CHAPTER XI
THE ANNAPOLIS CONVENTION

THE resolution proposing the convention to consider commercial arrangements was almost the last act of the session of the Virginia Assembly terminating January 21, 1786. A quorum of the Virginia deputies elected to the Convention met in Richmond after Madison had left and proposed Annapolis as the place for the meeting and the first Monday in September for the date. The General Assembly when it adjourned had been in session ninety-seven days, and with the exception of the first seven days Madison's attendance had been uninterrupted. Indeed, his capacity for work was inexhaustible, and his labours were never laid aside for pleasure.

The Legislature transacted much business, yet little of it gave satisfaction to the friends of good government. The "itch for paper money," as Madison characterized it, had been only temporarily allayed; but he took pride in the fact that "the ambitious hope of making laws for the human mind" had been "extinguished forever." The collection of the tax for the year had been postponed, and it was agreed that when it came to be collected tobacco might be accepted in payment instead of specie. For this method of payment Madison voted, although he disapproved of it; but he hoped, by allowing thus much to the soft money party, to prevent them from pressing the more dangerous measures they had introduced. The State's quota of $512,000 to the Federal Treasury was ordered to be paid for the year 1786 before May, although the postponement of the tax collections made it certain that there would not be a penny in the treasury with which to make the payment. The State

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