1812.021: Resolution on Right of State Legislatures to Instruct U.S. Senators.

Published: 1812

Full Title: Preamble and Resolution, asserting the right of the state legislatures to instruct their senators in the Congress of the United States; an disapproving the conduct of the Senators from this state in Congress, in relation to the instructions given them at the last session, on the subject of the Bank of the United States.

Author: Virginia. General Assembly.

Place Issued: Richmond

Issuing Press: Samuel Pleasants

Description: 28 pgs.; (16mo).


No copy known extant; Pleasants was ordered on February 20, 1812, to print 50 copies of these resolutions for distribution among members of Virginia's congressional delegation. The prior Assembly instructed Virginia's congressional delegation to vote against renewing the charter of the Bank of the United States; when that renewal reached the U.S. Senate, both of the state's senators – William Branch Giles and Richard Brent – voted in favor of extending the charter contrary to those instructions. John Tyler Jr., son of the recently retired governor and future U.S. president, had proposed brief resolution censuring Giles & Branch (1812.018); Benjamin Watkins Leigh offered a lengthy legal brief in support of the right of state legislatures to instruct their state's congressional delegation as a substitute (1812.019), leading Charles Fenton Mercer to offer an even longer substitute (1812.020); n the end, the Assembly forged this declaration from the two proposed substitutes, so turning Tyler's simple censure into a statement on constitutional law and principles.

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