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your committee, tend rather to invite than to prevent collisions between the Federal and State courts. It might also become, in process of time, 1 serious and dangerous embarrassment to the operations of the general government.

Resolved, therefore, That the Legislature of this State do disapprove of the amendment to the Constitution of the United States proposed by the Legislature of Pennsylvania.

Resolved, also, That his Excellency, the Governor, be, and he is hereby, requested to transmit forth with a copy of the foregoing preamble and resolutions to each of the Senators and Representatives of this State in Congress, and to the executive of the several States in the Union, with a request that the same be laid before the legislatures thereof.

The said resolutions, being read a second time, were, on motion, ordered to be referred to a committee of the whole house on the state of the Commonwealth.


Tuesday, January 23, 1810. The House, according to the order of the day, resolved itself into a committee of the whole house on the state of the Commonwealth, and, after some time spent therein, Mr. Speaker resumed the chair, and Mr. Stanard of Spottsylvania reported that the committee had, according to order, had under consideration the preamble and resolutions of the select committee to whom was referred that part of the Governor's communication which relates to the amendment proposed to the Constitution of the United States by the Legislature of Pennsylvania, had gone through with the same, and directed him to report them to the house without amendment; which he handed in at the clerk's table.

And the question being put on agreeing to the said preamble and resolutions, they were agreed to by the House unanimously.

Ordered, That the clerk carry the said preamble and resolutions to the Senate, and desire their concurrence.

In SENATE, Wednesday, January 24, 1810. The preamble and resolutions on the amendment to the Constitution of the United States proposed by the Legislature of Pennsylvania, by the appointment of an impartial tribunal to decide disputes between the States and Federal Judiciary, being also delivered in and twice read, on motion, were ordered to be committed to Messrs. Nelson, Currie, Campbell, Upshur, and Wolfe.

Friday, January 26, 1810. Mr. Nelson reported, from the committee to whom was committed the

preamble and resolutions on the amendment proposed by the Legislature of Pennsylvania, &c., that the committee had, according to order, taken the said preamble, &c., under their consideration, and directed him to report them without any amendment.

And on the question being put thereupon, the same was agreed to unanimously.



Mr. PRESIDENT, as it is highly probable that our proceedings on this nomination will be published, I deem it proper to state shortly the considerations which have influenced my opinion, and will decide my vote.

I regard this as a very important and delicate question. It is full of responsibility; and I feel the whole force of that responsibility. While I have been in the Senate, I have opposed no nomination of the President, except for cause; and I have at all times thought that such cause should be plain and sufficient; that it should be real and substantial, not unfounded or fanciful.

I have never desired, and do not now desire, to encroach in the slightest degree on the constitutional powers of the chief magistrate of the nation. I have heretofore gone far, very far, in assenting to nominations which have been submitted to us. I voted for the appointment of all the gentlemen who composed the first cabinet; I have opposed no nomination of a foreign minister; and I have not opposed the nominations recently before us, for the reorganization of the administration. I have always been especially anxious, that, in all matters relating to our intercourse with other nations, the utmost harmony, the greatest unity of purpose, should exist between the President and the Senate. I know how much of usefulness to the public service such harmony and union are calculated to produce.

I am now fully aware, Sir, that it is a serious, a very serious matter, to vote against the confirmation of a minister to a foreign court, who has already gone abroad, and has been received

* Remarks made in Secret Session of the Senate of the United States, on the 24th of January, 1832, on the Nomination of Mr. Van Buren as Minister to Great Britain.

I am

and accredited by the government to which he is sent. aware that the rejection of this nomination, and the necessary recall of the minister, will be regarded by foreign states, at the first blush, as not in the highest degree favorable to the character of our government. I know, moreover, to what injurious reflections one may subject himself, especially in times of party excitement, by giving a negative vote on such a nomination. But, after all, I am placed here to discharge a duty. I am not to go through a formality; I am to perform a substantial and responsible duty. I am to advise the President in matters of appointment. This is my constitutional obligation; and I shall perform it conscientiously and fearlessly. I am bound to say, then, Sir, that, for one, I do not advise nor consent to this nomination. I do not think it a fit and proper nomination; and my reasons are found in the letter of instructions written by Mr. Van Buren, on the 20th of July, 1829, to Mr. McLane, then going to the court of England, as American Minister. I think these instructions derogatory, in a high degree, to the character and honor of the country. I think they show a manifest disposition in the writer of them to establish a distinction between his country and his party; to place that party above the country; to make interest at a foreign court for that party rather than for the country; to persuade the English ministry, and the English monarch, that they have an interest in maintaining in the United States the ascendency of the party to which the writer belongs. Thinking thus of the purpose and object of these instructions, I cannot be of opinion that their author is a proper representative of the United States at that court. Therefore it is, that I propose to vote against his nomination. It is the first time, I believe, in modern diplomacy, it is certainly the first time in our history, in which a minister to a foreign court has sought to make favor for one party at home against another, or has stooped from being the representative of the whole country to be the representative of a party. And as this is the first instance in our history of any such transaction, so I intend to do all in my power to make it the last. For one, I set my mark of disapprobation upon it; I contribute my voice and my vote to make it a negative example, to be shunned and avoided by all future ministers of the United States. If, in a deliberate and formal letter of instructions, admonitions and directions are given to a minister, and repeated, once and again, to urge these mere party considerations on the foreign government, to what extent is it probable the writer himself will be disposed to urge them, in his thousand opportunities of informal intercourse with the agents of that government?

I propose, Sir, to refer to some particular parts of these instructions; but before I do that, allow me to state, very generally, the posture of the subject to which those particulars relate. That subject is the state of our trade with the British West India colonies. I do not deem it necessary now to go minutely into all the history of that trade. The occasion does not call for it. All know, that, by the convention of 1815, a reciprocity of intercourse was established between us and Great Britain. The ships of both countries were allowed to pass to and from each other respectively, with the same cargoes, and subject to the same duties. But this arrangement did not extend to the British West Indies. There our intercourse was cut off. Various discriminating and retaliatory acts were passed by England and by the United States. Eventually, in the summer of 1825, the English Parliament passed an act, offering reciprocity, so far as the mere carrying trade was concerned, to all nations who might choose, within one year, to accept that offer.

Mr. Adams's administration did not accept that offer; first, because it was never officially communicated to it; secondly, because, only a few months before, a negotiation on the very same subject had been suspended, with an understanding that it might be resumed; and, thirdly, because it was very desirable to arrange the whole matter, if possible, by treaty, in order to secure, if we could, the admission of our products into the British islands for consumption, as well as the admission of our vessels. This object had been earnestly pursued ever since the peace of 1815.

It was insisted on, as every body knows, through the whole of Mr. Monroe's administration. He would not treat at all, without treating of this object. He thought the existing state of things better than any arrangement which, while it admitted our vessels into West India ports, still left our productions subject to such duties there, that they could not be carried.

Now, Sir, Mr. Adams's administration was not the first to take this ground. It only occupied the same position which its

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