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Eighthly, he disclaimed his having ever assented to, or approved of, any limited occlusion of the Mississippi, though in a manner that did not speak a real inflexibility on that point. Ninthly, it appeared clearly that the check to the Western settlements was a favorite object, and that the occlusion of the Mississippi was considered as having that tendency. Tenthly, the futility of many of his arguments and answers satisfied the Delegates that they could not appear convincing to himself, and that he was of course pursuing rather the ideas of his Court than his own."
FRIDAY, MARCH 30th.
Mr. Jay's report in favor of the admission of Phineas Bond as British Consul for the Middle States, was called for by Mr. CADWALADER. Mr. MADISON said, he was far from being satisfied of the propriety of the measure; he was a friend in general to a liberal policy, and admitted that the United States were more in the wrong in the violation of the Treaty of Peace than Great Britain; but still the latter was not blameless. He thought, however, the question turned on different considerations: first, the facility of the United States in granting privileges to Great Britain without a treaty of commerce, instead of begetting a disposition to conclude such a treaty, had been found, on trial, to be made a reason against it; secondly, the indignity of Great Britain in neglecting to send a public Minister to the United States, notwithstanding the lapse of time since Mr. Adams's arrival there, gave them no title to favors in that line; and self-respect seemed to require that the United States should at least proceed with distrust and reserve.
Mr. Grayson thought, as the Secretary had done, that it would be good policy to admit Mr. Bond, and that it could not be decently, and without offence, refused after the admission of Mr. Temple.
Mr. Clark said, he was at first puzzled how to vote, as he did not like the admission proposed, on one hand; and, on the other, thought it not decent to refuse it after the admission of Mr. Temple. On reflecting, however, that Mr. Temple was admitted at a time when hopes were entertained of a commercial treaty, which had since vanished, and that the question might be postponed generally without being negatived, he should accede to the idea of doing nothing on the subject.
Mr. VARNUM animadverted on the obnoxious character of Mr. Bond, and conceived that alone a sufficient reason for not admitting him. The postponement was agreed to without any overt dissent except that of Mr. GRAYSON.
The Delegates from North Carolina communicated to Congress sundry papers conspiring with the other proofs of discontent in the Western country at the supposed surrender of the Mississippi, and of hostile machinations against the Spaniards.
It was ordered that they should be referred to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs for his information. It was then moved that the papers relative to the same subjects from Virginia, yesterday referred to a committee, should, after discharging the Committee, be referred to the Office of Foreign Affairs. Mr. CLARK proposed to add “to report.” This was objected to by Mr. King, and brought on some general observations on the proceedings of Congress in the affair of the Mississippi. It was at length agreed that the reference be made without an instruction to report. Mr. Pierce then observed that it had been hinted by Mr. Madison, as proper to instruct the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to lay before Congress the state of his negotiation with Mr. Guardoqui, and made a motion to that effect, which was seconded by several at once.
Mr. King hoped Congress would not be hurried into a decision on that point, observing that it was a very delicate one. But he did not altogether like it; and yet it was of such a nature that it might appear strange to negative it. He desired that it might at least lie over till Monday.
Mr. Madison concurred in wishing the same, being persuaded that the propriety of the motion was so clear that nothing could produce dissent, unless it were forcing members into an unwilling decision.
The motion was withdrawn, with notice that it would be renewed on Monday next.'*
MONDAY, APRIL 2ND.
Mr. PIERCE renewed his motion instructing the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to lay before Congress the state of his negotiation with Mr. Guardoqui, which was agreed to without observation or dissent.
See Journals til)
TUESDAY, APRIL 11TH.
Mr. Kearney moved that Congress adjourn on the last Friday in April, to meet on the — day of May, in Philadelphia. Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Rhode Island, were for it. The merits of the proposition were not discussed. The friends to it seemed sensible that objections lay against the particular moment at which it was proposed; but considering the greater centrality of Philadelphia, as rendering a removal proper in itself, and the uncertainty of finding seven States present and in the humor again, they waived the objections. The opinion of Mr. Madison was, that the meeting of the ensuing Congress in Philadelphia ought to be fixed, leaving the existing Congress to remain throughout the Federal year in New York. This arrangement would have been tess irritating, and would have had less the aspect of precipitancy or passion, and would have repelled insinuations of personal considerations with the members. The question was agreed to lie over till to-morrow.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12Th.
Mr. VARNUM moved that the motion for removing to Philadelphia should be postponed generally. As the assent of Rhode Island was necessary to make seven States, no one chose to press a decision : the postponement was therefore agreed to nem. con., and
the proceedings of yesterday involved the Yeas and Nays on some immaterial points struck from the Journal.
See the Journal till
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18th.
It having appeared by the Report of Mr. Jay on the instruction agreed to on Monday, the 2nd instant, and on information referred to him concerning the discontents of the Western people, that he had considered the act of seven States as authorizing him to suspend the use of the Mississippi, and that he had accordingly adjusted with Mr. Guardoqui an article to that effect, that he was also much embarrassed by the ferment excited in the Western country by the rumored intention to cede the Mississippi, by which such cession was rendered inexpedient on one side; and, on the other side, by the disinclination in another part of the Union to support the use of the river by arms, if necessary. It was proposed by Mr. Madison, as an expedient which, if it should answer no other purpose, would at least gain time, that it should be resolved, “ That the present state of the negotiations with Spain, (meaning the step taken under the spurious authority of seven States,] and of the affairs of the United States, [meaning the temper and proceedings in the Western country,] renders it expedient that the Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of France should proceed under a special commission to the Court of Madrid, there to make such