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them with foreign merchandise may be interdicted, and the concurrence of the latter may be enforced, in case of refusal, by Operations on their foreign trade.

* There is a collateral reason which interests the states who are feeble in maritime resources, in such a plan. If a naval armament was considered as the proper instrument of general govern. ment, it would be both preserved in a respectable state in time of peace, and it would be an object to man it with citizens, taken in due proportions, from every state. A navy so formed, and under the orders of the general council of the state, would not only be a guard against aggressions and insults from abroad, but, without it, what is to protect the southern states, for many years to come, against the insults and aggressions of their northern brethren ? "

It is plain that Mr. Madison's regard for state rights never made him forget the rights of the nation. He had been long enough engaged in public affairs in trying times, to see and know that the first element of happiness at home, and respectability abroad, was a preservation of state rights within their proper limits, and an entire national supremacy in national concerns.

The following letter shows farther the opinions of Mr. Madison, and is interesting, as containing perhaps the germ of the peculiar and efficient element of the present constitution, the application of national authority to individuals.

“Dear Sir - The two circumstances relating to the proposed duty on trade, mentioned in your favor of the first instant, were subjects of discussion when the measure was on the anvil. It was evident that the disposition of the states to invest congress with such a power would be influenced by the length of the term assigned for the exercise of it. It was equally evident that no provision would satisfy the present creditors of the United States, or obtain future loans, that was not commensurate to all the public engagements. In order to reconcile these points, the duration of the impost was limited, but limited in so indefinite a manner as not to defeat the object of it. Should the increase of trade render

the duty more productive than was estimated, it must the sooner extinguish the public debts, and cease. The application of congress for such a power supposes, indeed, a confidence in them, on the part of the states, greater perhaps than many may think consistent with republican jealousy ; but if the states will not enable their representatives to fulfil their engagements, it is not to be expected that individuals either in Europe or America will confide in them. The second objection you mention was also a subject of much discussion in congress. On one side it was contended that the powers incident to the collection of a duty on trade were in their nature so municipal, and in their operation so irritative, that it was improbable that the states could be prevailed on to part with them; and that, consequently, it would be most prudent to ask from the states nothing more than the duty itself, to be collected by state officers, and paid to a continental receiver; and not the right of collecting it by officers of congress. On the opposite side it was urged, that as congress would be held responsible for the public debts, it was necessary, and would be expected, that the fund granted for discharging them should be exclusively and independently in their hands; that if the collectors were under the control of the states, the urgency of their wants would be constantly diverting the revenue from its proper destination; that if the states were willing to give up the thing itself, it was not likely they would cavil at any form that would be most effectual ; that the term proposed might be reconciled with their internal jurisdictions, by annexing to the office of collector all the powers incident thereto, and leaving to congress the right of appointing the officers. How far it may be best to appoint the established naval officers, I am not prepared to say ; but should that be found to be the case, they will exercise their new functions, not as naval officers of the state, but as invested with a separate commission by congress, in such manner, that in the former respect they are wholly exempt from the jurisdiction of congress, and in the latter from that of the state. Such a junction of powers, derived from different sources, in the same person, certainly has its inconveniences, but there will be many instances of it in our complex

government. I have met with so many interruptions this morning, that I fear I may have not done justice to the subject in my ex: planation of it. Another consequence is, that I must be very brief on the head of intelligence to make sure of the post.”

Nothing is more remarkable than the calmness and dignity which pervade these letters. Every thing which could harass and vex a legislative body seems to have been in operation to harass and vex the congress of which Madison was a member. Yet not a single intemperate or overzealous expression has escaped from him. Every word breathes the repose of conscious strength and conscious right. But prosperous events sometimes came. His letters show, that, if he could bear adversity, the far more difficult trials of prosperity were not too much for him. Hear what he says about the surrender of Cornwallis.

" Dear Sir — I return you my fervent congratulations on the glorious success of the combined arms at York and Gloucester. We have had from the commander in chief an official report of the fact, with a copy of the capitulation, and a general intimation that the number of prisoners, excluding seamen, &c., would ex. ceed five thousand ; but no detail of our gains. If these severe doses of ill fortune do not cool the phrenzy and relax the pride of Britain, it would seem as if Heaven had in reality abandoned her to her folly and her fate. This campaign was grounded on the most intense exertion of her pecuniary resources. Upwards of twenty millions were voted by the parliament. The king acknowledged that it was all he asked, and all that was necessary. A fair trial has then been made of her strength ; and what is the result? They have lost another army, another colony, another island, and another fleet of her trade; their possessions in the East Indies, which were so rich a source of their commerce and credit, have been severed from them, perhaps forever; their naval arma. ments, the bulwarks of their safety, and the idols of their vanity, have in every contest felt the rising superiority of their enemies. In no points have they succeeded, except in the predatory con

quest of Eustatia, of which they have lost the greatest part of everything except the infamy, and in the relief of Gibraltar, which was merely a negative advantage. With what hope or with what view can they try the fortune of another campaign? Unless they can draw succour from the compassion or jealousy of other powers, of which it does not yet appear that they have any wellfounded expectation, it seems scarcely possible for them much longer to shut their ears against the voice of peace.”

But our extracts from the correspondence are already getting too extensive. Let us turn to the journal of the convention. The design of Mr. Madison seems to have been to give an accurate statement of the substance of the debates, excepting in a few cases, where he appears to have intended to give an accurate report of the speeches. One thing is certain. If the journal of Mr. Madison is, as we believe it to be, correct, the world has rarely, if ever, seen so business-like a body of men as this convention. They were evidently intent upon the matter in hand; not bent upon showing off their eloquence or ingenuity; much less upon wasting and wearing away the time in long speeches, for the benefit of their constituents. It is surprising, too, to see how calmly the deliberations were carried on, and how little of passion and irritation was allowed to be mixed up with them. Certainly men were there of strong passions and vigorous impulses, but it would seem as if all violence of feeling and expression had been chastened and subdued by the greatness of the occasion.

There were doubtless some hard words given, and some imprudent sentiments uttered; but certainly not much license would or could be ventured on, in an assembly over which Washington presided, and ill-will and resentment could not long be kept up, where there was a Franklin to act as mediator.

If any voucher were wanted for the entire accuracy of Mr. Madison's report, it might be found in the perfect distinctness and individuality, which have been preserved in




the speeches of the different individuals of the convention. Although the substance only of the remarks is generally given, still there is a distinct individuality preserved throughout; Hamilton's prodigious force of intellect and deep-searching insight, yet always prone to dwell upon the lessons of history, without perhaps fully appreciating those peculiar points of American character, and of the circumstances of the times, which qualified, if not destroyed, the force of historical precedent; Madison's proneness to logical analysis, and scientific disquisition ; Wilson's generous appeals to first principles; Governeur Morris's cold skepticism, ever thinking of the selfish principles of men as the ruling motive of their actions, and ever struggling to solve the insoluble problem, out of a given number of knaves to construct an honest community; and, above all, the practical sagacity and elevated wisdom of Franklin, ever discerning exactly his position and the conditions of surrounding circumstances, and resting all his doctrines upon a just faith in humanity, and a wise appreciation of the good not less than the bad qualities of American character. Washington, having been selected as the presiding officer of the convention, and besides nowise given to speech-making, does not appear as one of the debaters, though it cannot be doubted that his influence on the doings of the convention was very great.

The great principles, on which the new scheme of government was to be based, seem to have caused but little difficulty. The plan of the old confederation was the basis, and mournful experience, that sternest of schoolmasters, had taught all who had ever taken any part in the public business where were its weak points, and what changes must be made in order to give efficiency and respectability to the government. The grand discovery was the principle of executing the national powers by means of national officers, and operating upon individuals instead of states. We have seen Mr. Madison already expressing his opinion in

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