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and opinions of many persons in public life. The corresponding portions of the public and secret journals, the published letters of official functionaries during the same period, and works in which are to be found cotemporary private letters or remarks on the same topics or by the same persons, afford explanations too important to be overlooked. Yet they are scattered through various volumes, and, even in them, are found or traced with difficulty. The printed journals of the confederation, both public and secret, are not only voluminous but very imperfect. Much of the proceedings of Congress is entirely omitted in both, and they are so incomplete that it is frequently impossible to trace with accuracy the details of legislation even on topics of great public interest. To the secret journals there is no index, and that annexed to the public journals is far from being full. The diplomatic corres. pondence, which is exceedingly valuable, and constantly illus. trates the remarks of Mr. Madison and the debates he has preserved, extends through nineteen volumes; and the letters of many of the eminent men referred to, which treat of the same topics, are only to be found in various works subsequently published from time to time.
It has been thought, therefore, that it would be proper to make a brief reference at the end of the volumes to some of the principal of these passages; but in such a manner as not, in the slightest degree, to interfere or connect them with the text of Mr. Madison himself. They are annexed only in the belief that they will be of service to the reader and may facili tate his researches. They are not as numerous as they might have been made, perhaps with additional advantage; and the form of a simple reference has been alone adopted, because it was not intended to introduce any commentary or remarks. The fulness and accuracy of these references have been
increased in a very great degree by the researches and aid of Mr. Sparks of Cambridge, Mr. Smith, the librarian of the Phil. adelphia library, Mr. Wall of New Jersey, Mr. ATHERTON and Mr. Hill of New Hampshire, Mr. Dıx of Albany, Mr. SHUNK of Harrisburg, and Mr. FORCE of Washington.
Explanatory tables of contents have been prepared and prefixed to each volume of the work, and a copious index has been added to the whole. Though not forming a part of the manuscript of Mr. Madison, they are thought to be indispensable.
WASHINGTON, 1st January, 1840.
Alarming situation of public affairs—Financial means described-
Congress occasioned by their dependence on the States.
Congress have entered on a plan for finally ratifiying the Confeder-
of their mutual rights.
Discussions in Congress on the resolutions left by him--The Ver.
Uneasiness occasioned by the disappointment of foreign suc-
Feeling in Congress relative to the British treatment of the cap-
tives in Charleston.
of pecuniary difficulty on the wår, &c.
Instructions to Mr. Jay, relative to the Mississippi claims of Spain
-Difference of opinion on the subject between Mr. Madison and