THE VIRGINIA RESOLUTIONS
FROM his retirement Madison watched the course of events at Philadelphia with intense and increasing solicitude. His own party was in the minority. The proceedings of Genet, the hideous excesses of the French Revolutionists, and finally the contemptuous treatment by Talleyrand of the American envoys, Marshall, Pinckney and Gerry, and his efforts to extract from them a bribe, combined to force many men out of the Republican into the Federalist party more from lack of sympathy with the former than from real sympathy with the latter. But the Federalists were in power; they had the President, the Senate and the House. In the Cabinet the Secretary of State was the most uncompromising Federalist of all. John Adams said of Timothy Pickering, after he had found him out: "Under the simple appearance of a bald head and straight hair, and under professions of profound republicanism, he concealed an ardent ambition, envious of any superior and impatient of obscurity." He was devoted heart and soul to Alexander Hamilton's interests and indifferent to the interests and opinions of his chief. He did not, therefore, share Adams's desire to avail himself of the "fine talents and amiable qualities and manners of Mr. Madison." Adams told Jefferson he would like to appoint Madison one of the envoys to adjust differences with France, but Jefferson said Madison would not go, as he had already refused foreign appointments on several previous occasions. Adams abandoned the idea for the additional reason that his Cabinet threatened to resign if Madison were nominated, and the Federalist leaders of the Senate said they would reject the nomination, if it
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Publication information: Book title: The Life of James Madison. Contributors: Gaillard Hunt - Author. Publisher: Doubleday Page. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1902. Page number: 249.
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