it will probably be of a conciliatory, rather than of a disadvantageous nature. And should the negotiations not issue in the desired accommodation, this branch of the arrangements, that may then become proper, will be subject to the same discretion which will decide on every other.

With respect to the navy, it may be proper to remind you that whatever may be the proposed object of its establishment, or whatever may be the prospect of temporary advantages resulting therefrom, it is demonstrated by the experience of all nations, who have ventured far into naval policy, that such prospect is ultimately delusive; and that a navy has ever in practice been known more as an instrument of power, a source of expense, and an occasion of collisions and wars with other nations, than as an instrument of defence, of economy, or of protection to commerce.

Nor is there any nation, in the judgment of the General Assembly, to whose circumstances this remark is more applicable than to the United States.

The General Assembly of Virginia would consider itself unfaithful to the trusts reposed in it, were it to remain silent, whilst a doctrine has been publicly advanced, novel in its principle, and tremendous in its consequences: That the common law of England is in force under the government of the United States! It is not at this time proposed to expose at large the monstrous pretensions resulting from the adoption of this principle.3 It ought never, however, to be forgotten, and can never be too often repeated, that it opens a new tribunal for the trial of crimes never contemplated by the federal compact. It opens a new code of sanguinary criminal law, both obsolete and unknown, and either wholly rejected or essentially modified in almost all its parts by state institutions. It arrests or supersedes state jurisdiction, and innovates upon state laws. It subjects the citizen to punishment according to the judiciary will, when he is left in ignorance of what this law enjoins as a duty, or prohibits as a crime. It assumes a range of jurisdiction for the federal courts, which defies limitation or definition. In short, it is believed that the advocates for the principle would themselves be lost in an attempt to apply it to the existing institutions of federal and state courts, by separating with precision their judiciary rights, and thus preventing the constant and mischievous interference of rival jurisdiction.

With respect to the alien and sedition-laws, it is at present only deemed necessary to refer you to the various discussions upon those subjects which, in the opinion of the General Assembly of Virginia, clearly demonstrate the unconstitutionality of their principles; and experience has also sufficiently shown, the mischiefs of their operation.

The General Assembly of Virginia, confiding in your intelligence and zeal, trusts that these principles will be, on all proper occasions, illustrated and supported by you, with that candour, moderation and firmness, without which the friends of liberty and truth, however sincere, cannot render essential service to the cause in which they are engaged.

Deeply impressed with these opinions, the General Assembly of Virginia instructs the senators and requests the representatives from this state in Congress, to use their best efforts —

1. To procure a reduction of the army, within the narrowest limits compatible with the protection of the forts and the preservation of the arsenals maintained by the United States; unless such a measure shall be forbidden by information not known to the public.

2. To prevent any augmentation of the navy, and to promote any proposition for reducing it, as circumstances will permit, within the narrowest limits compatible with the protection of the sea-coasts, ports, and harbours of the United States, and of consequence a proportionate reduction of the taxes.

3. To oppose the passing of any law founded on, or recognising the principle lately advanced, "that the common law of England is in force under the government of the United States;" excepting from Such opposition such particular parts of the common law as may have a sanction from the Constitution, so far as they are necessarily comprehended in the technical phrases which express the powers delegated to the government; — and excepting also such other parts thereof as may be adopted by Congress, as necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers expressly delegated.

4. To procure a repeal of the acts of Congress commonly called the alien and sedition-acts.

IN THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES.

VOTES ON INSTRUCTIONS TO SENATORS.
Saturday, January 11, 1800.

The House, according to order, proceeded to consider the "instructions from the General Assembly of Virginia, to STEPHENS THOMPSON MASON and WILSON CARY NICHOLAS, senators from the state of Virginia, in the Senate of the United States;" and the first article of the said instructions being read, a motion was made to amend the same by adding thereto, "unless such a measure shall be forbidden by information not known to the public," and the same being read, a motion was made to amend the amendment, by substituting in lieu thereof, "as soon as an accommodation of the existing differences with the French republic may render such a reduction safe and expedient." And the question being put thereupon,

It passed in the negative.

On the motion of Mr. Richard B. Lee, seconded by Mr. George K. Taylor,

Ordered, That the names of the ayes and hoes on the foregoing question be inserted In the journal.

The names of those who voted in the affirmative are — Messrs. Bailey, Doake, Anderson, Blackburn, Hancock, Tate, A. White, Breckenridge, Powell, R. B. Lee, Clarkson, Edmunds, Magill, Eskridge, J. Mathews, Cavendish, B. Robinson, Fisher, Simon, T. Lewis, Ruffner, Ashton, Burwell, Ball, J. Lewis, Noland, Cowan, Nelson, J. Evans, Jun., Sumner, J. Taylor, Darby, Satchell, Biggs, Geo. K. Taylor, Cureton, Lawson, J. Robinson, Blow, W. Bailey, Garner, Turner, Crockett, Griffin, Copland, R. B. Taylor. — 46.

And the names of those who voted in the negative are — Messrs. Wise, Woods, Giles, Chaffin, David S. Garland, Hare, Vance, Calwell, Young, Otey, Fletcher, Charles Yancey, West, J. Taylor, Buckner, Reid, Tyler, Cheatham, T. A. Taylor, J. Roberts, M. Green, W. Daniel, Dean, Pegram, Goodwyn, Booker, Westwood, Daingerfield, Garnett, Hayden, Payne, Greer, Cooke, Hall, C. Garland, Pleasants, William Lee, Gaines, John B. Scott, Calmes, Higgins, Selden, Price, (of Henrico,) Starke, T. White, Jackson, Prunty, Martin, Redd, Driver, James Johnston, Tazewell, Lightfoot, Wallace, Pollard, Cocke, Callis, Yancey, Francis Eppes, Hill, Roebuck, Billups, Blakey, Robert B. Daniel, Craig, Howe, Riddick, Watkins, Claughton, Ball, Freeman Eppes, Grief Green, Madison, Barbour, M'Roberts, Wooding, Moseley, Woodson, Peter Johnston, Charles Scott, Pope, Thomas Mason, M'Coy, Hull, Rentfro, Haddan, Barnes, M'Carty, Bowyer, Moore, B. Harrison, Huston, M'Farlane, Dulany, Gatewood, Mercer, Stannard. Fox, Seward, Sebrell, Smith, Burnham, Meek, Dysart, Evans, Shield, and Waller. — 107.

The question being then put on the amendment first proposed,

It passed in the affirmative.

And then the question being put on the first article of the instructions, as amended,

It passed in the affirmative.

On the motion of Mr. Jackson, seconded by Mr. Geo. K. Taylor,

Ordered, That the names of the ayes and noes on the foregoing question be inserted in the journal.

The names of those who voted in the affirmative are — Messrs. Woods, Giles, Chaffin, David S. Garland, Hare, Vance, Calwell, Young, Hancock, Otey, Fletcher, C. Yancey, Bolling, West, James Taylor, Buckner, Reid, Price, (of Charlotte,) Tyler, Cheatham, T. A. Taylor, Roberts, M. Green, W. Daniel, Deane, Pegram, Goodwyn, Booker, Westwood, Daingerfield, Garnett, Hayden, Payne, Greer, Cooke, Hall, C. Garland, Pleasants, W. Lee, Gaines, J. B. Scott, Higgins, Selden, Price, (of Henrico,) Starke, T. White, Prunty, Fisher, Martin, Redd, Driver, J. Johnston, Tazewell, Jackson, Lightfoot, Pollard, Cocke, Callis, R. Yancey, Francis Eppes, Hill, Roebuck, Billups, Litchfield, Blakey, R. B. Daniel, Craig, Howe, Riddick, Watkins, Claughton, Ball, Freeman Eppes, G. Green, Madison, Barbour, M'Roberts, Wooding, Moseley, Woodson, Peter Johnston, C. Scott, Pope, T. Mason, M'Coy, Hull, Rentfro, Haddan, Barnes, M'Carty, Bowyer, Moore, B. Harrison, Huston, M'Farlane, Dulaney, Gatewood, Mercer, Stannard, Fox, Seward, Sebrell, Burnham, Meek, Dysart, John Evans, Shield, and Waller. — 108.

And the names of those who voted in the negative are — Messrs. Wise, T. Bailey, Doake, Anderson, Blackburn, Tate, A. White, Breckenridge, Miller, J. F. Powell, R. B. Lee, Clarkson, Magill, Eskridge, Cavendish, Thomas Lewis, Ruffner, Wallace, Ashton, Burwell, Joseph Lewis, Noland, Cowan, Nelson, Evans, Jun., T. Wilson, Sumner, James Taylor, Darby, Satchell, Biggs, G. K. Taylor, Cureton, Lawson, J. Robinson, Blow, W. Bailey, Smith, Garner, Turner, Griffin, Copland, R. B. Taylor. — 43.

The second article of the instructions being then read, a motion was made to amend the same, by striking out the whole of the said article from the third word, and substituting in lieu of the part so struck out, "unnecessary augmentation of the navy, and to promote any proposition for confining it within the narrowest limits compatible with the protection of the sea-coasts, ports, and harbours, and of the commerce of the United States;" and the question being put thereon, It passed in the negative.

On the motion of Mr. George K. Taylor, seconded by Mr. Cureton,

Ordered, That the names of the ayes and noes on the foregoing question be inserted in the journal.

The names of those who voted in the affirmative are — Messrs. Wise, T. Bailey, Doake, Anderson, Blackburn, Hancock, Otey, Alexander White, Tate, Breckenridge, Miller, West, J. F. Powell, Booker, Westwood, Richard B. Lee, Clarkson, Edmunds, Magill, Eskridge, John Matthews, Cavendish, B. Robinson, Fisher, Simon, T. Lewis, Ruffner, Wallace, Ashton, Pollard, Burwell, Ball, Joseph Lewis, Jun., Noland, Cowan, Nelson, John Evans, Jun., T. Wilson, Sumner, James Taylor, Darby, Satchell, Biggs, George K. Taylor, Cureton, Lawson, James Robinson, Blow, William Bailey, Garner, Turner, Griffin, Copland, and Robert B. Taylor. — 54.

And the names of those who voted in the negative are — Messrs. Woods, Giles, Chaffin, D. S. Garland, Hare, Vance, Calwell, Young, Fletcher, C. Yancey, Bolling, John Taylor, Buckner, Price, (of Charlotte,) Tyler, Cheatham, T. A. Taylor, Roberts, Green, W. Daniel, Deane, Pegram, Goodwyn, Daingerfieid, Garnett, Hayden, Payne, Greer, Hall, C, Garland, Pleasants, W. Lee, Gaines, J. B. Scott, Howson, Calmes, Higgins, Selden, Price, (of Henrico,) Starke, T. White, Jackson, Prunty, Martin, Redd, Driver, J. Johnston, Tazewell, Lightfoot, Cocke, Callis, R, Yancey, F. Eppes, Hill, Roebuck, Billups, Litchfield, Blakey, R. B. Daniel, Craig, Howe, Riddick, Watkins, Claughton, William Ball, Freeman Eppes, G. Green, Madison, Barbour, M'Roberts, Woodings, Moseley, Woodson, Peter Johnston, C. Scott, Pope, T. Mason, M'Coy, Hull, Rentfro, Haddan, Barnes, M'Carty, Bowyer, Moore, B. Harrison, Huston, Cockrell, M'FarIane, Dulaney, Gatewood, Mercer, Stannard, Fox, Seward, Sebrell, Smith, Burnham, Meek, Dysart, Evans, Shield, and Waller. — 103.

A motion was then made to amend the said article, by inserting after the word "it," in the first line, "as circumstances will permit." It passed in the affirmative.

The third article of the instructions being then read, a motion was made to amend it by the following addition: "excepting from such opposition such particular parts of the common law as may have a sanction from the Constitution, so far as they are necessarily comprehended in the technical phrases, which express the powers delegated to the government: and excepting also, such other parts thereof as may be adopted as necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers expressly delegated." And the question being put thereupon, It passed in the affirmative.

On the motion of Mr. Cureton, seconded by Mr. Breckenridge,

Ordered, That the names of the ayes and noes on the foregoing question be inserted in the journal.

The names of those who voted in the affirmative are — Messrs. Wise, T. Bailey, Woods, Giles, Chaffin, D. S. Garland, Hare, Doake, Anderson, Blackburn, Vance, Calwell, Young, Hancock, Otey, Tate, A. White, Breckenridge, Miller, Fletcher, C. Yancey, Bolling, West, Powell, John Taylor, Buckner, Reid, Price, (of Charlotte,) Tyler, Cheatham, T. A. Taylor, Roberts, M. Green, W. Daniel, Deane, Pegram, Goodwyn, Booker, Westwood, Daingerfield, Garnett, R. B. Lee, Clarkson, Edmonds, J. Hayden, Payne, Magill, Eskridge, Greer, Cooke, Hall, C. Garland, Pleasants, W. Lee, Gaines, Cavendish, B. Robinson, J. B. Scott, Howson, Calmes, Higgins, Selden, Price, (of Henrico,) Starke, T. White, Prunty, Fisher, Simon, Martin, Redd, Driver, J. Johnston, Tazewell, Lightfoot, T. Lewis, Runner, Wallace, Ashton, Pollard, Burwell, Ball, J. Lewis, Noland, Callis, R. Yancey, Francis Eppes, Cowan, Nelson, Hill, Billups, Litchfield, Blakey, R. Daniel, Evans, Jr., T. Wilson, Craig, Howe, Riddick, Sumner, Watkins, James Taylor, Darby, Satchell, Claughton, Ball, Freeman, Eppes, G. Green, Biggs, Madison, M'Roberts, Wooding, Moseley, Woodson, C. Scott, Pope, G. K. Taylor, Cureton, T. Mason, Lawson, James Robinson, M'Coy, Hull, Rentfro, Barnes, M'Carty, Bowyer, Moore, B. Harrison, Huston, M'FarIane, Dulaney, Gatewood, Blow, William -Bailey, Mercer, Stannard, Fox, Seward, Sebrell, Smith, Burnham, Garner, Turner, Meek, Dysart, Shield, Griffin, Waller, and R. B. Taylor. — 149.

And the names of those who voted in the negative are — —

And the question being then put on the article of instruction as amended,

It passed in the affirmative.

The fourth article of the instructions was then read, and the question being put upon the passage thereof,

It passed in the affirmative.

That part of the instructions which relates to the act of Congress concerning the suspension of intercourse with Prance and her dependencies was then read, and the question being put on the passage thereof,

It passed in the affirmative.

The question being then put, that the instructions, as amended, do pass,

They passed in the affirmative.

On the motion of Mr. Jackson, seconded by Mr. Bailey, Ordered, that the names of the ayes and noes on the foregoing question be inserted in the journal.

The names of those who voted in the affirmative are — Messrs. Woods, Giles, Chaffin, David S. Garland, Hare, Vance, Calwell, Young, Fletcher, Charles Yancey, J. Taylor, Buckner, Reid, Price, (of Charlotte,) Tyler, Cheatham, Thomas A. Taylor, Roberts, Green, Wm. Daniel, Deane, Pegram, Goodwyn, Booker, Westwood, Daingerfield, Garnett, Hayden, Payne, Greer, Cooke, Hall, Christopher Garland, Pleasants, William Lee, Gaines, J. B. Scott, Howson, Calmes, Higgins, Selden, Price, (of Henrico,) Starke, Thos. White, Jackson, Prunty, Martin, Redd, Driver, James Johnston, Tazewell, Lightfoot, Cocke, Callis, R. Yancey, Francis Eppes, Hill, Roebuck, Billups, Litchfield, Blakey, Robert B. Daniel, Craig, Howe, Riddick, Watkins, Claughton, J. Ball, F. Eppes, G. Green, Madison, Barbour, M'Roberts, Wooding, Moseley, Woodson, Charles Scott, Pope, M'Coy, Hull, Rentfro, Haddan, Barnes, M'Carty, Bowyer, Moore, B. Harrison, Huston, Cockrell, M'Farlane, Dulaney, Gatewood, Mercer, Stannard, Fox, Seward, Sebrell, Burnham, Meek, Dysart, Shield, and Waller. — 102.

The names of those who voted in the negative are — Messrs. Wise, Thomas Bailey, Doake, Anderson, Blackburn, Hancock, Otey, Tate, A. White, Breckenridge, Miller, West, Powell, R. B. Lee, Clarkson, Edmonds, Magill, Eskridge, Cavendish, B. Robinson, Fisher, Simon, T. Lewis, Ruffner, Wallace, Ashton, N. Burwell, J. Ball, J. Lewis, Jun., Noland, Cowan, Evans, T. Wilson, Sumner, James Taylor, Darby, Satchell, Biggs, G. K. Taylor, Cureton, Lawson, J. Robinson, Blow, William Bailey, Garner, Turner, Griffin, Copland, and R. B. Taylor. — 49.


1. The mission referred to was composed of Messrs. Oliver Ellsworth, of Connecticut then Chief Justice of the United States, William R. Davie, of North Carolina and William Vans Murray, of Maryland, then the United States minister at the Hague.

As soon as Talleyrand discovered the gross blunder he had committed in dismissing the American plenipotentiaries, in the manner related in the preface (see page xii.) and that the people of the United States would heartily support their government, he hastened to avert the gathering storm by instructing the French secretary of legation at the Hague to give Mr. Murray, our minister there, assurances, at first informal, but finally distinct and authoritative, that "whatever plenipotentiary the government of the United States might send to France, to put an end to the existing differences between the two countries, would be undoubtedly received with the respect due to the representative of a free, independent, and powerful nation, " — employing, it will be observed, the very terms which Mr. Adams had used in his message of 21st June, 1798, as expressive of the only condition on which he would again send a minister to France.

Mr. Murray, having acquainted his government with this overture, the President, on the 18th of February, 1799, nominated him to the Senate as minister plenipotentiary to the French republic. On the 25th, however, recalling that nomination, he presented the names of Messrs. Ellsworth, Henry, and Murray, who were confirmed. Mr. Henry having declined the appointment, it was subsequently conferred on Mr. Davie, who, together with Mr. Ellsworth, having joined Mr. Murray in Paris, in March, 1800, a convention was concluded, on the last day of the following September, which adjusted the principal differences between the two countries. (See 2 Am. St. Papers, 239, 240, and 295; 3 Jeff. Mem. 421-423.)

2. This policy was begun by act of 13th June, 1798, which took effect from 1st July following, and expired 3d March, 1799. It was renewed by act of 9th February, 1799, which expired 3d March, 1800. And was again renewed 27th February, 1800, until 3d March, 1801.

3. The consequences of this doctrine are exposed in the Virginia Report. See the argument there. Ante, p. 216 et seq.


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