close

Вход

Забыли?

вход по аккаунту

?

The steps in the calling of the Continental Convention 1787

код для вставкиСкачать
THE STEPS IN THE CALLING
OF THE CONTINENTAL CONVENTION 1787
A T h esis
P re s e n te d to
th e F a c u lty o f th e D epartm ent o f H is to ry
The U n iv e r s ity o f S outhern C a lif o r n ia
In P a r t i a l F u lf illm e n t
o f th e R equirem ents f o r th e Degree
M aster o f A rts
by
W in n ifred Howland Johnson
June 1940
UMI Number: EP59457
All rights reserved
INFORMATION TO ALL USERS
The quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted.
In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscript
and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if material had to be removed,
a note will indicate the deletion.
Dissertation Publishing
UMI EP59457
Published by ProQuest LLC (2014). Copyright in the Dissertation held by the Author.
Microform Edition © ProQuest LLC.
All rights reserved. This work is protected against
unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code
ProQuest LLC.
789 East Eisenhower Parkway
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, Ml 48106-1346
This thesisj writ ten by
WINNIFRED HOWLAND JOHNSON
under the direction of h.§T. F ac u lty C o m m i t t e e ,
a n d a p p r o v e d by a l l its m e m b e r s , has be en
p r es e nt e d to an d ac ce p te d by the Co unc il on
Gra du at e S t u d y and Resea rch in p a r tia l fu lfill­
m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r th e d e g r e e o f
MASTER OF ARTS
D ean 1
Secretary
D affiN S.,.19.40.
F aculty Com m ittee
Zl 0 J \ A M /U
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
PAGE
PREFA C E.............................. . . - ............................................
v iii
I.
NEGATIVE STEPS IN THE CALL OF THE CONSTITU­
TIONAL CONVENTION..............................................................
1
D is tin g u is h e d from th e f iv e d e f i n i t e s te p s
1
. .
Summary o f some o u ts ta n d in g s u g g e s tio n s f o r a
c o n s t i t u t i o n a l co n v en tio n p r i o r to 1787 . . .
3
L e t t e r s ..........................
4
P u b lish e d a r t i c l e s
..................
A ttem pts o f l e g i s l a t i v e b o d ie s
7
...........................
S p e e c h e s ..........................
13
N egative s te p s produced no r e s u l t s
II.
10
......................
14
ALEXANDRIA-MT. VERNON TRADE CONVENTION....................... 16
Demands f o r s tre n g th e n e d governm ent based on
f a i l u r e o f th e A r t i c l e s o f C o n fe d e ra tio n to
f u l f i l o b lig a tio n s
. . . . . . .
...........................
16
S h o rt h i s t o r y o f th e i n e f f i c i e n t A r t i c l e s
o f C o n fe d e ra tio n
............................... . . . . .
Commercial problem s tra c e d
. . . . . . . . .
17
£1
C ita tio n s o f ca u ses o f estra n g em en t between
V irg in ia and M a r y la n d ......................................................£4
W ashington’ s i n t e r e s t i n in la n d n a v ig a tio n and
a tte m p ts to form a Potomac Company............................£6
CHAPTER
PAGE
F a ilu r e o f M aryland to c o o p e ra te .....................
.
27
.....................................................
28
M aryland’ s r e s o lu t io n , 1783, to open
Potomac f o r n a v ig a tio n and W ashington’ s
renewed i n t e r e s t
M adison’ s ap p reh en sio n f o r V ir g in ia ’ s r i g h t s
on th e Potomac le d t o th e c a l l of th e
A lex an d ria-M t. Vernon Trade C onvention by
t h a t s t a t e ................................................................................ 29
M aryland agreed and s e t tim e and p la c e
. . .
32
...........................................
34
The m eetin g o f th e com m issioners a t A le x a n d e ria
36
R e so lu tio n to i n s t r u c t com m issioners to
n o t i f y P e n n sy lv a n ia o f th e proposed
opening and c le a r in g o f th e Potomac
p assed in V ir g in ia .
Madison and Randolph a b s e n t ............................ 36
' Adjournment to Mt. V e r n o n .................................39
C alen d ar o f th e C onvention
III.
....................... 40
THE ACTION OF THE STATES OF MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA
ON THE REPORT OF THE ALEXANDRIA-MT. VERNON TRADE
COMMISSIONERS.......................................
42
A lex an d ria-M t. Vernon r e p o r t re a d and r a t i f i e d
by M aryland Assembly, November
21, 1785 . . .
M aryland Assembly, on November 22, 1785, su p p le ­
m ents th e r e p o r t and r e q u e s ts P e n n sy lv an ia
42
iv
CHAPTER
PAGE
and Delaware to jo in M aryland and V ir g in ia
in com m ercial d is c u s s io n s ........................................
46
A ctio n o f th e S ta te o f P e n n sy lv an ia . . . . .
47
A ctio n o f th e S ta te o f D e la w a r e ................
48
M aryland, on F eb ru a ry 20, 1786, a p p o in ts
com m issioners f o r s a id purpose and n o t i f i e s
V ir g in ia .
................................... -.
....................
48
George Mason’ s re a so n s f o r f a i l u r e to r e p o r t to
V ir g in ia Assembly th e r e s u l t s o f th e
A lex an d ria-M t. Vernon C onvention................
49
V ir g in ia ’ s d e l e g a te s ’ r e p o r t l a i d b e fo re th e
Assem bly, December 13, 1785 ...................................
50
V irg in ia r a t i f i e s A lex an d ria-M t. Vernon
r e p o r t on December 30, 1785 ...............................
52
Committee in V ir g in ia Assembly r e p o r t s on
Jan u ary 31, 1786
.
...................................
52
M ary la n d 's r e s o l u t io n to in c lu d e P e n n sy lv a n ia
and D elaw are................... .
....................................
54
T y l e r 's r e s o l u ti o n s o f December 1, 1785, and
Jan u ary 21, 1786, to c a l l a C onvention o f a l l
th e s t a t e s to ta k e in to c o n s id e r a tio n th e tra d e
and commerce o f a l l th e s t a t e s p a sse d
Madison* s comments on same
.
. . . .
54
...........................
55
CHAPTER
IV.
PAGE
57
THE ANNAPOLIS CONVENTION......................
The expediency o f th e proposed co n v en tio n a
m a tte r o f grave d is c u s s io n . . . . . . . . .
57
The a c tio n o f th e s t a t e s upon th e i n v i t a t i o n
o f V irg in ia to meet a t A nnapolis to d is c u s s
the tr a d e and commerce o f th e C o n fed e ratio n
P e n n sy lv a n ia
M aryland
.
62
........................................ . .
62
...............................................................63
M assac h u setts ..................................................................
New Hampshire .
...............................................................68
.......................................
New York
Rhode I s l a n d .....................
N orth C a ro lin a
66
. . .
70
72
..................................................73
D e l a w a r e .............................................................
77
C o n n e c t i c u t ....................................................................78
G e o r g i a ...............................................................................79
South C a r o l i n a ...................................................................80
New J e r s e y ......................................................... .... . .
80
Summary o f th e a c tio n s o f th e s t a t e s ..................81
M adison’ s comments w hile a w a itin g th e o th e r
A nnapolis com m issioners...............................................
83
The o r g a n iz a tio n o f th e m e e t i n g ............................ 84
The d e l i b e r a ti o n s and r e s u l t s o f th e conven­
tio n . .
......................
85
vi
CHAPTER
PAGE
Was th e m eetin g a bona f id e tra d e c o n v e n tio n ,
o r was i t a p o in t o f d e p a rtu re f o r th e
P h ila d e lp h ia C onvention?
*
, , 89
Both s id e s of th e q u e s tio n have s u p p o r te r s ,
V.
. 90
ACTION OF THE STATES ON RECEIPT OF ANNAPOLIS
REPORT AND ACTS OF CONGRESS IN CALLING CONSTI­
TUTIONAL CONVENTION.......................................
93
Congress allow ed th e s e s s io n o f 1786 to te rm i­
n a te w ith th e com mercial problem s u n so lv ed
and th e A n n ap o lis r e p o r t ly in g
i n com m ittee . 93
The J a n u a ry , 1787, s e s s io n found many d e le g a te s
d isp o se d to re c o g n iz e th e A nnapolis r e q u e s t
w h ile o th e rs aw aited New York* s a c tio n on
th e im post
. . . . . ...................................................... 96
S ix s t a t e s had a lre a d y a p p o in te d d e le g a te s
as su g g e ste d by A nnapolis . . . . . . . . .
99
New York d e fe a te d H am ilton’ s F eb ru ary 15 p le a
in fa v o r o f th e i m p o s t ...........................................100
New York p a sse d a b i l l c a l l i n g on New Y ork’ s
d e le g a te d i n th e Congress o f th e C onfedera­
t i o n to move f o r a co n v en tio n to r e v is e th e
A r t i c l e s ..............................................................................100
M a ssa c h u se tts a c cep ted th e A nnapolis i n v i t a ­
t i o n to a p p o in t d e le g a te s
...................................... 103
v ii
CHAPTER
£AGB
The c r i t i c a l moment had a r r iv e d : The grand
com m ittee o f C ongress on th e A nnapolis
recom m endation, on F eb ru ary 21, 1787, r e ­
so lv e d t h a t th e s t a t e s have power to i n v i t e
o th e r s t a t e s to a co n v en tio n in P h ila d e lp h ia
in May, 1787
Hew York moved to postp o n e i n o rd e r to tak e
a m easure o f h e r o w n ................................... .
103
up
. . 105
The q u e s tio n to postpone was l o s t ........................... 106
H arm onizing m otion made by M a s s a c h u s e tts’ d e l­
e g a te s ; t h a t Congress should p a ss a r e s o lu ­
ti o n a d v is in g a co n v en tio n be h e ld a t th e
tim e and p la c e o f th e one proposed by th e
A n n ap o lis C om m issioners. P a s s e d .............................. 107
T his was th e o f f i c i a l c a l l ......................................... 108
BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . ....................................................
109
PREFACE
An in te n s e i n t e r e s t in th e c o n d itio n s u n d er which th e
C o n s titu tio n a l C onvention became a r e a l i t y le d to th e stu d y
o f th e s te p s t h a t cu lm in ated in t h a t most im p o rta n t e p iso d e .
The s tim u la tin g d is c u s s io n s in D r. F rank G arv er’ s C o n s titu ­
t i o n a l H isto ry Sem inar p o in te d to th e f a c t t h a t th e a c h ie v e ­
ment had n o t been e a s i l y won; t h a t p ro g re s s tow ard th e d e s ire d
end had o f te n been wrung from Am ericans who were e i t h e r a f r a i d
o r u n w illin g to r i s k a change in th e A r t i c l e s by o th e r
Am ericans who were e q u a lly f e a r f u l o f the f a t e o f o u r c o u n try
u n le s s a change were made.
I t i s ea sy in re v ie w to t r a c e th e e v o lu tio n o f th e
C o n s titu tio n a l C onvention from th e f iv e s e p a r a te s te p s t h a t
a re examined in t h i s s tu d y .
I t i s d o u b tf u l, however, i f any
one p e rso n a t th e tim e , even James M adison, fo resaw th e r e s u l t
o f h i s f i r s t su g g estio n * namely, th e A lexander-M t. Vernon Trade
C onvention where th e commerce of two n e ig h b o rin g s t a t e s ,
M aryland and V ir g in ia , was to be d is c u s s e d ; o r o f t h a t o f th e
M aryland Assembly when th a t body proposed in c lu d in g
P e n n sy lv a n ia and Delaware i n th e c o n fe re n c e ; o r, a g a in , when
V ir g in ia added th e su g g e stio n o f i n v i t i n g a l l th e s t a t e s to
m eet in co n v en tio n a t A nnapolis to c o n s id e r th e tr a d e o f th e
whole C o n fe d e ra tio n .
I t may w e ll be th o u g h t t h a t th e hope o f
many fe d e ra l-m in d e d men went beyond th e i n s t r u c t i o n s s t i p u l a t e d
ix
to th e d e le g a te s o f th a t c o n v e n tio n , but i t i s im p o ssib le to
prove t h a t th e A n n ap o lis C onvention, which issu e d th e e x tr a l e g a l c a l l f o r th e P h ila d e lp h ia m eetin g , was, o r was n o t, a
bona f id e tr a d e c o n v e n tio n .
I t i s th e p u rp o se o f t h i s t h e s i s to d is c u s s th e f iv e
p o s i t i v e s te p s t h a t le d to th e c a l l o f th e C o n s titu tio n a l
C onvention o f 1787. . M ention i s made o f some su g g e s tio n s f o r
a s tr o n g e r c e n tr a l governm ent made p r i o r to th e s e d e f i n i t e
s te p s w ith th e d e s ir e to show t h a t th e y were n e g a tiv e s te p s
in t h a t th ey produced no r e s u l t s .
The work was p r o je c te d in 1934 and p a r t i a l l y com pleted,
however f i n a l accom plishm ent had to be postponed u n t i l 1940.
The in v e s t i g a t io n was made, alm o st e x c lu s iv e ly , a t th e
H u n tin g to n L ib ra r y , and th e d e e p e s t a p p r e c ia tio n f o r th e
p r i v i l e g e o f w orking th e r e i s acknow ledged.
CHAPTER I
NEGATIVE STEPS IN THE CALL
OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION
There were f i v e s e p a r a te , d i s t i n c t , and d e f i n i t e s te p s
le a d in g to th e c a l l o f th e C o n s titu tio n a l C onvention o f 1787;
th r e e o f them may be c r e d ite d to th e sta te sm e n o f V ir g in ia ,
one to M aryland, and one t o th e Congress o f th e c o n fe d e ra ­
tio n ,1
The C o n s titu tio n a l C onvention was n o t e a s i l y a c h ie v ed ,
b u t th e id e a was su g g ested and waved a s id e th ro u g h a p e rio d o f
c r i t i c a l y e a rs d u rin g and a f t e r th e War o f Independence,
The
aim o f t h i s stu d y i s to s e t f o r t h th e a c tu a l s te p s i n th e
c a ll i n g o f t h a t body.
The o f f i c i a l c a l l by th e C ongress o f th e C o n fe d e ra tio n
f o r a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l co n v e n tio n was th e f i f t h s te p i n a slow ,
c a u tio u s approach to th e s o lu tio n o f problem s, th e s e t t l i n g o f
which was known to be o f a b s o lu te n e c e s s ity to th o se whose
d e te rm in a tio n i t was t h a t th e hard-w on union sh o u ld be w orthy
o f th e blood t h a t had been*shed to win i t .
When th e Conven­
t i o n o f 1787 f i n a l l y convened, few r e a liz e d what was to be
th e outcome o f th e work o f th e men who, in e ig h ty - e ig h t
s e s s io n s d u rin g a span o f one hundred s ix te e n h o t d ay s, met
in P h ila d e lp h ia nto make th e A r t i c l e s o f th e C onfederacy
1 U npublished n o te s f o r H is to ry Sem inar 225a, The
U n iv e r s ity o f S o u th ern C a lif o r n ia , 1953.
e q u a l to th e e x ig e n c ie s o f u n io n ."
The tr a d e co n v e n tio n a t A le x a n d ria , V ir g in ia , 1785,
a tte n d e d by f iv e d e le g a te s r e p r e s e n tin g M aryland and V irg in ia
may be c a lle d s te p one*
That body adopted a com m ercial com­
p a c t and recommended i t to b o th s t a t e s , and s e n t a copy o f
i t s r e s o lu tio n s and p ro c e e d in g s to th e n e ig h b o rin g s t a t e o f
P e n n sy lv a n ia .
The a c tio n o f th e L e g is la tu r e o f M aryland,
1785, a c c e p tin g th e A le x a n d ria compact and recommending t h a t
P e n n sy lv a n ia and Delaware be i n v i te d to a new co n v e n tio n to
d is c u s s com m ercial m a tte r s , may be c o n sid e re d a s s te p two.
The t h i r d i s th e a c tio n o f th e L e g is la tu r e o f V ir g in ia , 1786,
w hich a c c e p te d th e r e p o r t o f A le x a n d ria and p assed r e s o lu ­
tio n s i n v i t i n g a l l th e s t a t e s to send d e le g a te s to a Conven­
t i o n to d is c u s s th e tra d e o r commerce o f th e e n t i r e c o u n try .
The A n n ap o lis m eetin g o f Septem ber 11, 1786, th e r e s u l t of
V ir g in ia ’ s r e s o l u t i o n , was th e f o u r th s te p .
T his co n v en tio n
a tte n d e d by tw elv e d e le g a te s , r e p r e s e n tin g f iv e c o lo n ie s ,
is s u e d th e f i r s t i n v i t a t i o n f o r th e C o n s titu tio n a l C onvention.
The f i f t h and l a s t s te p was th e o f f i c i a l c a l l o f th e C ongress
o f th e C o n fe d e ra tio n f o r a co n v e n tio n " f o r th e s o le and
e x p re ss pu rp o se o f r e v is in g th e A r t i c l e s o f C o n fe d e ra tio n ."
A ttem pts a re sometimes made to b e l i t t l e th e p a r t
p la y e d by th e em inent sta te sm e n o f V ir g in ia and M aryland in
c a l l i n g th e C o n s titu tio n a l C onvention o f 1787 by r e f e r r i n g to
innum erable s u g g e s tio n s f o r a s tre n g th e n e d s t a t e made p r i o r
to t h a t ©vent by men i n a l l p a r t s o f th e c o u n try .
I t is
h i s t o r i c f a c t t h a t many p le a s f o r a s tr o n g e r u n io n were
throw n o u t i n o r a ti o n s , i n p r i n t , by com m ittees, and by
l e g i s l a t u r e s , and t h a t s u g g e s tio n s f o r a co n v e n tio n t o im­
prove th e c o n d itio n o f th e u n io n were f a m i l i a r id e a s o f
sta te sm e n and laym en.
But o f what s ig n if ic a n c e a re th e s e ?
The f i v e d e f i n i t e s te p s le a d in g to th e P h ila d e lp h ia Conven­
t i o n bore f r u i t , w h ile th e r e i s no s p e c ia l m e r it in th e
s u g g e s tio n s o f a l l th e o th e r s save as th e y have a n tiq u a r ia n
i n t e r e s t and show tr e n d s o f th o u g h t t h a t b u i l t up p u b lic
o p in io n in th e U n ite d S t a t e s .
A summary o f th e o u ts ta n d in g s u g g e s tio n s mad© in a l l
p a r t s o f th e U n ited S ta te s p r i o r to th e m eetin g o f th e hon­
o ra b le body w hich met from May £ 5 th to Septem ber 1 7 th , 1787
and accom plished i t s t a s k , would be beyond th e purview o f
t h i s s tu d y .
R eferen ces to them a re found in d iv e rs e p la c e s
i n l e t t e r s o f Americans and f o r e ig n e r s ; i n speeches and i n
p u b lis h e d a r t i c l e s ; i n th e a c ts o f C ongress, s t a t e l e g i s l a ­
t u r e s , town m e e tin g s, and G eneral C o u rts.
A few exam ples
may be g iv en :
S ix months b e fo re th e D e c la ra tio n o f Independence,
Thomas P a in e , i n Common S en se, had s a id : "N othing b u t a
C o n tin e n ta l form o f governm ent co u ld keep th e peace o f th e
c o n tin e n t and p re s e rv e i t i n v i o l a te from c i v i l w a rs ."
He
su g g e ste d t h a t a c o n tin e n ta l co n feren ce be h e ld to frame a
c o n tin e n ta l c h a r t e r , th e members o f w hich sh o u ld be some
in te rm e d ia te body betw een th e governed and th e g o v ern o rs# 2
The id e a o f a s p e c ia l c o n g re ss composed o f new members
a p p o in te d by th e s t a t e s f o r th e p u rpose o f d e v is in g a new
c o n s t i t u t i o n was sk etch ed in a l e t t e r o f Edward R utledge
w r i t t e n A u g u st, 1776.®
Again th e co sm o p o litan pen o f Thomas P ain e d e d ic a te d
t o freedom in any la n d , b ro u g h t f o r t h a renewed p le a in a
pam p h let, P u b lic Good, p u b lis h e d by h im s e lf in P h ila d e lp h ia ,
in December, 1780:
I ta k e th e o p p o rtu n ity o f renew ing a h i n t w hich I
fo rm e rly th rew o u t i n th e p am p h let, Common S e n se , and
w hich th e s e v e r a l s t a t e s w i l l so o n er o r l a t e r see th e
co n v en ien ce, i f n o t th e n e c e s s i ty , o f a d o p tin g ; w hich
i s t h a t o f e l e c t i n g a c o n tin e n ta l co n v e n tio n f o r th e
p u rp o se o f form ing a c o n tin e n ta l c o n s t i t u t i o n d e f in in g
and d e s c r ib in g th e powers o f C o n g re ss.4
A gain i n p r i v a t e co rresp o n d en ce were th e same th o u g h ts
e x p re s s e d .
Henry Laurens* d e s ir e f o r a F e d e ra l C onvention
was shown in a l e t t e r to Governor W illiam L iv in g sto n o f New
Je rse y .
He w ro te , J u ly 3 , 1779:
Upon a s e r io u s and f u l l view o f our p u b lic a f f a i r s
I am le d to b e lie v e t h a t th e c a l l o f a g e n e ra l c o u n c il
2 Thomas P a in e , Common S en se, T o g eth er w ith th e
Am erican C r i s i s , 1776- 1783, p p . 95-98~ p a s s i m .
® George B a n c ro ft, H is to ry o f th e Form ation o f th e
C o n s titu tio n o f th e U n ite d H S ta te s , I , 11, q u o tin g a l e t t e r
from fedward R u tled g e t o R o b ert R. L iv in g s to n , A ugust, 1776.
4
I b i d . , I , 13-14, q u o tin g Thomas P a in e , P u b lic
Good, p . 38.
composed o f men renowned f o r i n t e g r i t y and a b i l i t y from
each s t a t e , a s s i s t e d by th e C om m ander-in-chief and a few
s e le c te d g e n e ra l o f f i c e r s to ta k e under c o n s id e r a tio n
th e s t a t e o f th e n a tio n to s i t e i t h e r in o r o a t o f
C ongress ( i n th e l a t t e r case to c a l l upon C ongress f o r
ev ery n e c e s s a ry in fo rm a tio n ) would have a happy e f f e c t .5
To John Adams, on O ctober 4 fo llo w in g , he urged th e same
id e a o f a * grand c o n v e n tio n .1,6
A f te r re v ie w in g th e many d e f e c ts o f th e C onfederacy,
A lexander H am ilton su g g e ste d co m p letio n o f th e R e v o lu tio n .
T his i s s a id could be accom plished in two ways; one was to
assume and e x e r c is e d is c r e tio n a r y powers w hich a c c o rd in g to
h i s id e a had been o r i g i n a l l y v e s te d in C o n g ress, and a n o th e r
way was t o c a l l a c o n v e n tio n o f a l l th e s t a t e s , h av in g f i r s t
a c q u a in te d them w ith th e e v i l s t h a t were p re s e n t th ro u g h la c k
o f powers o f t h a t body.
"The C onvention should assem ble th e
f i r s t o f November n e x t, th e sooner th e b e t t e r . " 7
I t was even th e o p in io n o f A lexander H am ilton, t h a t
C ongress ought t o have a com plete s o v e re ig n ty in a l l b u t th e
mere m u n ic ip a l law o f each s t a t e , and he a g a in ex p re sse d h is
w ish to see a c o n v e n tio n o f a l l th e s t a t e s , "w ith f u l l power
t o . a l t e r and amend, f i n a l l y and ir r e v o c a b ly , th e p r e s e n t
5 David D. W allace, The L ife o f Henry L a u re n s, w ith a
S k etch o f th e L if e o f L ie u te n a n t- C olonel John L a u re n s, p . 336.
6 Locv. o i t .
7 L e t t e r to James Duane, Septem ber 3 , 1780, in-H enry
C. Lodge, e d i t o r , The Works o f A lexander H am ilto n . I , 283.
f u t i l e and s e n s e le s s C o n fe d e ra tio n .1,8
The r e v o lu tio n a r y th o u g h t in t h i s l e t t e r m ight w e ll
s e rv e t o p u t C ongress on th e d e fe n s iv e and th w a rt any h e lp
from t h a t so u rc e i n rem edying th e s i t u a t i o n .
I n r e f e r r i n g t o th e p a r t p la y e d by p u b lic b o d ie s in
s t r e s s i n g th e need f o r ad e q u ate c e n t r a l governm ent, th e
a g i t a t i o n g iv en by Hew E ngland, i n 1780, i s p e r t i n e n t .
In
A ugust o f t h a t y e a r fo u r New England s t a t e s gave e x p re s s io n
t o t h e i r im p atie n ce o ver th e i n t o l e r a b l e c o n d itio n o f a f f a i r s
by m eetin g in c o n v e n tio n in B oston,
They demanded a C ongress
d e le g a te d w ith th e power to h an d le a l l th e a f f a i r s o f s t a t e
w hich o f n e c e s s ity co u ld n o t be h andled by th e in d iv id u a l
s ta te s .
They in v ite d th e New England s t a t e s and a l l o th e r
s t a t e s d isp o se d to come, to m eet in co n v e n tio n a t H a rtfo rd in
November, 1780.
Governor George C lin to n o f New York recom­
mended th e a c c e p ta n c e o f th e i n v i t a t i o n , and New York was
th e o n ly s t a t e , b e s id e s th o se o f New E ngland, t o a t t e n d .
T his
body ad o p ted p r o p o s itio n s to s tre n g th e n th e p u b lic c r e d i t and
ag reed upon a com m unication t o be a d d re sse d to a l l th e s t a t e s .
The theme s tr e s s e d by th e C onvention a t H a rtfo rd was t h a t th e
pow ers o f C ongress should be m andatory, n o t recom m endatory.
"The s t a t e s , i n d iv id u a lly c o n s id e re d , w h ile th e y endeavor to
r e t a i n to o much o f t h e i r independence may f i n a l l y lo s e th e
8 L e t t e r t o R o b ert M o rris, A p r il 30, 1781, in John C.
H am ilton, e d i t o r , The Works o f A lexander H am ilto n , I , 851.
th e whole . ♦ ."
An ac co u n t o f t h e i r p ro c e e d in g s was t r a n s ­
m itte d t o C ongress where i t was re a d in open m eetin g and
r e f e r r e d to a com m ittee, b u t th e f i n a l s ig n a tu r e to th e
A r t i c l e s in M arch, 1781, seemed to do, away w ith th e n e c e s s i ty
f o r f u r t h e r work o f th e New England C o n v e n tio n .9
W illiam B arto n on May 24, 1781, p u b lis h e d a pam phlet
d e d ic a te d to th e C ongress o f th e U n ited S ta t e s and t o th e
Assembly o f P e n n s y lv a n ia , "O b se rv a tio n s on th e N ature and Use
o f P ap er C r e d it, etc* *
In i t he i n s i s t e d t h a t C ongress should
" n o t be l e f t w ith th e mere shadow o f s o v e re ig n a u th o r it y "
w ith o u t th e r i g h t o f demanding obedience to i t s law s and
w ith no means o f c a r r y in g o u t i t s d e c is io n s .
To remedy t h i s
e v i l he su g g ested th e n e c e s s ity o f th e c a l l o f a c o n tin e n ta l
c o n v e n tio n , f o r th e " e x p re ss pu rp o se o f a s c e r t a i n i n g , d e f in in g ,
e n la r g in g , and l i m i t i n g th e d u tie s and powers o f t h e i r con­
s titu tio n ." ^
When one r e a l i z e s t h a t unanimous c o n se n t was
re q u ir e d to amend th e A r t i c l e s o f C o n fe d e ra tio n , a g a in th e
i m p o s s ib i l i ty i s seen o f g a in in g so f a r re a c h in g a change
a s demanded by Mr. B a rto n .
A lex an d er H am ilton, young, b r i l l i a n t , i n d e f a tig a b l e ,
b u t h a s ty and im p a tie n t f o r re fo rm to o f a r beyond th e ken
o f most men a t t h a t tim e , p u b lish e d in New Y ork, 1781-82, a
9 J . A. K asson, H is to ry o f th e F orm ation o f th e Con­
s t i t u t i o n and o f th e Causes w hich te d to I t s A d o p tio n , pp.
5 - 16 .
10
^
B a n c r o ft,
0£ .
c i t . , I , 25.
8
s e r i e s o f s ix e s s a y s e n t i t l e d "The C o n t i n e n t a l i s t ."
Henry
Cabot Lodge b e lie v e s t h i s s e r i e s o f e s s a y s to have d e f i n i t e l y
su g g ested to many a d e s ir e f o r a new system o f governm ent
w hich r e s u l t e d in th e co n v e n tio n s o f A n n ap o lis and P h ila d e lp h ia
and th e a d o p tio n o f th e C o n s t itu t io n .- ^
le a d to A n n ap o lis?
li e v e th ey d id .
But d id th e s e e ss a y s
There seems to be no r e a l re a so n to b e ­
They w ere m erely a b le p a p e rs p o in tin g o u t
w eaknesses o f th e governm ent and u rg in g th e c a l l o f a con­
v e n tio n to remedy them.
Q uoting from f,The C o n tin e n ta lis t" o f J u ly 12, 1781:
The p r e s e n t C o ngress, r e s p e c ta b le f o r a b i l i t i e s and
i n t e g r i t y , by e x p e rie n c e convinced o f th e n e c e s s ity o f
ch an g e, a r e p r e p a r in g s e v e r a l im p o rta n t a r t i c l e s , to be
su b m itted t o th e r e s p e c tiv e s t a t e s f o r augm enting th e
pow ers o f th e C o n fe d e ra tio n . But though th e r e i s h a r d ly
a t t h i s tim e a man o f in fo rm a tio n in America who w i l l
n o t acknow ledge, a s a g e n e ra l p r o p o s itio n , t h a t in i t s
p r e s e n t form i t i s unequal e i t h e r to a v ig o ro u s p ro se c u ­
ti o n o f th e war o r to th e p r e s e r v a tio n o f th e Union in
p e a c e ; y e t when th e p r i n c i p l e comes t o be a p p lie d t o
p r a c t i c e , th e r e seems n o t to be th e same agreem ent in
th e modes o f rem edying th e d e f e c t; and i t i s to be
f e a r e d , from a d i s p o s i t i o n w hich ap p eared in some o f
th e s t a t e s on a l a t e o c c a s io n , t h a t th e s a lu ta r y i n t e n ­
t i o n s o f C ongress may m eet w ith more d e la y and o p p o s itio n
th a n th e c r i t i c a l p o s tu r e o f th e s t a t e s w i l l j u s t i f y .
A r o l l c a l l o f b u t a few members o f C ongress in 1781
w i l l t e s t i f y to th e t r u t h o f H am ilto n ’ s s ta te m e n t t h a t th e
members were r e s p e c ta b le f o r a b i l i t i e s and i n t e g r i t y .
C o n n e c tic u t s e n t Roger Sherman and O liv e r E lls w o r th , M aryland
^
Lodge, op., c i t . , 1 , 245•
12 I b i d . , I , 245.
was re p re s e n te d by D an ie l C a r r o ll and D an ie l o f S a in t Thomas
J e n ife r.
Among th e d e le g a te s o f M a ssa c h u se tts were Samuel
Adams and E lb rid g e G erry .
New J e rs e y s e n t E l i a s B o u d in o t,
who was to become th e p r e s id e n t o f th e C ongress in th e n e x t
s e s s io n .
One o f New Y ork’ s d e le g a te s was R obert R. L iv in g s to n ,
f u tu r e C h a n c e llo r o f h is s t a t e .
V irg in ia -w a s re p re s e n te d by
s tr o n g men in James Madison and Edmund R andolph.
George
Clymer and J a ra d I n g e r s o l l o f P e n n sy lv a n ia were a b le men,
w h ile Rhode I s la n d had James Varnum, a w orker f o r a s tr e n g t h ­
ened union,, y e t t h i s C ongress accom plished n o th in g t o r e l i e v e
th e c r i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n .
They d id n o t advance one s te p tow ard
th e c a l l o f th e C o n s titu tio n a l C o n v e n tio n .13
I n th e q u o ta tio n from "The C o n t in e n ts l i s t " i t w i l l be
n o ted t h a t Mi?. H am ilton s a id t h a t C ongress was p re p a rin g
s e v e r a l im p o rta n t a r t i c l e s to be p re s e n te d to th e s t a t e s . 14
He i s h e re r e f e r r i n g t o th e d e b a te s t h a t le d t o th e a p p o in t­
in g o f th e com m ittee o f th r e e on J u ly 20, 1781, " to p re p a re
an e x p o s itio n o f th e C o n fe d e ra tio n , t o d e v is e a p la n f o r i t s
com plete e x e c u tio n and t o p r e s e n t su p p lem en tal a r t i c l e s . ”
Mr. Edmund R andolph, Mr. James Varnum, and Mr. O liv e r
E lls w o rth a c te d a s members o f t h i s c o m m itte e .15
They
13 B io g ra p h ic a l D ire c to ry o f th e American C ongress
1774-1987. p assim .
14 C f. a n t e , p . 8.
15 W. C. F o rd , e t a l . , e d i t o r s , J o u rn a ls o f th e C o n ti­
n e n ta l C o n g ress. 1774-1789. 2X7 7 7 3 .
10
re p o rte d on A ugust 22, 1781, and su g g e ste d t h a t th e s u p p le ­
m en tal a r t i c l e s be p u t b e fo re th e s t a t e s and t h a t th e y p u rsu e
in t h e i r developm ent one uniform p la n .-1*6
But th e a c tio n was
p o stp o n ed and th e s u b je c t was allow ed to dropThe L e g is la tu r e o f New York was th e f i r s t to im p art
th e s a n c tio n o f a s t a t e to th e g r e a t id e a o f a f e d e r a l con­
v e n tio n to fram e a c o n s t i t u ti o n f o r th e U n ited S t a t e s .
On
Sunday, J u ly 21, 1782, H am ilton p ro p o sed , th e L e g is la tiv e
ap p ro v ed , and Governor O lin to n was re q u e s te d t o tr a n s m it to
C ongress and t o th e c h i e f e x e c u tiv e o f ev ery s t a t e , a r e s o lu ­
t i o n f o r a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l c o n v e n tio n .
T h is d e s ir e was ex ­
p re s s e d in th e fo llo w in g form :
R eso lv ed , t h a t i t a p p e a rs to t h i s L e g is la tu r e t h a t
. . . im p o rta n t ends can n ev e r be a t t a i n e d by p a r t i a l
d e l i b e r a t i o n s o f th e S ta te s s e p a r a te ly ; b u t t h a t i t i s
e s s e n t i a l t o th e common w e lfa re . . . t o p ro p o se t o
C ongress t o recommend, and to each S ta te t o a d o p t, th e
m easure o f assem b lin g a G eneral C onvention o f th e
S t a t e s , s p e c i a l l y a u th o riz e d t o r e v is e and amend th e
C o n fe d e ra tio n , r e s e r v in g a r i g h t t o th e r e s p e c tiv e
L e g is la tu r e s t o r a t i f y t h e i r d e te r m in a tio n .! 7
The n e x t day th e New York L e g is la tu r e d u ly a p p o in te d
A lexander H am ilton a s a d e le g a te .to th e C ongress o f th e
C o n fe d e ra tio n f o r New York f o r th e e n su in g y e a r .
C ongress r e c e iv e d Governor C lin to n 1s l e t t e r and d i s ­
c u s s io n was opened on th e is s u e a t th e s e s s io n o f 1783.
16 I b i d . . XXI, 893-96.
17 John 0 . H am ilto n , 0£ . c i t . , I , 204, q u o tin g r e s o l u t i o n o f New York L e g i s l a tu r e , J u ly 21, 1782.
11
C ongress w ent so f a r a s to a p p o in t a com m ittee to a c t on th e
s u g g e s tio n o f New Y ork, b u t even though H am ilton p re s s e d th e
m a tte r th e is s u e f a i l e d to c a r r y , Septem ber 2, 1783.***®
In th e f a l l o f 1783, G-overnor Jo n a th a n Trum bull o f
C o n n e c tic u t, a f t e r f i f t y y e a rs o f p o l i t i c a l s e r v ic e gave h i s
f a r e w e ll a d d re s s to th e l e g i s l a t u r e o f h is s t a t e .
In i t he
urged th e n e c e s s ity o f g iv in g th e F e d e ra l C o n s titu tio n
c l e a r l y d e fin e d powers s u f f i c i e n t l y broad t o c a re f o r a l l
p u rp o se s o f u n ib n .I 9
George W ashington in a l e t t e r t o .L a f a y e tte in 1783,
w ro te t h a t we now were a f r e e and in d ep en d en t p eo p le and had
a c h a r a c te r to e s t a b l i s h among th e n a tio n s o f th e e a r t h .
H is f e a r , he c o n fid e d to h i s f r i e n d , was t h a t l o c a l o r s t a t e
p o l i t i c s would be l i k e l y t o i n t e r f e r e to o much w ith th e
f e d e r a l governm ent.
To a v e r t th e s e e v i l s , t o form a new c o n s t i t u t i o n t h a t
w i l l g iv e c o n s is te n c y , s t a b i l i t y , and d ig n ity t o th e
U nion, and s u f f i c i e n t powers t o th e g r e a t c o u n c il o f th e
n a tio n f o r g e n e ra l p u rp o s e s , i s a duty incum bent upon
ev ery man, who w ishes w e ll to h i s c o u n tr y .20
W ashington e n tr e a te d th e p eo p le o f th e U n ited S ta te s
18 i b i d . . I , 26.
1 9 B a n c ro ft, oj>. c i t . , I , 119.
20 L e t t e r o f George W ashington to L a f a y e tte , in Ja re d
S p a rk s, W ritin g s o f W ashington; b e in g h i s C o rresp o n d en ce,
A d d re sse s, M essages, and o th e r P a p e r s . O f f i c i a l and P r i v a t e ,
s e le c te d and p u b lis h e d from th e O rig in a l M a n u s c rip ts . w ith
a L ife o f A u th o r, n o te s and I l l u s t r a t i o n s . I , 394.
12
t o re c e iv e a s h i s le g a c y a c i r c u l a r l e t t e r , a d d re sse d t o th e
governor o f each s t a t e to be communicated by them to th e
l e g i s l a t u r e s o f t h e i r r e s p e c tiv e s t a t e s , in w hich he avowed
h i s "w ish to see en ergy given to th e f e d e r a l c o n s t i t u t i o n
by a co n v e n tio n o f th e p e o p le ." 21
The new spapers o f th e day to o k up th e theme and de­
manded a r e v is i o n o f th e A r t i c l e s , " n o t by C o n g ress, b u t by
a c o n tin e n ta l c o n v e n tio n , a u th o riz e d f o r th e p u r p o s e ." 22
The members o f th e f i f t h C ongress o f th e C o n fe d e ra tio n
a r r iv e d so slo w ly a t T ren to n t h a t th e F rench ch arg e d* a f f a i r s
claim ed on th e 2 0 th o f November, 1784, t h a t th e r e was no
g e n e ra l governm ent, " n e ith e r c o n g re ss n o r p r e s i d e n t, n o r
head o f any one a d m in is tr a tiv e d e p a rtm e n t." 2^
R ich ard Henry L ee, a d e le g a te from V ir g in ia t o t h a t
C ongress a w a itin g a quorum, w rote to M adison: " I t i s by many
h e re s u g g e s te d , a s a v ery n e c e s s a ry s te p f o r Congress to
ta k e , th e c a l l i n g o f th e s t a t e s to form a co n v e n tio n f o r th e
s o le p u rp o se o f r e v is i n g th e c o n fe d e ra tio n . • ." 2 4
21 L e t t e r o f George W ashington to D r. W illiam Gordon,
J u ly 8 , 1783, quoted by B a n c ro ft, op. c i t . , I , 113.
22 Loc. c i t . , c i t i n g M aryland G a z e tte . Ju ly 11, 1783,
and th e V ir g in ia G a z e tte . J u ly 19, 1783.
23 I b i d . , I , 189-190, q u o tin g M arbois t o R ayneval,
November, 1784, M.S.
24
Loo, c i t . . q u o tin g l e t t e r o f R. H. Lee t o James
M adison, November 26, 1784.
13
As l a t e a s 1785, th e y e a r th e f i r s t o f th e d e f i n i t e
s te p s was ta k e n , Governor James Bowdoin, o f M a ss a c h u se tts, in
h i s in a u g u ra l a d d r e s s , spoke o f th e d e p lo ra b le s i t u a t i o n o f
th e C onfederacy e s p e c ia lly in re g a rd to t r a d e .
He s tr e s s e d
th e f a c t t h a t th e c o n d itio n demanded a t t e n t i o n ; t h a t C ongress
sh o u ld be v e s te d w ith am pler powers and t h a t s p e c i a l d e le g a te s
sh o u ld be convened to s e t t l e and d e fin e th e m .25
In r e p ly t o Governor Bowdoin1s s u g g e s tio n s th e
M a ssa c h u se tts G eneral C o u rt, J u ly 1 , 1785, ag reed t h a t th e
pow ers o f th e C ongress o f th e U n ited S t a t e s , a s c o n ta in e d
in th e A r t i c l e s o f C o n fe d e ra tio n , w ere n o t w holly ad e q u ate
and re s o lv e d : T hat C ongress be and th e y a r e hereby re q u e s te d
t o recommend a C onvention o f D e le g a te s from a l l th e s t a t e s
a t such tim e and p la c e a s th e y may th in k c o n v e n ie n t, t o r e ­
v is e th e C onfederacy and r e p o r t t o C ongress how f a r i t may
be n e c e s s a ry i n t h e i r o p in io n to a l t e r and e n la r g e th e same
i n o rd e r to se c u re th e p rim ary o b je c ts o f u n i o n . T h i s th e y
s e n t t o th e p r e s id e n t o f C ongress th ro u g h t h e i r own d e le g a ­
t i o n to t h a t body, a lo n g w ith a c i r c u l a r l e t t e r to be f o r ­
warded by him to th e supreme e x e c u tiv e s o f each s t a t e u rg in g
t h a t means be ta k e n to s tre n g th e n th e governm ent.
They
25 I b i d . , I , 189-190.
C h a rle s R. K ing, e d i t o r , The L ife and C orrespondence
o f Rufus King co m p risin g h i s l e t t e r s , p r i v a t e and o f f i c i a l
h i s t o r i c p u b lic docum ents and h i s s p e e c h e s . I , 58, q u o tin g
M a ssa c h u se tts L e g is la tiv e Documents. X X III, 260.
14
d ir e c te d th e M a ssa c h u se tts d e le g a tio n to work f o r th e end
in d ic a te d by th e G overnor.
The d e le g a te s , G erry, H o lto n , and K ing, re c e iv e d th e
com m unications on August 1 , 1785, and on th e 8 th w ro te to
Governor Bowdoin to t e l l him t h a t soon th e y would w r it e and
e x p la in why in t h e i r o p in io n , h i s i n s t r u c t i o n s should be
d iso b e y e d .
On Septem ber 3, 1785, a f u l l e x p la n a tio n was s e n t
t o th e 'suprem e e x e c u tiv e o f M a ssa c h u se tts and was a c c e p te d
by h im .27
The M a ssa c h u se tts d e le g a te s re fu s e d p o in t b la n k ,
a c c o rd in g to C hanning, t o p r e s e n t th e r e s o l u t i o n to C ongress ,
f e a r in g t h a t any a tte m p t t o change th e e x i s t i n g o rg a n iz a tio n
would be a s ig n a l to th e a r i s t o c r a t i c elem ent t o impose a
demand f o r a m o n a rc h ic a l s y s t e m . T h e M a ssa c h u se tts G eneral
C ourt was h e ld up in i t s f u r t h e r a c tio n and a n o th e r a tte m p t
f o r th e needed c a l l came to n a u g h t.
A ll o f th e fo re g o in g s u g g e s tio n s may be c a lle d n e g a tiv e
s te p s in th e c a l l i n g o f th e C o n s titu tio n a l Convent io n .
The
mass o f m a te r ia l b e a rin g upon th e d e s i r e s o f th e p e o p le f o r
a s tr o n g e r governm ent has h e re been b a r e ly touched upon.
The
heavy co rresp o n d en ce o f th e g r e a t V irg in ia n s was f u l l o f
a r d e n t d e s ir e and i n s i s t e n t u rg in g f o r th e c a l l o f a conven­
t i o n t o e n la rg e th e p o o r power o f th e C onfederacy,
George
27 I b i d . , I , 59.
2® Edward Charming, The American R e v o lu tio n , 17611789. p . 474.
W ashington, Thomas J e f f e r s o n , James M adison, James Monroe,
Edmund R andolph, George Mason, t o name b u t a few, were con
s t a n t in t h e i r e f f o r t s , and t o them one sh o u ld tu r n one*s
a t t e n t i o n when w orking w ith th e s u b s t a n t i a l g a in s tow ard
th e c a l l o f th e C o n s titu tio n a l C onvention.
CHAPTER I I
AIEXAEDRIA-MT. VERNON TRADE CONVENTION
The many demands f o r a s tre n g th e n e d c e n t r a l governm ent
in c re a s e d w ith th e f a i l u r e o f th e A r t i c l e s o f C o n fe d e ra tio n
a s an organ ca p a b le o f c a r r y in g in t o e x e c u tio n th e o b lig a ­
t i o n s o f government*
T hat th e A r t i c l e s a r e e n t i t l e d to th e
r e s p e c t f u l r e c o l l e c t i o n o f th e American p e o p le i s n o t t o be
d e n ie d , a s th e y p re s e rv e d th e id e a o f union u n t i l th e good
sen se o f th e n a tio n ad o p ted a more e f f i c i e n t system*
P roposed by Benjamin F ra n k lin in C ongress, 1776, on
th e v ery day t h a t th e Second C o n tin e n ta l C ongress a p p o in te d
a com m ittee to d r a f t a d e c la r a ti o n o f in d ep en d ece, th e p la n
o f "C o n fe d e ra tio n and p e r p e tu a l Union" was r e f e r r e d in Ju n e,
1776, to a com m ittee c o n s is tin g o f one member from each s t a t e .
John D ickinson o f P e n n s y lv a n ia , chairm an, made th e r e p o r t t o
C ongress on th e 1 2 th o f J u ly in th e form o f " A r t ic le s o f
C o n fe d e ra tio n .”
The proposed c o n s t i t u t i o n was f i n a l l y ag reed
upon in C ongress November, 1777, and by F e b ru a ry , 177.9,
tw elv e o f th e s t a t e s had r a t i f i e d ; only one, M aryland, h e ld
o u t a g a in s t th e d e s ir e d end.
T hat l e g i s l a t u r e , on December
15, 1778, adopted a fo rm a l d e c la r a ti o n and s e n t i t to i t s
d e le g a te e in C ongress where i t was re a d on F rid a y , May 21,
1779, announcing th e d e te rm in a tio n n o t t o s ig n u n t i l th e
u n a p p ro p ria te d w e ste rn la n d s sh o u ld be ceded to th e c e n t r a l
17
governm ent and w ith h e ld from th e l i m i t s o f th e s e v e r a l
s ta te s .1
The la n d claim s o f many o f th e s t a t e s were v a l i d ,
h u t n e c e s s ity urged g e n e ro s ity and M aryland, s a t i s f i e d w ith
p ro m ises o f c e s s io n , r a t i f i e d th e A r t i c l e s and h e r d e le g a te s
in C ongress sig n ed them on th e 1 s t o f M arch, 1781, th u s com­
p l e t i n g th e C o n fe d e ra c y .2
I t has heen claim ed a s re a s o n s f o r th e in e f f ic ie n c y
o f th e A r t i c l e s , th e f a c t t h a t th e y w ere b ased on f e a r o f
a s tr o n g c e n tr a l governm ent; to th e in e x p e rie n c e o f C ongress;
and to th e je a lo u s y o f th e s t a t e s .
e ra c y c e r t a i n l y was*
I n e f f i c i e n t th e Confed­
The only organ o f government was a
co n g ress in w hich each s t a t e was e n t i t l e d t o one v o te and to
be r e p r e s e n te d by d e le g a te s i n number n o t l e s s th a n two n o r
more th a n sev e n .
They were ap p o in te d ev ery y e a r a s th e
l e g i s l a t u r e o f each s t a t e d eterm in ed , and were p a id by th e
same.
They w ere r e s p o n s ib le t o th e s t a t e and were l i a b l e
t o r e c a l l ; th u s a llo w in g f o r sm all in c e n tiv e to in d ep en d en t
a c ti o n .
From a le a g u e o f f r ie n d s h ip i n to w hich, a c c o rd in g to
th e language o f th e A r t i c l e s , th e s t a t e s had e n te r e d , th e
C o n fe d e ra tio n soon became a group o f s o v e re ig n s t a t e s each
je a lo u s o f i t s own p r e r o g a tiv e s .
The f a c t t h a t n in e o u t o f
1 W. C. F o rd , e t a l . , e d i t o r s , J o u r n a ls o f th e C o n ti­
n e n ta l C o n g re ss. 1774-1789, XIV, 619-622.
2 I b i d . . XIV, 213-223.
18
t h i r t e e n s t a t e s had to c o n se n t in th e m ost im p o rta n t p a s ­
sag es o f b u s in e s s ; t h a t th e r e was no in d ep en d en t e x e c u tiv e ;
t h a t C ongress was p ro v id ed w ith no means o f r a i s i n g s o l d i e r s
save th ro u g h r e q u i s i t i o n s upon th e s t a t e s ; t h a t th e c o n tr o l
o f commerce was n o t g iv en to C o n g ress, n o t even th e power o f
im posing custom -house d u ti e s o r e x c is e s ; t h a t c o n g re ss could
make r e q u i s i t i o n s upon th e s t a t e s o n ly in p ro p o rtio n t o th e
a s s e s s e d v a lu a tio n o f t h e i r r e a l e s t a t e , b u t had no l e g a l
r i g h t to e n fo rc e th e r e q u i s i t i o n s , made C ongress b u t l i t t l e
more e f f e c t i v e th a n a d e l i b e r a t e le a g u e .
I t is not s u rp ris ­
in g t h a t i t was soon h e ld up t o r i d i c u l e and made th e t a r g e t
f o r a l l form s o f d e r is io n and d i s c o n t e n t .3
D uring 1784, th e C ongress o f th e C onfederacy e n te re d
upon a new phase o f i t s e x is te n c e .
The war was over and th e
p eace t r e a t y sig n e d and th e o b lig a tio n " to hang to g e th e r " r e ­
moved.
The s t a t e s * r i g h t s view predom inated and ev e ry day
th e w eaknesses o f th e C o n fe d e ra tio n became more a p p a re n t.
I t was im p o ssib le t o h o ld to g e th e r th e r e q u ir e d n in e s t a t e s
f o r d e c is io n s upon m a tte r s o f p r e s s in g urg en cy ; much o f th e
tim e n o t even seven s t a t e s co u ld be m u ste re d .
A tte n tio n in
C ongress was c e n te re d p r im a r ily on th e co n cern s o f in d iv id u a l
s ta te s .
When an is s u e a ro s e t h a t was o f im portance t o a
c e r t a i n s t a t e th e d e le g a te s o f t h a t s t a t e would come in t o
3 C a rl B eck er, The U n ited S a te s , an E xperim ent in
Democracy, pp. 73-74.
19
C ongress and when a d e c is io n had been reached th e y would
pack t h e i r baggage, mount t h e i r h o r s e s , and f o r th w ith d e p a r t .4
The s i t u a t i o n o f C ongress i s t r u l y a la rm in g [w rote
th e d e le g a te o f Delaw are to h i s g o vernorJ th e m ost
im p o rta n t b u s in e s s pen d in g and n o t enough s t a t e s t o
ta k e i t up; w h i l s t th o s e p r e s e n t a r e f a tig u e d in to
re se n tm e n t and alm o st d e s p a ir , w ith l o i t e r i n g away
t h e i r tim e t o l i t t l e p u rp o se , b e s id e s w a itin g f o r
o th e r s t o come. I t i s th e r e s o l u t e i n t e n t i o n o f C ongress
t o a d jo u rn t h i s s p r in g , le a v in g a com m ittee, c o n s i s t in g
o f a member from each s t a t e .5
On F eb ru ary £0, 1784, from A n n a p o lis, th e s e a t o f th e U n ited
S ta te s C o n g ress, Thomas J e f f e r s o n , d e le g a te from V ir g in ia ,
w ro te t o James M adison a t h is f a t h e r 's home in Orange g iv in g
f u r t h e r ev id en c e o f th e confused s i t u a t i o n :
We can n o t make up a C ongress a t a l l . th e r e a r e 8
s t a t e s in tow n, 6 o f w hich a r e re p re s e n te d by two
members o n ly , o f th e s e two members o f d i f f e r e n t s t a t e s
a r e c o n fin e d by th e gout so t h a t we can n o t make a house,
we have n o t s i t ab o u t 3 days I b e lie v e in a s many w eeks,
a d m in itio n a f t e r a d m in itio n h as been s e n t to th e s t a t e s
to no e f f e c t , we have s e n t one to d a y , i f i t f a i l s , i t
seems a s w e ll we sh o u ld a l l r e t i r e , th e r e have nev er
been 9 s t a t e s on th e f l o o r b u t f o r th e r a t i f i c a t i o n o f
th e t r e a t y and a day o r two a f t e r . 6
I t was t h i s s e s s io n o f 1784 t h a t t r i e d th e e x p e d ie n t
o f a com m ittee o f s t a t e s to s i t w h ile C ongress was a d jo u rn e d .
^ Edmund 0 . B u r n e tt, "The Committee o f th e S t a t e s ,
1784,* Am erican H i s t o r i c a l A s s o c ia tio n R ep o rt f o r 1913, I , 141,
e t seq.
5
I b i d . , I , 146, c i t i n g l e t t e r o f T ilto n to Governor
Van Dyke, F eb ru ary 16, 1784.
6
George B a n c r o ft, H is to ry o f th e Form ation o f th e
C o n s t it u t i o n , I , 342, c i t i n g l e t t e r o f Thomas J e f f e r s o n to
James M adison, F eb ru a ry 20, 1784.
20
The a f f a i r proved a f i a s c o so d is g r a c e f u l t h a t t h e r e was
t a l k o f a c o n g re s s io n a l i n v e s t i g a t io n o f th e com m ittee, h u t
C ongress, n e a r t o b r e a th in g i t s l a s t , th o u g h t b e t t e r o f th e
s u g g e s tio n .
The f a r c i a l en d in g formed a f i t t i n g clim ax to
a s e r i e s o f in c r e a s in g f a i l u r e s o f C ongress under th e
A r t i c l e s to f u l f i l i t s o b lig a tio n s and was a g r e a t im petus
to th e movement f o r s tr o n g e r go v ern m en t.7
As i t o fte n happens in l i f e , so in governm ent, a
l i t t l e e v e n t, a lm o st u n n o tic e d a t th e tim e by m ost A m ericans,
became th e f i r s t c o n s tr u c tiv e advance tow ards th e much needed
s tr e n g th e n in g o f th e C o n fe d e ra tio n .
At th e tim e no one would
have re c o g n iz e d i t a s a d e f i n i t e s te p tow ards a new c o n s t i ­
t u t i o n —n o t even James M adison and h i s in t im a t e s .
T his
seem ingly i n s i g n i f i c a n t ev e n t was th e e x t r a le g a l A le x a n d ria Mt. Vernon T rade C onvention o f M arch, 1785, c a lle d in th e
hope o f s e t t l i n g th e o ld c o n tro v e rs y o f V ir g in ia and M aryland
c o n c e rn in g commerce on th e Potomac R iv e r and on Chesapeake
Bay.
B efo re stu d y in g th e d e t a i l s o f t h a t m eetin g one should
u n d ersta n d som ething o f th e c o n d itio n o f th e commerce o f th e
weak co n fed era cy to a p p r e c ia te th e p resu m p tio n on th e p a r t
o f V ir g in ia and M aryland in se e k in g to s e t t l e t h e i r d i f f i ­
c u l t y w ith o u t th e a id o f th e f e d e r a l governm ent.
A r t i c l e V I,
p a ra g ra p h 2 o f th e A r t i c l e s d e f i n i t e l y d e n ie s th e in d iv id u a l
7 B u rn e tt, op. c i t . , I , 141.
21
s t a t e s th e r i g h t t o " e n te r in t o any t r e a t y , c o n fe d e ra tio n or
a l l i a n c e w h atev er betw een them , w ith o u t th e c o n se n t o f th e
u n ite d s t a t e s in c o n g re ss a sse m b le d ," s p e c if y in g a c c u r a te ly
th e p u rp o se s f o r w hich th e same i s t o be e n te re d i n t o , and
how lo n g i t s h a l l c o n tin u e , b u t knowledge o f th e n a t io n a l
governm entf s im potence makes u n d e rsta n d a b le th e a c tio n o f
th e two s t a t e s .
To re v ie w th e q u e s tio n o f th e com m ercial s i t u a t i o n i s
t o lo o k i n t o one o f th e g r e a t e s t w eaknesses o f th e govern­
m ent, th e c o r r e c t i o n o f w hich was lo n g re c o g n iz e d by p a t r i o t i c
men in and o u t o f C o n gress.
I f C ongress had had c o n tr o l o f
Commerce th e n a t i o n a l income would have been g r e a t ly i n ­
c r e a s e d , th e c o n tr o l o f f o r e ig n sh ip p in g co u ld have been
r e g u la te d to th e common good o f A m ericans, and th e i n t e r ­
s t a t e commerce c o n tr o lle d t o th e b e n e f i t o f th e s t a t e s .
Be­
fo re th e A r t i c l e s w ere r a t i f i e d th e g ra v e d e f e c t o f n o t con­
f i n i n g to th e f e d e r a l governm ent th e s o le and e x c lu s iv e
power o f r e g u la ti n g t r a d e , b o th f o r e ig n and d o m e s tic , was
argued by th e d e le g a te s o f Hew J e rs e y in C o n g ress.
They f e l t
t h a t g r e a t i n j u s t i c e would ensue and d i f f i c u l t i e s and embar­
ra ssm e n ts would prove t h e i r i n s is te n c e on f e d e r a l c o n tr o l to
be c o n s i s t e n t . 8
On th e 3 rd o f F e b ru a ry , 1781, C ongress c o n sid e re d a
8 A lle n N ev in s, The Am erican S ta te s D uring and A fte r
th e R e v o lu tio n , 1775-1789. p . 627.
r e s o l u t i o n o f Mr. W itherspoon recommending t h a t i t he v e s te d
w ith th e power to impose d u t i e s upon im p o rts .
a
Revenue, p ro ­
t e c t i o n , and d is c r im in a tio n were in d eed m ost n e c e s s a ry to
th e i n f a n t n a tio n b u t i t was im p o ssib le to sec u re th e con­
cu rre n c e o f n in e s t a t e s as re q u ir e d by th e A r t i c l e s and th e
r e s o l u t i o n was l o s t .
On th e same day, an amendment to th e
A r t i c l e s g iv in g to C ongress th e power to impose a 5 p e r c e n t
im p o rt d u ty on goods o f f o r e ig n grow th o r m an u fa ctu re, w ith
c e r t a i n e x c e p tio n s , was p a s s e d ;
th e rev en u e to be used in
d is c h a r g in g th e p r i n c i p a l and i n t e r e s t o f th e f e d e r a l d e b t.
T his was s e n t to a l l th e s t a t e s and w ith in a few months
fa v o ra b le answ ers from a l l th e s t a t e s save Rhode I s la n d were
r e c e iv e d .
Rhode I s l a n d ’ s r e f u s a l to g iv e th e d e s ir e d co n se n t
d e fe a te d th e m easure a s amendments to th e A r t i c l e s re q u ir e d
r a t i f i c a t i o n o f th e l e g i s l a t u r e s o f a l l th e s t a t e s . T h e
J o u rn a l o f C ongress f o r A p ril 18, 1783, t e l l s o f th e second
p ro p o sed revenue amendment, a r e s o l u t i o n to g a in f o r tw en ty f i v e y e a rs th e power to impose s p e c i f i c d u t i e s oh c e r t a i n
goods and a 5 p e r c e n t ad valorum d u ty on a l l o th e r goods, th e
money to be used to d is c h a rg e th e d e b t.
The measure p a sse d
th e C on g ress; was s e n t to th e s t a t e s where i t was r a t i f i e d
9 A. A. G iesectce, Am erican Commercial L e g is la tio n Bef o re 1789, p . 141.
10 I b i d . . p . 142.
23
by a l l save New York, w hich was d i v i d e d .H
Congress* la e k o f power o ver f o r e ig n tra d e made many an
Am erican ashamed o f th e w eakness o f th e governm ent.
American
p r id e , as w e ll as p o o k etb o o k s, was h u r t by G re a t B r i t a i n 's
r e t e n t i o n o f th e N orthw est f u r p o s ts and th e l u c r a ti v e r e tu r n
from th e tr a d e in p e l t s t h a t w ent, v ia th e Lakes and th e S t.
Lawrence, i n t o E n g lis h p u r s e s .
problem o f th e C arrib e a n t r a d e .
Then, to o , th e r e was th e
E ngland, in 1783, had p a sse d
O rders i n C o u n cil fo rb id d in g American bottom s from c a rry in g
th e tr a d e o f th e West I n d ie s .
This had alw ays been th e most
im p o rta n t f o r e ig n tr a d e o f America and C ongress t r i e d to p a s s
r e s o l u t i o n s d e c la r in g i t a d v is a b le to m eet th e r e s t r i c t i o n s
o f England w ith s i m il a r r e s t r i c t i o n s .
C ongress asked f o r
power to p a s s N a v ig a tio n A cts fo rb id d in g f o r a p e rio d o f
f i f t e e n y e a rs th e t r a n s p o r t a t i o n o r e x p o r ta tio n o f any goods
in s h ip s b e lo n g in g to o r n a v ig a te d by s u b je c ts o f any c o u n try
n o t h av in g t r e a t i e s o f commerce w ith th e U n ite d S ta te s .
It
a ls o asked f o r power to r e s t r a i n th e c a rry in g tr a d e o f a
c o u n try to goods o f i t s own p ro d u c tio n o r m a n u f a c t u r e T h e
f a i l u r e o f th e s e b i l l s was to be ex p e cted from a c o n s id e ra ­
t i o n o f th e f a t e o f a l l th e o th e r s .
J e a lo u s y o f a s tro n g c e n t r a l governm ent ex ten d ed to
11 P o rd , e t a l . , oj>. o l t . , XXIV, 261.
12 I b i d . , XXVI, 321-322.
24
in te n s e je a lo u s y o f th e s t a t e s f o r each o th er*
What one
c e n tr a l governm ent could have done to b rin g a s t a t e to tim e ,
t h i r t e e n s e p a r a te , c o n f l i c t i n g e n t i t i e s co u ld n o t hope to
ac co m p lish .
F o r exam ple, i f M a ssa c h u se tts p u t d u t ie s on
B r i t i s h goods C o n n e c tic u t would a llo w th e same in f r e e and
th e tr a d e would flow fro m .M a ssa c h u se tts to e n r ic h C o n n e c tic u t.
The c o n f l i c t i n g i n t e r e s t s o f th e s e v e ra l s t a t e s le d to g r e a t
c o n fu sio n and com m ercial d if f e r e n c e s betw een ^them were common.
Why w onder th e n , t h a t when a q u e s tio n o f com mercial i n t e r e s t
to V ir g in ia and M aryland came up, th e y ig n o re d C ongress,
knowing i t s w eakness,and t r i e d to s e t t l e th e b u s in e s s f o r t h ­
w ith on t h e i r own, by a co n v e n tio n to be h e ld a t A le x a n d ria ,
V ir g in ia .
The A lex an d ria-M t. Vernon Trade C onvention i s g iv en
s c a n t a t t e n t i o n by th e w r i t e r s o f h i s t o r y .
In m ost p la c e s a
few l i n e s o r a b r i e f p a ra g ra p h s u f f i c e s f o r t h i s m eetin g t h a t
was d e s tin e d to le a d to g r e a t th in g s .
I t was a m ost i n t e r e s t ­
in g h i s t o r i c e p iso d e and one t h a t had r o o ts f a r back in th e
c o lo n ia l p a s t o f M aryland and V ir g in ia .
There were abundant ca u ses o f estra n g em en t betw een
th e s e two s t a t e s .
When th e k in g carv ed a p ro v in c e f o r Lord
B a ltim o re o u t o f V ir g in ia t e r r i t o r y , he a ssig n e d th e so u th e rn
l i m i t o f th e p ro v in c e o f M aryland to th e so u th bank o f th e
Potomac R iv e r.
T his gave r i s e to an im p o ssib le s i t u a t i o n :
B o ats ly in g a t an ch o r i n th e strea m o r t i e d to a V ir g in ia
25
w harf w ere s u b je c t to M aryland’ s law s; cargo as soon a s i t
was la n d e d .h a d to m eet V ir g in ia ’ s custom s law s.
And, to o ,
w h atev er to b acco came in to th e s h i p s ’ h o ld s from V irg in ia
m ust have been s u b je c t to a l l th e re q u ire m e n ts o f th e in ­
s p e c tio n law s o f t h a t s t a t e , w h ile th e hogshead t h a t came
from b o a ts a lo n g s id e may have been produced un d er l e s s r i g i d
re g u la tio n s . ^
A lthough M aryland had th e advantage on th e Potomac;
V ir g in ia had th e b e t t e r p o s i t io n on th e Chesapeake as b o th
s id e s o f th e mouth b elonged to V ir g in ia .
The lig h th o u s e a t
Cape Henry, th e beacons and buoys m arking th e ch an n els th ro u g h
th e sh a llo w s o f th e lo w er b ay s, a l l belonged un d er th e j u r i s ­
d i c t i o n o f V ir g in ia .
Many v e s s e ls u s in g th e s e ch an n els were
bound f o r M aryland and i t seemed to th e ta x p a y e rs o f th e
owner s t a t e s t h a t th e M arylanders sh o u ld c o n tr ib u te to th e
expense o f upkeep.
V ir g in ia , t h e r e f o r e , ta x e d th e s h ip s
w hether c l e a r i n g f o r , h e r own p o r t s o r th o se o f M aryland.
The
R iv e r Pokomoke, a stream on th e e a s te r n shore t h a t had i t s
so u rce in M aryland and i t s mouth in V ir g in ia , h elp ed to com­
p l i c a t e m a tte r s , as d id th e f a c t t h a t b o th s t a t e s t r i e d to
r e s t r i c t B r i t i s h commerce b u t were n o t a l i k e i n kind o r amount
o f d u tie s le v i e d .
469-470.
Edward Channing, H is to ry o f th e U n ite d S t a t e s , I I I ,
26
B ecause o f many c i t a t i o n s o f d isa g re e m e n ts betw een
th e two s t a t e s and b ecause th e y had l i t t l e
f a i t h in th e
a b i l i t y o f th e c o n fe d e ra tio n governm ent to c o r r e c t them, i t
was now c o n s id e re d u r g e n tly n e c e s s a ry t h a t th e y sh o u ld come
to some u n d e rs ta n d in g and m utual c o o p e ra tio n where t h e i r
boundary,, and a t th e same tim e t h e i r b e s t highway in to th e
i n t e r i o r , was concerned*
This was no new id e a as th e re c o rd s
o f b o th s t a t e s a re f u l l o f ev id en ce o f a tte m p ts to develop
th e Potomac c o o p e ra tiv e ly .
P erh ap s no one had a b e t t e r id e a o f th e im p o rtan ce o f
th e q u e s tio n th a n George W ashington.
To him th e in la n d n a v i­
g a tio n o f th e Potomac seemed to be one o f th e m ost im p o rta n t
s in g le elem en ts i n th e developm ent o f th e s t a t e .
He had made
many t r i p s i n t o th e b a c k c o u n try and, on th e more r e c e n t
o c c a s io n s , he had o b served w ith th e eye o f an e n g in e e r th e
top o g rap h y in r e l a t i o n to r i v e r s and m ountains and had made
v a rio u s r e p o r t s on th e s u b je c t o f in la n d n a v i g a t io n .3’4
When W ashington was a member o f th e V ir g in ia House o f
B u rg esses in 1774, he became c h ie f mover i n a b i l l to form a
company to u n d e rta k e a t i t s own ex p en se, th e e x te n s io n o f
n a v ig a tio n on th e P o to m ac.3-5
N oth in g came o f i t a t th e tim e
Hampton 1. C arson, W ashington i n H is R e la tio n to
th e N a tio n a l I d e a , p p . 1 -3 .
K ate M. Rowland, "The Mt. Vernon C o n v e n tio n ,”
P e n n sy lv a n ia M agazine o f H is to ry and B io g rap h y , 11:410-4 24.
27
because o f th e je a lo u s y o f th e B altim o re m e rc h a n ts, b u t th e
J o u rn a l o f th e House o f B u rg esses o f V ir g in ia re c o rd s t h a t
on Monday, June 5, 1775, Mr. M ercer p re s e n te d to th e House a
b i l l f o r r a i s i n g , by s u b s c r ip tio n , a sum o f 40,000 pounds
s t e r l i n g and e s t a b l i s h i n g a company f o r th e opening and ex­
te n d in g o f n a v ig a tio n on th e l i v e r Potom ac.
The b i l l was
p a sse d June 17, 1775, and s e n t to th e C ouncil f o r c o n c u rre n c e .
The C ouncil ag reed on th e 2 1 s t o f Ju n e , w ith o u t amendment.
As th e Potomac was o n ly re m o te ly V irg in ia n , b u t even
more a p o s s e s s io n o f M aryland, th e c o n se n t o f t h a t s t a t e to
a l l p r o p o s itio n s p e r ta in in g to i t had to be g a in e d .
Mr.
Thomas Johnson, f i r s t g o v ern o r o f th e new s t a t e o f M aryland,
who su p p o rte d th e scheme, met w ith so much o p p o s itio n in th e
M aryland Assembly t h a t th e m a tte r f a i l e d to g a in th e approba­
t i o n o f t h a t body a lth o u g h tw en ty o r more p ro m in en t M arylanders
became s u b s c r ib e r s .
A n o tic e i n th e V ir g in ia G a z e tte , O cto b er,
1775, by John B a lle n d in e who had u n d e rta k e n th e work on th e
p r o j e c t , t e l l s th e f a i l u r e o f th e v e n tu re : " th e n e c e s s ity o f
a M aryland Act o f Assembly c o o p e ra tin g w ith one p a sse d in
V ir g in ia and w hich I have n o t y e t been a b le to o b ta in , has
o b lig e d me t o d e c lin e i t f o r th e p r e s e n t . " 1?
Then th e war
^ John P e n d le to n Kennedy, e d i t o r , J o u rn a ls o f th e
House o f B u rg esses o f V ir g i n ia , 1775-1776, th e re c o rd s o f th e
CommitWe o f C o rresp o n d en ce, p . l 9 l .
17 Quoted by Rowland, 0£ . c i t . , 1 1 :4 1 6 .
28
came and th e is s u e had to he p u t a s id e .
T hat th e problem o f th e Potomac had been b u t p o stp o n ed
i s shown by th e a c tio n ta k e n on A ugust 1, 1783, by th e S ta te
C ouncil o f M aryland.
On t h a t day w ith H is E x c e lle n c y ,
W illiam P aca , G overnor, in th e c h a ir and in v i r t u e o f a re s o ­
l u t i o n w hich th e G en eral Assembly had p a sse d on May 31, two
e n g in e e rs were a p p o in te d to examine and to r e p o r t t h e i r
o p in io n o f op en in g , c l e a r i n g , and m aking n a v ig a b le th e
Potomac w ith in th e b o u n d a rie s o f M ary la n d .16
C h arles B e a tty and Normand B ruce, s e n t o u t by th e
M aryland Assembly to make th e su rv ey o f th e Potomac, r e p o r te d
on November 15, 1783, t h a t th e work was e n t i r e l y p o s s ib le and
t h a t th e r i v e r could be made n a v ig a b le from th e G reat F a l l s
to F o r t Cumberland, a t th e e s tim a te d c o s t o f $92,000.
The
recom m endations o f th e e n g in e e rs were d is c u s s e d w ith i n t e r e s t
in b o th M aryland and V ir g in ia and to some e x te n t in
P e n n s y lv a n ia .
The M aryland Assembly d id n o th in g i n 1783 i n
th e way o f c a r r y in g o u t th e s u g g e s tio n s o f th e two men19 b u t
th e r e p o r t o f M essrs. B e a tty and Bruce renewed in W ashington
h is a c ti v e i n t e r e s t i n th e opening o f th e w a te r route*
F or
th r e e y e a rs fo llo w in g h i s r e s i g n a ti o n from th e army, December
J . H a ll P l e a s a n t s , e d i t o r , J o u rn a l o f C orrespondence
o f th e S ta te C o u n cil, 1781-1784, A rc h iv es o f M aryland, VLVIII,
442-443.
M atthew Page Andrews, H is to ry o f M aryland; P ro v in c e
and s t a t e , p . 380.
29
23, 1783, W ashington was c o n s ta n tly i n to u ch w ith th e
p ro b le m .20
V ir g in ia had many o th e r a rd e n t sons b u t p ro b a b ly none
who worked w ith a more in te n s e d e s i r e to b e t t e r c o n d itio n s
in h i s own* s t a t e and in th e Union th a n James M adison, J r .
H is e x te n s iv e co rresp o n d en ce shows in tim a te ly h is keen sen se
o f th e d is g r a c e f u l s i t u a t i o n in to which h i s n a tiv e la n d had
fa lle n .
In th e C ongress o f th e C o n fe d e ra tio n and in h is S ta te
L e g is la tu r e he s tr a in e d e v e ry e f f o r t to reme:dy m a tte r s , b u t i n
1784, th e y e a r w hich saw th e d e s p e r a te c o n d itio n o f th e
C onfederacy b e fo re m en tio n ed , M adison tu rn e d to e x t r a le g a l
methods to save h i s n a tiv e s t a t e from com m ercial d i s a s t e r
a f t e r th e l e g i s l a t u r e had f a i l e d t o p a s s th e V ir g in ia P o r t
B i l l w ith any t e e t h l e f t in i t .
I t was i n h i s b r a in t h a t th e
id e a o f th e A le x a n d ria T rade C onvention was b o rn , th e f i r s t
s te p i n th e c a l l i n g o f th e C o n s titu tio n a l C onvention o f 1787.
M adison*s l e g a l mind fo resaw d an g er in th e V ir g in ia M aryland boundary s i t u a t i o n and i n M aryland*s renewed i n t e r ­
e s t i n th e r i v e r .
In March, 1784, he w ro te to h i s f r i e n d and
f e llo w V irg in ia n , Thomas J e f f e r s o n , th e n a d e le g a te o f
V ir g in ia i n th e C o n g ress, e x p re s s in g h i s in te n s e i n t e r e s t in
th e Potomac q u e s tio n :
20 H e rb e rt B. Adams, e d i t o r , M aryland*s In flu e n c e upon
Land C essio n s to th e U n ite d S t a t e s w ith m inor p a p e rs on George
W ashington*s I n t e r e s t in W estern L ands, th e Potomac Company,
and a N a tio n a l U n i v e r s i t y , I I I , 84, p a ssim .
30
The c h a r t e r g ra n te d in 1632 t o Lord B a ltim o re m akes,
i f I m ista k e n o t, th e S o u th ern sh o re of. th e Potom ac, th e
boundary o f M aryland on t h a t side* The C o n s titu tio n o f
V irg in ia cedes to t h a t S t a t e " a l l th e t e r r i t o r i e s con­
ta in e d w ith in i t s c h a r te r w ith a l l th e r i g h t s o f p r o p e r ty ,
j u r i s d i c t i o n and Government and a l l o th e r r i g h t s w hatso­
e v e r, w hich m ight a t any tim e have been claim ed by
V ir g in ia , e x c e p tin g o n ly th e f r e e n a v ig a tio n and use o f
th e R iv e rs Potowmac and Pohomoque e t c . " I s i t n o t to
be apprehended t h a t t h i s lan g u ag e w i l l be c o n s tru e d in to
an e n t i r e re lin q u is h m e n t o f th e J u r i s d i c t i o n o f th e s e
r i v e r s , and w i l l n o t such a c o n s tr u c tio n be f a t a l to o u r
p o r t r e g u la tio n s on t h a t s i d e , and o th e rw ise be h ig h ly
in c o n v e n ie n t? . . . The j u r i s d i c t i o n o f h a l f th e r i v e r s
ought to have been e x p r e s s ly r e s e r v e d .. . .. What w i l l be
th e b e s t co u rse to r e p a i r th e e r r o r ? - - t o e x te n d our law s
upon th e R iv e r, making M aryland th e p l a i n t i f f i f she
chooses to c o n te s t t h e i r a u t h o r i t y — to s t a t e th e case to
h e r a t once and p ro p o se a s e ttle m e n t by n e g o c ia tio n —
o r to p ro p o se a m utual ap p o in tm en t o f Com m issioners
f o r th e g e n e ra l p u rp o se o f p r e s e r v in g a harmony and
e f f i c a c y in th e r e g u la tio n s on b o th s id e s ? The l a s t
mode sq u a re s b e s t w ith my p r e s e n t id e a s . I t , can g iv e
no i r r i t a t i o n to M aryld; i t can weaken no p l e a o f V irg a;
i t w i l l g iv e -Maryland, an o p p o rtu n ity o f s t i r r i n g th e
q u e s tio n i f she c h o o se s, and w i l l n o t be f r u i t l e s s i f
M aryland sh o u ld adm it o u r j u r i s d i c t i o n . I f I see th e
m a tte r in i t s t r u e l i g h t no tim e sh o u ld be l o s t in
f i x i n g th e i n t e r e s t o f V irg in ia * The good humour i n to
which th e c e s s io n o f the b ac k la n d s m ust have p u t M aryland,
form s an a p t c r i s i s f o r any n e g o c ia tio n s w hich may be
n e c e s s a ry . You w i l l be a b le p ro b a b ly to lo o k i n t o h e r
c h a r t e r and h e r law s, and t o c o l l e c t th e le a d in g s e n t i ­
m ents r e l a t i v e to th e m a t t e r . 21
J e f f e r s o n ’ s r e p ly was in e n t i r e a c c o rd w ith M adison’ s
id e a o f the m a tte r and as G en eral W ashington had lo n g been
a r d e n t in h i s d e s ir e to see th e Potomac m a tte r s e t t l e d , James
M adison i n th e f i r s t s e s s io n o f th e V ir g in ia L e g is la tu r e ,
L e t t e r to Thomas J e f f e r s o n , March 20, 1784, in
G a illa r d H unt, e d i t o r , The W ritin g s o f James M adison, I I ,
4 1 -4 2 .
31
May, 1784, moved t h a t a b i l l be p assed to a p p o in t a com m ission,
th e d u tie s o f which sh ould be s e ttle m e n t o f th e Potomac ques­
tio n .
The House o f D e le g a te s on June £8, and th e S en ate on
J u ly 1 , p a s s e d th e fo llo w in g r e s o lu tio n :
W hereas g r e a t in co n v e n ie n c e s a re found to r e s u l t from
th e want o f some c o n c e rte d r e g u la tio n s betw een t h i s S ta te
and th e S ta te o f M aryland, to u c h in g th e j u r i s d i c t i o n and
n a v ig a tio n o f th e r i v e r Potomac; B eso lv ed , t h a t George
Mason, Edmund R andolph, James M adison, j u n . , and A lexander
H enderson E s q rs . be a p p o in te d com m issioners; and t h a t th e y ,
o r any th r e e o f them , do m eet such com m issioners a s may
be a p p o in te d on th e p a r t o f M aryland, and in c o n c e rt w ith
them fram e such l i b e r a l and e q u ita b le r e g u la tio n s con­
c e rn in g th e s a id r i v e r , as may be m u tu a lly advantageous
to th e two S t a t e s ; and t h a t th e y make r e p o r t th e r e o f to
th e G en eral A ssem bly.2£
On th e 1 s t o f J u ly , th e d e le g a te s were fo rm a lly ap­
p o in te d and on t h a t same day th e f i r s t s e s s io n o f th e V ir g in ia
L e g is la tu r e f o r 1784 s to o d ad jo u rn ed t i l l November.
E v e n ts
t h a t were to cu lm in ate i n a new c o n s t i t u t i o n now moved
r a p id l y .
Mr. M adison was a n x io u s to inform Thomas J e f f e r s o n o f
e v e n ts i n V ir g in ia and a l e t t e r d a te d J u ly 3, 1784 s a id : tfCol.
Mason th e A tto rn e y ^Randolph] Mr. H enderson and m y se lf a re to
n e g o c ia te w ith M aryland i f she w i l l app^ Comissr s to e s t a b l i s h
r e g u la tio n s f o r th e Potowm ac.1,23
22 K ate M. Rowland, The L ife o f George Mason, 175£-179£,
I I , 7£, q u o tin g fro m -J o u rn a l o f Ih e Assembly o f V irg in !a T
23 L e t t e r to Thomas J e f f e r s o n , J u ly 3, 1784, in H unt,
op. c i t . , I I , 60.
32
The o f f i c i a l re c o rd s o f M aryland show t h a t th e id e a o f
c o n c e rte d a c tio n on th e Potomac q u e s tio n was fa v o ra b ly r e ­
c e iv e d and ap p o in tm en t o f f o u r d e le g a te d d u ly made, th re e o f
whom a c c e p te d th e ho n o r: Thomas S to n e , Samuel Chase, D an ie l
o f S t . Thomas J e n i f e r , and Thomas Johnson who re fu s e d .
Jo h nson’ s i n t e r e s t in commerce, e s p e c i a l ly in co n n e c tio n w ith
th e Potomac p r o j e c t , was w ell-know n; and h i s c o lle a g u e s in
th e l e g i s l a t u r e b e lie v e d he co u ld be p ersu ad ed to go to th e
c o n fe re n c e .
But he d id n o t a tte n d a s i t was in c o n v e n ie n t f o r
him to be in A le x a n d ria a t t h a t tim e i n M arch, 1 7 8 5 .&4
M aryland a p p o in te d ab le men to r e p r e s e n t h e r i n t e r e s t s
a t th e im pending c o n fe re n c e .
Thomas S to n e , fo rty -tw o y e a rs
o ld a t t h i s tim e , a la w y e r, had se rv e d s e v e ra l tim e s in th e
C o n tin e n ta l C ongress, and as S e n a to r in h is own s t a t e 17791783.
At th e tim e o f h i s appointm ent to th e tr a d e co n v e n tio n
he was a d e le g a te o f M aryland to th e C ongress o f th e C onfedera­
tio n .
Samuel Chase was a ls o a young law y er o f f o r t y - f o u r
y e a r s , a s ig n e r o f th e D e c la r a tio n o f Independence and con­
s t a n t l y i n p u b lic o f f i c e e i t h e r f o r th e f e d e r a l o r s t a t e
governm ent s in c e 1764.
A lla n N evine c a l l s him r a d i c a l , im­
p e tu o u s , e n e r g e tic , e r r a t i c , b u t th e k e e n e s t b r a in o f M aryland.
To him h as been a s c r ib e d th e b e s t p a r t o f M aryland’ s C o n s titu ­
t i o n — th e i n d i r e c t e l e c t i o n o f s e n a to r s .
24 Edward
p . 398.
s.
He was th e son o f an
D e la p la in e , The L ife o f Thomas Jo h n so n .-
E n g lis h m in is te r and a s he had been l i b e r a l l y ed u c ated i t
seems s tra n g e t h a t i t sh o u ld have been s a id o f him: ,fHe i s
one o f th o s e men who i s e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y fo llo w ed w ith o u t
b ein g i m p l i c i t l y t r u s t e d , and whose fo llo w in g i s g r e a t e s t
among th e in e x p e rie n c e d and ig n o r a n t."
The o th e r M aryland
d e le g a te , D an iel o f S t . Thomas J e n i f e r , was th e m ost im p o rta n t
o f f i c e r i n th e s t a t e — In d e n d an t of th e Revenue.
He was ad­
vanced in age and had many tim es h e ld d i g n i f i e d o f f i c e s .
M aryland n o t o n ly a p p o in te d a s tro n g d e le g a tio n b u t s e t th e
tim e and p la c e f o r th e m e e tin g : "March 21, 1785, a t A le x a n d ria ,
V ir g in ia , o r any o th e r tim e and p la c e more c o n v e n ie n t to th e
V ir g in ia n s .
How can th e m eetin g betw een M aryland and V ir g in ia ,
to
form a compact o r a l l i a n c e i n re g a rd to tr a d e and o th e r
m a tte r s p e r t a i n i n g to t h e i r common highway o f w a te r commerce
in c o n t r a d ic ti o n to th e law o f th e la n d , p o s s ib ly be con­
s id e re d as a s p e c i f i c in s ta n c e le a d in g t o a new c o n s t i tu ti o n ?
I t i s p o s s ib le so to c o n s id e r i t because a V ir g in ia sta te sm a n
soon p o in te d o u t v e ry c l e a r l y t h a t a s P e n n sy lv a n ia was so
c lo s e ly co n n ected w ith th e in la n d n a v ig a tio n o f t,he two s t a t e s
t h a t i n a l l p r o p r i e t y she should be c o n s u lte d in th e m a tte r .
K ev in s, ©£. c l t . , p . 313.
^ K ate M. Rowland, L ife and C orrespondence o f C h a rle s
C a rro l o f C arro lto w n . 1737-1832, I I , 82.
34
M aryland ag reed and added th e c o n s id e r a tio n o f a f o u r th
s t a t e , and one th in g le d to a n o th e r u n t i l a l l th e s t a t e s
were in v i te d to t a l k o v er com m ercial m a tte r s and o th e r
a f f a i r s and th e c o n s t i t u t i o n became in e v ita b le *
To e x p la in th e in c lu s io n o f P e n n sy lv a n ia in th e m at­
t e r i t i s n e c e s s a ry to d i g r e s s .
About th r e e m onths a f t e r
th e r e s o l u t i o n i n V ir g in ia to h o ld a c o n fe re n c e on th e
Potomac q u e s tio n had been p a s s e d , G eneral W ashington s e t o u t
on a jo u rn ey to v i s i t h is h o ld in g s beyond th e A p p ala ch ian s.
One o b je c t o f h is jo u rn ey was to o b ta in more in fo rm a tio n on
in la n d w a te r com m unication.
In h i s d ia r y , on O cto b er 4,
1784, he re c o rd e d a t some le n g th h is r e s e a r c h on th e problem
and made c l e a r t h a t , in h is o p in io n , M aryland and P e n n sy lv a n ia
were t i e d in to o c lo s e ly w ith V ir g in ia in th e s h o r t e s t and
b e s t r o u te s o f n a v ig a tio n to be l e f t o u t in c o n s id e rin g th e
developm ent o f in la n d w a te r t r a n s p o r t a t i o n . 27
W ashington e x p la in e d th e s e same id e a s in an im p o rta n t
l e t t e r a d d re sse d to G overnor Benjam in H a rris o n o f V ir g in ia ,
w hich th e G overnor l a i d b e fo re th e Assembly when i t met in
Richmond f o r i t s second s e s s io n in November. 2 8
I t was t h i s
s e s s io n o f th e l e g i s l a t u r e t h a t o u td id i t s e l f t o show a l l
John C. F r i t z p a t r i c k , e d i t o r , The D ia r ie s o f George
«W ashington. 1748-1799, I I , 316-328.
28 l e t t e r from W ashington to H a rris o n , O cto b er 10, 1784,
J a re d S p a rk s, e d i t o r , The W ritin g s o f W ashington, IX, 58-68.
i
35
honor and d ig n ity to th e M arquis de L a f a y e tte when he,
a tte n d e d by W ashington, came to Richmond on th e 1 4 th and 1 5 th
o f November,
W ashington i n c o n v e rs a tio n w ith members o f th e
l e g i s l a t u r e , im p ressed upon ^hem th e m agnitude o f th e p la n s
f o r in la n d n a v ig a tio n .
He urged upon them th e n e c e s s i ty o f
b in d in g th e E a s t and West to g e th e r by rem oving p h y s ic a l ob­
s t r u c t i o n s to commerce.
W ashington was p r a c t i c a l and n o t a
d ream er, t h e r e f o r e , he u rg ed a g a in th e id e a o f a Potomac
Company to make p o s s ib le t r a n s p o r t a ti o n and communication*
W ashington’ s l e t t e r o f O cto b er 7, 1784, to G overnor
H a rris o n , co n cern in g th e a d v i s a b i l i t y o f in c lu d in g P e n n sy lv a n ia
in th e Potomac i s s u e , w hich had been l a i d b e fo re th e Assembly
o f V ir g in ia , le d to th e p a s s in g on December 28, 1784, o f a
m ost im p o rta n t r e s o l u t i o n adding to th e d u t ie s o f th e com­
m is s io n e r s to th e A le x a n d ria Trade C onvention.
In s u b s ta n c e ,
i t d e a l t w ith problem s th e u n d e rta k in g o f w hich a s tro n g
c e n tr a l governm ent would have made u n n e c e s sa ry .
I t re s o lv e d
t h a t th e V ir g in ia com m issioners o r any two o f them should
u n ite w ith th e M aryland d e le g a te s i n n o tif y in g P e n n sy lv a n ia o f
th e co n tem p lated c l e a r i n g and e x te n d in g o f th e n a v ig a tio n on
th e Potom ac, and a sk in g f o r th e good w i l l and c o o p e ra tio n o f
th e s a id s t a t e i n s e c u rin g to a l l th e use o f th e w a te rs t h a t
l a y w ith in th e l i m i t s o f P e n n s y lv a n ia .
They were to ask
P e n n sy lv a n ia to p a s s a l e g i s l a t i v e a c t g u a ra n te e in g t h a t no
d u t i e s o r im p o sts should be le v ie d o th e r th a n such a r t i c l e s
36
would be s u b je c t to i f im p o rted i n to th e s t a t e th ro u g h any
o th e r c h a n n e l.
The r e s o l u t i o n f u r t h e r s t a t e d ;
T hat in case a j o i n t r e p r e s e n t a t i o n in b e h a lf o f
t h i s S ta te and o f M aryland s h a l l be re n d e re d by c i r ­
cum stances u n a t t a i n a b l e , th e s a id com m issioners o r
any two o f them , may o f th e m se lv e s make such r e p r e s e n ta ­
tio n s on th e s u b je c t to th e S ta te o f P e n n s y lv a n ia a s w i l l
i n su ch e v e n t become p r o p e r . 29
On th e adjournm ent o f th e V ir g in ia Assem bly, Ja n u a ry
8 , 1785, M adison went home to Orange where he rem ained alm o st
c o n s t a n t l y 'u n t i l th e n e x t November.
T hat he and Randolph d id
n o t a tte n d th e Trade C onvention a t A le x a n d ria on March 21 as
a rra n g e d by th e M aryland d e le g a tio n i s c e r t a i n , as he w ro te
a l e t t e r to L a f a y e tte d a te d March 20, 1785, from O range, in
which he s a i d :
I have n o th in g to
changed Richmond f o r
th e above d a t e ; t h a t
h e a lt h ; t h a t I spend
and th e c h ie f o f my
say o f m y se lf b u t t h a t I have ex­
O range, a s you w i l l have seen by
I e n jo y a s a t i s f a c t o r y s h a re o f
th e c h i e f o f my tim e in re a d in g
re a d in g , on Law; . . .30
A nother c i t a t i o n o f ev id e n c e
i s g a in e d in M adison’ s
l e t t e r to J e f f e r s o n , March 27, from th e same p la c e :
I u n d e rsta n d t h a t Chase and J e n i f e r on th e p a r t o f
M aryland, Mason and H enderson on th e p a r t o f V ir g in ia
have had a m eetin g on th e p r o p o s itio n o f V irg a f o r
s e t t l i n g th e n a v ig a tio n and j u r i s d i c t i o n o f Potowmac
below th e f a l l s , and have ag reed t o r e p o r t to th e two
Rowland, The L ife o f George Mason, I I , 73, q u o tin g
tiie Jomra&l o f th e V ir g in ia House o f D e le g a te s .
H unt,
30 L e t t e r to M arquis de L a f a y e tte , March 20, 1785,
0£ . c i t . , I I , 126.
in
37
A ssem b lies, th e e s ta b lis h m e n t o f a c o n c u rre n t j u r i s d i c ­
t i o n on t h a t r i v e r and C hesapeak. The m ost .am icable
s p i r i t i s s a id to have governed th e n e g o c ia tio n .3 1
The cru x o f th e whole m a tte r i s m ost i n t e r e s t i n g l y
to l d by George Mason i n a l e t t e r w r i t t e n to M adison on A ugust
9, 1785, in r e p ly to i n q u i r i e s a d d re sse d to him on th e sub­
j e c t o f th e A le x a n d ria C onvention:
G unston H a ll, August 9 , 1785, Dear S i r : I should
have answ ered y o u r fa v o r o f th e second o f Ju n e , lo n g
ago, had n o t i l l h e a lth , and th e absence o f my sons
from home, d is a b le d me from making o u t c o p ie s o f th e
p ro c e e d in g s o f th e V ir g in ia and M aryland C onvention
which I now e n c lo s e , and upon which I w ish to be fa v o red
w ith y o u r s e n tim e n ts .
We th o u g h t o u rs e lv e s u n fo rtu n a te in b ein g d e p riv e d o f
y o u rs and my f r ie n d th e A tto rn e y ’ s a s s is ta n c e [Edmund
Randolph] i n t h i s imp. b u s; and n o th in g b u t a b s o lu te
n e c e s s ity sh o u ld have induced me to e n t e r upon i t w ith ­
o u t you. B ut th e M aryland gentlem en would have been
much d is g u s te d w ith a d isa p p o in tm e n t a f t e r a tte n d in g
a t such a d is ta n c e i n v e ry bad w e a th e r. We w a ite d some
days e x p e c tin g your a r r i v a l i n A le x a n d ria , when I r e ­
c e iv e d a l e t t e r from th e A tto rn e y , upon o th e r b u s in e s s ,
w ith o u t m e n tio n in g a word o f th e m eetin g , o r o f th e
A ssb’ s app. T h is convinced u s th e r e m ust have been some
b lu n d e r o r n e g l e c t, in some o f th e p u b lic o f f i c e s , in
n o t g iv in g th e p ro p e r n o t i f i c a t i o n to th e Va. Com. The
M aryland gentlem en d e c la re d n o th in g had been o m itte d on
t h e i r p a r t , t h a t th e y had w r i t t e n an o f f i c i a l l e t t e r to
th e Va. Com. (a d d re sse d by t h e i r g o v ern o r to th e com)
p ro p o sin g th e tim e and p la c e , i f a g re e a b le to them ; and
i f n o t d e s i r i n g t h a t th e y would name some o th e r ; t h a t
h av in g r e c e iv e d no answ er, th e y to o k i t f o r g ra n te d t h a t
th e tim e and p la c e was a c c e p te d , and a tte n d e d a c c o rd in g ly .
So g r e a t h as been th e n e g le c t i n some o f o u r p u b lic
d e p a rtm e n ts t h a t n e i t h e r Mr. H. n o r m y self had been f u r ­
n is h e d w ith c o p ie s o f th e A ssb. r e s . And I sh o u ld n o t
L e t t e r to J e f f e r s o n , March 27, 1785, i b i d . , I I , 137.
38
have known t h a t I was one o f th e p e rso n s app, had I n o t
by mere a c c id e n t, 2 o r 3 days b e f o re th e m e e tin g , been
inform ed o f i t by two o f th e Md. com, w r itin g to m e -th a t
th e y should en d eav o r to ta k e my house in t h e i r way and
go w ith me to A lex . H is K x ce lle n cy Gen. Wash happened
to have a copy o f th e Assb r e s . r e s p e c tin g th e a p p lic a ­
t i o n to be made to th e governm ent o f P a, w hich he v ery
o b lig in g ly gave me, by which any two o r more o f th e com
were empowered to p ro c e e d . And i t was n a t u r a l f o r us
to conclude t h a t th e s e l a s t r e s had p u rsu d e th e s t y l e
o f th e fo rm er r e s p e c tin g th e j u r i s d i c t i o n o f th e two
S ta te s .. . .
Thus d is a g r e e a b ly c irc u m sta n c e d , o n ly 2 o f th e Va com
p r e s e n t , and w ith o u t a copy o f th e r e s o lv e s upon th e
p r i n c i p a l s u b j e c t , we th o t i t b e t t e r to p ro ceed th a n to
d is a p p o in t th e Md com; . . . We t h e r e f o r e upon th e
p a r t i c u l a r i n v i t a t i o n o f th e G en eral ad jo u rn ed to Mount
Vernon and f in is h e d th e b u s in e s s t h e r e . . . .
T his b lu n d e rin g b u s in e s s , hovirever, w i l l g iv e me th e
tr o u b le and expence o f th e jo u rn ey to Richmond, n e x t
s e s s io n , to a p o lo g iz e and e x p la in o u r c o n d u c t.. . .38
George Mason (1785-1792) was a f r i e n d and n e a r n e ig h ­
b o r o f George W ashington*
Mason i n s i s t e d upon re g a rd in g
h im s e lf as a p r i v a t e gentlem an even d u rin g h i s m ost in te n s iv e
p e r io d s o f p u b lic s e r v ic e .
He serv ed on many im p o rta n t com­
m itte e s b u t as he r a te d human n a tu r e in com m ittees as low,
and lo v ed h i s e s t a t e , Gunston H a ll, he eschewed p u b lic l i f e
as much as he c o u ld .
D is g u s t w ith p u b lic a f f a i r s i n th e
e a r l y 80*s drove him in to r e tir e m e n t and n o t u n t i l 1786 d id
he a g a in go to Assem bly, and th e n because o f h i s grow ing con­
v i c t i o n t h a t th e C onfederacy was a b s o lu te ly in a d e q u a te to
Letter* t o James M adison, A ugust 9, 1785, quoted in
Rowland, The L ife o f George Mason, I I , 83-85.
39
c ru sh th e o rg y o f i n f l a t i o n t h a t was s p re a d in g o v e r th e la n d .
H is r e p u ta ti o n was an e n v ia b le one,
P a t r i c k Henry c o n s id e re d
him one o f two o f th e g r e a t e s t sta te sm e n he ev e r knew and
M adison th o u g h t h i s th e g r e a t e s t t a l e n t f o r d e b a te o f any man
he had e v e r seen o r h e a rd sp eak .
A lex an d er H enderson, th e o th e r V ir g in ia d e le g a te a t
A le x a n d ria , was n o t a n a tiv e V ir g in ia n b u t came a s an em ig ran t
to P rin c e W illiam Company in 1756.
He was th e son o f R everend
R ic h a rd Henderson A.M. o f Glasgow U n iv e r s ity who f o r f o r t y e i g h t y e a rs was m i n i s t e r in B la n ty re p a r i s h , S c o tla n d .
Mr.
H enderson was a d e le g a te to th e V ir g in ia Assembly f o r D um fries
and a gentlem an j u s t i c e alo n g w ith h i s n e ig h b o r George Mason
f o r th e F a ir f a x County C o u rt.
I t was w h ile a tte n d in g c o u r t
a t A le x a n d ria h e ld on March ££, t h a t he was a v a ila b le f o r
s e r v ic e a t th e Trade C onvention, b e in g n o t i f i e d o f h is a p p o in t­
m ent a s com m issioner f o r V ir g in ia by Mason.
P a t r i c k H enry,
G overnor o f V ir g in ia , whose c a re i t sh o u ld have b een, showed
g ro s s n e g lig e n c e in f a i l i n g to in fo rm th e V ir g in ia d e le g a te s
o f t h e i r ap p o in tm en ts.
W ashington’ s keen i n t e r e s t i n a l l m a tte r s p e r ta in i n g
to th e r i v e r added to h i s h o s p ita b le i n s t i n c t s and le d to h i s
becom ing h o s t to th e d e le g a tio n .
W ith ite m s from h is d ia r y
a s th e c h i e f a i d , i t i s p o s s ib le to p re p a re a c a le n d a r o f
e v e n ts c o v e rin g th e A lex a n d ria-M t. Vernon Trade C onvention.
40
CALENDAR OF ALEXANDRIA TRADE CONVENTION
M ajor J e n i f e r d in e d a t Mt. V.—
and th e W ashington’ s c a r r ia g e w ent
to G unston H a ll to ta k e Mason to
A le x a n d ria to m eet th e commis­
s io n e rs .
Sunday
Mar* EO, 1785
Monday
Mar. E l, 1785
Tuesday
Mar* EE, 1785
Wednesday
Mar. E3, 1785
T hursday
Mar. S4, 1785
The W ashington’ s c a r r i a g e went to
A le x a n d ria to b rin g Mason o u t to
Mt. Vernon and a r r iv e d a t dusk.
F rid a y
Mar. E5, 1785
M ajor J e n i f e r , S to n e , Chase,
H enderson a r r iv e d a t Mt. Vernon.
S a tu rd a y
Mar. E6, 1785
In s e s s io n a t Mt. Vernon— i t
snowed, wind raw and c h i l l y .
Sunday
Mar. E7, 1785
H enderson s p e n t day a t C o lc h e s te r.
Monday
Mar. EQ, 1785
H enderson re tu r n e d t o Mt. Vernon
about 10 A.M* and th e m eetin g
c o n tin u e d .
Tuesday
Mar. E9, 1785
Com m issioners l e f t f o r t h e i r
r e s p e c tiv e hom es.33
M eeting o f co u n ty c o u r t f o r F a ir f a x
--H [e n d e rso n ] and M [ason3 a tte n d in g .
The work a s f a r as th e d e le g a te s were concerned was
f in i s h e d save t h a t th e r e p o r t o f th e p ro c e e d in g s had to be
p re s e n te d to th e G en eral A ssem blies o f th e s t a t e s concerned,
alo n g w ith a copy o f th e j o i n t a p p l i c a t i o n t h a t th e y had
s e n t to P e n n s y lv a n ia .
33 F i t z p a t r i c k ,
0£ .
c i t . , I I , 35E-354.
41
Advancement tow ard th e c a l l i n g o f a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l
c o n v e n tio n had been d e f i n i t e l y begun*
The n e x t two s t e p s ,
th e a c tio n ta k e n by th e s t a t e s o f M aryland and V ir g in ia , upon
th e r e p o r t s u b m itte d by t h e i r com m issioners to th e A le x a n d ria ’
Mt. Vernon Trade C onvention, were to be com pleted w ith in l e s s
th a n a y e a r.
Those s te p s w i l l be d is c u s s e d i n C h ap ter I I I
of th is th e s is .
CHAPTER I I I
THE ACTION OF THE STATES OF MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA ON THE
REPORT OF THE ALEXANDRIA-MT* VERNON TRADE COMMISSIONERS
To th e s t a t e o f M aryland may he a s c rib e d th e honor o f
co m p letin g th e second s te p i n th e c a l l i n g o f th e C o n s titu ­
t i o n a l C onvention o f 1787 by i t s a c c e p ta n c e o f th e A le x a n d ria Mt. Vernon Trade Commission’ s R ep o rt and i t s su b se q u e n t in ­
v i t a t i o n to P e n n s y lv a n ia and Delaware to j o in M aryland and
V ir g in ia in r e g u la ti o n o f th e commerce o f th e f o u r s t a t e s .
When th e A le x a n d ria T rade C onvention broke up on March 20,
1785, a f t e r s u c c e s s f u l l y co m p letin g th e work a s s ig n e d to i t ,
th e com m issioners r e tu r n e d to t h e i r r e s p e c ti v e homes.
B efore
le a v in g th e y p u t i n t o th e p ro p e r h an d s, t o be forw arded to
th e l e g i s l a t u r e s o f t h e i r s t a t e s , th e p ro c e e d in g s o f th e
m e e tin g s , th e compact e n te r e d i n t o , and a copy o f th e l e t t e r
s e n t to P r e s id e n t John D ick in so n o f P e n n sy lv a n ia .
The r e p o r t was p r e s e n te d to th e Assembly o f M aryland
on November 17, 1785, a lo n g w ith a copy o f th e l e t t e r to
P r e s id e n t D ick in so n r e l a t i n g to th e c l e a r i n g and e x te n d in g o f
n a v ig a tio n on th e Potom ac.
November 21.
1
These were re a d th e f i r s t tim e on
The members l i s t e n e d a t t e n t i v e l y to th e re a d in g
1 J . Thomas S c h a r f , H is to ry o f M aryland from th e
E a r l i e s t P e rio d to th e P r e s e n t, I I , 50-55.
43
o f th e s ta te m e n t t h a t th e fo llo w in g was th e com pact e n te re d
in to a t Mr* Vernon on March 28, 1785, and t o th e t h i r t e e n
p a ra g ra p h s m aking up th e r e p o r t , th e su b sta n c e o f w hich w as:
1. V ir g in ia d is c la im s t o l l s on s h ip s going to o r from
M aryland p a s s in g th ro u g h Chesapeake Bay, and th e
Potomac i s to be a f r e e common highway f o r th e u se
o f b o th V ir g in ia and M aryland;
2* M aryland a g re e s to a llo w V irg in ia to use h e r r i v e r s
w ith o u t t o l l when used as a p la c e o f s a f e t y o r a
h a rb o r;
3* V e sse ls o f w ar, p r o p e r ty o f e i t h e r s t a t e , s h a l l n o t
be s u b je c t t o p o r t d u t i e s o r o th e r c h a rg e s ;
4* V e sse ls tr a d in g betw een th e two s t a t e s w ith cargo
from e i t h e r , b e in g o f f o r t y f o o t k e e l and f i f t y to n s
b u rth e n o r l e s s , a re to be f r e e from t o l l s ;
5. O th er m erchant v e s s e ls n a v ig a tin g th e Potomac and
u s in g b o th V ir g in ia and M aryland h a rb o rs s h a l l e n t e r
and c l e a r a t some n a v a l o f f i c e on th e r i v e r and s h a l l
be ta x e d in p r o p o r tio n to com m odities c a r r i e d to o r
ta k e n from such s t a t e ;
6* The Potomac s h a l l be c o n s id e re d a common highway f o r
th e p u rp o se o f n a v ig a tio n and commerce to c i t i z e n s o f
M aryland, V ir g in ia , and th e U n ite d S t a t e s , and a l l in
am ity w ith s a id s t a t e s :
7. C itiz e n s o f e a c h s t a t e s h a l l have f r e e p r o p e r ty
r i g h t s in th e s h o re s o f th e Potomac a d jo in in g t h e i r
la n d s —w ith th e p r i v i l e g e o f b u ild in g w harves o r
o th e r im provem ents and th e r i g h t o f f i s h i n g in th e
riv e r;
8 . Laws co n c ern in g q u a r a n tin e , p r e s e r v in g and k ee p in g
open th e c h a n n e l, p r e s e r v a t io n o f f i s h e t c . s h a l l
be made by m u tu al c o n se n t o f b o th ;
9.
L ig h th o u s e s , buoys, and o th e r equipm ent s h a l l be
m a in ta in e d a t th e expense o f f iv e p a r t s f o r V ir g in ia
and th r e e f o r M aryland;
10.
A rrangem ent made f o r t r i a l s f o r p ir a c y ;
11.
V e sse ls may be a tta c h e d f o r d e b t;
12. C itiz e n s o f one s t a t e owning la n d in th e o th e r may
f r e e l y t r a n s p o r t goods and e f f e c t s back and f o r t h
w ith o u t t o l l s ;
13. "These a r t i c l e s s h a l l be l a i d b e fo re th e l e g i s l a t u r e s
o f V ir g in ia and M aryland and t h e i r a p p ro b a tio n b e in g
o b ta in e d s h a l l be confirm ed and r a t i f i e d by a law o f
each s t a t e . . . .
A tte n tio n was th e n g iv e n to th e re a d in g o f th e l e t t e r
a d d re ss e d to P r e s id e n t D ic k in so n , d a te d March 28, 1785, from
Mt. Vernon.
In i t th e d e p u tie s e x p la in e d t h a t th e y had been
empowered by t h e i r r e s p e c tiv e l e g i s l a t u r e s to r e p r e s e n t to
50-55.
2 W. W. H ening, The S t a t u t e s a t Large o f V ir g in ia , X II,
P e n n sy lv a n ia t h a t i t was b e in g co n tem p lated in V ir g in ia and
M aryland to prom ote th e c l e a r i n g and e x te n d in g o f th e n a v ig a ­
t i o n o f th e Potomac from ti d e - w a te r as f a r as th e same may
be found p r a c t i c a b l e , and t o open a c o n v e n ie n t ro ad from th e
head o f su ch n a v ig a tio n a s f a r as may be n e c e s s a ry and p roper*
They f u r t h e r e x p la in e d t h a t th e s a id works would be ex p e n siv e
and th a t i t would n o t be w ith in re a so n to c a r r y o u t th e p ro ­
j e c t u n le s s P e n n sy lv a n ia would a llo w f r e e use o f th e w a te rs
o f th e Ohio and i t s b ra n c h e s ; n o t c h a rg in g t o l l s o r d u t i e s on
goods p a s s in g th ro u g h th e s t a t e e x c e p t as may be n e c e s s a ry to
reim b u rse P e n n sy lv a n ia f o r th e expense o f c l e a r i n g and upkeep*
They re g u e s te d t h a t no d u t i e s o r t o l l s sh o u ld be p u t on goods
im p o rted in to P e n n sy lv a n ia f o r u se o r vending th e r e o th e r
th a n sh o u ld be ch arg ed i f b ro u g h t in th ro u g h any o th e r c h a n n e l.
They asked t h i s to be p u t b e fo re th e P e n n sy lv a n ia L e g is la tu r e
and th e r e s u l t s communicated to e x e c u tiv e s o f V ir g in ia and
M aryland as soon as
p o ssib le .^
At th e c o n c lu s io n o f th e re a d in g o f th e com m issioner’ s
r e p o r t and th e l e t t e r a d d re sse d to P r e s id e n t D ic k in so n , th e
House o f D e le g a te s o f M aryland o rd e re d M essrs. C hase,
L e th e rb u ry , De B u tts , D a s h ie ll, and B. W o rth in g to n , to b rin g
i n a b i l l ”to ap p ro v e, co n firm and r a t i f y th e com pact” made
by th e co m m issio n ers.
The b i l l was r e p o r te d on th e same day
3 Samuel H azard , e d ito r* P e n n sy lv a n ia A rc h iv e s , f i r s t
s e r i e s , X I, 511.
and p a sse d by b o th h o u ses.
On th e 2£nd, th e H ouse, a f t e r
r e q u e s tin g V ir g in ia to jo in i n an a p p lic a tio n to C ongress
f o r le a v e t o form a compact betw een th e two s t a t e s f o r a
n a v a l d efen se on th e Chesapeake and Potomac w hich was unpro­
v id e d f o r by C on g ress, showed by a r e s o l u t i o n t h a t e n la rg e d
th e number o f th in g s upon w hich th e two s t a t e s were to a c t
j o i n t l y ; M aryland was convinced t h a t c lo s e r c o o p e ra tio n , n o t
c o m p e titio n , was needed i n th e ca se o f th e s t a t e s whose com­
m e rc ia l i n t e r e s t s la y on th e Chesapeake and th e Potom ac.
It
was f e l t e s p e c i a l l y because th e c e n tr a l governm ent had f a i l e d
to remove th e c o n fu sio n and th e many e x i s t i n g e v i l s in com­
m erce and f in a n c e .
I t approved th e id e a t h a t b o th s t a t e s
sh o u ld g iv e th e same v a lu e to g o ld and s i l v e r c o in s o f f o r e ig n
c o u n t r i e s ; t h a t b o th s t a t e s sh o u ld ta k e s i m i l a r a c ti o n a g a in s t
f o r e ig n b i l l s o f exchange p r o t e s t e d ; t h a t d r a f t s by th e mer­
c h a n ts o f e i t h e r s t a t e \ipon th o s e tof th e o th e r in th e form o f
b i l l s o f exchange sh o u ld be s u b je c t by law to o f f i c i a l p ro ­
t e s t by a n o ta r y and t h a t damage f o r non-paym ent sh o u ld be
th e same i n b o th s t a t e s ; t h a t d u t i e s on im p o rts and e x p o rts
sh o u ld be th e same f o r b o th s t a t e s and t h a t th e l e g i s l a t u r e
o f ea ch s t a t e sh o u ld a p p o in t, a t t h e i r annual m e e tin g s , com­
m is s io n e r s to d is c u s s th e s u b je c ts t h a t m ight co n cern th e
commerce o f each ; and, m ost im p o rta n t in o u r d is c u s s io n :
R esolved t h a t i t i s th e o p in io n o f t h i s House, t h a t
th e s e r e s o l u t i o n s sh o u ld be com m itted to th e l e g i s l a t u r e s
o f D elaw are and P e n n s y lv a n ia ; and t h a t th e y be re q u e s te d
47
t o nom inate com m issioners f o r th e p u rp o se e x p re sse d in
th e r e s o l u t i o n and t h a t H is E x c e lle n c y th e G overnor be
re q u e s te d to tr a n s m it im m ediately c o p ie s o f th e s a id
r e s o l u t i o n to th o s e S t a t e s . 4
These r e s o l u t i o n s a f t e r b e in g a s s e n te d to by th e S enate were
s e n t to th e G overnor alo n g w ith a copy o f th e Act to confirm
th e com pact o f th e com m ission.
The i n v i t a t i o n to P e n n sy lv a n ia
and D elaw are to j o i n M aryland and V ir g in ia was an a c t t h a t
was o f trem endous im portance to th e f u tu r e o f th e U n ite d
S ta te s .
I t le d d i r e c t l y t o th e c a l l i n g o f a l l th e s t a t e s to
th e C o n s titu tio n a l C onvention.
H is E x c e lle n c y , G overnor W illiam Smallwood, com piled
w ith th e r e q u e s t o f th e M aryland Assembly and w rote to th e
G overnors o f Delaw are and P e n n sy lv a n ia on November 27, 1785,
from th e c a p i t a l a t A n n a p o lis .5
B enjam in F r a n k lin , o f
P e n n s y lv a n ia , acknowledged th e l e t t e r o f G overnor Smallwood
on December 1 , and a s s u re d him t h a t he would im m ed iately la y
th e m a tte r b e fo re th e P e n n sy lv a n ia L e g i s l a t u r e . 5
P e n n sy lv a n ia
a c te d fa v o ra b ly on th e M aryland r e s o l u t i o n s and a p p o in te d
d e le g a te s to t r e a t w ith M aryland and D elaw are.
T h is i s shown
i n an e x t r a c t from th e G overnor’ s l e t t e r book o f A p r il 5,
1786, a d d re sse d to F ra n c is H opkinson, D r. John Ewing, David
4 S c h a rf,
0£ .
c i t . , I I , 532.
5 H azard, 0£. c i t . , X, 542.
6 I b i d . , X, 543.
48
R itte n h o u s e , R o b e rt M illig a n , and George L a ttim e r , a p p o in tin g
them co m m issio n ers.^
L e t t e r s o f a c c e p ta n c e from Hopkinson
and M illig a n a r e found in th e same p l a c e .
Delaw are a c te d soon a f t e r and bn June 15, 1786: "Re­
so lv ed t h a t th e H onorable Gunning B edford, John. Jo n e s,
R o b ert A rm strong, H le a z e r McComb a re a p p o in te d to m eet th o se
o f P e n n sy lv a n ia and M aryland . . .
M aryland had n o t w a ite d f o r th e a p p o in tin g o f d e le g a te s
by Delaw are and P e n n s y lv a n ia b u t p ro c eed ed to name h e r own on
F eb ru a ry 20, 1786: Samuel C hase, Samuel Hughes, p e r e g r in e
Le th e rb u ry , Wm. S m ith , Wm. Hems le y
. . . to m eet th e com m issioners from Delaware and
P e n n s y lv a n ia f o r th e p u rp o se o f d i g e s t i n g th e m ost p ro p e r
m easures f o r im proving in la n d n a v ig a tio n o f th e
Susquehannah R iv e r and th e w a te rs com m unicating w ith
i t , and f o r e f f e c t i n g a n a v ig a tio n com m unication betw een
th e Bays o f Chesapeake and Delaware and a ls o to c o n fe r
on any o th e r s u b je c t w hich may te n d to prom ote th e com­
merce and m u tu al convenience o f th e s a id S t a t e s . 9
M aryland had com pleted th e im p o rta n t second s te p and
had p o s te d to th e V ir g in ia Assembly h e r o f f i c i a l a c c e p ta n c e
o f th e compact d r a f t e d by th e A lex a n d ria-M t. Vernon C onvention
and h e r r e s o l u t i o n i n v i t i n g P e n n sy lv a n ia and D elaware to a new
c o n v e n tio n .
7 I b i d . , X, 755.
8 I b i d . , X, 25.
® S c h a rf, o p . c i t . , I I , 533.
Georg© Mason, on th e p a r t o f th e V ir g in ia D e le g a te s,
was t o p r e s e n t to th e G eneral Assembly th e r e s u l t s o f th e
A lexandria-M t* Vernon C onvention.
He and Mr. H enderson
sig n e d th e l e t t e r o f t r a n s m i t t a l w h ile s t i l l a t Mt. V ernon.
T h is he was to send e n c lo se d w ith a r e p o r t o f th e compact
t h a t in th e tim e in te r v e n in g betw een th e n and th e o p en in g o f
th e l e g i s l a t u r e on O ctober 17, 1785, he was to have p u t in
th e p ro p e r sh ap e.
The summer p a s s e d and f a l l and w in te r
came and Mr. Mason was a t Guns to n H a ll e n jo y in g , betw een
a t t a c k s o f g o u t, h i s b e a u t i f u l c o u n try e s t a t e .
We know by
r e f e r e n c e to h i s l e t t e r to M adison on August 9 t h a t he had
com pleted th e r e p o r t b u t t h a t h i s mind was n o t a t e a se as he
was anx io u s ab o u t g e t t i n g i t t o th e l e g i s l a t u r e . ^
E a rly in November, 1785, he w rote a n o te to h is n e ig h ­
b o r, George W ashington, w hich he s e n t along w ith th e f i r s t
v e n iso n o f th e se a so n , sa y in g t h a t he had in te n d e d to go down
to Richmond on ab o u t th e 1 5 th to have r e p o r te d th e com pact
w ith th e M aryland co m m issioners, b u t t h a t he had been to o i l l
to v e n tu re f a r from hom e.-^
He p re s e n te d th e same th o u g h t to
Jam es M adison when on December 1 he w ro te to him;
I d a re n o t u n d e rta k e a jo u rn e y to Richmond; and t h e r e ­
f o r e a f t e r p u t t in g i t o f f as lo n g as I w e ll co u ld , i n
hopes o f re c o v e rin g such h e a lt h a s would p e rm it me to
10 Of. a n t e , p . 37.
K ate M. Rowland, L ife o f George Mason, I I , 90.
50
p r e s e n t th e compact w ith th e S ta te o f M aryland in p e rs o n ,
I have now e n c lo s e d i t in a l e t t e r to th e S p e a k e r. I
in c u rre d a sm all expense o f £ 3 15 9, i n w a itin g th r e e
o r fo u r days in A le x a n d ria f o r th e M aryland com m issioners;
w hich th e Assembly may re p a y me i f th e y p le a s e , o th e rw ise
I am v ery w e ll s a t i s f i e d w ith o u t i t . . . .1 2
The l e t t e r and r e p o r t s e n t by Mr* Mason a t t h i s l a t e d a te were
l a i d , by th e S p eak er, b e fo re th e House o f D e le g a te s o f
13
V ir g in ia on th e 1 3 th o f December, 1785.
The l e t t e r i s o f
su ch i n t e r e s t t h a t i t i s in c lu d e d in f u l l :
Mt. Vernon, March 28, 1785
S i r : We have th e
honor t o tr a n s m it to th e G eneral Assem bly, th e r e s u l t
o f th e d e l i b e r a t i o n s o f th e Com m issioners o f V ir g in ia
and M aryland, a p p o in te d to s e t t l e th e n a v ig a tio n and
j u r i s d i c t i o n o f t h a t p a r t o f th e Chesapeake Bay w ith in
th e l i m i t s o f V ir g in ia , and o f th e r i v e r Potomac and
Pokomoke.
We f l a t t e r o u rs e lv e s t h a t , in e x e c u tin g t h i s im p o rta n t
t r u s t , th e com m issioners have c o n s u lte d th e t r u e i n t e r e s t
o f b o th governm ents, i n a compact o f such j u s t and m utual
p r i n c i p l e s , t h a t , e x e c u te d w ith good f a i t h , w i l l p e r p e tu ­
a te harmony, f r ie n d s h ip and good o f f i c e s betw een th e two
S t a t e s so e s s e n t i a l to th e h a p p in e ss and p r o s p e r i t y o f
t h e i r p e o p le . In th e c o n fe re n c e on th e s u b j e c t o f o u r
a p p o in tm e n t, s e v e ra l m a tte r s occured to th e com m issioners,
w hich th e y co n ceiv ed v ery im p o rta n t to th e c o n fe re n c e o f
th e two S t a t e s ; and w hich, w ith a l l d e f e re n c e , we ta k e
th e l i b e r t y t o com m unicate.
The com m issioners w ere o f th e o p in io n t h a t th e s e
S t a t e s o u g h t t o have le a v e from th e U n ited S t a t e s in
C o n s titu tio n a l Assem bly, to form a c o m p a c t.fo r th e
p u rp o se o f a f f o r d in g in due tim e , and in j u s t p r o p o r tio n s
betw een th e two S t a t e s , n a v a l p r o t e c t i o n to such p a r t s o f
Chesapeake Bay and Potomac R iv e r w hich may a t any tim e
h e r e a f t e r be l e f t u n p ro v id ed f o r by C ongress. The Com­
m is s io n e rs d id n o t c o n s id e r th em selv es a u th o riz e d to make
I b i d . . I I , 92.
13 I b i d . , I I , 93.
51
any compact on t h i s s u b je c t , and subm it th e p r o p r i e ty o f
th e two governm ents making a j o i n t a p p l ic a t io n to
C o n g ress, f o r t h e i r c o n se n t to e n te r i n t o c o n ta c t, f o r
th e p u rp o se a f o r e s a i d ; such compact when made to be l a i d
b e fo re C ongress f o r th e a p p ro b a tio n ; and to c o n tin u e
u n t i l m u tu a lly d is s o lv e d by th e s e S t a t e s , o r C ongress
s h a l l d e c la r e t h a t such c o n ta c t, s h a l l no lo n g e r e x i s t .
I t a p p e a rs to th e com m issioners to be e s s e n t i a l to
th e commerce and revenue o f th e £ governm ents, t h a t
d u t i e s o r im p o rts o r e x p o r ts ( i f l a i d ) sh o u ld be th e
same f o r b o th S t a t e s .
I f th e s e s u b je c ts sh o u ld be deemed w orthy n o ti c e , i t
may be p ro p e r f o r th e £ l e g i s l a t u r e s , a t t h e i r an n u al
m e e tin g in th e autumn to a p p o in t com m issioners to m eet
and communicate th e r e g u la tio n s o f commerce and d u t i e s
p ro p o sed by each S t a t e , and to c o n fe r on such s u b je c ts
a s may co n cern th e com m ercial i n t e r e s t s o f b o th S t a t e s .
I t was su g g e ste d t h a t th e number o f th e s a id commis­
s io n e r s sh o u ld be e q u a l, and n o t l e s s th a n 3, n o r more
th a n 5, from each S t a t e ; and t h a t th e y sh o u ld a n n u a lly
m eet i n th e 3 rd week in S e p t. a t such p la c e as th e y
sh o u ld a p p o in t. We have th e honor to be w ith th e g r e a t e s t
r e s p e c t s i r , Your m ost o b e d ie n t s e r v a n ts G. Mason
A lex an d er Henderson
P .S . The Com m issioners a ls o beg le a v e to tr a n s m it to
th e G en eral Assembly th e e n c lo s e d copy o f t h e i r j o i n t
a p p l i c a t i o n t o th e S ta te o f P a. r e s p e c tin g th e communica­
t i o n betw een Potomac R iv e r and th e W estern W aters.
The compact and th e su p p lem en tal r e p o r t made to th e
V ir g in ia L e g is la tu r e w ere, o f c o u rse , i d e n t i c a l w ith th o s e
p r e s e n te d to th e M aryland Assembly by h e r com m issioners on
November ££, 1785.
These were re a d and com m itted.
On th e
2 7 th o f December th e com m ittee r e p o r te d , and th e b i l l to
approve and r a t i f y th e work o f th e V ir g in ia and M aryland Com­
m is s io n e rs was re a d th e second tim e and a g a in went to th e
» II> 379-381, quoted in A ppendix.
52
com m ittee c o n s i s t i n g o f M essrs. M adison, T y le r, Zabe, C orbin,
B rax to n , and Sim s.
The t h i r d r e a d in g and r a t i f i c a t i o n o f th e
compact and su p p lem en tal r e p o r t to o k p la c e on December 30,
1785.
The M aryland r e s o l u t i o n w hich had been i n a com m ittee
on commerce sin c e - th e 5 th o f December was r e p o r te d on Jan u a ry
31, 1786.
A ll t h a t th e M aryland b i l l and th e V ir g in ia r e s o lu ­
t i o n to r a t i f y amount t o i s i n t e r e s t i n g h i s t o r i c a l re a d in g
showing how two s t a t e s t r i e d to b rin g o rd e r o u t o f a c h a o tic
s i t u a t i o n w hich a s tr o n g c e n t r a l governm ent sh o u ld have made
u n n e c e s s a ry .
The t h i r d s te p i n th e c a l l o f th e c o n s t i t u t i o n a l
c o n v e n tio n was to be p r e s e n te d in th e V ir g in ia L e g is la tu r e
j u s t a week a f t e r th e com m ittee on commerce re p o r te d th e
M aryland r e s o l u t i o n s .
The t h i r d s te p in th e c a l l i n g o f th e C o n s t it u t i o n a l
C onvention o f 1787 had b eh in d i t a l l th e s t r e n g t h and f e d e r a l
m indedness o f James M adison.
H is in tim a te knowledge o f th e
s t a t e o f th e Union and th e immense amount o f f i r s t hand l o c a l
in fo rm a tio n combined to im p re ss upon him th e v i t a l im p o rtan ce
o f a c o n v e n tio n o f a l l th e s t a t e s to c o n s id e r q u e s tio n s im­
p o s s i b l e o f s o lu tio n by th e in d e p e n d e n t a c tio n o f t h i r t e e n
e n titie s .
When th e V ir g in ia L e g is la tu r e began i t s s e s s io n on
O ctober 1 7 , 1785, th e com m ercial s i t u a t i o n o f th e e n t i r e
U n ited S t a t e s was d e s p e ra te and th e l o c a l c o n d itio n in
V ir g in ia was i n no w ise an im provem ent upon th e c o n d itio n o f
th e w hole.
B r i t i s h r e s t r i c t i o n s upon tr a d e had caused p ro ­
t e s t from s e v e r a l V ir g in ia towns to p o u r i n t o th e S ta t e
L e g is la tu re *
The com m ercial s i t u a t i o n was alm o st th e f i r s t
q u e s tio n b ro u g h t up b e f o re th e l e g i s l a t u r e f o r d is c u s s io n ,
and on th e 3 0 th o f November, 1785, th e l e g i s l a t u r e p a s s e d a
b i l l g r a n tin g to th e U n ite d S t a t e s C ongress th e r i g h t f o r
t h i r t e e n y e a rs to r e g u la te commerce w ith th e c o n se n t o f two
t h i r d s o f th e s t a t e s .
T h is b i l l , w hich would have been a
h e lp to th e to o c irc u m sc rib e d F e d e ra l C ongress, was re s c in d e d
on th e 1 s t o f December, 1785, b ecau se i t d id n o t g iv e s a t i s ­
fa c tio n .
C olonel H a rris o n , th e S p eak er o f th e H ouse,w as
a g a in s t g iv in g C ongress power to r e g u la te t r a d e , and as
C olonel T h u rsto n and F ra n c e s C o rb in , a s w e ll as C a rte r
B rax to n and M eriw eth er Sm ith ag re e d w ith him th e p r e s s u r e
was more th a n th e fe d e ra l-m in d e d M adison could combat a t th e
t i m e .15
On th e m otion o f Mr. T y le r, a m ild man o f o p in io n s
n o t to o s tr o n g ly f e d e r a l , a r e s o l u t i o n , d r a f t e d p r i v a t e l y by
M adison b u t n o t p r e s e n te d by him f o r f e a r o f im m ediate r e ­
p u d ia tio n by a n t i - f e d e r a l s , was p u t b e fo re th e V ir g in ia L e g is ­
l a t u r e on December 1 , 1785, su g g e s tin g th e app o in tm en t o f
15 Lyon G. T y le r, The F e d e ra l P e r io d , 1763-1861.
£1* H is to ry o f V i r g i n i a , p . 26 6 , p a ssim . ^
Vol.
54
com m issioners from V ir g in ia to m eet w ith com m issioners from
a l l th e s t a t e s
. . . to ta k e i n t o c o n s id e r a tio n th e tr a d e o f th e U n ite d
S t a t e s ; to examine th e r e l a t i v e s i t u a t i o n and tr a d e o f
s a id S t a t e s ; t o c o n s id e r how f a r a u n ifo rm system in
t h e i r com m ercial r e g u la ti o n s may he n e c e s s a ry to t h e i r
common i n t e r e s t and perm anent harmony; and to r e p o r t to
th e s e v e r a l S t a t e s such an a c t , r e l a t i v e to t h i s g r e a t
o b j e c t , a s , when unanim ously r a t i f i e d by them, w i l l
e n a b le th e U n ite d S t a t e s i n C ongress e f f e c t u a l l y to
p ro v id e f o r th e s a m e . 16
Mr. T y le r* s m otion was im m ediately l a i d on th e t a b l e ,
and th e v ery l a s t day o f th e s e s s io n o f th e l e g i s l a t u r e came,
Ja n u a ry 21, 1786, and n o th in g had been accom plished to s e t t l e
com m ercial p ro b lem s.
S uddenly Mr. T y le r, a t th e r e q u e s t o f
M adison, c a ll e d up h i s m o tio n o f December 1, 1785.
M aryland
had s e t th e example by h e r r e s o l u t i o n i n v i t i n g D elaw are and
P e n n s y lv a n ia to m eet w ith V ir g in ia and M aryland to d is c u s s
com m ercial m a t t e r s , and a s tiie y had a c c e p te d g la d ly ev e ry ­
th in g p o in te d t o th e good sen se o f th e T y le r m o tio n :
R eso lv ed , t h a t Edmund R andolph, James M adison, j u n . ,
W a lte r J o n e s , S a in t George Tucker and M eriw ether S m ith,
E s q u ir e s , be a p p o in te d co m m issioners, who o r any th r e e
o f whom, s h a l l m eet su ch com m issioners a s may be ap­
p o in te d by th e o th e r S t a t e s in th e U nion, a t a tim e and
p la c e to be ag reed on, t o ta k e i n t o c o n s id e r a tio n th e
tr a d e o f th e U n ite d S t a t e s ; to examine th e r e l a t i v e
s i t u a t i o n s and tr a d e o f th e s a id S t a t e s ; to c o n s id e r how
f a r a u n ifo rm sy stem i n t h e i r com m ercial r e g u la tio n s may
be n e c e s s a ry to t h e i r common i n t e r e s t and t h e i r perm anent
harmony; and to r e p o r t to th e s e v e r a l S t a t e s , such- an
a c t r e l a t i v e to t h i s g r e a t o b j e c t, a s , when unanim ously
G a illa r d H unt, The L if e o f James M adison, I , 92.
55
r a t i f i e d by them , w i l l e n a b le th e U n ited S t a t e s in
C ongress, e f f e c t u a l l y to p ro v id e f o r the sam e.17
In h is w r i t i n g s , lam es M adison, th e f a t h e r o f th e
r e s o l u t i o n , t e l l s i n h i s own words th e s to r y o f th e b i l l :
B eing now re v iv e d by him , on th e l a s t day o f th e
S e s s io n , and b e in g th e a l t e r n a t i v e o f a d jo u rn in g w ith o u t
any e f f o r t f o r th e c r i s i s i n th e a f f a i r s o f th e U nion,
i t o b ta in e d a g e n e r a l v o te ; l e s s however w ith some- o f
i t s f r ie n d s from a co n fid en ce; in th e su c c e ss o f th e
ex p e rim e n t th a n from a hope t h a t i t m ig h t prove a s te p
to a more com prehensive and ad eg u ate p r o v is io n f o r th e
w ants o f th e C o n fe d e ra c y .. . . .i®
James Madison d e s c rib e d th e l a s t b i l l s p a sse d by th e
V ir g in ia L e g is la tu r e which ad jo u rn e d on Ja n u a ry 21, 1786, i n
a l e t t e r t o h i s fe llo w V ir g in ia n , James Monroe:
The f a i l u r e o f th e l o c a l m easures in th e com m ercial
l i n e . . . re v iv e d t h a t o f Mr. T y le r f o r th e ap p o in tm en t
o f C om m issioners to m eet Com m issioners from o th e r S t a te s
on th e s u b je c t o f g e n e ra l r e g u la ti o n s . I t went th ro u g h
by a v e ry g r e a t m a jo r ity , b e in g opposed o n ly by Mr. M.
Sm ith and Mr. C o rb in . The e x p e d ie n t i s no doubt l i a b l e
to o b je c tio n s and w i l l p ro b a b ly m is c a rr y . I th in k how­
e v e r i t i s b e t t e r th a n n o th in g , and as a recom m endation
o f a d d i t i o n a l powers t o C ongress i s w ith in th e purview
o f th e Com m issioners i t may p o s s ib ly le a d to b e t t e r con­
seq u en ces th a n a t f i r s t o c c u r. The Com m issioners f i r s t
named w ere th e a t t o r n e y ■, IfRandolphJ D o c tr W. Jo n es o f
th e S en ate and m y s e lf. The im p o rtu n ity o f Mr. Page p ro ­
cu red th e a d d itio n o f S a in t George T ucker who i s s e n s i b l e ,
f e d e r a l , and s k i l l e d in commerce, to whom was added on
th e m o tio n o f I know n o t whom Mr. M. S m ith, who i s a t
l e a s t e x c e p tio n a b le i n th e second q u a l i t y h av in g made
u n c e a s in g war d u rin g th e S e s s io n a g a in s t th e id e a o f
^ C h a rle s C. T a n s i l l , Documents I l l u s t r a t i v e o f th e
F o rm atio n o f th e Am erican S t a t e s , q u o tin g J o u rn a l of tE e House
o f D e le g a te s o f th e Commonwealth o f V ir g in ia , Jan u ary 21,
1786, p . 153.
G a illa r d H unt, e d i t o r , The W ritin g s o f James M adison,
I I , 397-398.
56
b ra c in g th e f e d e r a l sy stem . In th e S e n a te f u r t h e r ad­
d i t i o n was made o f C ol. Mason, Mr. D. R oss, .and Mr.
R onald, th e name o f th e l a t t e r was s tr u c k o u t a t h i s
d e s i r e . The o th e r s s ta n d . I t i s n o t u n l ik e l y t h i s
m u ltitu d e o f a s s o c i a te s w i l l s t i f l e th e th in g i n i t s
b i r t h . By some i t was meant to do s o . . .
From an u n p ro m isin g b e g in n in g made by V ir g in ia when
t h a t s t a t e asked M aryland to m eet w ith V ir g in ia com m issioners
t o d is c u s s com m ercial problem s an advance to th e second s te p
was made by M aryland when th e l e g i s l a t u r e o f t h a t s t a t e
added th e n e ig h b o rin g s t a t e s o f P e n n sy lv a n ia and Delaw are as
b e in g i n t e r e s t e d p a r t i e s .
V ir g in ia acco m p lished th e t h i r d s te p in th e advance
to w ard s th e C o n s titu tio n a l C onvention— th e c a l l i n g o f a l l
th e s t a t e s to g e th e r t o c o n s id e r th e tr a d e and commerce o f
th e whole U nion.
The r e s u l t s o f t h a t m eetin g were to be trem endous.
One o f V irg in ia * s famous so n s, James Monroe, c o n s id e re d i t
f,a s a m ost im p o rta n t e r a i n our a f f a i r s . w
^
M adison to Monroe, i b i d . , I I , 223.
CHAPTER IV
THE ANNAPOLIS CONVENTION
In an u n a v a ilin g e f f o r t f o r s e l f - p r o t e c t i o n , s t a t e
a f t e r s t a t e had p a sse d r e t a l i a t o r y com m ercial law s which hy
t h e i r v e ry i n e f f e c t i v e n e s s p roved th e i n e f f i c i e n c y o f s t a t e
le g is la tio n .1
A rev iew o f th e com m ercial h i s t o r y o f th e
C onfederacy had proved t h a t C ongress i n i t s c irc u m sc rib e d
c o n d itio n was p o w e rle ss to c o r r e c t th e e v i l s ram pant i n th e
la n d , and when on F eb ru a ry 15, 1786, a Committee o f C on gress,
composed o f Rufus King, o f M a s s a c h u s e tts , C h a rle s P inckney
o f South C a ro lin a , James Monroe o f V ir g in ia , John Kean o f
South C a ro lin a , and C h a rle s P e t t i t o f P e n n s y lv a n ia , re p o rte d
t h a t " th e c r i s i s has a r r iv e d when th e p e o p le o f th e U n ited
S t a t e s . . . m ust d e c id e w h eth e r th e y w i l l su p p o rt t h e i r ra n k
a s a n a tio n . .
th o u g h tf u l men knew t h a t som ething d e f i ­
n i t e m ust be d o n e. 2
In th e m eantim e, G overnor H enry, o f V ir g in ia , had com­
p l i e d w ith th e r e q u e s t o f th e V ir g in ia L e g is la tu r e o f Jan u a ry
21, and had s e n t to th e e x e c u tiv e s o f a l l th e s t a t e s a copy
o f th e V ir g in ia r e s o l u t i o n s i n v i t i n g th e s t a t e s to send
^ J . C. H am ilton, H is to ry o f th e R ep u b lic o f th e U n ited
S t a t e s o f A m erica a s T raced in th e W ritin g s o f A lexander
H am ilton and o f H is C o n te m p o ra rie s, I I I , 147.
p
C h a rle s W arren, The Making o f th e C o n s t it u t io n , p . 20.
58
com m issioners to a c o n v e n tio n to ta k e i n t o c o n s id e r a tio n th e
tr a d e o f th e U n ited S t a t e s .
G overnor Henry*s l e t t e r was
fo llo w ed in F e b ru a ry by one from Edmund R andolph, A tto rn e y
G en e ral o f V i r g i n i a , s t a t i n g th e tim e and p la c e o f th e p ro ­
p o sed convention*
R andolph had been p la c e d a t th e head o f
V i r g i n i a ’ s d e le g a tio n o f e ig h t, and a quorum o f th e a p p o in te d
com m issioners had met soon a f t e r th e c lo s e o f th e s e s s io n o f
th e V irg in ia L e g is la tu r e in Ja n u a ry , 1786, and a rra n g e d th e
p la c e and tim e o f m eetings "A nnapolis on th e second Monday o f
Septem ber n e x t was p r e f e r r e d as b ein g m ost c e n t r a l and
f a r t h e r removed from th e s u s p ic io n o f c o n g r e s s io n a l o r mer­
c a n t i l e in f lu e n c e w hich P h ila d e lp h ia o r New York m ight have
e x c ite d ." 3
O pinion as to th e ex p ed ien cy o f th e A n n ap o lis Conven­
t i o n w as, o f c o u rs e , d iv id e d .
Monroe had w r i t t e n to M adison
in F e b ru a ry , 1786, a s k in g w h eth er as a q u e s tio n o f p o lic y i t
were b e t t e r to c o r r e c t th e v ic e s o f th e C onfederacy by recom­
m en d atio n t o C ongress g r a d u a lly as i t moved a lo n g o r by Con­
v e n tio n .
Madison w ith r a r e i n s i g h t in to human n a tu r e r e p li e d
on March 19, 1786, from h is home i n O range, t h a t i f th o s e on
whom th e c o r r e c tio n o f v ic e depends were "w e ll inform ed and
w e ll d is p o s e d " i t would n o t make any d if f e r e n c e w hich method
3 Moncure D. Conway, O m itted C h ap ters o f H is to ry D is­
c lo se d i n th e L ife and P ap ers o f Edmund R andolph, p . 59.
59
w/ere chosen as e i t h e r would su c c e e d .
But he s a id ". . , a s
we have b o th ig n o ra n c e and i n i q u i e t y to com bat, we m ust de­
f e a t th e d e s ig n s o f th e l a t t e r by humouring th e p r e ju d ic e s
o f th e fo rm e r."
He c o n tin u e d by c a l l i n g Monroe* s a t t e n t i o n
to th e im potence o f C ongress i n th e p a s t and s a y in g , "L et a
C onvention th e n , be t r i e d . "
More th an one c o n v e n tio n m ight
be h e ld i f th e f i r s t one was s u c c e s s f u l; ea ch co n v e n tio n
making a perm anent remedy.
In f u r t h e r an sw erin g Mr. Monroe’ s
q u e s tio n s he s a id "th e o p in io n in V ir g in ia la y betw een d o in g
w hat was done and d o in g n o t h i n g ." 4
John Jay was in fa v o r o f a c o n v e n tio n , b u t n o t o f an
u n a u th o riz e d one.
He made c l e a r th e view h e ld by num erous
men:
E x p erie n ce has p o in te d o u t e r r o r s i n o u r n a ti o n a l
governm ent which c a l l f o r c o r r e c tio n . . . The conven­
t i o n p ro p o sed by V ir g in ia may do some good, and would
p e rh a p s do more i f i t comprehended more o b j e c ts . An
o p in io n b e g in s to p r e v a i l t h a t a g e n e ra l co n v en tio n
f o r r e v i s i n g th e A r t i c l e s o f C o n fe d e ra tio n would be
e x p e d ie n t . . . I t i s i n c o n te m p la tio n to ta k e m easures
f o r fo rm in g a g e n e ra l c o n v e n tio n ; th e p la n i s n o t
m a tu r e d .5
S e rio u s th o u g h t had been g iv e n by members o f th e U n ite d
S t a t e s C ongress to recommend th e m eetin g o f a g e n e ra l conven­
t i o n to c o n s id e r an a l t e r a t i o n o f th e C onfederacy, and a
4 L e t t e r o f James M adison to James Monroe, March 19,
1786, G a illa r d H unt, e d i t o r , The' W ritin g s o f James M adison.
I I , 233.
5
L e t t e r o f John Jay t o George W ashington, March 16,
1786, H. P . J o h n s to n , e d i t o r , C orrespondence and P u b lic
P a p e rs o f John J a y , 1763-1825. I I I , . 186.
60
m otion to t h a t e f f e c t was c o n s id e r e d .6
On May 13, 1786,
C h a rle s P in ck n ey had moved i n C ongress f o r th e app o in tm en t
o f a G en eral Committee on th e a f f a i r s o f th e n a tio n .
C ongress m ust be in v e s te d w ith g r e a t e r pow ers, ghe
s a i d , ] o r th e f e d e r a l Government m ust f a l l .
I t is th e re ­
fo re n e c e s s a ry f o r C ongress e i t h e r to a p p o in t a Conven­
ti o n f o r t h a t p u rp o se , o r by r e q u i s i t i o n t o c a l l on th e
S t a t e s f o r su ch pow ers a s a re n e c e s s a ry to e n a b le i t to
a d m in is te r th e F e d e ra l G overnm ent.7
On A ugust 7, 1786, a sub-Com m ittee o f C ongress, headed
by C h a rle s P in ck n ey , r e p o r te d a s e t o f p ro p o sed amendments to
th e
A r t i c l e s o f C o n fe d e ra tio n .
As C ongress took no a c ti o n on
th e
m a t t e r , th e C onvention w hich had been
c a lle d by V ir g in ia
and was to m eet a t A n n ap o lis in S eptem ber, was lo o k ed to by
many as a so u rc e o f hope.
T hat i t m ight d e a l w ith o th e r
m a tte r s th a n commerce was a n t i c i p a t e d i n b o th th e H o rth and
S outh.
M adison in a l e t t e r to J e f f e r s o n on A ugust 12, 1786,
had s a id : "Many gentlem en b o th w ith in and w ith o u t C ongress
w ish to make t h i s m e e tin g s u b s e r v ie n t to a p l e n i p o t e n t i a r y
C onvention fo r.a m e n d in g th e C o n fe d e ra tio n ."
Though M adisonf s
w ish es w ere i n fa v o r o f such an e v e n t, y e t he d e s p a ire d so
much o f i t s accom plishm ent t h a t he a d m itte d t h a t he d id n o t
e x te n d h i s hopes beyond a com m ercial re fo rm : " to speak th e
6 W arren, o p . c i t . , p . 20, q u o tin g a l e t t e r o f W illiam
Grayson o f M arch,“T 7 8 6 .
7 Loc. c i t .
61
t r u t h , I alm o st d e s p a ir even o f t h i s , " 8
The F ren ch R e p re s e n ta tiv e i n t h i s c o u n try w ro te home
to h i s governm ent, w hat was. e v id e n tly w hispered among th e
e l e c t , t h a t th e r e was no e x p e c ta tio n and no i n t e n t i o n t h a t
a n y th in g sh ould be done by th e A n n ap o lis com m issioners beyond
p re p a rin g * th e w ay. f o r a n o th e r m e e tin g ,9
The w e a lth , th e in f lu e n c e , and a m ajor p o r tio n o f th e
e d u c a te d men o f th e c o u n try were drawn to g e th e r in a compact
group th ro u g h a s i m i l a r i t y o f i n t e r e s t s .
T h e ir co rresp o n d en ce
was volum inous and th ro u g h i t a rem ark ab le fu s io n o f i n t e r ­
e s te d f o r c e s was e f f e c t e d .
These men were v i t a l l y concerned
in a r e v i s i o n o f th e governm ent u n d er th e A r t i c l e s and fa v o re d
th e A n n ap o lis C onvention, n o t a s s i g n i f i c a n t in i t s e l f , b u t
r a t h e r as a p r e lim in a r y to a n a t i o n a l co n v e n tio n w hich would
r e c o n s t r u c t th e whole system .
The l e t t e r o f S tephen H ig g in so n o f M a ssa c h u se tts to
John Adams i s an exam ple.
In i t he enqplained how s tra n g e i t
ap p eared to him t h a t th e U n ite d S t a t e s had found i t im p o ssib le
to a rra n g e a com m ercial t r e a t y w ith B r i t a i n as b o th had a
common i n t e r e s t i n commerce and a r i v a l in F rance e q u a lly
8 G a i l l a r d H unt, The L ife o f James M adison, I I , 262.
® Max F a rra n d , The Fram ing o f th e C o n s titu tio n o f th e
U n ited S t a t e s , p . 281.
.
C h a rle s A. B eard, An Economic I n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f th e
C o n s titu tio n o f th e U n ited S t a t e s , p p . 58-59.
62
dan g ero u s to b o th .
C onvention.
He t o l d Adams o f th e p ro p o sed A n n ap o lis
He s a i d t h a t th e o s t e n s i b l e o b je c t o f th e con­
v e n tio n was th e r e g u la ti o n o f commerce b u t when he c o n sid e re d
th e men who were d ep u ted to a t te n d , and c o n s id e r in g th e p la c e
where th e p r o p o s itio n was made, he was s tr o n g l y in c lin e d to
th in k t h a t " p o l i t i c a l o b j e c t s a re in te n d e d to be combined
w ith com m ercial, i f th e y do n o t p r i n c i p a l l y e n g ro ss t h e i r
a tte n tio n .
E x p e d ie n t o r in e x p e d ie n t, a bona f id e a tte m p t to con­
s i d e r th e r e g u la ti o n o f tr a d e f o r a l l th e s t a t e s o r a sub­
v e r s iv e a tte m p t on th e l i f e o f th e A r t i c l e s , th e i n v i t a t i o n to
m eet a t A n n ap o lis had been ex ten d ed to a l l th e s t a t e s .
The
a c tio n ta k e n by th e t h i r t e e n s t a t e s upon r e c e i p t o f G overnor
H enry’ s l e t t e r i n v i t i n g them to send com m issioners to
A n n ap o lis d i f f e r e d i n each c a s e .
In P e n n s y lv a n ia on F eb ru a ry 22, 1786, th e V icep r e s i d e n t and th e Supreme E x e c u tiv e C ouncil s e n t a m essage to
th e G eneral Assem bly s a y in g t h a t th e l e t t e r o f Ja n u a ry 30,
from G overnor H enry, c o n ta in e d some r e s o l u t i o n s o f th e L e g is­
l a t u r e o f V ir g in ia "w hich i n o u r o p in io n can n o t b u t be to o
warmly recom mended."
The m essage s a i d . t h a t i t was th e r e s o lu - .
t i o n o f V ir g in ia to b r in g ab o u t a com m ercial c o n v e n tio n o f
H L e t t e r o f S tephen H ig g in so n to John Adams, B o sto n ,
J u ly , 1786. " L e tt e r s o f S tephen H ig g in so n , 1 7 8 3 -1 8 0 4 ,"
Am erican H i s t o r i c a l A s s o c ia tio n R ep o rt f o r 1896, I , 734.
63
th e s t a t e s "w hich we re g a rd a s th e o n ly e f f i c i e n t means i n m e d ia te ly in o a r power t o c o r r e c t , o r remove th e many e v i l s
by w hich t h e tr a d e o f Am erica has been so lo n g and ex c eed in g ly o p p re ss e d .
The G en eral Assembly o f P e n n sy lv a n ia c o n sid e re d th e
m a tte r , and on March 31, 1786, re s o lv e d t h a t f iv e co m m issio n ers,
any t h r e e o f whom c o a id a c t , sh o u ld be a p p o in te d to m eet w ith
th o s e a p p o in te d by th e s t a t e s t o ta k e i n to c o n s id e r a tio n th e
t r a d e o f th e U nion, and t o see how f a r a uniform system in
t h e i r com m ercial r e g u la ti o n s m ight be fo u n d .
A lso t h a t th e y
w ere t o m eet com m issioners o f V ir g in ia and M aryland t o d is c u s s
t h e i r s p e c i a l com m ercial problem , and t h a t th e Supreme Execu­
t i v e C o u n cil be a u th o riz e d and re q u e s te d to make th e s a id
ap p o in tm en t o f t h e c o m m issio n e rs.13
The C o u n cil a t
P h i la d e l p h ia , on A p r il 13, 1786, p ro ceed ed to e l e c t f i v e com­
m is s io n e r s .
They w ere: R o b ert M o rris , George Clym er, John
A rm strong, J r . , Thomas E itzsim m ons, and Tench G oxe.14
The s e s s io n o f th e M aryland Assembly w hich opened in
November, 1786, was a lo n g one e x te n d in g u n t i l M arch, 1786.
^ "M inutes o f th e Supreme E x e c u tiv e C o u n cil o f
P e n n s y lv a n ia , Jan u a ry 1 , 1 7 8 4 -A p ril 3 , 1786, b o th d a te s i n ­
c l u s i v e , " C o lo n ia l R ecords o f P e n n s y lv a n ia , XIV, 645.
13 W illiam P . P alm er, e d i t o r , C alen d ar o f V ir g in ia
S ta te P a p e rs and o th e r M a n u sc rip ts from Ja n u a ry 1 , 1785, to
J u ly 2, 1789, P re s e rv e d in th e C a p ito l a t Richmond, p . 117.
14 Loo. o i t .
64
The House and s e n a te w ere, as u s u a l, a t is s u e w ith each o th e r
on v a rio u s q u e s tio n s ; am ongst them th e p ro p o sed com m ercial
c o n v e n tio n .
The V ir g in ia Governor* s c i r c u l a r l e t t e r w hich b ro u g h t
th e i n v i t a t i o n to M aryland was l a i d b e fo re th e S en ate on
March 1 , 1786, and a f t e r b e in g re a d was r e f e r r e d to th e House
o f D e le g a te s .
A f te r p ro p e r c o n s id e r a tio n , t h a t body, on th e
8 th , s e n t a m essage to th e S en ate s a y in g t h a t th e y in te n d e d
t o b a l l o t a t two o * clo ck on t h a t day and named e le v e n men who
had been n o m in ated , sev en o f whom th e House th o u g h t should be
a p p o in te d .
The S en ate d e c lin e d to e l e c t com m issioners a t
o n ce, as was p ro p o sed by th e House, as th e y w ished to ta k e
tim e b e fo re th e y came nto a c o n c lu s io n on a m a tte r o f so much
c o n s e q u e n c e . O n th e 1 1 th , how ever, th e y s e n t th e House
th e fo llo w in g m essage to th e e f f e c t t h a t th e S en ate re fu s e d
to c o n se n t to ap p o in tm en t o f com m issioners on th e ground t h a t
th e pro p o sed m eetin g
. . . may be m isu n d ersto o d o r m is re p re s e n te d i n E urope,
g iv e umbrage to C ongress, and d i s q u i e t th e c i t i z e n s o f
th e U n ite d S t a t e s who may be th e re b y le d e rro n e o u s ly to
s u s p e c t t h a t th e g r e a t c o u n c il o f t h i s c o u n try w ants
[la c k s ] e i t h e r th e w i l l o r th e wisdom to d i g e s t a p ro p e r
u n ifo rm p la n f o r th e r e g u la tio n o f t h e i r commerce.
The S e n a to rs ag reed f u r t h e r t h a t
15 J . Thomas S c h a rf, H is to r y o f M aryland from th e
E a r l i e s t P e rio d t o th e P re s e n t Day, I I , 533-535.
65
The power m ust be g iv en t o C ongress to e f f e c t u a t e
any system w hich m ight be ad o p ted by th e p ro p o sed m eet­
in g o f co m m issio n ers. When th e power s h a l l be v e s te d
in C ongress by a l l th e S t a t e s , t h a t body, we d o u b t n o t,
w i l l be w i l l i n g and com petent to form an e q u a l and
ju d ic io u s sy stem f o r r e g u la ti n g th e tr a d e o f th e s e
s t a t e s . 3*$
Because o f t h i s a c tio n on th e p a r t o f th e M aryland S e n a te ,
th e Old Line S t a t e , w h ile e n t e r t a i n i n g th e com m issioners a t
A n n a p o lis ,d id n o t o f f i c i a l l y a tte n d th e m e e tin g .
That
M aryland was n o t r e p r e s e n te d in th e m e e tin g o f com m issioners
a t A n n a p o lis, 1786, i s o f t e n , to M a ry la n d 's d i s c r e d i t , l a i d
to la c k o f n a t i o n a l f e e l i n g and to q u a r r e lin g f a c t io n s i n h e r
le g is la tu re .
A nother view i s more t r u e .
D a n ie l C a r r o ll , a
s tr o n g f e d e r a l i s t , a t t r i b u t e d th e f a i l u r e to a p p o in t commis­
s io n e r s to an " o v e r- c a u tio n in b e h a lf o f U n io n / r a t h e r th a n
t o a d i s i n c l i n a t i o n to a more p e r f e c t o n e .”
The G eneral -
Assembly was ab o u t to a d jo u rn a f t e r a f o u r month s e s s io n when
th e p r o p o s i t i o n from th e V ir g in ia Assembly f o r a m eetin g o f
com m issioners to a d j u s t a g e n e ra l com m ercial system had
re a c h e d A n n a p o lis.
M aryland had j u s t re c e iv e d th e Act o f
C ongress o f F e b ru a ry 15, 1786, w hich u rg ed th e com plying w ith
th e Im post A ct o f th e 1 8 th o f A p r il, 1783, and th e y f e a r e d ,
t h a t th e id e a o f com m issioners m eetin g from a l l th e s t a t e s on
th e r e g u l a t i o n o f t r a d e would r e ta r d th e A ct o f C ongress from
b e in g c a r r i e d in to e x e c u tio n , i f n o t e n t i r e l y d e s tr o y i t .
M atthew p . Andrews, H is to ry o f M aryland; p ro v in c e
and S t a t e , p p . 383-384.
These tim o ro u s Union men th o u g h t t h a t " th e r e l u c t a n t S t a t e s "
would be "v e ry w i l l i n g t o l a y h o ld o f a n y th in g w hich w i l l p ro ­
c r a s t i n a t e t h a t m easure" and t h a t sound p o l i c y , i f n o t th e
s p i r i t o f th e C o n fe d e ra c y ,d ic ta te d t h a t a l l m a tte r s c o n c e rn in g
th e whole sh o u ld be d e a l t w ith by th e C o n tin e n ta l C ongress.^-7
As soon a s G overnor Bowdoin o f M a ssa c h u se tts re c e iv e d
th e c i r c u l a r l e t t e r from G overnor H enry, he recommended th e
ap p o in tm en t o f co m m issio n ers.
I t i s e v id e n t from v a rio u s
s o u rc e s t h a t s e v e r a l groups o f d e le g a te s were ch o sen , b u t t h a t
none a tte n d e d .
The re c o rd s o f th e S e n a te , March S3, and th o s e
o f th e House o f R e p r e s e n ta tiv e s f o r March 24, 1786, show t h a t
C aleb D av is, B enjam in Goodhue, T ris tra m D a lto n , and John C,
Jo n e s , " p lu s th o s e p e rs o n s who are or may be c o n s t i t u te d
a g e n ts in b e h a lf o f t h i s Commonwealth to conduct and p ro s e c u te
o u r c la im s to la n d s c o n tro v e rte d by Hew Y ork, and ly in g W est­
ward o f t h a t S t a t e . . . " w ere a p p o in te d as d e le g a te s to
A n n a p o lis.
But t o c i t e th e l e t t e r o f S tephen H ig g in so n o f J u ly ,
17Q6, a d i f f e r e n t group o f men a re named as com m issioners:
As t h i s S ta te from th e n a tu r e and v a r ie ty o f i t s t r a d e ,
i s more l i k e l y to be a f f e c te d by g e n e ra l com m ercial
^ 7 B* C. S t e i n e r , "M aryland1s A doption o f th e C o n s titu ­
t i o n , " Am erican H i s t o r i c a l R eview ,.N o . 1 , 5 :2 4 , O cto b er, 1899.
18
L e t t e r o f G overnor Bowdoin t o G overnor C asw ell o f
N o rth C a ro lin a in W a lte r C la rk , e d i t o r , The S ta t e R ecords o f
N o rth C a r o lin a , X V III, 631.
67
arran g em en ts th a n any o th e r o f th e s t a t e s , some p e rs o n s
have b een a p p o in te d to r e p r e s e n t i t in th e p ro p o sed con­
v e n tio n ; th e y a re Mr. L o w ell, Mr. Dana, Mr. G erry , Mr.
Theo. P a rs o n s , Mr. George G abot, Mr. S u lliv a n , and mys e l f . 19
James T. A u s tin , th e a u t h o r i t y on E lb rid g e G erry ,
s t a t e s t h a t M a ssa c h u se tts a u th o r iz e d L ie u te n a n t-G o v e rn o r
C ushing, E lb rid g e G erry , F . Dana, and S tephen H ig g in so n as
d e p u tie s to A n n a p o lis, " b u t th e m easure was e v id e n tly too
l i m i t e d and i n e f f i c i e n t f o r th e p u rp o s e s in te n d e d .
The com­
m is s io n e r s from M a ssa c h u se tts view ed i t in t h i s l i g h t , and
s e v e r a l l y d e c lin e d a c c e p tin g th e a p p o i n t m e n t . M o s t i n t e r ­
e s t i n g o f a l l r e f e r e n c e s to M assach u setts* d e p u tie s and ad d in g
y e t a n o th e r name to th e lo n g l i s t o f a p p o in te e s i s a l e t t e r
w r i t t e n to New Y ork’ s com m issioners by th o se o f th e Old Bay
S ta te :
New York, Septem ber 10, 1786
Gentlemens
U nd erstan d in g * on o u r a r r i v a l in t h i s c i t y l a s t F rid a y
e v e n in g , t h a t you had gone on f o r th e C onvention a t
A n n ap o lis th e week p a s t , we ta k e th e l i b e r t y to a c q u a in t
you, and beg you to communicate to th e C onvention, i f i t
sh o u ld be opened b e fo re we a r r i v e t h e r e , t h a t we s h a l l
s e t o f f from t h i s p la c e tomorrow to j o i n them, a s Commis­
s io n e r s from th e S ta te o f M a s s a c h u s e tts , w hich we hope to
do i n th e co u rse o f t h i s week. The Com m issioners from
P h ila d e lp h ia w ere t o s a i l th e n c e f o r t h i s c i t y , on th e
L e t t e r o f H ig ginson to John Adams, J u ly , 1786.
" L e t t e r s o f S tep h en H ig g in so n , 1 7 8 3 -1 8 0 4 ," Am erican H i s t o r i c a l
A s s o c ia tio n R ep o rt f o r 1896, I , 235.
5 -6 .
20 James T. A u s tin , The L ife o f E lb rid g e G e rry , I I ,
68
7 th i n s t a n t — so th e y may he e x p e c te d soon a f t e r u s .
W ith g r e a t r e s p e c t
Your m ost o b e d ie n t humble s e r v a n ts
Thomas C ushing, F. T. H. Dana, Sam* 1 . B rec k ^ l
New H am pshire was a n o th e r s t a t e t h a t a p p o in te d d e le ­
g a te s who d id n o t a tte n d th e A n n ap o lis C onvention.
The
J o u rn a ls o f th e S en ate and House o f R e p r e s e n ta tiv e s o f t h a t
s t a t e p r e s e n t th e e v id e n c e : On S a tu rd a y , March 4, 1786-- th e
day t h a t th e S en ate a d jo u rn e d u n t i l May, i t v o ted t h a t two
S e n a to rs sh o u ld m eet w ith su ch members o f th e House as t h a t
body sh ould name to nom inate " th r e e p ro p e r p e rs o n s as com­
m issio n s r s ff t o m eet w ith th o s e o f th e o th e r s t a t e s . 22
On th e same day th e House a p p o in te d th e H onorable
Jo sh u a W entw orth, John Sparhawk, and Thomas M artin as d e le ­
g a te s from New H am p sh ire.2^
In th e S en ate on June 14, i t was approved t h a t H onorable
John Langdon E sq. and Mr. James S h e a fe r, i n a d d itio n to th o s e
a lr e a d y a p p o in te d , sh o u ld a c t f o r New H am pshire; "two o n ly o f
s a id com m issioners to a tte n d a t one and same tim e ."
The
^ John C. H am ilto n , e d i t o r , The Works o f A lex an d er
H am ilto n , I , 432.
22 A lb e r t S, B a tc h e llo r , e d i t o r , E a r ly S ta t e P a p e rs o f
New H am pshire—In c lu d in g th e C o n s titu tio n o f 1784, J o u rn a ls
o f th e S en ate and House o f Rep re s e n t a t i ve s and R ecords o f~ th e
P r e s id e n t and C o u n cil from June, 1784, to Ju n e , 1787, XX,
482-483.
2S I b i d . . XX, 545.
69
House c o n c u rre d .24
G en e ral Knox seems t o be m isinform ed when he w ro te to
George W ashington on Ja n u a ry 14, 1787: "You ask w hat p re v e n te d
th e E a s te r n S t a t e s from a tte n d in g th e Septem ber m eetin g a t
A n n ap o lis.
q u e s tio n .
I t i s d i f f i c u l t to g iv e a p r e c i s e answ er t o t h i s
P erh ap s t o r p i d i t y in New H am pshire, . . . 25
The
t r u t h i s more l i k e l y found in la c k o f money, f o r on T hursday,
Septem ber 7* j u s t a few days b e fo re th e co n v en tio n was
sch e d u le d to m e e t, th e S en ate and th e House a p p o in te d a com­
m itte e to " d e v is e ways and means to send one o r more commis*
s io n e r s to A n n ap o lis" and to r e p o r t f in d in g s to th e l e g i s l a ­
tu re .
T here i s no ev id en c e i n th e J o u rn a ls o f e i t h e r b ran ch
o f th e l e g i s l a t u r e t h a t th e com m ittee c o m p lie d .26
But a
l e t t e r o f Jo sh u a ?/entw orth to P r e s id e n t S u lliv a n , d a te d A ugust
£9, 17Q6, showed t h a t th e governm ent had p la n n e d to have a
r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a t A n n ap o lis:
S i r : I was h o n o r’ d w ith your E x c e lle n c y ’ s l e t t e r o f
y e s te r d a y s d a t e , d i r e c te d to Messr Langdon, Sparhawk,
S h eafe and m y se lf— . . . I can o n ly make r e p ly f o r
m y se lf t h a t i t i s e n t i r e l y o u t o f my power to p ro c eed
on th e n e c e s s a ry and im p o rta n t b u s in e s s , i t would g iv e
me g r e a t s a t i s f a c t i o n to a tte n d th e C onvention b u t I
24 IM i* »
628.
5 L e t t e r o f G en e ral Knox to G en e ral W ashington, i n
George T ick n o r C u r t i s , H is to ry o f th e O r ig in , F o rm a tio n , and
A doption o f th e C o n s titu tio n o f th e U n ite d s t a t e s w ith n o t ic e s
o f i t s P r i n c i p a l F ra m e rs, I , 347.
26 B a t c h e l l o r , o£. e i t . , XX, 672, 688.
70
hope two o f th e Gentlemen w i l l a tte n d , who a re ap p o in te d
as I view th e s t a t e o f o u r Commerce alm o st a t an end
• • • 27
John Langdon, a n o th e r a p p o in te e , was i n P o rtsm o u th on Septem­
b e r 20, and in a d is tu r b e d s t a t e owing to th e " s i t u a t i o n o f
my b u s in e s s * "
P r e s id e n t S u lliv a n had w r i t t e n t o him con­
c e rn in g h is a tte n d a n c e a t th e n e x t s e s s io n o f th e C o n tin e n ta l
C ongress and he had r e p l i e d t h a t he d id n o t w ish to le a v e
P o rtsm o u th .
He d e f i n i t e l y d id n o t go to A n n a p o lis .2®
New Y ork, a t th e tim e th e p r o p o s itio n to send d e le ­
g a te s t o a com m ercial c o n v e n tio n was p ro p o se d , was much d i ­
v id ed betw een th o se a n t i - f e d e r a l f a c t i o n s , l e d by Governor
C lin to n , and th o s e who fa v o re d a s tre n g th e n e d u n io n , le d by
A lex an d er H am ilto n .
New Y ork, w ith i t s huge tr a d e w hich th e
G overnor w ished to have c o n t r o l l e d by th e s t a t e o f. New York
i t s e l f , s to o d l i k e a C o llo ss u s and p re v e n te d th e c o n tin e n ta l
C ongress from amending i t s A r t i c l e s i n re g a rd to t r a d e ,
It
m ust have b een w ith h is tongue i n h is cheek t h a t G overnor
C lin to n on March 14, 1786, s e n t to th e Assembly o f New York,
G overnor H enryTs l e t t e r e n c lo s in g a copy o f th e r e s o l u t i o n s
27 Is a a c W. Hammond, The S ta te o f New Hampshire M is­
cellan e o u s- P r o v in c ia l and S ta t e P a p e r s , 1725-lBOO, X V III, 772.
L e t t e r of Jo sh u a W entworth to p r e s i d e n t S u lliv a n , P o rtsm o u th ,
A ugust 29, 1786.
OQ
L e t t e r o f John Langdon to P r e s id e n t S u lliv a n o f
New H am pshire, Septem ber 20, 1786, Edmund C. B u r n e tt, e d i t o r ,
L e t t e r s o f Members o f th e C o n tin e n ta l C o n g ress, V II I, 469.
71
o f V ir g in ia a p p o in tin g com m issioners to c o n s id e r t r a d e , t o ­
g e th e r w ith Edmund R andolph’ s l e t t e r s t a t i n g th e tim e and
p la c e f o r th e m eeting*
On th e l a s t day o f Hew Y ork’ s l e g i s l a t i v e s e s s io n f o r
1786, May 5, hy a c o n c u rre n t r e s o l u t i o n s i x members were ap­
p o in te d a s com m issioners to r e p r e s e n t Hew York a t A n n a p o lis,
any th r e e o f them, to have power to a c t .
They were R o b e rt R.
L iv in g s to n , R o b ert G* L iv in g s to n , James Duane, E g b e rt B enson,
L eonard G an se v o o rt, and A lexander H am ilton. 50 Maybe
H am ilto n ’ s tongue was i n h is cheek a l s o , when he a c c e p te d th e
ap p o in tm en t f o r th e p u rp o se o f ”c o n s id e r in g tr a d e and com­
m e rc e .”
R o b ert T roup, a fe d e ra l-m in d e d man, in th e Hew York
A ssem bly, i n 1786, s a id t h a t H am ilton had no p a r t i a l i t y f o r a
com m ercial c o n v e n tio n , o th e rw ise th a n as a s te p p in g s to n e to
a g e n e ra l co n v e n tio n to form a g e n e r a l c o n s t i t u t i o n .
Only two o f th e Hew York a p p o in te e s to A n n ap o lis
a tte n d e d .
Mr. Duane was p re v e n te d by i l l n e s s , Mr. R o b ert R.
L iv in g s to n b ecau se b u s in e s s i n t e r f e r r e d ; Mr. R. C. L iv in g s to n
*
29 C h a rle s Z. L in c o ln , e d i t o r , S t a te o f Hew York
M essages from th e G overnors C om prising E x e c u tiv e Communica­
t i o n s to th e L e g is la tu r e and' o th e r P a p e rs R e la tin g to L e g is la ­
t i o n from th e ~ Q rg a n iz a tio n o f th e F i r s t C o lo n ia l Assembly in
16&8 to and In c lu d in g th e Y ear 1909, I I , 259.
30 I b i d . , I I , 260, f o o tn o te .
31 A lle n K ev in s, The American S t a t e s D uring and A f te r
tb e R e v o lu tio n . 1775-1789, p . 2&4.
72
by re a s o n s unknown; Mr* G ansevoort b ecau se he re fu s e d th e
app o in tine n t . 32
The R ecords o f th e S ta te o f Rhode Is la n d and P ro v id en ce
P la n a tio n s i n New E ngland s t a t e t h a t on th,e f o u r th Monday in
vJu n e , 1786, in th e G en eral Assem bly, i t was v o ted to a p p o in t
two com m issioners to r e p r e s e n t Rhode I s la n d a t th e c o n v e n tio n
f o r c o n s id e r in g t r a d e , and t h a t H onorable Jab ez BoWen and
C h ris to p h e r Champlin w ere ch o sen .
A t th e same s e s s io n th e
name o f Samuel Ward was s u b s t i t u t e d f o r th a t o f Champlin who
had d e c l i n e d .33
No r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f Rhode Is la n d re a c h e d A n n ap o lis.
One a u t h o r i t y g iv e s as th e re a s o n th e d i l a t o r y manner in
w hich r e p r e s e n t a t i v e b o d ie s o f t h a t day m et.
The Rhode Is la n d
d e p u tie s th o u g h t th e A n n ap o lis com m issioners would be l a t e in
g e t t i n g u n d er way so d id n o t h u r r y .34
A p a r t o f Jab ez Bowen*s
l e t t e r to th e p r e s i d e n t o f th e New Ham pshire L e g i s la t u r e i s
i n t e r e s t i n g and adds ev id en ce o f good i n t e n t i o n on th e p a r t
o f Rhode I s l a n d ’ s d e le g a te s :
S i r : S in c e . an sw erin g your l e t t e r to me I am inform ed
t h a t th e S ta te o f New Ham pshire have n o t a p p o in te d
32 John G. H am ilto n , H is to ry o f th e R e p u b lic , I I I , 162.
33
John R u s s e ll B a r t l e t t , e d i t o r , R ecords o f th e S ta te
o f Rhode I s la n d and P ro v id en ce P la n a tio n s in New E n g la n d ,
1784 to 1792, X, 203-204.
’X A
F rank G. B a te s , Rhode I s la n d and th e F o rm atio n o f
th e U n io n , X, 151-152.
73
d e le g a te s t o A n n a p o lis. I th in k t h i s i s an o f f e r t h a t
we o f New E ngland ought n o t to l e t p a ss u n n o tic e d by any
m eans, i f we can s e c u re th e C a rry in g T rade o f th e S o u th ern
S t a t e s , th e r e w i l l be a [1] ways incouragem ent f o r th e
B u ild in g o f V e s s e ls i n th e N o rth e rn S t a t e s , etc* e t c .
. • • P .S . C o l. Ward w ith m y se lf a r e a p p o in te d from t h i s
S t a t e s we p ro p o se t o go on th e 7 th o f n e x t month in a
p a c k e t t f o r New Y ork, th e n by th e S t a g e s .35
N o rth C a ro lin a was one o f t h e s t a t e s n o t r e p r e s e n te d
a t A n n a p o lis, b u t t h i s was n o t due t o la c k o f i n t e r e s t o r
in te n tio n .
The c o m p a ra tiv e ly sm a ll amount o f d i r e c t o v e rse a s
commerce she e n jo y e d , and dependence in com m ercial m a tte r s
upon V ir g in ia and S outh C a ro lin a p u t N o rth C a ro lin a in a
p o s i t i o n w here r e g u l a t i o n o f t r a d e would be ad v an tag eo u s f o r
h er.
G overnor C asw ell in a l e t t e r t o A lfre d Moore s a id he
had re c e iv e d A cts and R e s o lu tio n s o f s e v e r a l o f th e U n ited
S t a t e s c o n c e rn in g th e r e g u la ti o n s o f th e t r a d e by a conven­
t i o n t o m eet a t A n n a p o lis.
He l a i d th e s e b e fo re t h e C o u n c il,
who, on o b s e rv in g th e tim e pro p o sed f o r th e m eetin g t o be
b e fo re t h e tim e o f t h e m eetin g o f t h e G en eral Assem bly o f
N o rth C a ro lin a , th e r e b e in g no m e e tin g o f th e l e g i s l a t u r e
from December, 1785, u n t i l November, 1786,
• • . t h o u g h t p ro p e r t o a d v is e me to a p p o in t com m issioners
on th e p a r t o f t h i s S t a t e , and recommended Abner N ash,
A lfre d Moore, Hugh W illiam so n , John Gray B lo u n t, and
P hilem on Haw kins, E s q u ir e s , o r any two o f them . . . And
t h a t th e G overnor g ra n t w a rra n ts on th e T re a su ry in fa v o r
o f su ch o f th e C om m issioners a s s h a l l s i g n i f y t o him t h e i r
35 O tis G. Hammond, e d i t o r , L e t t e r s and P a p e rs o f
M ajo r-G en eral John S u l l i v a n . C o n tin e n ta l Army. I l l , 472.
74
i n t e n t i o n o f a t t e n d i n g , f o r one hundred pounds ea ch , such
C om m issioners t o he a c c o u n ta b le f o r t h e same . . • Mr#
Nash h as s i g n i f i e d i t w i l l be a g r e e a b le t o a t t e n d . 36
T h is same l e t t e r was s e n t a g a in on J u ly 10 a s a c i r c u l a r
l e t t e r t o Mr# M oore, Mir. W illiam so n , Mr# B lo u n t, and Mr.
H aw kins.37
The re sp o n se o f th e a p p o in te e s m ust be tr a c e d
th ro u g h e x c e r p ts from l e t t e r s .
One from Hugh W illiam son to
th e G overnor s a id :
E d e n to n , 1 6 th Ju n e , 1786.
S i r : Tour fa v o r o f th e 1 0 th i n s t . , came to hand by t h i s
d a y 's p o s t . I have e v e r had th e Commercial I n t e r e s t o f
t h i s S ta te much a t h e a r t , and s h a l l n e v e r shun any op­
p o r t u n i t y on w hich i t may seem p ro b a b le t h a t my s e r v ic e s
may be o f any use t o th e S t a t e . I am o b lig e d t o th e
C o u n cil f o r r a t i n g my A b i l i t i e s p e rh a p s a t more th a n th e y
d e s e rv e . My d i l i g e n c e , how ever, s h a l l be e q u a l t o t h a t
o f my C o m p a trio ts . I s h a l l endeavor to a tte n d th e
m e e tin g o f th e C om m issioners a t th e tim e and p la c e
a p p o in te d , i f you a r e p le a s e d to forw ard me a w a rra n t
w ith t h e Commission, I s h a l l t r y to p a s s i t o f f to
some o f t h e S h e r i f f s . 38
On J u ly 1 0 , Governor C asw ell w ro te l e t t e r s t o Mr. N ash,
Mr. B lo u n t and D r. W illiam son sen d in g them t h e i r com m issions
and w a r r a n ts .
I n th e one t o Mr. Nash39 he m en tio n s th e
a c c e p ta n c e o f t h e i r ap p o in tm e n ts by Mr, B lo u n t and D r.
W illiam so n ; in th e ones t o B lo u n t and W illiam son he say s he
36 C la rk , op . c i t . , X V III, 650.
37 I b i d . , X V III, 681.
38
. X V III, 655.
39 I b i d . , X V III, 683, L e t te r o t C asw ell t o Abner N ash,
J u ly 10, 1786.
75
h as had no word from Mr* Hawkins and Mr. M oore.^0
Illn e s s
k e p t Abner N ash from a tte n d in g th e A n n ap o lis C onvention (he
d ie d th e fo llo w in g D ecem ber)♦ D r. W illiam so n , as s h a l l be
p o in te d o u t l a t e r , was e n ro u te when th e m eetin g a d jo u rn e d ,
and Mr. B lo u n t, t o th e g r e a t s u r p r i s e o f th e G overnor, d id
n o t a p p e a r.
On Septem ber £4, 1786, th e g o v e rn o r w ro te to
Tim othy B loodw orth, r e p r e s e n t a ti v e , f o r N o rth C a ro lin a i n th e
C o n tin e n ta l C o ngress: H. . . Mr. Jn o . G. B lo u n t i s one o f
th e Commercial C om m issioners, now a tte n d in g in h is p la c e a t
A n n a p o lis.
Hugh W illia m s o n 's r e p o r t to h is G overnor i s m ost
p e rtin e n t:
L e t t e r o f Hugh W illia m so n ,
Com m issioner to A n n ap o lis to G overnor C asw ell.
E denton, O cto b er £7, 1786.
S i r : On r e c e iv in g th e Commission w hich y o u r E x c e lle n c y
was p le a s e d to fo rw ard I h e ld m y self in r e a d in e s s to
p ro ceed tow ard A n n ap o lis so as to be th e r e on Monday th e
4 th day o f S eptem ber, b u t as a s in g le member had no v o te
I w a ite d t i l l I sh ould h e a r t h a t some o th e r o f th e Com- m is s io n e rs were on t h e i r way; h av in g re a s o n to f e a r t h a t
Mr. Nash would n o t f in d i t co n v e n ie n t to a tte n d I w ro te
to Mr. B lo u n t p ro p o s in g t h a t we sh o u ld f o r th w ith s e t o u t
40 I b i d . , X V III, 68£, L e t t e r o f G overnor C asw ell to
John Gray B lo u n t and Hugh W illia m so n , J u ly 10, 1786.
41 I b i d . , X V III, 747, E x c e rp t from l e t t e r o f G overnor
C asw ell to H onorable Timothy B loodw orth, N o rth C a ro lin a
R e p re s e n ta tiv e i n C o n g ress, K in g sto n , Septem ber £4, 1786.
76
a f u l l week b e fo re th e tim e m en tio n ed ; b u t r e c e iv e d f o r
answ er from one o f h is c le r k s t h a t Mr. B lo u n t was i l l o f
a f e v e r a s n o t to be a b le to w r i t e . A f te r some tim e Mr.
B lo u n t inform ed me t h a t he was re c o v e rin g and hoped to
be a b le to u n d e rta k e th e Jo u rn ey i n a few d a y s, b u t he
w ished me i n th e m eanw hile to p ro c eed to A n n a p o lis, w ith
such p a p e rs and o th e r in fo rm a tio n r e s p e c t in g th e S ta te
o f o u r Commerce a s I. had been a b le to c o l l e c t , f o r I had
w ith some tr o u b le , en d eavored to c o l l e c t a f u l l a c co u n t
o f o u r E x p o rts by w hich th e r e l a t i v e Im portance o f o u r
Commerce m ig h t i n some m easure be a s c e r t a i n e d ; su ch i n ­
fo rm a tio n m ig h t be o f use i n th e D e lib e r a tio n s o f th e
C om m issioners, a lth o u g h I could have no Vote b e fo re th e
a r r i v a l o f my c o lle a g u e . On th e S eventh o f Septem ber I
a r r i v e d a t N o rfo lk from whence th e B a ltim o re B acket was
re a d y to s a i l , b u t storm y w e a th e r came on by w hich she
was d e ta in e d some days and once p u t back a f t e r she had
s a i l e d ; hence I d id n o t a r r i v e a t A n n ap o lis t i l l a f t e r
th e 1 4 th , on which th e C onvention r o s e . Had th e y p ro ­
ceeded to b u s in e s s I sh o u ld have been i n Time. I t was
known t h a t o th e r S t a t e s w ere on th e ro a d f o r A n n a p o lis,
b u t th e Com m issioners f i r s t assem bled have g iv e n s u f f i c i ­
e n t re a s o n s f o r n o t s i t t i n g lo n g e r,
I was n e c e s s a r i l y a b s e n t from home in g o in g , in w a itin g
f o r a p a s s a g e homeward and in r e tu r n in g 23 d a y s , d u rin g
t h a t tim e i t a p p e a rs from my Cash A ccount t h a t I expended
h 35 1 2 / in c lu d in g th e p o s ta g e o f l e t t e r s and o th e r p a p e rs
r e s p e c t i n g th e C onvention . . . The D r a f t you was p le a s e d
to fo rw ard me f o r i, 100 was l a i d o u t in th e p u rc h a se o f
to b acco w hich I sh ip p ed to P h ila d e lp h ia . Whenever I
s h a l l have re c e iv e d th e A ccount o f S a le s I s h a l l r e tu r n
th e b a la n c e i n t o th e T re a su ry u n le s s you a re p le a s e d to
d i r e c t o th e rw is e . As I have a c c e p te d o f t h i s app o in tm en t
from a z e a lo u s d e s i r e to prom ote th e m e r c a n tile i n t e r e s t
o f t h i s S t a t e , I sh o u ld on th e same p r i n c i p l e , have
a tte m p te d f a i t h f u l l y to d is c h a rg e th e d u t i e s o f th e
ap p o in tm en t though th e y had been much more A rduous w ith ­
o u t E x p e c ta tio n o f Reward. W ith th o s e S e n tim e n ts you w i l l
do me th e j u s t i c e to b e lie v e t h a t I s i n c e r e l y r e g r e t t h a t
n o th in g has been e f f e c t e d a t th e pro p o sed m e e tin g , and
w h ile th e U n ite d S t a t e s a re w a stin g by th e m ost d e s t r u c ti v e
Commerce no p r o g r e s s i s made to w ard s s a f e ty o r system .
I have th e Honor to b e ,
W ith th e G r e a te s t c o n s id e r a tio n , S i r ,
77
Your m ost o b e d ie n t,
And v e ry humble S e rv a n t,
Hugh W illiam so n 42
In th e a f te rn o o n s e s s io n o f T h ursday, June 1 5, 1786,
th e C o u n cil o f Delaware to o k in to c o n s id e r a tio n a r e s o l u t i o n
o f th e-D elaw are House o f Assembly a p p o in tin g com m issioners to
m eet com m issioners o f a l l th e s t a t e s a t A n n a p o lis, and t h e i r
n o m in atio n o f f i v e p e rso n s t o f i l l up th e b la n k in s a id
re s o lu tio n .
The r e s o l u t i o n was r e j e c t e d on th e grounds w hich
e x c e r p ts from th e fo llo w in g v e rb a l m essage s e n t to th e Lower
House th e n e x t day a lo n g w ith c e r t a i n amendments e x p la in s :
Your r e s o lv e o f y e s te r d a y , p ro p o sin g th e names o f
f i v e p e rso n s as co m m issio n ers, to be i n s e r t e d i n th e
tr a n s m itte d r e s o l u t i o n s as to th e in te n d e d m e e tin g a t
A n n a p o lis, f o r c o n fe rin g on th e tr a d e o f th e U n ite d
S ta te s and form ing a system o f com m ercial r e g u la ti o n
f o r th e a d o p tio n o f a l l s t a t e s i n th e American U nion i s
r e tu r n e d to you a s r e j e c t e d by C o u n c il, f o r t h a t a g re e ­
a b le to th e r u l e s l a i d down by th e G en eral Assembly o f
t h i s S t a t e , i n th e s e s s io n o f F e b ru a ry , 1777, and reg u ­
l a r l y p re s e rv e d in a s to a l l a p p o in tm en ts to o f f i c e o f
p u b lic t r u s t o f im p o rtan ce . . . have been made . . .
by th e two Houses m e e tin g t o g e th e r . . . f o r th e con­
s i d e r a t i o n and com parison o f t h e i r f i t n e s s f o r th e
s e r v ic e to be p erfo rm ed , and a f t e r t o e l e c t by b a l l o t .
. . . th e C ouncil t h e r e f o r e , p ro p o se s to th e House o f
Assembly t h a t a m eetin g be had o f members o f b o th H ouses,
in th e C o u n cil Room, a t 6 o f c lo c k t h i s a f te r n o o n , f o r
th e p u rp o se o f g e n e ra l n o m in atio n as a f o r e s a i d .
The m essage was d e liv e r e d by Mr. Craghead alo n g w ith th e
amendments p ro p o sed by th e C o u n c il,
Upon r e c e i p t o f them
th e House, l a t e r i n th e day, s e n t Mr. Lane o f th e Assembly to
42 I b i d . , X V III, 772.
78
th e C o u n cil w ith i t s p a p e rs and some p ro p o sed amendments and
a v e r b a l m essage o f a c c e p ta n c e o f th e 6. o * clo ck m e e tin g .
The C o u n cil th e n re a d and a c c e p te d th e amendments o f th e
*
A ssem bly. The C o u n cil and Assem bly m et in th e C o u n cil Cham­
b e r and to g e th e r e le c te d a s com m issioners from Delaw are to
th e A n n ap o lis C o n v en tio n , George Head, Jacob Broom, John
D ic k in so n , R ich ard B a s s e t t, and Gunning B ed fo rd , E s q u ir e s .
On t h i s same d ay , June 1 6 , 1786, a t th e same tim e and
p la c e and by th e same body, D elaw are d u ly e l e c te d W illiam
K i l l e n , Gunning B ed fo rd , John J o n e s , R o b ert A rm strong, and
E le a z a r McComb, as com m issioners t o m eet com m issioners from
th e s t a t e s o f P e n n sy lv a n ia and M aryland, f o r th e p u rp o se o f
d i g e s t i n g m easures f o r e f f e c t i n g a n a v ig a b le com m unication
betw een th e Bays o f C hesapeake and D elaw are and f o r th e o th e r
p u rp o s e s m entioned in th e r e s o l u t i o n s on th e s u b j e c t . ^3
T hree o f D elaw are*s d e le g a te s a tte n e d th e A n n ap o lis C o n v en tio n ,
nam ely: George Read, John D ic k in so n , and R ich ard B a s s e t t .
C o n n e c tic u t s e n t no d e le g a te s t o th e A n n ap o lis Conven­
tio n .
G en e ral Knox a t t r i b u t e s th e n e g l e c t, o r r e f u s a l , t o
j e a lo u s y ,^ 4 b u t n e i t h e r Knox n o r any o th e r t y p i c a l R evolu­
t i o n a r y o f f i c e r co u ld ju d g e , much l e s s judge k in d ly , th e ty p e
o f je a lo u s y o f w hich C o n n e c tic u t was c o n v ic te d .
^ M inutes o f th e C o u n cil o f D elaw are S t a t e . 1776- 1 792.
p p . 9 69-972.
^
C u r t i s , G£. c i t . . I , 847.
79
C o n n e c tic u t was s u f f e r i n g v e ry s e r io u s ly from one o f
th o s e g l a r i n g d e f e c ts o f th e e x i s t i n g C onfederacy w hich
M adison and W ashington and a few o th e r s were t r y i n g t o rem edy.
Of th e p ro d u c ts o f o th e r c o u n tr ie s w hich h e r p eo p le consumed,
o n ly a v ery sm a ll p r o p o r tio n was b ro u g h t i n to h e r own p o r t s ;
th e r e s t came c h i e f l y th ro u g h th o s e o f New York and Bhode
I s la n d t o whom in t h i s way C o n n e c tic u t p a id t r i b u t e . 45
C o n n e c tic u t w as, how ever, an u ltr a - d e m o c r a tic s t a t e .
I t had
g ra d u a lly become an a d v o c a te o f s t a t e s r i g h t s g u a ra n te e d by
a s tr o n g n a t i o n a l governm ent r a t h e r th a n s o le dependence on
th e s t a t e i t s e l f ; b u t a t th e tim e t h a t V ir g in ia to o k th e le a d
and i n v i t e d a l l th e s t a t e s t o th e A n n ap o lis C o n v en tio n , th e
a n t i - C i n c i n n a t i e x c ite m e n t in C o n n e c tic u t was a t i t s h e i g h t .
As d e s p e r a te a s C o n n e c tic u t* s s i t u a t i o n w as, th e s t a t e was
n o t in fa v o r o f a C in c in n a ti d ir e c te d n a t i o n a l governm ent
and would do n o th in g t o b ra c e th e c e n t r a l governm ent—even in
re g a rd t o t r a d e . 46
G e o rg ia , under G overnor T e l f a i r , h e ld two s e s s io n s o f
th e Assembly in 1786, one in March and one in J u l y , and a t
e i t h e r o f th o s e m e e tin g s d e le g a te s co u ld have been a p p o in te d
b u t t h e r e i s no r e c o rd o f any b e in g c h o se n .
An a c t t o v e s t
45 W illia m G. Brown, The L if e o f O liv e r E ll s w o r t h .
p . 117.
46 A lex an d er J o h n s to n , C o n n e c tic u t, a Study o f a
Commonwealth-Democracy. p . 315, p assim .
80
C ongress w ith c e r t a i n pow ers f o r th e p r o t e c ti o n o f commerce
was p a sse d by th e G eo rgia L e g is la tu r e on A ugust 2 , 1786.
On
t h a t day i t was r e c a l l e d t o th e members t h a t th e C ongress o f
th e U n ite d S t a t e s , by an A ct o f A p r i l , 1784, had a p p e a le d t o
th e s t a t e s to v e s t i t f o r f i f t e e n y e a r s w ith power to p r o ­
h i b i t any goods froruhueing
im p o rted i n t o o r e x p o rte d from any
t
o f th e U n ite d S t a t e s in v e s s e l s b e lo n g in g t o o r n a v ig a te d by
s u b j e c t s o f any power w ith whom th e U n ite d S t a t e s had n o t
form ed t r e a t i e s o f commerce.
The G eorgia L e g is la tu r e by
g r a n tin g th e n e c e s s a ry power to C ongress must have f e l t t h a t
i t was u n n e c e ssa ry t o a c t upon th e s u g g e s tio n o f V ir g in ia t o
send com m issioners t o A n n a p o lis .4?
The cau se o f S outh C a r o lin a ’ s la c k o f re sp o n se t o th e
i n v i t a t i o n to th e A n n ap o lis C onvention was th o u g h t by M adison
to be th e same a s t h a t o f G e o rg ia , nam ely, co n c u rren c e i n a
g e n e ra l r e g u l a t i o n o f tr a d e v e s tin g th e power in C ongress
f o r f i f t e e n y e a r s .^ 8
New J e r s e y , in h e r re sp o n se to th e o v e r tu r e o f
V ir g in ia t o send com m issioners t o a c o n v e n tio n f,to ta k e i n to
c o n s id e r a tio n th e T rade and Commerce o f th e U n ited S t a t e s , ”
n o t o n ly a p p o in te d d e l e g a te s , b u t made an im p o rta n t a d d it io n
^ A lle n D. C a n d le r, e d i t o r , The C o lo n ia l R ecords o f
th e S t a t e o f G e o rg ia , S t a t u t e s , C o lo n ia l and R e v o lu tio n a ry ,
1774 t o 1 8 0 5 , V ol. XIX, P a r t I I , p . 554.
^8 H unt, The W ritin g s o f James M adison, I I , 262.
81
to th e p u rp o se f o r w hich i t was designed*
New J e r s e y em­
powered h e r d e le g a te s t o c o n s id e r how f a r a u n ifo rm system
i n t h e i r com m ercial r e g u la tio n s and o th e r im p o rta n t m a tte r s
m ight be n e c e s s a ry t o th e common i n t e r e s t and perm anent
harmony o f th e s e v e r a l s t a t e s . ^ 9
I t i s th o u g h t t h a t th e id e a o f a g e n e r a l c o n v e n tio n
o f th e s t a t e s f o r th e p u rp o se o f in c r e a s in g th e pow ers o f
th e F e d e r a l Government had been su g g e ste d to th e New J e rs e y
L e g is la tu r e by Mr. C h a rle s P inckney when
in
M arch,
1786, he
had spoken t o t h a t body u rg in g i t t o a c t
in
a more
fe d e ra l-
minded way.
The New J e rs e y a p p o in te e s were Abraham C la rk e ,
W illiam C. H ouston, and James Schuarm an. 50
A summary o f th e a c ti o n s o f th e s t a t e s
upon th e i n ­
v i t a t i o n t o th e A n n ap o lis C onvention shows t h a t f i f t y - t h r e e
d e le g a te s w ere ch o se n , o n ly tw elv e o f whom a tte n d e d th e
m e e tin g ; t h a t n in e s t a t e s chose co m m issio n ers, b u t t h a t only
f iv e s t a t e s were r e p r e s e n te d .
No c i t a t i o n o f ev id en c e c o u ld be found in th e ca se o f
New H am pshire’ s d e le g a te s o th e r th a n th e d e f i n i t e r e f u s a l o f
one member, and th e f a i l u r e o f any t o a t t e n d th e m e e tin g .
^ John R. T u ck er, The C o n s titu tio n o f th e U n ite d
S t a t e s , a C r i t i c a l D is c u s s io n o f i t s G e n e s is , Bev e lo p m en t.
and I n t e r p r e t a t i o n , I , 264.
50 George B a n c r o ft, A H is to ry o f th e F orm ation o f th e
C o n s t i t u t i o n , I , 256-257. ~
82
TABLE I
THE ANNAPOLIS CONVENTION
Number, o f d e c lin e d o r
Colony
d e le g a te s f a i l e d t o
____________ chosen_____ resp o n d
A ccepted b u t
d id n o t
a tte n d
A tte n d e d th e
c o n v e n tio n
8
1
4
3
P a.
5
0
4
1
N. Y.
6
1
3
2
M ass.
13
10
3
0
Md«
0
0
0
0
N. I .
3
0
0
3
N. H.
5
1
4?
0
R. I .
3
1
2
0
5
2
3
0
D el.
5
2
0
3
Conn.
0
0
0
0
Geo.
0
0
0
0
So. C.
0
0
0
0
•
o
♦
o
Va.
83
The fo u r o th e r members who had been a p p o in te d e i t h e r r e f u s e d ,
f a i l e d t o re sp o n d , o r a c c e p te d and d id n o t a t t e n d .
The A n n ap o lis C onvention was c a ll e d f o r Septem ber 11,
and on Septem ber 5 , James M adison to o k lo d g in g s a t George
Mann’ s Tavern in A n n a p o lis.
A p o r tio n o f h i s b i l l w i l l show
th e expense a com m issioner was p u t t o :
C o lo n el M adison’ s B i l l , 1786.
S e p r. 5
6
A n n ap o lis
’
^
n e r 3 /9
Wine 3 /9 punch 2 /6 p o r t e r 2 /6
Punch 1 / s e r v t . board 1 2 /
Lodging and B re a k fa s t 3 /9 w ine 2 /6
P o r t e r 2 /6 D in n er 3 /9 S e rv t Grog 1 /
Board f o r s e r v t 6 /
L 0 . 7. 0.
0
. 8. 0.
13.
6. 3
7. 3
6
.
I t c o n tin u e s i n much t h e same v e in d a i ly th ro u g h th e 1 5 th o f
Septem ber; t o t a l b i l l £ 1 4 .7 .2 .
George Mann sig n e d th e b i l l
w ith " C o n te n ts r e c e iv e d in f u l l . "
On th e 8 th o f S eptem ber, M adison w ro te t o h i s b r o th e r
Ambrose t h a t he had been in A n n ap o lis f o r a day o r two and
had found th e r e o n ly two o th e r co m m issio n ers.
"A few more
have s in c e come i n , b u t th e p ro s p e c t o f a s u f f i c i e n t n9 to
make th e m e e tin g r e s p e c ta b le i s n o t f l a t t e r i n g . " ^
He ex­
p r e s s e d h i s co n cern t o James Monroe on th e day th e conven­
t i o n opened:
D elaw are, New J e r s e y , and V ir g in ia a lo n e a r e on th e
ground, two C om m issioners a t te n d from New York and one
^ H unt, The W ritin g s o f James M adison. I I , 271.
L e t t e r t o Ambrose M adison from James M adison, Septem ber 8 ,
1786.
84
from P e n n s y lv a n ia , U n less th e sudden a tte n d a n c e o f a
much more r e s p e c ta b le number ta k e s p la c e i t i s proposed
t o b re a k up th e m e e tin g , w ith a recom m endation o f a n o th e r
tim e and p l a c e , and an in tim a tio n o f th e ex p ed ien cy o f
e x te n d in g th e p la n to o th e r d e f e c t s o f th e C o n fed erat i o n . . . , 52
T hin th o u g h th e a tte n d a n c e was th e com m issioners met
and p ro ceed ed t o o rg a n iz e th e c o n v e n tio n ,
D elaw are was unanim ously e le c te d ch a irm a n .
John D ick in so n o f
C I7
I t seemed
f i t t i n g and p ro p e r t h a t he sh o u ld ta k e a le a d in g p a r t i n t h i s
c o n v e n tio n ,
lie had been co n sp icu o u s in a l l th e c o n v e n tio n s
w hich had been h e ld s in c e such m e e tin g s had been r e s o r t e d t o
f o r th e p u rp o se o f s e c u rin g u n ite d and c o n c e rte d a c ti o n .
Be­
s id e s h av in g r e p r e s e n te d h i s own s t a t e (P e n n sy lv a n ia ) and
t h a t o f D elaw are many tim e s in t h e i r d i f f e r e n t A ssem b lies and
C o n v e n tio n s, he had been th e d e le g a te o f b o th in th e N a tio n a l
C o n g ress.
He had been a member o f th e C ongress t h a t p r o t e s te d
th e Stamp A ct i n 1765, a member o f th e F i r s t C o n tin e n ta l Con­
g r e s s in 1774, and d u rin g fo u r y e a rs o f th e B e v o lu tio n a ry War
he had c o n tin u e d an a c t i v e member o f t h a t body.
In t h i s way
h i s knowledge o f p u b lic men in d i f f e r e n t p a r t s o f th e c o u n try
and h i s e x p e rie n c e in p u b lic had become in v a lu a b le . 54
52 H unt, l o c # j c i t . , L e t t e r to James Monroe from James
M adison.
53 C h a rle s C. T a n s i l l , e d i t o r . Documents I l l u s t r a t i v e
o f th e F o rm atio n o f th e U n io n , p . 1115.
54 C. J . S t i l l e . The L ife and Times o f John D ic k in so n ,
1752-1808. I I , 255-257.
The com m issioners a f t e r p r e s e n tin g t h e i r c r e d e n t i a l s
d e l i b e r a te d upon th e s i t u a t i o n i n w hich th e y found th em selv es
f i v e s t a t e s o n ly r e p r e s e n te d ; no s t a t e n o r th o f New York,, and
none s o u th o f V i r g i n i a .
Four s t a t e s gave p e rm is s io n t o d i s ­
cu ss th e tr a d e o f th e U n ite d S t a t e s ; one added "and o th e r im­
p o r t a n t m a tte rs .* 1 H am ilton to o k th e f l o o r .
no h arro w in g s e lf - d o u b le b o th e re d him .
No in d e c is io n ,
No c a u tio u s w arn in g s
t h a t th e tim e was n o t y e t r i p e r e s t r a i n e d hinu
R e c k le s s ly he
p lu n g ed th e c o n v e n tio n i n t o a h e a te d d is c u s s io n o f th e weak­
n e s s o f th e governm ent and th e need f o r d r a s t i c and im m ediate
ch an g e.
The one elem en t o f h o p e fu ln e s s in th e s i t u a t i o n was
t h a t , much a s th e men d i f f e r e d , th e y a l l a g re e d t h a t th e
e x i s t i n g c o n d itio n was sim p ly a p re lu d e to a n a rc h y and t h a t a
com m ittee sh o u ld be a p p o in te d to d r a f t a r e p o r t t o th e s t a t e s
h a v in g com m issioners p r e s e n t .
The m eetin g was th e n a d jo u rn e d
t o m eet a g a in on Wednesday th e 1 3 th , when a d r a f t o f th e r e ­
p o r t was re a d and d is c u s s e d .
H am ilton w ro te th e r e p o r t to t h e i r r e s p e c tiv e s t a t e s ,
a lth o u g h n o t fo rm a lly one o f th e com m ittee.
In th e d r a f t a s
he o r i g i n a l l y p re p a re d i t H am ilton e x p re ss e d f r a n k ly th e con­
d i t i o n o f th e s t a t e s and th e n e c e s s i ty f o r e f f i c i e n t govern­
m ent.
Edmund R andolph th o u g h t th e r e p o r t to o s e v e re , a s
shown by th e n o n -a tte n d a n c e o f th e s t a t e s a t th e p r e s e n t
m e e tin g , and M adison c a u tio n e d H am ilton a g a in s t d e fy in g
R andolph s a y in g , ,fYou had b e t t e r y i e l d t o t h i s man, f o r
86
o th e rw is e a l l V ir g in ia w i l l he a g a in s t y o u ."55
On T hu rsd ay , Septem ber 14, th e l a s t m e e tin g was h e ld .
The r e p o r t was re a d , d is c u s s e d , amended, and f i n a l l y u n a n i­
m ously ag re e d to a s fo llo w s :
TO THE HONORABLE, TEE LEGISLATURES OF VIRGINIA, DELAWARE,
PENNSYLVANIA, NEW JERSEY, AND NEW YORK-The Com m issioners from th e s a i d S t a t e s , r e s p e c t i v e l y
assem bled a t A n n a p o lis, humbly beg le a v e to r e p o r t .
T h a t, p u rs u a n t to t h e i r s e v e r a l a p p o in tm e n ts, th e y m et,
a t A n n ap o lis i n th e S ta te o f M aryland, on th e e le v e n th
day o f Septem ber I n s t a n t , and h av in g p ro ceed ed to a Com­
m u n ic a tio n o f t h e i r pow ers; th e y found t h a t th e S t a t e s
o f New York, P e n n s y lv a n ia , and V i r g in i a , had, in sub­
s ta n c e , and n e a r ly i n th e same te rm s , a u th o r is e d t h e i r
r e s p e c tiv e C om m issioners " to m eet such Com m issioners as
w ere, o r m ight be, a p p o in te d by th e o th e r S t a t e s i n th e
U nion, a t such tim e and p la c e , as sh o u ld be ag re e d upon
by th e s a id C om m issioners to ta k e i n t o c o n s id e r a tio n th e
Trade and Commerce o f th e U n ite d S t a t e s , to c o n s id e r how
f a r an u n ifo rm sy stem in t h e i r com m ercial in t e r c o u r s e
and r e g u la tio n s m ig h t be n e c e s s a ry to t h e i r common i n ­
t e r e s t and perm anent harmony, and to r e p o r t to th e
s e v e r a l S t a t e s such an A ct, r e l a t i v e to t h i s g r e a t o b j e c t ,
a s when unanim ously r a t i f i e d by them would e n a b le th e
U n ite d S t a t e s in C ongress assem bled e f f e c t u a l l y to p ro ­
v id e f o r th e sam e.”
T hat th e S ta te o f D elaw are, had g iv e n s i m ila r pow ers
to t h e i r C om m issioners, w ith t h i s d i f f e r e n c e o n ly , t h a t
th e A ct to be fram ed i n v i r t u e o f th o s e pow ers, i s r e ­
q u ire d to be re p o r te d " to th e U n ite d S t a t e s in C ongress
assem b led , to be a g re e d to by them , and confirm ed by
th e L e g is la tu r e s o f e v e ry S t a t e . "
T hat th e S t a t e o f New J e r s e y had e n la rg e d th e o b je c t o f
t h e i r ap p o in tm en t, empowering t h e i r C om m issioners, " to con­
s i d e r how f a r an u n ifo rm system i n t h e i r com m ercial re g u ­
l a t i o n s and o th e r im p o rta n t m a tt e r s , m ight be n e c e s s a ry
55 John C. H am ilto n , e d i t o r , The Works o f A lex an d er
H am ilto n , I I I , 162.
87
t o th e common i n t e r e s t and perm anent harmony o f th e
s e v e r a l S t a t e s a n d t o r e p o r t such an A ct on th e sub­
j e c t , a s when r a t i f i e d by them "would e n a b le th e U n ite d
S t a t e s in C ongress assem b led , e f f e c t u a l l y to p ro v id e
f o r th e e x ig e n c ie s o f th e U n io n .”
T hat a p p o in tm e n ts o f Com m issioners have a l s o been
made by th e S t a t e s o f New H am pshire, M a s s a c h u s e tts ,
Rhode I s l a n d , and N o rth C a ro lin a , none o f whom however
have a tte n d e d ; b u t t h a t no in fo rm a tio n h as b een re c e iv e d
by y o u r C om m issioners, o f any ap p o in tm en t h av in g been
made by th e S t a t e s o f C o n n e c tic u t, M aryland, South
C aro lin a., o r'G e o r g ia .
T h at th e e x p re s s term s o f th e powers to your Commis­
s io n e r s su p p o sin g a d e p u ta tio n from a l l th e S t a t e s , and
h a v in g f o r o b je c t th e T rade and Commerce o f th e U n ited
S t a t e s , Your C om m issioners d id n o t c o n c e iv e i t a d v is a b le
t o p ro c eed on th e b u s in e s s o f t h e i r m is s io n , under th e
C ircu m stan ce o f so p a r t i a l and d e f e c t iv e a r e p r e s e n t a ­
tio n .
Deeply im p ressed however w ith th e m agnitude and im­
p o rta n c e o f th e o b je c t c o n fid e d t o them on t h i s o c c a s io n ,
y o u r C om m issioners can n o t f o r b e a r t o in d u lg e an e x p re s ­
s io n o f t h e i r e a r n e s t and unanimous w ish , t h a t speedy
m easures may be ta k e n , t o e f f e c t a g e n e r a l m e e tin g , o f
th e S t a t e s , in a f u tu r e C o n v en tio n , f o r th e same, and
su ch o th e r p u rp o s e s ,a s th e s i t u a t i o n o f p u b lic a f f a i r s ,
may be found t o r e q u i r e .
I f in e x p r e s s in g t h i s w ish , o r i n in tim a tin g any o th e r
s e n tim e n t, your .Com m issioners sh o u ld seem t o exceed th e
s t r i c t bounds o f t h e i r a p p o in tm e n t, th e y e n t e r t a i n a f u l l
c o n fid e n c e , t h a t a c o n d u c t, d i c t a t e d by an a n x ie ty f o r
th e w e lf a r e , o f th e U n ited S t a t e s , w i l l n o t f a i l to
r e c e iv e an in d u lg e n t c o n s tr u c tio n .
I n t h i s p e r s u a s io n , y o u r Com m issioners subm it an
o p in io n , t h a t th e Id e a o f e x te n d in g th e pow ers o f t h e i r
D e p u tie s , t o o th e r o b j e c t s , th a n th o s e o f Commerce, w hich
h as been ad o p ted by th e S t a t e o f New J e r s e y , was an im­
provem ent on th e o r i g i n a l p la n , and w i l l d e s e rv e t o be
in c o r p o r a te d i n t o t h a t o f a f u t u r e C onvention; th e y a re
th e more n a t u r a l l y le d t o t h i s c o n c lu s io n , a s in th e
c o u rse o f t h e i r r e f l e c t i o n s on th e s u b j e c t , th e y have
been in d u ced t o th in k , t h a t th e power o f r e g u l a ti n g tr a d e
i s o f such com prehensive e x t e n t , and w i l l e n t e r so f a r
i n t o th e g e n e r a l System o f th e fo ed eral governm ent, t h a t
88
t o g iv e i t e f f i c a c y , and to o b v ia te q u e s tio n s and d o u b ts
c o n c e rn in g i t s p r e c is e n a tu r e and l i m i t s , may r e q u ir e a
c o rre s p o n d e n t a d ju stm e n t o f o th e r p a r t s o f th e F o e d e ra l
System .
T hat th e r e a r e im p o rta n t d e f e c ts in th e system o f
th e F o e d e ra l Government i s acknow ledged by th e A cts o f
a l l th o s e S t a t e s , w hich have c o n c u rre d in th e p r e s e n t
M eetin g ; T hat th e d e f e c t s , upon a c l o s e r e x a m in a tio n ,
may be found g r e a t e r and more num erous, th a n even th e s e
a c t s im p ly , i s a t l e a s t so f a r p ro b a b ly , from th e em­
b a rra s s m e n ts w hich c h a r a c t e r is e th e p r e s e n t S ta te o f p u r
n a t i o n a l a f f a i r s , f o r e ig n and d o m e stic , a s may re a s o n a b ly
be supposed t o m e r it a d e l i b e r a t e and can d id d is c u s s io n ,
in some mode, w hich w i l l u n ite th e S e n tim e n ts and Coun­
c i l s o f a l l th e S t a t e s . In th e c h o ic e o f th e mode, your
C om m issioners a r e o f o p in io n , t h a t a C onvention o f
D e p u tie s from th e d i f f e r e n t S t a t e s , f o r th e s p e c ia l and
s o le p u rp o se o f e n te r in g i n t o t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n , and
d i g e s t i n g a p la n f o r su p p ly in g such d e f e c ts a s may be
d is c o v e re d to e x i s t , w i l l be e n t i t l e d t o a p re fe re n c e
from c o n s i d e r a t io n s , w hich w i l l o c c u r, w ith o u t b e in g
p a r tic u la r is e d .
Your C om m issioners d e c lin e an en u m eratio n o f th o s e
n a t i o n a l c irc u m s ta n c e s on w hich t h e i r o p in io n r e s p e c tin g
th e p r o p r i e ty o f a f u tu r e C o n v en tio n , w ith more e n la rg e d
po w ers, i s founded; a s i t would be an u s e le s s i n t r u s i o n
o f f a c t s and o b s e r v a tio n s , most o f w hich have been f r e ­
q u e n tly th e s u b j e c t o f p u b lic d is c u s s io n , and none o f
w hich can have escaped th e p e n e tr a t io n o f th o s e t o whom
th e y would in t h i s in s ta n c e be a d d re s s e d . They a r e how­
e v e r o f a n a tu r e so s e r i o u s , a s , in th e view o f your
C om m issioners t o re n d e r th e s i t u a t i o n o f th e U n ited
S t a t e s d e ^ J c a te and c r i t i c a l , c a l l i n g f o r an e x e r tio n o f
-the u n ite d v i r t u e and wisdom o f a l l th e members o f th e
C o n fed eracy .
Under t h i s im p re s s io n , Your C om m issioners, w ith th e
m ost r e s p e c t f u l d e f e re n c e , b eg to su g g e st t h e i r unanimous
c o n v ic tio n , t h a t i t may e s s e n t i a l l y te n d to advance th e
i n t e r e s t s o f th e u n io n , i f th e S t a t e s , by whom th e y have
been r e s p e c t i v e l y d e le g a te d , would th e m se lv e s co n c u r,
and use t h e i r en d eavours to p ro c u re th e c o n c u rre n c e o f
th e o th e r S t a t e s , in th e ap p o in tm en t o f C om m issioners,
t o m eet a t P h ila d e lp h ia on th e second Monday i n May n e x t,
t o ta k e i n t o c o n s id e r a tio n th e s i t u a t i o n o f th e U n ited
S t a t e s , t o d e v is e such f u r t h e r p r o v is io n s a s s h a l l a p p e a r
to them n e c e s s a ry to re n d e r th e c o n s t i t u t i o n o f th e
89
F o e d e ra l Government a d e q u a te to th e e x ig e n c ie s o f th e
U nion; and to r e p o r t such an A ct f o r t h a t p u rp o se t o th e
U n ited S t a t e s in C ongress assem b led , a s when a g re e d t o ,
by them , and a f te r w a r d s co n firm ed by th e L e g is la tu r e s
o f e v e ry S t a t e , w i l l e f f e c t u a l l y p ro v id e f o r th e same.
Tito u g h y o u r C om m issioners co u ld n o t w ith p r o p r i e ty
a d d re s s th e s e o b s e rv a tio n s and s e n tim e n ts to any b u t th e
S t a t e s th e y have t h e honor to R e p re s e n t, th e y have n e v e r­
t h e l e s s co ncluded from m o tiv e s o f r e s p e c t , t o tr a n s m it
C opies o f t h i s R ep o rt t o th e U n ited S t a t e s in C ongress
assem b led , and t o th e e x e c u tiv e s o f th e o th e r S t a t e s . 56
By o rd e r o f th e C om m issioners.
John D ick in so n
D ated a t A n n ap o lis )
Septem ber 1 4 th , 1786)
R eso lv ed , t h a t th e Chairman s ig n th e a fo re g o in g
R ep o rt in B e h a lf o f th e C om m issioners.
Then ad jo u rn e d w ith o u t day—
John D ic k in so n , P r e s id e n t o f th e C o n v en tio n , had been
o rd e re d t o s ig n th e r e p o r t f o r th e C om m issioners, y e t in f a c t
a l l th e d e le g a te s sig n ed i t .
As su g g e ste d in th e r e p o r t , Mr.
D ick in so n w ro te a l e t t e r t o th e e x e c u tiv e o f each s t a t e n o t
re p r e s e n te d and e n c lo s e d a copy o f th e A n n ap o lis r e p o r t ; he
s e n t one to th e c o n t i n e n t a l C o n g ress, and one to th e g o vernor
o f ea ch o f th e s t a t e s r e p r e s e n te d .
The com m issioners had
done a l l th e y co u ld do under th e c irc u m s ta n c e s .
The q u e s tio n a s t o w h eth er th e m eetin g a t A n n ap o lis
was a bona f id e tr a d e c o n v e n tio n o r w h eth e r i t was t o be
56 T a n s i l l , o p . c i t ♦, p p . 40-43
90
used a s a s te p p in g s to n e to a C o n s t it u t i o n a l C onvention has
been d is c u s s e d by s c h o la r s e v e r s in c e th e m e e tin g to o k p l a c e .
I t was a to p ic o f s p e c u la tio n d u rin g th e c r i t i c a l m onths t h a t
le d up t o th e m e e tin g .
M adison and H am ilton w ere d e f i n i t e l y
in fa v o r o f u s in g i t a s an o p p o rtu n ity f o r c r e a t i n g a s tr o n g e r
u n io n .
The F ren ch M i n i s te r , O tto , in a r e p o r t t o h i s e h ie f
claim ed t h a t th e men who p la n n e d th e A n n ap o lis C onvention had
no hope o r even d e s i r e t o se e i t s u c c e e d , t h a t i t was in te n d e d
o n ly to pave th e way f o r th e s e ttle m e n t o f a more im p o rta n t
q u e s tio n th a n commerce.
He s a i d , "D e le g a te s to t h i s C onvention
p u rp o s e ly rem ained away in p u rsu a n c e o f a c o n s p ira c y t o p r e ­
v e n t th e a c t i o n f o r w hich i t was o s t e n s ib l y c a l l e d . " 57
The
c a se o f th e P e n n s y lv a n ia d e le g a tio n m ight be ta k e n a s an
exam ple.
Tench Coxe, a lo n e o f th e f i v e a p p o in te e s from t h a t
s t a t e , was p r e s e n t a t th e C onvention and on h i s r e t u r n t o
P h ila d e lp h ia a f t e r th e m e e tin g he w ro te a l e t t e r t o th e
Supreme E x e c u tiv e C o u n c il e x p la in in g th e s i t u a t i o n .
He s a id
t h a t h i s c o lle a g u e s b e in g engaged in P e n n sy lv a n ia p u b lic
b u s in e s s th o u g h t i t b e t t e r f o r t h e i r s t a t e i f th e y w a ite d in
P h ila d e lp h ia u n t i l members o f th e A n n ap o lis C onvention from
th e e a s te r n s t a t e s sh o u ld ta k e in P h ila d e lp h ia e n ro u te .
"They b e in g d e la y e d and th e A n n ap o lis com m issioners h av in g
57 A. M. Sim ons, S o c ia l F o rc e s in Am erican H is to r y ,
p p . 9 2 -9 4 , q u o tin g O tto , th e F rench M in is te r .
91
p u b lic and p r i v a t e engagem ents w hich p re v e n te d t h e i r d a ll y in g
a t A n n a p o lis, had gone home b e f o re th e e a s te r n men a r r i v e d . 1,58
The M a s s a c h u s e tts C om m issioners, t o o , showed no g r e a t
a n x ie ty t o r e a c h A n n ap o lis a s shown by t h e i r l e t t e r t o th e
New York C o m m issio n ers.59
The members who a tte n d e d d id n o t , in th e way t h a t was
u s u a l a t th e tim e , w a it lo n g f o r d i s t a n t members t o a r r i v e .
I f th e C ongress o f th e C o n fe d e ra tio n can be ta k e n a s a gauge,
m e e tin g s in t h a t day w ere slow t o g e t under way.
The
A n n ap o lis C o n v en tio n , c o n tr a r y to what m ight have been ex­
p e c te d , began p u n c tu a lly and ended a b r u p tly a f t e r a h a s ty
r e p o r t had been made*
R ic h a rd F rothingham sa y s q u ite d e f i ­
n i t e l y t h a t under t h e le a d o f M adison, V ir g in ia a p p o in te d
com m issioners t o m eet in c o n v e n tio n and c o n s id e r th e q u e s tio n
o f commerce, w ith th e view o f a l t e r i n g th e A r t i c l e s o f
C o n f e d e r a tio n .50
Times w ere c r i t i c a l , d i s ta n c e s g r e a t , com m unication
d i f f i c u l t , a l l o f w hich c o n tr ib u te d t o d iv id e d o p in io n s .
C i ta ti o n s t o p ro v e t h a t th e r e w ere th o s e who would make th e
58 Samuel H azard, e d i t o r , P e n n s y lv a n ia A rc h iv e s ,
F i r s t S e r i e s , X I, 60. L e t t e r o f Tendh Coxe t o Supreme E xecut i v e C o u n c il, Septem ber 19, 1785.
59 ££• a n t e , p . 67.
58 R ic h a rd F ro thingham , The R ise o f th e R e p u b lic o f
th e U n ited S t a t e s , p . 587.
92
c o n v e n tio n m erely a p o in t o f d e p a r tu r e f o r a n o th e r m eetin g
have been given*
T here i s a mass o f e v id e n c e o f a d i f f e r e n t
n a tu r e e x p r e s s in g th e v ie w p o in t o f a n t i - f e d e r a l i s m , b u t t h e r e
i s no p ro o f t o o f f e r t h a t th e A n n ap o lis C onvention w as, o r
was n o t , a bona f i d e t r a d e convention*
I t was a t b e s t , a
p o o rly a tte n d e d e x t r a l e g a l body, b u t , i t is s u e d th e f i r s t ,
i f n o t th e l e g a l c a l l , t o th e C o n s t it u t i o n a l C onvention and
th u s com pleted th e f o u r th s t e p .
CHAPTER V
ACTION OF THE STATES ON RECEIPT OF ANNAPOLIS REPORT
AND ACTS OF CONGRESS IN CALLING CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION
C ongress f a i l e d to a c t p ro m p tly upon th e r e c e i p t o f
John D ic k in s o n ’ s l e t t e r e n c lo s in g th e p ro c e e d in g s o f th e
A n n ap o lis C onvention o f S eptem ber, 1786, and allow ed th e
s e s s io n to te rm in a te w ith th e m a tte r ly in g i n com m ittee.
C ongress h ad , on Septem ber 20, l i s t e n e d t o a re a d in g o f th e
D ick in so n l e t t e r and t o th e r e p o r t o f th e p ro c e e d in g s o f th e
commissioners^* b u t had d e la y e d u n t i l th e 1 1 th o f O ctober to
a p p o in t a com m ittee o f te n members on th e " L e t t e r sig n e d J .
D ickinson."**
Many r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s showed in d ig n a tio n a t th e
u s u r p a tio n o f c o n g r e s s io n a l r i g h t s .
They in d u lg e d in h a i r ­
s p l i t t i n g argum ents upon th e l e g a l i t y and th e la c k o f a u t h o r i t y
i n any body save th e m se lv e s to summon a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e c o u n c il.
Rufus K ing, member o f C ongress f o r M a s s a c h u s e tts , w ro te to
John Adams in London, O cto b er 2 , 1786, t e l l i n g him t h a t th e
A n n ap o lis C onvention had " te rm in a te d w ith o u t c r e d i t to i t s e l f
o r p r o s p e c t o f h av in g acco m p lish ed i t s e n d ."
He s a id t h a t he
d id n o t b e lie v e t h a t C ongress was " o f a mind to p a tr o n iz e th e
p r o j e c t , " and t h a t he a g re e d w ith Adams t h a t th e m a tte r co u ld
^ W. C. F o rd , e t a l . , e d i t o r s , J o u r n a ls o f th e C o n tin e n ta l C o n g ress, 1774-1789, XXXI, 677-680.
2 I b i d . . XXXI, 70.
94
have been b an died w ith much more s a f e t y f o r o r i g i n a l p r i n ­
c i p l e s by C ongress, i n s t e a d o f by a c o n v e n ti o n .3
C ongress
was p u g n a c io u s ly s u re t h a t a r e f l e c t i o n had been c a s t upon
i t s a b i l i t y and u s e f u l n e s s and an argum ent t h a t was to l a s t
a l l w i n t e r and i n to th e s p r i n g began a s t o w h eth e r anyone
save th e m s e lv e s had th e r i g h t t o c a l l a co n v e n tio n i n any
e v e n t.
I t seems i n c r e d i b l e t h a t C ong ress, w ith th e commercial
problem u n s o lv e d , should have a d jo u rn e d w ith o u t t u r n i n g w ith
r e l i e f to t h e s u g g e s tio n made by th e d e l e g a t e s a t A n n a p o lis.
C ongress had done what i t could d u rin g th e s e s s i o n ,
but* had f a i l e d m is e r a b ly to r e p a i r th e damages made p o s s i b l e
by th e weak and im p o te n t A r t i c l e s .
D uring th e s e s s i o n ,
Congress had a g a in u n s u c c e s s f u l l y a p p e a le d to th e s t a t e s to
p a s s laws a llo w in g i t th e r i g h t t o impose an im p o st.
I t had
u rg ed a f u l l and speedy c o n s e n t o f a l l th e s t a t e s t o th e im post
system o f A p r i l , 1783.
A grand committee was a p p o in te d which
examined and found c o n f l i c t i n g and incongruous a l l th e a c t s
o f t h e s t a t e s g r a n ti n g Congress power over t r a d e and Congress
lis te n e d to i t s re p o rt.
I t h ad , p end in g th e u n c e r t a i n m e e tin g
o f th e A n n ap o lis C onvention, and h a r r a s s e d by th e p r e s s i n g de­
mands o f p u b l i c c r e d i t o r s , on August 11, 1786, a p p o in te d a
com m ittee to w a i t upon th e l e g i s l a t u r e o f P e n n s y lv a n ia and
3 C h arles R. K ing, e d i t o r , The L if e and C orrespondence
o f Rufus K ing, I , 144.
95
recommend t h e r e p e a l o f th e c l a u s e i n h e r a c t g r a n t i n g th e
im p o st, w hich suspended i t s o p e r a t io n u n t i l a l l t h e s t a t e s
had g r a n te d i t .
On th e same day C ongress recommended t o th e
Governor o f New York t h a t he im m ediately convene th e l e g i s ­
l a t u r e o f t h a t s t a t e t o a c t upon th e o ld A p r i l 18, 1783,
im p o st, th e s u b s ta n c e o f which w as, t h a t Congress sh o u ld be
in v e s t e d w i t h power t o le v y c e r t a i n im p o rt d u t i e s , p r o v id i n g ,
however, t h a t th e c o l l e c t o r s o f such d u t i e s , though a p p o in te d
by th e s t a t e s , sh o u ld be amenable t o and rem ovable by Con­
g re s s .4
I t m ust be n o ted h e r e t h a t d u r in g t h e s e s s i o n , th e
New York L e g i s l a t u r e had p a s se d t h e im post b i l l o f 1786, due
i n l a r g e p a r t t o th e u n t i r i n g e f f o r t s o f A lex a n d er H am ilton,
b u t t h a t i t had p u rp o s e ly been made innocu ous by t h e c la u s e
which p u t th e c o l l e c t o r s under t h e j u r i s d i c t i o n o f New York.
At t h i s tim e George, C lin to n was Governor o f New York
f o r th e f o u r t h tim e ; h i s i n f l u e n c e was commanding, and h i s
p o p u l a r i t y w ith th o s e who were a n t i - f e d e r a l i n t h e i r v ie w s,
was unbounded.
I n th e p r o p o s a l s f o r s t r o n g e r government he
saw a d e te r m in a tio n t o e s t a b l i s h a la n d e d o r c l a s s a r i s t o c r a c y
and w h ile o t h e r s were s t r i v i n g t o g iv e s t r e n g t h and d i g n i t y
t o th e U nion, he was s t e a d i l y l a b o r i n g t o e l e v a t e h i s n a t i v e
sta te .
To weaken t h e power and th w a r t t h e w ish es o f C ongress
4 J . A. S te v e n s , *New York and t h e F e d e r a l C o n s t it u ­
t i o n , ” Magazine o f American H i s t o r y . No. 7 , 8:385 e t . s e g . ,
96
had lo n g been h i s g u id in g p r i n c i p l e , and he found i n th e im­
p o s t a means o f d o in g both*
Such was t h e tem per o f the Governor t o whom th e r e s o l u ­
t i o n o f Congress o f A ugust 11, 1786, was a d d re s s e d i n v i t i n g
t h e immediate c a l l i n g o f t h e l e g i s l a t u r e t o remedy t h e
r u in o u s c o n d i ti o n o f th e C o n fed eracy .
To t h i s C lin to n an ­
swered on August 16 t h a t he d id n o t c o n s id e r h im s e lf t o have
th e power t o convene a s he d id n o t t h i n k th e o c c a s io n e x t r a - .
o r d in a r y w i t h i n th e m eaning o f t h e C o n s t i t u t i o n o f th e
S ta te .5
Hence, I r e p e a t , th e c o n g r e s s i o n a l y e a r o f 1786
c lo s e d w i t h problem s s t i l l u n so lv e d , and w i t h a su g g e s te d
remedy l y i n g in co m m ittee.
The n e x t s e s s i o n o f th e C ongress o f t h e C o n fe d e ra tio n
met on J a n u a ry 17, 1787, b u t d id n o t e l e c t a p r e s i d e n t . In t h e
u s u a l d i l a t o r y f a s h i o n , a quorum was n o t a g a in p r e s e n t u n t i l
th e 2nd o f F e b ru a ry when G en e ral A r th u r S t . C l a i r was chosen
p r e s i d e n t and work b eg a n .
As t h e s u c c e s s io n o f d e l e g a t e s
a r r i v e d in New York a n o t i c e a b l e change in t h e view s o f t h e
p u b l i c men c o u ld be s e e n .
I t was e v id e n t t h a t th e s t a t e s
th e y r e p r e s e n t e d would be more d is p o s e d t o a d o p t p o s i t i v e
m easu res g i v i n g Congress l a r g e r p o w e rs .5
I t ca n n o t be
d o u b te d , t h a t t h e i n h e r e n t w eakness o f t h e C o n fe d e ra tio n
5 S te v e n s , l o c . c i t .
^ C h a rle s R. K ing,
ojd .
c i t . , I I , 202.
,
97
commanded th e a t t e n t i o n and r e c e iv e d th e e a r n e s t th o u g h ts o f
th o s e who were c a l l e d upon t o meet t h e emergency*
As soon a s t h e r e was a quorum, C ongress p u t i t s e l f
on r e c o r d a s t o i t s p o s i t i o n .
I t was a g re e d t h a t th e Con­
f e d e r a t i o n had i t s v i c e s and t h e q u e s t i o n o f p o l i c y was:
S h a l l th e s e v i c e s be c o r r e c t e d g r a d u a l l y th ro u g h C ongress,
o r a t once and co m p le te ly th ro u g h a c o n v e n tio n ?
«7
The f a c t
t h a t s e v e r a l o f t h e s t a t e s had a c t e d upon t h e i n v i t a t i o n o f
t h e A n n ap o lis com m issioners p r i o r t o t h e opening o f Congress
co u ld n o t h e lp b u t c o l o r th e p r o p o s i t i o n i n th e minds o f
many in th e N a t i o n a l L e g i s l a t u r e .
On December 4 , 1786,
V i r g i n i a had a p p o in te d d e l e g a t e s , a s su g g e s te d by th e
A n n ap o lis C o n v en tio n , and th e Governor had t r a n s m i t t e d th e
a c t t o C ongress and t o t h e Governors o f a l l t h e s t a t e s .
New
J e r s e y and P e n n s y lv a n ia , b e f o r e t h e y e a r was o u t, jo in e d
V i r g i n i a i n a p p o i n t i n g , and N orth C a r o lin a d id n o t l e t
Ja n u a ry p a s s w ith o u t coming i n t o l i n e .
There was a w e l l grounded f e a r t h a t M a s s a c h u s e tts ,
th e key s t a t e o f t h e N o rth , would c o n tin u e t o be u n fa v o ra b le
t o t h e A n n ap o lis p r o p o s i t i o n .
The M a s s a c h u s e tts d e l e g a t e s
had p r e v i o u s l y p r e v e n te d th e r e c o g n i t i o n by Congress o f th e
M a s s a c h u s e tts G e n e ra l C o u rt’ s s u g g e s tio n o f a c o n v e n tio n i n
^ George B a n c r o f t, H is to r y o f t h e F orm ation o f th e
C o n s t i t u t i o n . I , 254.
98
1785, and had a d v is e d i t s n o n -a d o p tio n i n t h e i r s t a t e l e g i s ­
la tu re .®
But Mr. Rufus King d e l e g a te o f M a s s a c h u s e tts ,
th ro u g h h i s i n t e r c o u r s e w ith t h e d e l e g a t e s and w i t h h i s
u s u a l keen p e r c e p ti o n t o see t h e d r i f t o f o p in io n , changed
h i s mind and p re p a re d t o a c t a c c o r d i n g l y .
H is was a marked
c o n v e rs io n from a n t i - f e d e r a l c o n v i c t i o n s .
What r e a l l y a p ­
p e a le d t o him were th e e v e n ts h u r r y i n g t o a c r i s i s : Shay’ s
R e b e llio n i n M a s s a c h u s e tts , - r i o t s i n Vermont
and New
,
*?-•
Ham pshire, th e f,Know Yert m easures o f Rhode I s l a n d , and th e
paper-m oney c r a z e i s so many s t a t e s . S h at h i s a n x i e t y a s t o
th e consequences o f t h e p en d in g m easure was n o t e n t i r e l y
removed e x c e r p t s from h i s l e t t e r show:
Congress i s n o t y e t o r g a n iz e d , and i t i s u n c e r t a i n
when i t w i l l b e ; t h e a n x i e t y and d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s t i l l
c o n tin u e s . . . c o n c e rn in g th e government o f t h e s e
U. S. . . . I t i s most c e r t a i n t h a t t h i n g s w i l l n o t lo n g
c o n tin u e i n t h e i r p r e s e n t c o n d i t i o n . . . i f we do n o t
u n i t e in m easures c a l c u l a t e d t o e s t a b l i s h p u b l i c h a p p i­
ness; . . .
■„
You have see n t h e V i r g i n i a law f o r t h e ap p o in tm en t
o f d e l e g a te s t o t a c o n v e n tio n i n P h i l a d e l p h i a in May;
G en e ral W ashington, Mr. Wythe, R andolph, Madison and
o t h e r s a r e a p p o in te d f o r t h i s c o n v e n tio n . P e n n s y lv a n ia
has a p p o in te d M i f f l i n , t h e two M o r r is e s , F i tz s im o n s , and
t h r e e o t h e r s . . . H am ilton . . . w i l l e x e r t h i m s e l f t o
in d u ce fNew York] . . • to send members; Jay and o t h e r s
a r e opposed t o th e m easu re, n o t a lo n e b ecause i t i s un­
a u t h o r i z e d , b u t from an o p in io n t h a t t h e r e s u l t s w i l l prove
i n e f f i c a c i o u s . . . I f M a s s a c h u s e tts sh o u ld send d e p u ti e s
f o r God’ s sake be c a r e f u l who a r e t h e men; th e tim e s
Q C h a rle s R. K ing,
ojd .
c i t . . I , 143.
99
a re becoming c r i t i c a l : a movement o f t h i s n a t u r e o u g h t
t o be c a r e f u l l y o b se rv e d by e v e ry member o f th e Com­
m u n ity , 9
Again t o G erry:
. . . Do you a t t e n d th e l e g i s l a t u r e [M a s s a c h u s e tts ]?
How w i l l th e y s ta n d on th e p l a n o f a c o n v e n tio n a t
P h i l a d e l p h i a ? F or a number o f r e a s o n s , a lth o u g h my
s e n tim e n ts a re th e same as t o t h e l e g a l i t y o f t h i s
m easu re, I t h i n k we o u g h t n o t t o o p p o se, b u t t o c o in c id e
w ith t h i s p r o j e c t . L e t th e ap p o in tm en ts be numerous,
and i f p o s s i b l e l e t th e men have a good knowledge o f
th e c o n s t i t u t i o n s and v a r io u s i n t e r e s t s o f th e s e v e r a l
s t a t e s , and o f th e good and bad q u a l i t i e s o f th e con­
fe d e ra tio n .
E v en ts a re h u r r y in g t o a c r i s i s : p r u d e n t and saga­
c io u s men shou ld be re a d y t o s e i z e th e m ost f a v o ra b le
c irc u m s ta n c e s to e s t a b l i s h a more perm anent and v ig o ro u s
g o v ern m e n t.. . . Madison i s h e re . . . he p r o f e s s e s
g r e a t e x p e c t a t i o n as to th e good e f f e c t o f th e m easure. 0
There were many s e r i o u s minded Congressmen who be­
l i e v e d th e C o n fe d e ra tio n m igh t be s u f f i c i e n t l y s tr e n g th e n e d
to c a r r y on th e b u s i n e s s o f government w ith o u t a c o n v e n tio n
t o change the A r t i c l e s i f o n ly money could be c o l l e c t e d , and
th e hope to w hich t h e y c lu n g was t h a t th e New York L e g i s l a t u r e
would p a s s th e im post b i l l when i t met i n r e g u l a r s e s s i o n
J a n u a ry 2, 1787, i n New York C ity , th e s p e c i a l s e s s i o n having
b een r e f u s e d by G overnor C lin to n i n A ugust, 1786.
The New York Assembly convened i n th e room ov er th e
9 L e t t e r o f Rufus King to E lb r id g e G erry , J a n u a ry 7,
1787, quoted by James T. A u s tin i n The L if e o f E lb rid g e G erry,
I I , 3.
10 L e t t e r o f R ufus K ing t o E lb r id g e G erry, i b i d . , I I , 7.
100
M erchant’ s Exchange a t th e f o o t o f Broad S t r e e t * b u t no
quorum ap p e ared t i l l th e 12th..
The go v ern o r b ro u g h t forw ard
th e u r g e n t a p p e a l of Congress now a d d re s s e d to New York a lo n e ,
w ith th e c u r t rem ark t h a t i t was a s u b j e c t t h a t had been r e ­
p e a t e d l y b e f o re them and must be w e ll u n d e r s to o d .
A h o t and
p r o t r a c t e d d i s c u s s i o n fo llo w e d ; th e d e fe n s e b e in g a b ly l e d by
A lexander H am ilton.
He c l e a r l y d e m o n stra te d t h a t t h e r e was
no c o n s t i t u t i o n a l impediment to su ch a g r a n t , and no danger
t o th e p u b l i c l i b e r t y .
But th e l e g i s l a t u r e tu n ed t o th e
g o v e r n o r’ s way o f t h i n k i n g t u r n e d a d e a f e a r to h i s re a s o n e d
arg u m e n t.^ 1
H am ilton rem arked l a t e r , ”th e im post was s t r a n g l e d
by a band o f m u t e s .”
T h is i s e x p la in e d by th e f a c t t h a t th e
o p p o s i t io n , w ith o u t r e p l y i n g t o h i s argu m en ts, sim ply v o ted
a g a i n s t him t h i r t y - e i g h t to n i n e t e e n . 1 p*
r *•
Only two d ay s a f t e r th e C lin to n f a c t i o n had d e f e a te d
H am ilto n ’ s F e d e r a l group in th e New York L e g i s l a t u r e , G eneral
Malcom in tr o d u c e d th e fo llo w in g s t a r t l i n g r e s o l u t i o n :
The d e l e g a t e s o f t h i s S t a t e i n th e Congress o f th e
U n ite d S t a t e s o f America b e , and th e y a r e h e re b y , i n ­
s t r u c t e d t o move i n C ongress f o r an a c t recommending
t o th e S t a t e s composing th e Union, t h a t a co n v e n tio n
o f r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s from th e s a id S t a t e s r e s p e c t i v e l y
be h e ld , and meet a t a tim e and p la c e to be m entioned
i n such recom m endation, f o r th e p u rp o se o f r e v i s i n g th e
^
S te v e n s , op. c i t . , p . 585 e t s e q .
12 Andrew C. M cLaughlin, The C o n fe d e ra tio n and t h e
C o n s t i t u t i o n , p . 83.
101
A r t i c l e s o f C o n fe d e ra tio n and P e r p e t u a l Union between th e
U n ite d S t a t e s o f A m erica, and such a l t e r a t i o n s and amend­
m ents a s a m a j o r i t y o f th e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s i n such con­
v e n tio n s h a l l judge p r o p e r and n e c e s s a r y t o r e n d e r them
a d e q u ate t o t h e p r e s e r v a t i o n and s u p p o rt o f th e U n io n ,3-3
T his p a s s e d the C lin to n c o n t r o l l e d House and was s e n t
t o t h e S en ate on th e 1 9 th , and on th e 20 t h was c a r r i e d by a
m a j o r i t y of one.
There were th o s e who b e lie v e d t h a t a remedy
m ust be found o r t h a t th e l a t e l y won Union would be d e s tr o y e d ;
th e y v o ted f o r th e recom mendation.
There were o t h e r s who
used th e m easure as a c lo a k to c o v e r t h e i r d e s i r e t h a t th e
Union sh ould be broken up.
These l a s t th o u g h t th e su g g e ste d
c o n v e n tio n would be as t h i n l y r e p r e s e n t e d as t h a t a t A n n a p o lis ,
and t h a t esq jerie n ce would p ro v e t h a t g r e a t New York would be
b e t t e r o f f unhampered by th e t i e s o f p e r p e t u a l u n io n .
New York, on F e b ru a ry 21, i n s t r u c t e d h e r d e l e g a t e s
i n th e C o n fe d e ra tio n C ongress t o move f o r a recom mendation
t o th e s t a t e s to form a c o n v e n tio n .
On th e day t h a t New York i n s t r u c t e d h e r d e l e g a t e s to
pro p o se a r e s o l u t i o n f o r a c o n v e n tio n , James M adison, who had
p r e s e n t e d h is c r e d e n t i a l s to th e Congress on F eb ru a ry 12, 1787,
a f t e r an absence o f t h r e e y e a r s , as r e q u ir e d by t h e A r t i c l e s
o f C o n fe d e ra tio n , w rote t o George W ashington;
The s u b j e c t s m ost im p o rta n t and i n immediate p r o s p e c t
o f a t t e n t i o n in c lu d e th e recommendation f o r a p ro p o sed
Henry C. Lodge, The Works o f A lexander H am ilton,
I* 343.
102
7
C onvention i n May. Congress have been much d iv i d e d and
e m b arrassed on the q u e s tio n w h e th e r t h e i r ta k i n g an i n ­
t e r e s t i n th e m easure would impede o r promote i t .
On
one s id e i t has been arg ued t h a t some o f th e backward
s t a t e s have s c r u p l e s a g s t a c c e d in g to i t w ith o u t some
c o n s t i t u t i o n a l s a n c t i o n ; on th e o t h e r t h a t some s t a t e s
w i l l c o n s id e r any i n t e r f e r e n c e o f C ongress as p ro c e e d in g
from th e same view s which have h i t h e r t o e x c i t e d t h e i r
j e a l o u s i e s . A v o te o f th e L e g i s l a t u r e h ere [ o f N. Y .]
e n t e r e d i n t o y e s t e r d a y w i l l g iv e some r e l i e f i n th e c a s e .
They have i n s t r u c t e d t h e i r d e l e g a t e s i n Congress t o move
f o r th e recom mendation i n q u estio n * The vote was c a r r i e d
by a m a j o r i t y o f one o n ly i n th e S e n a t e . . . . A l a r g e
m a j o r i t y i n th e o t h e r b ra n ch a few days ago p u t a d e f i n i ­
t i v e v e to on th e Im post. I t would seem as i f th e p o l i t i c s
o f t h i s S t a t e a re d i r e c t e d by i n d i v i d u a l i n t e r e s t s and
p l a n s , which m ight be incommoded by th e c o n t r o l o f an
e f f i c i e n t f e d e r a l Government. The f o u r S t a t e s n o r t h
o f i t a re s t i l l to make t h e i r d e c i s i o n on t h e s u b j e c t o f
a C onvention. I am t o l d by one o f th e M a s s a c h u s e tts
d e l e g a t e s t h a t th e L e g i s l a t u r e o f t h a t S t a t e which i s
now s i t t i n g , w i l l c e r t a i n l y accede and a p p o in t d e p u t i e s
i f Congs d e c l a r e t h e i r a p p r o b a tio n o f th e m easu re. I
have s i m i l a r i n f o r m a tio n t h a t C o n n e c tic u t w i l l p r o b a b ly
come i n , though i t i s s a id t h a t th e i n t e r f e r e n c e o f
Congress w i l l r a t h e r have a c o n t r a r y tenden cy t h e r e . I t
i s e x p e c te d t h a t South C a ro lin a w i l l n o t f a i l to a d o p t
th e p l a n , and t h a t G eorgia i s e q u a ll y w e ll d is p o s e d . A ll
th e in te r m e d i a t e S t a t e s between th e form er and New York
have a lr e a d y a p p o in te d d e p u t i e s , e x c e p t M aryland which
i t i s s a i d means to do i t , and has e n t e r e d i n t o some
v o te which d e c l a r e s a s m uch.14
P u b l ic o p in io n i n M a s s a c h u s e tts had become more de­
c id e d i n f a v o r o f a s tr e n g th e n e d governm ent, an in f l u e n c e
f e l t by h e r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s i n C ongress, th o u g h th e l a t t e r
a c te d as we s h a l l see b e f o r e th e d e te r m i n a t i o n o f t h e G en eral
C ourt re a c h e d them.
On F e b ru a ry 18, 1787, a committee o f th e
G a i l l a r d Hunt, e d i t o r , The W r itin g s o f James Madison,
I I , 313-315.
House o f R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f M a s s a c h u s e tts was a p p o in te d upon
th e m otion o f Mr. G erry, w hich c a l l e d upon th e g o v ern o r to
send them h is message on O ctober 2 , 1786, and th e l e t t e r and
th e r e p o r t of th e com m issioners a t A n n a p o lis .
On O cto b e r 2,
1786, Governor Bowdoin had announced to t h e l e g i s l a t u r e o f
M a s s a c h u s e tts t h a t he had r e c e i v e d a l e t t e r d a te d Septem ber
14, from John D ic k in so n , chairm an o f th e committee l a t e l y
assem bled a t A n n a p o lis , accompanied by a copy o f t h e i r r e p o r t
to th e l e g i s l a t u r e s o f th e s t a t e s by whom th e y were d e p u te d ,
and t h a t i t ap p e ared th e y had s e p a r a t e d w ith o u t ac c o m p lish in g
t h e i r p u rp o se .
He th e n had r e c i t e d t h e i r re a s o n s f o r s e p a r a t ­
i n g , t h e i r e a r n e s t d e s i r e t h a t som ething sho uld be done to
r e l i e v e th e em b arrassed c o n d i t i o n o f a f f a i r s , and t h e i r u n a n i­
mous c o n v ic tio n t h a t th e good o f th e U n ite d S t a t e s m ight be
e s s e n t i a l l y advanced by a l l th e s t a t e s sen d in g com m issioners
to m eet i n P h i l a d e l p h i a i n May.
The committee d e l i b e r a t e d ,
th e n r e p o r t e d , and on th e 22nd o f F e b ru a ry , 1787, and b e fo re
word came o f the a c t o f C ongress, M a s s a c h u s e tts a c c e p te d th e
i n v i t a t i o n from A n n a p o lis.
B efore d e l e g a t e s were chosen f o r
P h i l a d e l p h i a , th e recommendation o f a c o n v e n tio n by C ongress
was known, and Governor Bowdoin, i n t h e i r com m issions, w is e ly
made u se o f th e words o f C ongress. 15
i n Congress th e most c r i t i c a l moment had come.
15 C h a rle s R. King,
0£ .
c i t . , I , 145
Would
104
Congress ta k e th e f i f t h and l a s t s te p i n th e ard u o u s s t r u g g l e
f o r a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l co n v e n tio n ?
A ll o f th e r e q u e s t s f o r a id
i n th e u n e q u a l t a s k o f c a r r y i n g on th e government had d e f i ­
n i t e l y f a i l e d ; two o f th e g r e a t e s t o f th e s t a t e s had a c c e p te d
an i n v i t a t i o n from th e A n n a p o lis com m issioners f o r a conven­
t i o n ; two o f th e sm all s t a t e s had a g re e d , and a n o t h e r had
g iv e n ev ery i n t e n t i o n o f so d o in g ; two s t a t e s from th e deep
s o u th and one from th e f a r n o r t h had co nfirm ed th e i n v i t a t i o n
and a n o th e r had in t im a t e d a speedy a c q u ie s c e n c e ; commercial
s t a t e s and a g r i c u l t u r a l s t a t e s a l i k e showed t h e i r l a c k o f
f a i t h i n th e C o n fe d e ra tio n as i t sto o d and had ta k e n th e
i n i t i a t i v e i n the c r i s i s w hich th e C ongress had claim ed was
im m inent♦
In C ongress on Wednesday, F eb ru ary E l, 1787, th e r e ­
p o r t o f th e grand com m ittee, c o n s i s t i n g o f Mr. Dane, Mr.
Varnum, Mr. S. M. M i t c h e l l , Mr. Sm ith, Mr. C ad w allad er, Mr.
I r v i n e , Mr. N. M i t c h e l l , Mr. F o r r e s t , Mr. G rayson, Mr. B lo u n t,
Mr. B u l l, and Mr. Few, t o whom had been r e f e r r e d th e l e t t e r
o f Septem ber 14, 1786, from John D ic k in s o n , w r i t t e n a t th e
r e q u e s t o f com m issioners from th e .s t a t e s o f V i r g i n i a , D elaw are,
P e n n s y lv a n ia , New J e r s e y , and New York, assem b led a t th e c i t y
o f A n n a p o lis , t o g e t h e r w ith a copy o f th e r e p o r t o f th e s a id
C h a rle s C. T a n s i l l , Documents I l l u s t r a t i v e o f th e
F orm ation o f th e American S t a t e s , p . 35, f o o tn o t e 1.
105
com m issioners to th e l e g i s l a t u r e s o f t h e s t a t e s by whom th e y
were a p p o in te d , b e in g an o r d e r o f th e d a y , was c a l l e d up*
It
to ok th e form o f th e f o llo w in g r e s o l u t i o n :
C ongress hav in g had u n d e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n th e l e t t e r
o f John D ic k in so n , esq ? chairm an o f t h e Commissioners
who assem b led a t A n n ap o lis d u rin g t h e l a s t y e a r a ls o
th e p ro c e e d in g s o f th e s a i d com m issioners and e n t i r e l y
c o in c i d i n g w ith them a s t o th e i n e f f i c i e n c y o f th e
f e d e r a l government and th e n e c e s s i t y o f d e v i s i n g such
f u r t h e r p r o v i s i o n s as s h a l l re n d e r th e same adequ ate
t o th e e x i g e n c ie s o f th e Union do s t r o n g l y recommend to
th e d i f f e r e n t l e g i s l a t u r e s to send fo rw ard d e l e g a t e s to
meet th e p ro p o sed c o n v e n tio n on th e second Monday in
May n e x t a t th e c i t y o f P h ila d e lp h ia *
T his r e s o l u t i o n was an a c c e p ta n c e o f th e A n n ap o lis
C om m issioners1 i n v i t a t i o n and fo llo w e d c l o s e l y th e lan guage
o f t h e i r p r o c e e d in g s .
I t gave th e s t a t e s th e power to i n v i t e
t h e o t h e r s t a t e s i n th e Union t o a m e e tin g which sh o u ld a c t ,
and th e n p r e s e n t to Congress th e d e l i b e r a t i o n s ag re e d t o .
T h is r e s o l u t i o n d id n o t make C ongress th e h o s t n o r g iv e to
t h a t body th e g l o r y o f c a l l i n g th e C o n s t i t u t i o n a l C onvention.
T h is was th e moment f o r th e d e l e g a t e s o f the s t a t e o f New York
t o a c t ; th e re u p o n th e y l a i d b e fo re Congress i n s t r u c t i o n s which
th e y had r e c e iv e d from t h e i r c o n s t i t u e n t s , and, i n p u rsu an c e
o f th e s a id i n s t r u c t i o n s , moved to p o stp o n e th e f u r t h e r con­
s i d e r a t i o n o f th e r e p o r t in o rd e r t o ta k e up th e f o llo w in g
p ro p o sitio n :
That i t be recommended t o th e S t a t e s co m p risin g th e
Union t h a t a co n v e n tio n o f r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s from th e s a i d
17 F o ra ,
0£ .
c i t . , XXXI, 71-72.
106
s t a t e s r e s p e c t i v e l y be h e ld a t
on _______
f o r th e purpose o f r e v i s i n g th e A r t i c l e s o f C o n fe d e ra tio n
and p e r p e t u a l Union between the U n ite d S t a t e s o f America
and r e p o r t i n g to th e U n ite d S t a t e s i n Congress assem b led
and to th e s t a t e s r e s p e c t i v e l y such a l t e r a t i o n s and
amendments o f th e s a i d A r t i c l e s o f C o n fe d e ra tio n as th e
r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s met i n such c o n v e n tio n s h a l l judge p r o p e r
and n e c e s s a r y to r e n d e r them ad eq u ate to th e p r e s e r v a t i o n
and s u p p o rt o f th e U n i o n . ^
On th e q u e s tio n to p o s tp o n e , f o r th e p u rp o se above
m en tio n ed , th e y ea s and nays were r e q u ir e d by th e d e l e g a t e s
from Hew York w i th th e fo llo w in g r e s u l t s
M a s s a c h u s e tts
Mr. King
Mr. Dane
Ay}
Ay) Ay
C o n n e c tic u t
Mr. Johnson
Mr. S. M i tc h e l l
Ay)
No) D iv id ed
Hew York
Mr. Smith
Mr. Benson
Ay)
Ay) Ay
Hew J e r s e y
Mr. C adw allader
Mr. C lark
Mr. Schureman
Ay)
No)
No) No
P e n n s y lv a n ia
Mr. I r v i n e
Mr. M erid e th
Mr. Bingham
No)
Ay)
No) No
Delaware
Mr. H. M i t c h e l l
No) No
M aryland
Mr. F o r r e s t
No) No
V irg in ia
Mr. Grayson
Mr. Madison
Ay)
Ay) Ay
N o rth C a ro lin a
Mr. B lo unt
Mr. Hawkins
No)
No) No
South C a ro lin a
Mr. B u ll
Mr. Kean
No)
No)
18 I b i d . , XXXI, 7 2 ,
107
South C a r o lin a ( c o n t 'd . ) Mr. Huger
Mr. P a r k e r
Mr. Few
Mr. P i e r c e
G eorgia
The q u e s tio n was l o s t .
.No)
No) No
Ay)
No) D iv id ed
New Y orkf s r e s o l u t i o n naming n e i t h e r
tim e n o r p la c e had met w ith f a i l u r e .
I Q
A m otion was th e n made hy th e d e l e g a t e s f o r
M a s s a c h u s e tts which harm onized th e c o n f l i c t i n g p a r t i e s .
They
s u g g e s te d p o s tp o n in g th e r e p o r t in o r d e r t o ta k e i n t o con­
s i d e r a t i o n a p l a i n r e s o l u t i o n hy w hich Congress sh o u ld a d v is e
a c o n v e n tio n to he h e ld a t th e same tim e and p l a c e a s t h e one
m entioned i n th e A n n a p o lis R e p o rt, h u t w ith o u t naming t h a t
hody.
T h is th e y r e a d i n t h e i r p l a c e , and h e in g ag reed t o ,
was ta k e n up and amended as f o llo w s :
Whereas t h e r e i s p r o v i s i o n i n th e A r t i c l e s o f Confed­
e r a t i o n and p e r p e t u a l U nion, f o r making a l t e r a t i o n s t h e r e ­
i n hy th e A ssent o f a Congress o f th e U n ite d S t a t e s and
o f th e l e g i s l a t u r e s o f th e s e v e r a l S t a t e s ; And w hereas
e x p e rie n c e h a th e v in c e d t h a t t h e r e a re d e f e c t s i n th e
p r e s e n t C o n fe d e ra tio n , and as a mean to remedy which
s e v e r a l o f th e s t a t e s and p a r t i c u l a r l y th e s t a t e o f New
York hy e x p r e s s i n s t r u c t i o n s to t h e i r d e l e g a t e s i n
Congress have s u g g e s te d a C onvention f o r th e p u rp o s e s
e x p r e s s e d i n th e f o llo w in g r e s o l u t i o n and such C onvention
a p p e a rin g t o he th e m ost p ro b a b le mean o f e s t a b l i s h i n g
i n t h e s e s t a t e s a firm n a t i o n a l governm ent.
R esolved t h a t i n th e o p in io n o f Congress i t i s ex­
p e d i e n t t h a t on th e second Monday i n May n e x t a Conven­
t i o n o f d e l e g a t e s who s h a l l have been a p p o in te d hy th e
s e v e r a l S t a t e s he h e ld a t P h i l a d e l p h i a f o r th e s o le and
e x p r e s s p u rp o se o f r e v i s i n g th e A r t i c l e s o f C o n fe d e ra tio n
and r e p o r t i n g to Congress and th e s e v e r a l l e g i s l a t u r e s
19 I b i d . , XXXI, 7 3 .
108
such a l t e r a t i o n s and p r o v i s i o n s t h e r e i n as s h a l l when
ag reed to i n Congress and con firm ed by th e S t a t e s re n d e r
th e f e d e r a l C o n s t i t u t i o n a d e q u a te to th e e x i g e n c ie s o f
Government and the p r e s e r v a t i o n o f th e U n i o n . 2 0
The l a s t s t e p i n th e c a l l i n g o f th e C o n s t i t u t i o n a l
C onvention had been t a k e n .
C ongress, when i t a p p o in te d th e
tim e and p l a c e , made th e o f f i c i a l c a l l .
Thus two im p o rta n t
p o i n t s had been g a in e d ; t h e s a n c ti o n o f C ongress whereby th e
C onvention was p la c e d u n d er th e p r o t e c t i o n o f th e h i g h e s t
e x i s t i n g l e g a l a u t h o r i t y , and th e rem oval o f any s c r u p l e s
t h a t m ig h t have k e p t ' t h e b e s t t a l e n t s i n America from p a r t i c i ­
p a t i n g i n th e most im p o rta n t movement i n t h e h i s t o r y of t h e s e
U n ite d S t a t e s .
20 F o rd , l o c . c i t .
BIBLIOGRAPHY
BIBLIOGRAPHY
PRIMARY SOURCES
B a t c h e l l o r , A. 3 ; , e d i t o r , E a r ly S t a t e P a p e rs o f New H am pshire,
I n c lu d i n g th e C o n s t i t u t i o n of 1784, J o u r n a l s o f th e S en ate
and House o f R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s , and R ecords o f th e F r e s i d e n ts and C ouncil from June 1784 t o June 1787. BO v o l s . ;
M an c h ester: John B. Clarice, 1891.
B u r n e t t , Edmund C ., e d i t o r , L e t t e r s o f Members o f th e C o n ti­
n e n t a l C o n g ress. W ashington, D .C .: C arnegie I n s t i t u t e
o f W ashington, 1936.
C an d ler, A lle n D ., c o m p ile r, The C o lo n ia l R ecords o f th e S t a t e
G e o rg ia : S t a t u t e s , C o lo n ia l and R e v o lu tio n a r y 1774 to
IQO5 , com piled and p u b lis h e d u n d e r a u t h o r i t y o f T h e L e g is ­
l a t u r e . A t l a n t a , G eo rg ia: Chas. P. Byrd, 1911.
C la rk , W a lte r, e d i t o r , The S t a t e R ecords o f N o rth C a r o l i n a ,
p u b lis h e d u n d e r th e s u p e r v is i o n o f th e T r u s te e s o f th e
P u b l ic L i b r a r i e s , by o r d e r o f th e G en eral Assembly.
G oldsboro, N o rth C a r o lin a : Nash Company, 1900.
Commager, Henry S . , e d i t o r , Documents o f American H i s t o r y .
New York: P. S. C r o f ts and Comp a n y , 1934. 445 p p .
Documentary H is to r y o f th e C o n s t i t u t i o n o f th e U n ite d S t a t e s
o f A m erica, 1786^X870. D eriv ed from r e c o r d s , m a n u s c r ip ts ,
and r o l l s d e p o s ite d i n th e Bureau o f R o l l s and L i b r a r y
o f th e D epartm ent o f S t a t e .
5 v o l s . ; W ashington, D. C .:
D epartm ent o f S t a t e , 1894-1905.
E l l i o t t , J o n a th a n , c o l l e c t o r and r e v i s e r , The D ebates in th e
S e v e r a l S t a t e C onventions on t h e A doption o f th e F e d e r a l
C o n s t i t u t i o n a s Recommended by th e G eneral C onvention a t
P h i l a d e l p h i a i n 1787, t o g e t h e r w ith th e J o u r n a l o f th e
F e d e r a l C o nvention E t c . , p u b l i s h e d .under s a n c t i o n o f
C ongress, &nd e d i t i o n , 5 v o l s . ; P h i l a d e l p h i a : J . B.
L i p p i n c o t t Company, 1836.
F a rra n d , Max, e d i t o r , The R ecords o f th e F e d e r a l C onvention
o f 1787. 3 v o l s . ; New Haven: Yale U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1911.
F i t z p a t r i c k , John C . , e d i t o r , The D i a r i e s o f George W ashington,
1748-1799.
4 v o l s . ; B oston: Houghton, M i f f l i n Company,
I9B5.
I ll
F i t z p a t r i c k , John C ., e d i t o r , The W r itin g s o f George
W ashington from th e o r i g i n a l m a n u s c r ip t s o u r c e s , 17451 799 ; p re p a re d u n d e r th e d i r e c t i o n o f th e U n ite d S t a t e s
George W ashington' b i c e n t e n n i a l commission and p u b lis h e d
by a u t h o r i t y o f C o n g ress. 5 v o l s . ; W ashington, B .C .:
U n ite d S t a t e s Government P r i n t i n g O f f ic e , 1931F o rd , W. C ., G. Hunt, J . F i t z p a t r i c k , e d i t o r s , J o u r n a l s o f
th e C o n tin e n ta l C o n g re ss, 1774-1789, e d i t e d from O r i g i n a l
R ecords i n the~“L ib r a r y o f C o n g ress. 3 l v o l s . to d a t e ;
W ashington, D. C. s: Government P r i n t i n g O f f ic e , 1904Hammond, I s a a c W., e d i t o r and c o m p ile r, The S t a t e o f New
Hampshire M is c e lla n e o u s p r o v i n c i a l and S t a t e P a p e r s , 17251800. p u b lis h e d by a u t h o r i t y o f th e L e g i s l a t u r e .
M an ch ester: John B. C la rk e , 1890.
Hammond, O tis G ., e d i t o r , L e t t e r s and P a p e rs o f M ajo r-G en eral
John S u l l i v a n , C o n t in e n ta l Army, 3 vols.*, C o l le c t i o n s o f
th e New Hampshire H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y , 15 v o l s .
Concord:
New Hampshire H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y , 1939.
H am ilton, John C ., e d i t o r , The Works o f A lexand er H am ilton
co m p risin g His C orrespondence and His P o l i t i c a l and
O f f i c i a l W r itin g s e x c lu s i v e o f t h e F e d e r a l i s t C i v i l and
M i l i t a r y . 7 v o l s . Published*”-from th e O r i g i n a l Manus c r i p t s D e p o s ite d i n th e D epartm ent o f S t a te by Order o f
th e J o i n t L i b r a r y Committee o f C ong ress. New York:
C h a rle s S. F r a n c i s and Company, 1851.
H asse, A d elaid e R . , " M a te r i a l s f o r a B ib lio g ra p h y o f th e
P u b l i c A rc h iv e s o f th e T h i r t e e n O r i g in a l S t a t e s , C overing
th e C o lo n ia l P e rio d and th e S t a t e P e r io d t o 1 7 8 9 .”
American H i s t o r i c a l R ep o rt f o r 1906, Vol. IX, W ashington,
D. C .: 1907.
H azard, Samuel, e d i t o r , P e n n s y lv a n ia A rc h iv e s , S e l e c t e d and
a r ra n g e d from O r i g i n a l Documents i n th e o f f i c e o f th e
S e c r e t a r y o f th e Commonw e a l t h , Conformably to A cts o f
th e G eneral A ssem bly, F eb ru a ry 1 5 , 1851 and March 1, 1852.
1 s t s e r i e s , 1 2 v o l s . ; P h i l a d e l p h i a ; Joseph S ev erus and
Company, 1852-1856.
Hening, W. W., e d i t o r , The S t a t u t e s a t Large o f V i r g i n i a ,
1619-1808. 13 v o l s . ; RichmondT R. and W. and g7 Bartow,
15231--------
Henry, W. W ir t, P a t r i c k H enry, L i f e , C o rresp o n d en ce, and
S p eeches. 2 v o l s . ; New York: C h arles S c r i b n e r ’ s Sons,
I5SI7-----
H unt, G a i l l a r d , e d i t o r , The W ritin g s o f James M adison, Com­
p r i s i n g His P u b lic P a p e r s and H is P r i v a t e C o rre sp o n d e n ce,
I n c lu d in g Numerous L e t t e r s and Documents now f o r th e
F i r s t Time P r i n t e d .. 9 v o l s . ; New York: G. P. Putnam’ s
Sons, 1900-1910.
Johnson, H. P . , e d i t o r , Corre spondence and P u b l ic P a p e rs o f
John Ja y . 4 v o l s . ; New York: G. P. Putnam ’ s Sons, 18901893.
K ing, C h a rle s R . , e d i t o r , The L ife and C orrespondence o f
Rufus King co m p risin g h i s l e t t e r s , p r i v a t e and o f f i c i a l ,
h i s p u b l i c documents and h i s S p e e c h e s. 6 v o l s . ; New
York: G. P. Putnam ’ s Sons, 1894.
L in c o ln , C h a rle s Z . , e d i t o r , S t a t e o f New York M essages from
th e G overnors co m p risin g E x ec u tiv e Communi c a ti o n s to th e
L e g i s l a t u r e and o t h e r P a p e rs R e l a t i n g t o L e g i s l a t i o n from
th e O r g a n iz a tio n o f th e F i r s t C o lo n ia l Assembly i n 16SH~
to and I n c lu d in g th e y e a r 1906. Albany: J . B. Lyon
Company, 1909.
Lodge, Henry Cabot, e d i t o r , The Works o f A lex a n d er H am ilto n .
21 v o l s . ; New York: G. P. Putnam ’ s Sons, 1904.
M inutes o f th e C o u n cil o f th e Delaware S t a t e ; 1776-1792,
P u b lis h e d by a u t h o r i t y o f th e G en e ral assem bly. Dover,
D elaw are, James K irk and son, p r i n t e r , 1886.
M inutes o f th e Supreme E x e c u tiv e C ouncil o f P e n n s y lv a n ia ,
J a n u a ry 1, 1784-A p r i l 3, 1786 b o th d a te s " 1 n c lu s iv e T
C o lo n ia l Records o f P e n n s y lv a n ia . 16 v o l s . ; H a r r is b u r g :
Theo. Fenn Company, 1851-1852.
M orison, Samuel E . , e d i t o r , S o u rces and documents i l l u s t r a t i n g
th e American r e v o l u t i o n , 1764-1788, and th e fo rm a tio n o f
th e f e d e r a l C o n s t i t u t i o n . Oxford: The C larendon P r e s s ,
1923.
P a in e , Thomas, Common Sense t o g e t h e r w ith th e American C r i s i s
1776-1783. New York: G. P* Putnam’ s Sons, n .d .
P alm er, W. P . , e d i t o r , C alen d ar o f V i r g i n i a S t a t e P a p e rs and
o t h e r M a n u sc rip ts from Ja n u a ry 1^ 1785 to J u l y 2, 1789,
P re s e r v e d i n th e c a p i t o l a t Richmond, u n d er a u t h o r i t y
o f L i b r a r y Committee. 11 v o l s . ; Richmond: R. U. D e rr,
1884.
113
P l e a s a n t s , J , H a l l , e d i t o r , J o u r n a l and Corre spondence o f th e
S t a t e C ouncil 1781-1784,, A rc h iv e s o f M aryland. 50 v o l s . ;
B a ltim o re , M aryland; by a u t h o r i t y o f th e S t a t e under
d i r e c t i o n o f M aryland H i s t o r i c a l S o c ie t y , 1883-1933.
R ep o rt o f th e H i s t o r i c a l M a n u sc rip t Committee of th e American
H i s t o r i c a l A s s o c i a t io n , " L e t t e r s o f S tep h en H igginso n,
1783-1804." American H i s t o r i c a l A s s o c i a t i o n R e p o rt f o r
1896.
S au n d ers, W* L . , e d i t o r , The C o lo n ia l R ecords o f N orth
C a r o l i n a . 10 v o l s . P u b lis h e d u n d er th e s u p e r v i s i o n o f
th e T r u s t e e s o f th e P u b l ic L i b r a r i e s , by o rd e r of. th e
G en eral Assembly, 1886-1890. G oldboro, N o rth C a ro lin a .
S p a rk s, J a r e d , e d i t o r , The W r itin g s o f George W ashington,
b e in g h i s C o rre sp o n d e n ce, A d d re s s e s , M essages, and o t h e r
p a p e r s , O f f i c i a l and P r i v a t e , s e l e c t e d and p u b lis h e d
from th e o r i g i n a l m.£. w ith A L if e o f~ th e A u th o r. 16
v o l s . ; B oston: C h a rle s Tappan, 1846.
S ta n n a rd , W illiam G ., "The V i r g i n i a A r c h iv e s ." American
H i s t o r i c a l A s s o c i a t i o n Annual R e p o rt f o r 1903.
T a n s i l l , C h a rle s C . , Documents I l l u s t r a t i v e o f th e F orm ation
o f th e American S t a t e s . W ashington, D .C .: Government
P r i n t i n g O f f i c e , 1927.
W o rth in g to n , R . , e d i t o r , L e t t e r s and o t h e r W r itin g s o f James
M adison. 4 v o l s . ; New York: P u b lis h e d by o r d e r o f Con­
g r e s s , 1884.
SECONDARY SOURCES
Adams, H e r b e r t B . , Maryland* s I n f lu e n c e upon Land C essio n s
to th e U n ite d S t a t e s w ith m inor petpers on George
Washington* s I n t e r e s t i n W estern L an d s, The Potomac
Company and a N a tio n a l U n i v e r s i t y . Johns Hopkins Uni­
v e r s i t y S tu d ie s i n H i s t o r i c a l and P o l i t i c a l S c ie n c e ,
Vol. I l l , 3rd s e r i e s . B a ltim o re : N. M urray, P u b l is h i n g
Agent, Johns Hopkins U n i v e r s i t y , J a n u a ry , 1885.
Andrews, Matthew P . , H i s t o r y o f M aryland; P ro v in c e and S t a t e .
New York: Doubleday, Doran and Company, 1929.
A u s tin , James T . , The L i f e o f E lb r id g e G erry w ith Contemporary
L e t t e r s t o th e Close o f th e C i v i l War. 2 v o l s . ; B oston:
W ells and L i l l y , 1828^18297
’
114
B a n c r o f t , George, H i s t o r y o f th e fo r m a tio n o f th e C o n s t i t u ­
t i o n ,, 4 t h e d i t i o n , 2 v o ls * : Sew "York: D. A p p leto n and
Company, 1884*
B a te s , P ran k G . , Rhode I s l a n d and th e P orm ation o f th e U n io n ,
V o l. X, No. 2, S e r i e s in t h e H i s t o r y , Economics and P u b l ic
Law P u b l i c a t i o n s f o r Columbia U n i v e r s i t y . New York:
M acm illan Company, 1898.
B eard, C h a r le s , An Economic I n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f th e C o n s t i t u ­
t i o n o f th e Un i t e d S t a t esT New York: The M acm illan
Company, 1926.
B eck e r, C a r l , The U n ited S t a t e s an E xperim ent i n Democracy.
New York: H arper B r o t h e r s , 1920.
B io g r a p h i c a l D i r e c to r y o f th e American C ongress 1774-1927.
W ashington, B. C .: U n ite d S t a t e s Government P r i n t i n g
O f f i c e , 1928..
Brown, W illiam G ., The L if e o f O liv e r E l l s w o r t h .
The M acm illan Company, 1905.
New York:
B u r n e t t , Edmund C ., "The Committee o f th e S t a t e s 1 7 8 4 .w
American H i s t o r i c a l A s s o c i a t i o n R e p o rt f o r 1913. 2 v o l s . ;
W ashington, B .C .: 1914.
C arson, Hampton L . , W ashington I n H is R e l a t i o n t o th e N a tio n a l
Id e a A ddress b e f o r e t h e P a t r T o t i c S o c i e t i e s o f New J e r s e y "
d e l i v e r e d i n Nassau H a l l P e b ru a ry 22, 1909. P r i n c e t o n ,
New J e r s e y : The U n i v e r s i t y L ib rary ~ T o r The P r i n c e t o n
H i s t o r i c a l A s s o c i a t i o n , 1909*
C h a n d le r, J u l i a n A. C ., e d i t o r , G en esis and B i r t h
P e d e r a l C o n s t i t u t i o n : A d d re sse s and P a p e rs i n
tfythe School o f Government and C i t i z e n s h i p o f
o f W illia m and~“Mary. Mew Y ork: th e M acm illan
1924.
o f th e
t h e M a r s h a ll th e C o lle g e .
Company,
Channing, Edward, The American R e v o lu tio n 1 7 61-1 789, H i s t o r y
o f th e U n ite d S t a t e s . 7 v o l s . ; New York: The M acm illan
Company, 1927 •
Conway, Moncure D . , O m itted C h a p te rs o f H is to r y D is c lo s e d i n
L i f e and P a p e rs o f Edmund R an d o lp h , Governor o f V i r g i n i a ;
P i r s t A t to r n e y - G en e ral U n ited S t a t e s , S e c r e t a r y o f S t a t e .
New York: G. P . Putnam ’ s S ons, 1888.
Corwin, John, The Unknown W ash in g to n , B io g ra p h ic O r ig in s o f
t h e R e p u b lic . New York: C h a rle s S c r i b n e r ’ s S ons, 1930.
115
C u r t i s , George T ic k n o r, H i s t o r y o f th e O r ig in , F o rm a tio n .
and A d option o f th e C o n s t i t u t i o n o f t h e U n ite d S t a t e s ,
w ith N o tic e s o f i t s P r i n c i p a l Framers* 2 v o l s . ; New
YorE: 1854.
D e l a p la in e , Edward S . , The L if e o f Thomas Jo h n so n .
F r e d e r i c k H. H itc h c o c k , 1927.
New York:
E r ik s o n , E. McK., and D. N. Rowe, American C o n s t i t u t i o n a l
H i s t o r y . New York: W. W. N orton and Company, 1933.
F a rra n d , Max, The F a th e r s o f th e C o n s t i t u t i o n . V ol. X I I I ,
The C h ro n ic le s o f A m erica, A lle n Jo hnson, e d i t o r , 50
v o l s . ; New Haven: Yale U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1921.
;_______ , The Fram ing o f t h e C o n s t i t u t i o n o f th e U n ite d S t a t e s .
New Haven: Y a le U n i v e r s i ty P r e s s , 19 2 2 .
F is k e , John, The C r i t i c a l P e r io d o f American H is to r y 17851789. 2 v o l s . ; B oston: Houghton, M i f f l i n and Company,
1889.
F rothingham , R ic h a rd , The R is e o f t h e R e p u b lic o f th e U n ited
S t a t e s . 8 t h e d i t i o n ; B oston: L i t t l e , Brown and Company,
1902. "
G iese ck e, A. A . , American Commercial L e g i s l a t i o n b e f o r e 1789.
New York: D. A p p leto n and Company, 1910.
H am ilton, John C . , H is t o r y o f th e r e p u b l i c o f th e U n ited
S t a t e s o f America a s t r a c e d in t h e W r itin g s o f A lexan der
H am ilton and o f h i s C o n te m p o ra rie s . 5 v o l s . ; New York:
D. A ppleto n and Company, 1857-1860.
H unt, C h a rle s H . , L i f e o f Edward L i v i n g s t o n .
A p p leto n and Company, 1864.
H unt, G a i l l a r d , The L i f e o f James M adison.
Doubleday, Page and Company, 1902.
New York: D.
New York:
Jameson, John F . , " S t u d i e s in th e H i s to r y o f t h e F e d e r a l
C o n v e n tio n ." Am erican H i s t o r i c a l A s s o c ia t i o n Annual
R e p o rt f o r 1902. ¥ /ashing to n, B .C .: 1903.
Johnson, A l l e n , e d i t o r , The D ic tio n a r y o f American B io g rap h y .
New York: C h a rle s S c r i b n e r r s S o n s , 1928.
J o h n sto n , A le x a n d e r , C o n n e c tic u t , A Study o f a CommonwealthD em ocracy. B o sto n : H oughton, M i f f l i n and Company, 1 8 9 8 .
116
K asson, J . A ., The F orm ation o f th e C o n s t i t u t i o n and of th e
c a u s e s which l e d t o i t s a d o p tio n . Vol. I , H i s t o r y o f th e
c e l e b r a t i o n o f th e one- h u n d re d th a n n i v e r s a r y o f th e
p ro m u lg a tio n o f th e C o n s t i t u t i o n o f th e U n ite d S t a t e s ,
Hampton L. C arson, e d i t o r . 2 v o l s . ; P h ila d e lp h ia * J . B.
L i p p i n c o t t Company, 1889.
L i t t l e , S h elb y , George W ashington.
and Sons, L t d . , 1931.
London: George R outledge
M cLaughlin, Andrew C ., The C o n fe d e ra tio n and th e C o n s t i t u t i o n .
Vol. X, The .American Na t i o n : A Hi s t o r y , A. B. H a r t,
e d i t o r . . 28 v o l s . ; Hew York: H arper and B r o t h e r s , 19041918.
Mayo, Lawrence Shaw, John Langdon o f Hew Hampshire.
Rumford P r e s s , 1937.
Morgan, G eorge, The True P a t r i c k H enry.
L i p p i n c o t t Company, 1907.
Concord:
P h i l a d e l p h i a : j . B.
H ev in s, A lle n , The American S t a t e s D uring and A f t e r th e
R e v o lu tio n , 1775-1789. New YorE: The M acmillan Company,
1920.
O l i v e r , F. S . , A lex an d er H am ilton , An E ssay on American
Union. .Hew York: G. P . Putnam’ s Sons, 1906.
R iv e s , W illia m C ., H i s to r y o f th e L i f e and Times o f James
M adison. 5 v o l s . ; B oston : L i t t l e , Brown and Company.
1859.
Rowland, K ate M ., L i f e and C orrespondence o f C h a rle s C a r r o l l
o f C a r r o l l t o n , “T 7 5 7 - i8 5 2 . 2 v o l s . ; New York: G. P #
Putnam* s S o n s, 1898.
._____ , The L if e o f George Mason 1752-1792.
York: G. P . Putnam* s S o n s, 1892.
2 v o l s . ; New'
S c h a r f , J . Thomas, H i s to r y o f M aryland from th e E a r l i e s t
P e r io d to th e P r e s e n t Day. 3 v o l s . ; B a ltim o re ; J . B.
P i e t , 1879.
S c h u y le r, R. L . , The C o n s t i t u t i o n o f th e U n ite d S t a t e s , an
h i s t o r i c a l su rv e y o f i t s f o r m a tio n . New York; The
M acm illan Company,~T923.
Simons, A. M ., S o c i a l F o rc e s i n Am erican H i s t o r y .
The M acm illan Company, 1925.
New York:
117
S t e i n e r , B. C ., ^M aryland’ s A doption o f t h e C o n s t i t u t i o n * ”
No. 1, V ol. 5, American H i s t o r i c a l R eview . O cto b e r, 1899.
S t i l l e , C h a rle s J . , The L i f e and Times o f John D ic k in s o n .
1752- 1808. 2 v o l s . ; p re p a re d a t t h e r e q u e s t o f t h e
H i s t o r i c a l S o c ie ty o f P e n n s y lv a n ia ; P h i l a d e l p h i a :
J . B. L i p p i n c o t t Company, 1891.
T ucker, John R . , The C o n s t i t u t i o n o f t h e U n ited S t a t e s . A
C r i t i c a l D is c u s s io n o f i t s G e n e s is . D evelopm ent. and
I n t e r p r e t a t i o n . H. S t . G. T u cker, e d i t o r , 2 v o l s . ;
C hicago: C allag h an and Company, 1899.
T y le r,) Lyon G . , The F e d e r a l P e r io d 1765-1861. V ol. I I ,
H is to r y o f V i r g i n i a . 6 v o l s . ; New l o r k : American
H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y , 1924.
W a lla c e , D. D . , The L if e o f Henry L aurens w i t h a S k e tc h o f
t h e L i f e o f L ie u te n a n t- C o lo n e l John L a u re n s . New York:
G. P. Putnam’ s Sons, 1915. W arren, C h a r l e s , The Making o f th e C o n s t i t u t i o n .
L i t t l e , Brown and Company, 1928.
B oston:
PERIODICALS
Moore, R. W., rtGeorge Mason th e S ta te s m a n ,” W illiam and Mary
C o lle g e Q u a r t e r ly M agazine. 2nd s e r i e s , 1 3 :1 0 -1 7 , J a n u a r y ,
1933.
Rowland, K ate Mason, ”The Mt. Vernon C o n v e n tio n ,”
P e n n s y lv a n ia Magazine o f H i s t o r y and B io g ra p h y . 1 1 :4 1 0 424, O c to b e r, 1887.
S te v e n s , J . A. , 19New York and th e F e d e r a l C o n s t i t u t i o n , ”
Magazine o f American H i s t o r y . No. 7, V ol. 2 , J u l y , 1878.
Документ
Категория
Без категории
Просмотров
3
Размер файла
6 386 Кб
Теги
sdewsdweddes
1/--страниц
Пожаловаться на содержимое документа