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and discontents among the people, and may eventually prove as fatal to liberty as the opposite temper.

“It is certainly pernicious to leave any government in a situation of responsibility disproportioned to its power.

· The conduct of the war is intrusted to Congress, and the public expectation turned upon them, without any competent means at their command to satisfy the important trust. After the most full and solemn deliberation, under a collective view of all the public difficulties, they recommend a measure which appears to them the corner-stone of the pub lic safety: they see this measure suspended for near two years; partiall; complied with by some of the states ; rejected by one of them, and it danger, on that account, to be frustrated; the public embarrassments every day increasing ; the dissatisfaction of the army growing more serious, the other creditors of the public clamoring for justice: both irritated by the delay of measures for their present relief or future security ; the hopes of our enemies encouraged to protract the war; the zeal of our friends depressed by an appearance of remissness and want of exertion on our part ; Congress harassed; the national character suffering, and the national safety at the mercy of events.

“ This state of things cannot but be extremely painful to Congress, and appears to your committee to make it their duty to be urgent to obviate the evils with which it is pregnant.”

Resolved, That Congress agree to the said report.

POWERS OF CONGRESS TO REGULATE COMMERCE.

Friday, April 30, 1784. — Congress took into consideration the report of a committee, consisting of Mr. Gerry, Mr. Reed, Mr. Williamson, Mr. Chase, and Mr. Jefferson, to whom were referred sundry letters and papers relative to commercial matters; and the following paragraph being under debate,

“That it be recommended to the legislatures of the several states to vest the United States in Congress assembled, for the term of fifteen years, with a power to prohibit any goods, wares, or merchandise, from being imported into any of the states, except in vessels belonging to, and navigated by, citizens of the United States, or the subjects of foreign powers with whom the United States may have treaties of commerce,”

A motion was made by Mr. Howell, seconded by Mr. Ellery, to postpone the consideration thereof, in order to take up the following:

“That it be recommended to the legislatures of the several states to restrain, by imposts or prohibitions, any goods, wares, or merchandise, from being imported into them respectively, except in vessels belonging to, and navigated by, citizens of the United States, or the subjects of foreign powers with whom the United States may have treaties of commerce, or the subjects of such foreign powers as may admit of a reciprocity in their trade with the citizens of these states. That it be recommended to the legislatures of the several states to prohibit the subjects of any foreign state, kingdom, or empire, from importing into them, respectively, any goods, wares, or merchandise, unless such as are the produce or manufacture of that state, kingdom, or empire, whose subjects they are."

No.

No.

And on the question to postpone, for the purpose above mentioned the yeas and pays being required by Mr. Ellery, — New Hampshire, ........Mr. Foster, .. ....No.)

No.
Mr. Blanchard,

.No.
Massachusetts,...
.Mr. Gerry,....

...No.

No.
Mr. Partridge,
Rhode Island,..
Mr. Ellery,

.Ay.
Mr. Howell,

Ay.

.Ay.
Connecticut,
Mr. Sherman,

No.

Dirided.
Mr. Wadsworth, ..Ay.
New York,..
.Mr. De Witt,

No.
Mr. Paine,...

.No.
New Jersey,..
. Mr. Beatty,

.No.

No.
Mr. Dick,

.No.
Pennsylvania,..
Mr. Mifflin, .

.No.

No.
Mr. Montgomery,

.No.
Maryland,
Mr. Stone,

.No.

No.
Mr. Chase,

..No.
Virginia,
. Mr. Mercer,

.No.

No.
Mr. Monroe,..

.No.
North Carolina,..
Mr. Williamson,

.No.

No.
Mr. Spaight,..

.No.
South Carolina,.........Mr. Reed,.

..No.
So it passed in the negative.
The report, being amended, was agreed to as follows:

“The trust reposed in Congress renders it their duty to be attentive to the conduct of foreign nations, and to prevent or restrain, as far as may be, all such proceedings as might prove injurious to the United States. The situation of commerce at this time claims the attention of the several states, and few objects of greater importance can present themselves to their notice. The fortune of every citizen is interested in the success thereof; for it is the constant source of wealth and incentive to industry; and the value of our produce and our land must ever rise or fall in proportion to the prosperous or adverse state of trade.

“ Already has Great Britain adopted regulations destructive of our commerce with her West India Islands. There was reason to expect that measures so unequal, and so little calculated to promote mercantile intercourse, would not be persevered in by an enlightened nation. But these measures are growing into a system. It would be the duty of Congress, as it is their wish, to meet the attempts of Great Britain with similar restrictions on her commerce; but their powers on this head are not explicit, and the propositions made by the legislatures of the several states render it necessary to take the general sense of the Union on this subject.

“Uoless the United States in Congress assembled shall be vested with powers competent to the protection of commerce, they can never command reciprocal advantages in trade; and without these, our foreign commerce must decline, and eventually be annihilated. Hence it is necessary that the states should be explicit, and fix on some effectual mode by which foreign commerce not founded on principles of equality may be restrained.

" That the United States may be enabled to secure such terms, they have

Resolved, That it be, and it hereby is, recommended to the legislatures of the several states, to vest the United States in Congress assembled. for the term of fifteen years, with power to prohibit any goods, wares, or merchandise, from being imported into, or exported from, any of the states, in vessels belonging to, or navigated by, the subjects of any power with whom these states shall not have formed treaties of commerce.

Resolved, That it be, and it hereby is, recommended to the legislatures of the several states, to vest the United States in Congress assembled, for the term of fifteen years, with the power of prohibiting the subjects of any foreign state, kingdom, or empire, unless authorized by treaty, from importing into the United States any goods, wares, or merchandise, which are not the produce or manufacture of the dominions of the sovereign whose subjects they are.

Provided, That to all acts of the United States in Congress assembled, in pursuance of the above powers, the assent of nine states shall be necessary.'

REPORT OF THE STATES ON THE REGULATION OF

COMMERCE, &c.

Friday, March 3, 1786. — The committee, consisting of Mr. Kean, Mr. Gorham, Mr. Pinckney, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Grayson, to whom were recommended sundry papers and documents relative to commerce, and the acts passed by the states in consequence of the recommendations of Congress of the 30th of April, 1784, report,

That, in examining the laws passed by the states, in consequence of the act of 30th April, 1784, they find that four states — namely, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia -- have enacted laws conformable to the recommendations contained in the act, but have restrained their operation until the other states shall have substantially complied.

" That three states-namely, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Maryland - have passed laws conforming to the same, but have determined the time from which they are to commence; the first, from the time of passing their act in May, 1785; and the two latter, from the 30th of April, 1784.

“That New Hampshire, by an act passed the 23d of June, 1785, has granted full powers to regulate their trade, by restrictions or duties, for fifteen years, with a proviso that the law shall be suspended until the other states have substantially done the same.

“ That Rhode Island, by acts passed in February and October, 1785, has granted power, for the term of twenty-five years, to regulate trade between the respective states, and of prohibiting, restraining, or regulating, the importation only of all foreign goods in any ships or vessels other than those owned by citizens of the United States, and navigated by a certain proportion of citizens, and also with a proviso restrictive of its operation until the other states shall have substantially complied.

“ That North Carolina, by an act passed the 2d June, 1784, has granted powers similar to those granted by Rhode Island, relative to foreign commerce, but unrestrained in duration, and clogged with a clause, that, when all the states shall have substantially complied therewith, it shall become an article of confederation and perpetual union.

“ That they cannot find that the three other states — namely, Delaware, South Carolina, and Georgia - have passed any laws in consequence of the recommendations. The result is, that four states have fully complied ; three others have also complied, but have determined the time of commencement, so that there will be a dissimilarity in the duration of the power granted; that three other states have passed laws in pursuance of the recommendations, but so inconsonant to them, both in letter and

spirit, that they cannot be deemed compliances; and that three other states have passed no acts whatever.

“That, although the powers to be vested by the recommendations, do not embrace every object which may be necessary in a well-formed sys. tem, yet, as many beneficial effects may be expected from them, the committee think it the duty of Congress again to call the attention of the states to this subject, the longer delay of which must be attended with very great evils ;' whereupon,

"Resolved, That the recommendations of the 30th April, 1784, be again presented to the view of the states of Delaware, South Carolina, and Georgia, and that they be most earnestly called upon to grant powers conformable thereto.

Resolved, That the states of New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and North Carolina, be solicited to reconsider their acts, and to make them agreeable to the recommendations of the 30th April, 1784.

Resolved, That the time for which the power under the recommendations of the 30th April, 1784, is to continue, ought to commence on the day that Congress shall begin to exercise it; and that it be recommended to the states of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Maryland, to amend their acts accordingly."

FRIDAY, September 29, 1786. -- The delegates for Georgia laid before Congress an act of that state, in pursuance of the recommendations of the 30th April, 1784, passed the 2d of August, 1786, vesting the United States in Congress assembled, for the term of fifteen years, commencing on the day Congress shall begin to exercise the powers, with a power to prohibit the importation or exportation of goods, wares, or merchandise, in ships belonging to, or navigated by, subjects of powers with whom the United States shall not have formed treaties of commerce, and to prohibit the subjects of foreign states, unless authorized by treaty, from importing goods, wares, or merchandise, which shall not be the produce or manufacture of the dominion of the sovereign whose subjects they are; provided, that nine states agree in the exercise of this power, and that it do not extend to prohibit the importation of negroes, and that the act shall not have force until the other twelve states have substantially complied with the recommendation above mentioned.

Monday, October 23, 1786. — The committee, consisting of Mr. Pinckney, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Henry, to whom was referred an act of the legislature of the state of Georgia, passed in consequence of the resolutions of the 30th of April, 1784, respecting commerce, and the subject of the said recommendation, having reported,

“ That it appears, by the said resolutions, the United States in Congress assembled recommended to the legislatures of the several states to vest them, for the term of fifteen years, with powers to prohibit any goods, wares, or merchandise, from being imported into, or exported from, any of the states, in vessels belonging to, or navigated by, the subjects of any power with whom these states shall not have formed treaties of commerce; that they also recommended to the legislatures of the said states to vest the United States in Congress assembled, for the term of fifteen years, with the power of prohibiting the subjects of any foreign state, kingdom, or empire, unless authorized by treaty, from importing into the Uniteå States any goods, wares, or merchandise, which are not the produce or manufacture of the dominions of the sovereign whose subjects they are, :sovided, that to all acts of the United States in Congress assembled, in sursu

ance of the above powers, the assent of nine states shall be necessary. 'The committee have carefully examined the acts passed by the several states, in pursuance of the above recommendation, and find that the state of Delaware has passed an act in full compliance with the same; that the act of the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Georgia, are in conformity to the said recommendation, but restrained in their operation until the other states should have granted powers equally extensive; that the states of Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, have passed laws agreeable to the said resolutions, but have fixed the time at which the powers thereby invested shall begin to operate, and not left the same to commence at the time at which Congress shall begin to exercise it, which your committee conceive to have been the intention of the same; that South Carolina, by an act passed the 11th March, lov, has invested the United States in Congress asseinbled with the power of regulating the trade of the United States with the West Indies, and all other external or foreign trade of the said states, for the term of fifteen years from the passing of the said act; that New Hampshire, by their act of the 23d of June, 1785, invested the United States in Congress assembled with the full power of regulating trade for fifteçn yecrs, by resurictions or duties, with a proviso suspending its operation until all the other states shall have done the same; that North Carolina, by their act of the 2d of June, 1784, has authorized their delegates to agree to and ratify an article or articles by which Congress shall be empowered to prohibit the importation of all foreign goods, in any other than vessels owned by citizens of the United States, or navigated by such a proportion of seamen, citizens of the United States, as may be agreed to by Congress, which, when agreed to by all the states, shall be considered as a part of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.

“From the above review of the acts passed by the several states, in consequence of the said recommendation, it appears that though, in order to make the duration of the powers equal, it will be necessary for the states of Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and South Carolina, so far to amend their acts as to permit the authorities therein granted to commence their operation at the time Congress shall begin to exercise them, yet still the powers granted by them, and by the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, and Georgia, are otherwise in such compliance with the recommendation, that if the states of New Hampshire and North Carolina had conformed their acts to the said resolution, agreeably to the urgent recommendation of Congress of the 3d of March last, the powers therein requested might immediately begin to operate. The committee, however are of opinion, that the acts of the states of New Hampshire and North Carolina manifest so liberal a disposition to grant the necessary powers upon this subject, that their not having complied with the recommendation of March last must be attributed to other reasons than a disinclinatior in them to adopt measures similar to those of their sister states. The committee, therefore, conceive it unnecessary to detail to them the situation of our commerce, languishing under the most ruinous restrictions in foreign ports, or the benefits which must arise from the due and equal use of powers competent to its protection and support, by that body which can alone beneficially, safely, and effectually, exercise the same — whereupon

Resolved, That it be again earnestly recommended to the legislatures of the states of New Hampshire and North Carolina, at their next session,

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