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similar regulations, and make it a common cause ? On the contrary, will they not, in pursuit of the same local policy, avail themselves of this cir. cumstance, to turn it to their particular advantage? Thus, then, w behold the several states taking separate measures in pursuit of their par. ticular interests, in opposition to the regulations of foreign powers, ani' separately aiding those powers to defeat the regulations of each other; for, unless the states act together, there is no plan of policy, into which they can separately enter, which they will not be separately interested to defeat, and of course all their measures must prove vain and abortive

“ • The policy of each nation, in its commercial intercourse with other powers, is to obtain, if possible, the principal share of the carriage of the materials of either party; and this can only be effected by laying higher duties upon imports and exports in foreign vessels, navigated by the subjects of foreign powers, than in those which belong to, and are navigated by, those of its own dominions. This principle prevails, in a greater or less degree, in the regulations of the oldest and wisest commercial nations, with respect to each other, and will, of course, be extended to these states. Unless, therefore, they possess a reciprocal power, its operation must produce the most mischievous effects. Unable to counteract the restrictions of those powers by sinilar restrictions here, or to support the interests of their citizens by discriminations in their favor, their system will prevail. Possessing no advantages in the ports of his own country, and subjected to much higher duties and restrictions in those of other powers, it will necessarily become the interest of the American merchant to ship his produce in foreign bottoms; of course, their prospects of national consequence must decline, their merchants become only the agents and retailers of those of foreign powers, their extensive forests be hewn down and laid waste, to add to their strength and national resources, and the American Aag be rarely seen on the face of the seas.

“• But if they act as a nation, the prospect is more favorable to them. The particular interests of every state will then be brought forward, and receive a federal support. Happily for them, no measures can be taken to promote the interests of either which will not equally promote that of the whole. If their commerce is laid under injurious restrictions in foreign ports, by going hand in hand, in confidence, together, by wise and equitable regulations, they will the more easily sustain the inconvenience or remedy the evil. If they wish to cement the Union by the strongest ties of interest and affection; is they wish to promote its strength and grandeur, founded upon that of each individual state; every consideration of local, as well as of federal policy, urges them to adopt the following recommendations :

«« The situation of the commercial affairs of the Union requires that the several legislatures should come to the earliest decision on the subject which they now subinit to their consideration. They have weighed it with that profound attention which is due to so important an object, and are fully convinced of its expediency: a further delay must be productive of inconvenience. The interests which will vest in every part of the Union must soon take root and have their influence. The produce raised upon the banks of those greu rivers and lakes, which have their sources high up in the interior parts of the continent, will empty itself into the Atlantic in different directions; and of course, as the states rearing to the westward attain maturity and get admission into the Confederation, their governinent will become more complicated. Whether this will be the VOL. I.


souice of st engih and wealth to the Union, must, therefore, in a great degree, depend upon the measures which may be now adopted.

"• A temporary power would not, in their opinion, enable the United States to establish the interests, nor attain the salutary objcct, which they propose ; the expectation that it will revert to the states, and remain with them for the future, would lessen its weight with foreign powers; and while the interests of each state, and of the federal government, continue to be the same, the same evils will always require the same correction, and of course the necessary powers should always be lodged in the same hands. They have, therefore, thought proper to propose an efficient and perpetual remedy.'

[The subject was afterwards brought forward, in the House of Delegates of the commonwealth of Virginia, by Mr. Madison, whose proposed resolution, and the proceed. ings thereupon, are annexed.]



Virginia, to wit : In the House of Delegates, Wednesday, the 30th of November, 1785. – Mr. Alexander White reported, according to order, a resolution agreed to by the committee of the whole house, on Monday last, respecting commerce; and he read the same in his place, and afterwards delivered it in at the clerk's table, where the same was again read, and is as followeth :

“ Whereas the relative situation of the United States has been found, on trial, to require uniformity in their conimercial regulations, as the only effectual policy for obtaining, in the ports of foreign nations, a stipulation of privileges reciprocal to those enjoyed by the subjects of such nations in the ports of the United States; for preventing animosities which cannot fail to arise among the several states froin the interference of partial and separate regulations; and whereas such uniformity can be best concerted and carried into effect by the federal councils, which, having been instituted for the purpose of managing the interests of the states in cases which cannot so well be provided for by measures individually pursued, ought to be invested with authority in this case, as being within the reason and policy of their institution,

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this committee, that the delegates representing this commonwealth in Congress be instructed to propose in Congress a recommendation to the states in union, to authorize that assembly to regulate their trade, on the following principles, and under the following qualifications :

“ Ist. That the United States in Congress assembled be authorized to prohibit vessels belonging to any foreign-nation from entering any of the ports thereof, or to impose any duties on such vessels and their cargoes which may be judged necessary; all such prohibitions and duties to be uniform throughout the United States, and the proceeds of the latter to be carried into the treasury of the state within which they shall accrue.

“2d. That no state be at liberty to impose duties on any goods, wares, or merchandise, imported, by land or by water, from any other state, but may altogether prohibit the importation from any state of any particular species or description of goods, wares, or merchandise, of which the importation is at the same time prohibited from all other places whatsoever.

“33d. That no act of Congress, that may be authorized as hereby proposed, shall be entered into by less than iwo thirds of the confederated states, nor be in force longer than thirteen years."

A motion was made, and the question being put, to amend the resolution. by adding to the end thereof the following words, to wit : “ unless continued by a like proportion of votes within one year immediately preceding the expiration of the said period, or be revived in like manner after the expiration thereof,” it passed in the negative — ayes, 23; noes, 79.

On a motion made by Mr. Turberville, and seconded by Mr. Watkins,

Ordered, That the names of the ayes and noes, on the question to agree to the said amendment, be inserted in the journal.

And then the said resolution, being again read, was, on the question put thereon, agreed to by the house.

Ordered, That Mr. Alexander White do carry the resolution to the Senate, and desire their concurrence.

Thursday, December 1, 1785. — On a inotion made to the following effect — that the resolution reported from a committee of the whole house, and agreed to by the house on yesterday, containing instructions to the delegates of this commonwealth in Congress, respecting commerce, does not, from a mistake, contain the sense of the majority of this house that voted for the said resolution.

Ordered, therefore, That the direction to send the said resolution to the Senate for their concurrence be rescinded, and that this house do immediately resolve itself into a coinmittee of the whole house, to reconsider the said resolution.

It was resolved in the affirmative — ayes, 60; noes, 33.

The house then accordingly resolved itself into a committee of the whole house on the said resolution; and, after some time spent therein, Mr. Speaker resuined the chair, and Mr. Matthews reported that the said committee had, according to order, had the said resolution under their consideration, and had made several amendments thereto, which they had directed him to report when the house should think proper to receive the


Ordered, That the said report do lie on the table.

[With the same object in view, the General Assembly of Virginia cventually pur. sued a different course to attain it, as will be seen by the subjoined resolution.]



Virginia, ss. In the House of Delegates, January 21, 1786.

Resolved, That Edmund Randolph, James Madison, Jun., Walter Jones, St. George Tucker, Meriwether Smith, David Ross, William Ronald and George Mason, Esquires, be appointed commissioners, who, or any five of whom, shall meet such commissioners as may be appointed by the other states in the Union, at a time and place to be agreed on, to take into consideration the trade of the United States; to examine the relative situation and trade of the said states; to consider how far a uniforin system in their commercial regulations may be necessary to their common interest and their permanent harmony; and to report to the several states such an ect relative to this great object as, when unanimously ratified by them, will euable the United States in Congress assembled effectually to provide for

the same

that the said commissioners shall immediately transmit to the several states copies of the preceding resolution, with a circular letter requesting their concurrence therein, and proposing a time and place for the meeting aforesaid.

Test, JOHN BECKLEY, C. H. D. 1786, January 21.

Agreed to by the Senate. H. BROOKE, C. S. By his excellency, Patrick Henry, Esquire, governor of the commonwealth of Virginia, it is hereby certified that John Beckley, the person subscribing the above resolve, is clerk of the House of Delegates, and that due faith and credit is, and ought to be, paid to all things done by bim by virtue of his office. [L. s.]

Given under my hand as governor, and under the seal of the commonwealth, at Richmond, the 6th day of July, 1786.


[Certain other of the states came readily into the measure proposed, and a meeting of commissioners took place at Annapolis, whose proceedings are stated in the following report.]



ANNAPOLIS, IN THE STATE OF MARYLAND, September 11, 1786.- At a meeting of commissioners from the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia:

New York.

Alexander Hamilton,

George Read,
Egbert Benson.

John Dickinson,
New Jersey.

Richard Bassett.
Abraham Clark,

William C. Houston,

Edmund Randolph,
James Schureman.

James Madison, Jun.,

St. George Tucker.
Tench Coxe.
Mr. Dickinson was unanimously elected chairman.

The commissioners produced their credentials from their respective states, which were read.

After a full communication of sentiments, and deliberate consideration of what would be proper to be done by the commissioners now assembled, it was unanimously agreed that a committee be appointed to prepare a draft of a report to be made to the states having commissioners attending at this meeting

Adjourned till Wednesday morning.
WEDNESDAY, Srptember 13, 1786. — Met agreeably to adjournment.

The committee appointed for that purpose reported the draft of the report, which being read, the meeting proceeded to the consideration thereus; and, after some time spent therein, adjourned till tomorrow morning

THURSDAY, September 14, 1786. - Met agreeably to adjournment.
The meeting resumed the consideration of the draft of the repor:.

and, after some time spent therein, and amendments made, the same was unanimously agreed to, and is as follows, to wit:

“To the Honorable the Legislatures of Virginia, Delaware, Pennsyl vania, New Jersey, and New York, the commissioners from the said states respectively, assembled at Annapolis, humbly beg leave to report,

"That, pursuant to their several appointments, they met at Annapolis in the state of Maryland, on the 11th day of September instant; and having proceeded to a communication of their powers, they found that the states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, had, in substance, and nearly in the same terms, authorized their respective commissioners 10. meet such commissioners as were or might be appointed by the other states in the Union, at such time and place as should be agreed upon by the said commissioners, to take into consideration the trade and commerce of the United States ; to consider how far a uniform system in their commercial intercourse and regulations might be necessary to their common interest and permanent harmony; and to report to the several states such an act relative to this great object as, when unanimously ratified by them, would enable the United States in Congress assembled effectually to provide for the same.'

“ That the state of Delaware had given similar powers to their commissioners, with this difference only, that the act to be framed in virtue of these powers is required to be reported to the United States in Congress assembled, to be agreed to by them, and confirmed by the legislatures of every state.'

"That the state of New Jersey had enlarged the object of their appointment, empowering their commissioners to consider how far a uniform system in their commercial regulations and other important matters might be necessary to the common interest and permanent harmony of the several states;' and to report such an act on the subject as, when ratified by them, would enable the United States in Congress assembled effectually to provide for the exigencies of the Union.'

“ That appointments of commissioners have also been made by the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and North Carolina, none of whom, however, have attended; but that no information has been received, by your commissioners, of any appointment having been made by the states of Connecticut, Maryland, South Carolina, or Georgia.

“That the express terms of the powers to your commissioners supposing a deputation from all the states, and having for object the trade and commerce of the United States, your commissioners did not conceive it advisable to proceed on the business of their mission under the circumstance of so partial and defective a representation.

“Deeply impressed, however, with the magnitude and importance of the object confided to them on this occasion, your commissioners cannot forbear to indulge an expression of their earnest and unanimous wish, that speedy measures may be taken to effect a general meeting of the states, in a future convention, for the same and such other purposes as the situation of public affairs may be found to require.

"If, in expressing this wish, or in intimating any other sentiment, your commissioners should seem to exceed the strict bounds of their appoint. ment, they entertain a full confidence that a conduct dictated by an anxi ety for the welfare of the United States will not fail to receive an indul. gent construction.

“In this persuasion your commissioners submit an opinion, that the

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