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indulgence. At the time of opening the conferences, too, we had, as yet, not erected any system ; our government itself being not yet erected. Innovation then was unavoidable on our part, if it be innovation to establish a system. We did it on fair and general ground; on ground favorable to Spain. But they had a system, and, therefore, innovation was avoidable on their part,
It is known to the commissioners that we found it expedient to ask the interposition of France, lately, to bring on this settlement of our boundary, and the navigation of the Mississippi. How far that interposition has contributed to produce it, is uncertain. But we have reason to believe that her further interference would not produce an agreeable effect on Spain. The commissioners, therefore, are to avoid all further communications on the subject with the ministers of France, giving them such explanations as may preserve their good dispositions. But if, ultimately, they shall find themselves unable to bring Spain to agreement on the subject of the navigation and boundary, the interposition of France, as a mutual friend, and the guarantee of our limits, is then to be asked, in whatever light Spain may choose to consider it.
Should the negotiations on the subject of navigation and boundary assume, at any time, an unhopeful aspect, it may be proper that Spain should be given to understand, that, if they are discontinued without coming to any agreement, the Government of the United States cannot be responsible for the longer forbearance of their western inhabitants. At the same time the abandonment of the negotiation should be so managed as that, without engaging us to a further suspension of the exercise of our rights, we may not be committed to resume them on the instant. The present turbid situation of Europe cannot leave us long without a safe occasion of resuming our territory and navigation, and of carving for ourselves those conveniences, on the shores, which may facilitate and protect the latter effectually and permanently.
We had a right to expect that, pending a negotiation, all things would have remained in statu quo, and that Spain would
not have proceeded to possess herself of other parts of our territory. But she has lately taken and fortified a new post on the Walnut hills, above the mouth of the Yazoo river, and far above the 31st degree. This garrison ought to have been instantly dislodged ; but for our wish to be in friendship with Spain, and our confidence in her assurances “to bide by the limits established in our treaty with England,” complaints of this unfriendly and uncandid procedure may be brought forward or not, as the commissioners shall see expedient.
XXVII.—Report on the case of Charles Russell and others, claiming certain lands.
January 21, 1792. The Secretary of State, to whom was referred, by the President of the United States, the letter of the Governor of Virginia of January 7th, 1792, with the report of a committee of the House of Delegates of that commonwealth, of December 12th, 1791, and resolution of the General Assembly thereon, of December 17th, on the case of Charles Russell, late an officer in the service of the said commonwealth, stating that a considerable part of the tract of country allotted for the officers and soldiers having fallen into the State of North Carolina on the extension of their common boundary, the legislature of the said State had, in 1781, passed an act substituting in lieu thereof the tract of country between the said boundary and the rivers Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and subjecting the same to the claims of their officers and soldiers. That the said Charles Russell had in consequence thereof, directed warrants for two thousand six hundred and sixty-six and two-thirds acres of land to be located within the said tract of country; but that the same belonging to the Chickasaws, he is unable to obtain a right thereto, and that there are other oflicers and soldiers of the said commonwealth under like circumstances :
Reports, That the tract of country before described, is within
the boundaries of the Chickasaw nation as established by the treaty of Hopewell, the 16th day of January 1786.
That the right of occupancy of the said lands, therefore, being vested in the said nation, the case of the said Charles Russell, and other officers and soldiers of the said commonwealth, becomes proper to be referred to the legislature of the United States for their consideration.
XXVIII.—Report relative to negotiations at Madrid.
March 7, 1792. The Secretary of State having understood, from communications with the commissioners of his Catholic Majesty, subsequent to that which he reported to the President on the 22d of December last, that though they considered the navigation of the Mississippi as the principal object of negotiation between the two countries, yet it was expected by their court that the conferences would extend to all the matters which were under negotiation on the former occasion with Mr. Gardoqui, and particularly to some arrangements of commerce, is of opinion, that, to renew the conferences on this subject also, since they desire it, will be but friendly and respectful, and can lead to nothing without our own consent; and that, to refuse it, might obstruct the settlement of the questions of navigation and boundary; and, therefore, reports to the President of the United States, the following observations and instructions to the commissioners of the United States, appointed to negotiate with the court of Spain a treaty or convention relative to the navigation of the Mississippi ; which observations and instructions, he is of opinion, should be laid before the Senate of the United States, and their decision be desired, whether they will advise and consent that a treaty be entered into by the commissioners of the United States with Spain conformable thereto.
After stating to our commissioners the foundation of our rights to navigate the Mississippi, and to hold our southern boundary
at the 31st degree of latitude, and that each of these is to be a sine qua non, it is proposed to add as follows:
On the former conferences on the navigation of the Mississippi, Spain chose to blend with it the subject of commerce; and, accordingly, specific propositions thereon passed between the negotiators. Her object then was to obtain our renunciation of the navigation, and to hold out commercial arrangements perhaps as a lure to us. Perhaps, however, she might then, and may now, really set a value on commercial arrangements with us, and may receive them as a consideration for accommodating us in the navigation, or may wish for them to have the appearance of receiving a consideration. Commercial arrangements, if acceptable in themselves, will not be the less so, if coupled with those relating to navigation and boundary. We have only to take care that they be acceptable in themselves.
XXIX.–Opinion on the Bill apportioning Representation.
April 4, 1799. The Constitution has declared that representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers. That the number of representatives shall not exceed one for every 30,000, but each State shall have at least one representative, and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose 3, Massachusetts 2.
The bill for apportioning representatives among the several States, without explaining any principle at all, which may show its conformity with the constitution, to guide future apportionments, says, that New Hampshire shall have 3 members, Massachusetts 16, &c. We are, therefore, to find by experiment what has been the principle of the bill; to do which, it is proper to state the federal or representable numbers of each State, and the numbers allotted to them by the bill. They are as follows:-
85,532 111,823 475,327
68,444 285,941 352,915 179,556 432,880
55,538 278,513 630,558
68,705 353,521 206,236 70,813
3 5 16 2 8 11
6 14 2 9 21
2 11 6 2
It happens that this representation, whether tried as between great and small States, or as between north and south, yields, in the present instance, a tolerably just result; and, consequently, could not be objected to on that ground, if it were obtained by the process prescribed in the Constitution ; but if obtained by any process out of that, it becomes arbitrary and inadmissible.
The 1st member of the clause of the Constitution above cited is express, that representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers. That is to say, they shall be apportioned by some common ratio—for proportion, and ratio, are equivalent words; and, in the definition of proportion among numbers, that they have a ratio common to all, or in other words, a common divisor. Now, trial will show that there is no common ratio, or divisor, which, applied to the numbers of each State, will give to them the number of representatives allotted in this bill. For trying the several ratios of 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, the allottments would be as follows: