1809.019: Address to his Constituents from Wilson C. Nicholas of Virginia.

Published: 1809

Full Title: An address from Wilson C. Nicholas, a representative in Congress from Virginia, to his constituents. together with a speech delivered by him on the Bill to Interdict Commercial Intercourse with France, England, &c.

Author: Nicholas, Wilson Cary (1761-1820).

Place Issued: Richmond

Issuing Press: Thomas Ritchie

Description: 20 pgs.; 21cm. (8vo).


The effects of the Embargo Act of 1807 were an overarching concern in the session after its adoption; in the face of sentiment for its repeal, incoming president and then secretary of state James Madison offered a stop-gap replacement that would satisfy the repeal-minded members of Congress while continuing to exert some pressure on France and Great Britain over their continuing restraint of American maritime commerce; that bill became law on March 1, 1809, as "An act to interdict the commercial intercourse between the United States and Great Britain and France, and their dependencies; and for other purposes" (Chap. XXIV of the Acts of the First Session of the Tenth Congress). Nicholas voted to adopt the measure, despite the act's inherent weaknesses and his own misgivings, seeing the new law as being better than repealing the Embargo without providing any substitute; this letter laid out his thinking on the subject as a justification of his vote, so securing reelection to the Eleventh Congress from Virginia's 22nd District; yet, he resigned from Congress during the following session, frustrated with the state of affairs in that body. Imprint states: "Printed at the Enquirer office." The Enquirer at Richmond was published by Thomas Ritchie, so the attribution here.

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