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render, and when the capitulation had been agreed on at York, Col. Tarleton came out and dined with Gen. Choisy. ...Orders were given “ that no infantry except that of the legion of Lauzun and my corps should be present at the surrender. We marched for that purpose two miles in front of the camp, and after the arms were piled on the outside of the breastworks, Col. Hugo of the legion and myself took possession of a redoubt, and thus ended the campaign in Virginia of 1781. A few days after Genl. Washington in General Orders noticed this action of the 2nd, and returned his thanks to the legion of Lauzun and the Grenadiers of Mercer for their conduct.”

The editor of this letter quotes from State Department MSS. Washington's General Orders of October 4th, 1781, returning thanks to the Duke de Lauzun and his gallant officers and men, in which he states specifically that “the corps of the allied Army were Duke de Lauzun’s Legion and the Militia Grenadiers of Mercer."

From the Journals of the Continental Congress it appears that on the 18th of December, 1782, John Francis Mercer was elected to represent Virginia in that body in the room of Edmund Randolph, Esq., resigned, and took his seat on Feb. 6th, 1783. Further, in the following Congress, on Nov. 3rd, 1783, we have a record that Mr. J. F. Mercer and Mr. A. Lee produced an extract from the Journal of the House of Delegates of Virginia, by which it appears that on the 6th of June, 1783, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Hardy, John Francis Mercer, Arthur Lee and James Monroe, Esqs., were elected, by joint ballot of the Senate and House of Delegates, delegates to represent Virginia in Congress for one year from the 1st Monday in November; and again, on March 19th, 1784, Mr. Mercer, a delegate from Virginia, is mentioned in the Journal as attending. We know that John Francis Mercer was a delegate from Virginia to the Continental Congress for three years successively, from 1782 to 1785. In the latter year occurred an event which ended his political services to his native State and caused him to transfer his allegiance from Virginia to Maryland. This was his marriage on February 3, 1785, to Sophia, daughter of Richard and Margaret (Caile) Sprigg, of Cedar Park, on West River, in Anne Arundel County, later his wife's estate,—which soon became his residence, and so remained until his death thirty-six years afterwards.

His marriage occurred when he was not yet twenty-six years of age, by which time he had served as Lieutenant, Captain and Lieutenant-Colonel in the Revolutionary War, in the intervals of which service he had studied law with Gov. Jefferson and practised it in Fredericksburg, Va., and soon after the close of the war he was elected a member of the Continental Congress, in which he remained until his marriage. This was a remarkable and varied experience for a young man of twenty-five, and to have been chosen a member of Congress by the Virginia General Assembly, along with Jefferson, Hardy, Arthur Lee and Monroe, would show a high regard for his abilities on the part of his constituents.

Within two years after his removal to Maryland he was sent as a delegate to the Convention which framed the Federal Constitution, along with James McHenry, Luther Martin, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, and Daniel Carroll. Mercer was the youngest

, of the delegation, their respective ages,—as given in an article on the “Framers of the Constitution” in the Magazine of American History (XIII, 313) for April, 1885,-being Martin, 43, Mercer, 29 (this should be 28), Carroll, 32, McHenry, 34, and Jenifer, 64.

Along with his colleague, Luther Martin, with Edmund Randolph and George Mason, of Virginia, and a dozen others, he refused to sign the Constitution, doubtless, from having been trained in the principles of Jeffersonian Republicanism, fearing consolidation and encroachment upon State Rights.

Luther Martin, in his “Genuine Information ” (which will be found prefixed to Yates's Secret Proceedings and Debates of the Federal Convention of 1787, and elsewhere), has set forth his reasons for withholding his signature, and I presume Mr. Mercer agreed with him.

The question, however, between the Maryland Federalists and Anti-Federalists remained to be fought over when the State Convention met on April 21st, 1788, to consider the ratification of the Constitution. The fullest account that I have seen of the action of this Convention is in Dr. Steiner's excellent articles on “Maryland's Adoption of The Federal Constitution” (American Historical Review, Vol. v, pp. 22 and 207, being the numbers for October, 1899, and January, 1900); and it is upon this account that I shall draw in the necessarily brief notice of the subject that can be taken in this sketch. Opinion was so onesided in Maryland that there were scarcely enough Anti-Federalists to make it interesting ; but, as might be expected from his antecedents, Mr. Mercer was found on that side. The Maryland Convention met, as just stated, on April 21st, 1788, and continued in session until the 29th. Of its seventy-six members, there were but twelve Anti-Federalists, four from Anne Arundel County, Samuel Chase, Jeremiah T. Chase, John Francis Mercer, and Benjamin Harrison, four from Baltimore County, and four from Harford County. The Anne Arundel delegates were the leaders of the opposition, and we have a letter from Daniel Carroll to Madison, stating that “if the Anne Arundel election had not taken the extraordinary turn it did, I may say there could not have been a straw of opposition ; perhaps adoption would have been unanimous.” Maryland's action as awaited with interest because of its supposed effect on the action of Virginia. On account of the large majority of Federalists in the Convention, they contented themselves with listening to the arguments of the opposition without replying, Alex. Contee Hanson alone being mentioned as the leader of the Federalists. On the final vote William Paca, of Harford, an Anti-Federalist, voted with the Federalists in the hope of securing amendments; and he had prepared at least twenty-eight. A Committee of thirteen on amendments was appointed, consisting of nine Federalists and four Anti-Federalists, the latter being Samuel Chase, Jeremiah T. Chase, John Francis Mercer and William Paca, but, with a twothirds majority, more than half of Paca's amendments were easily rejected. There was great rejoicing by the Federalists over the result. The Anti-Federalists published an address to the people of Maryland, which is reprinted in Elliotts Debates. Mr. Hanson prepared a reply, and Daniel Carroll sent a copy of it to Madison, which is now among the Madison papers in the Library of the


State Department (more recently removed to the mss. Department in the Congressional Library), and it is, we are told, the only copy known. In a letter to Madison soon after the adjournment of the Maryland Convention Washington writes that he had learned that Mr. Chase made a display of all his eloquence, Mr. Mercer discharged his whole artillery of inflammable matter, and Mr. Martin did something, I know not what, but presume with vehemence, and yet no converts were made,-no, not one.”

Notwithstanding the action of Maryland, it may be remembered that the result in Virginia was very close, the final vote standing, -after a lengthy debate lasting three weeks,-Ayes 89, Noes 79, and Edmund Randolph, then Governor, changed sides.

In the Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1903 (Second Series, Vol. XVII), we find a letter of John B. Cutting to Thomas Jefferson, then in Paris, dated London, 11 July, 1788, in which occurs the following reference to the Maryland Convention : “Meanwhile Mr. Martin and Mr. John F. Mercer, a young gentlemen whom you well know, went to the General Convention, opposed the great leading features of the plan which was afterwards promulgated, withdrew themselves from any signature of it, and from the moment when it was proposed for ratification, in conjunction with Mr. Chase and his once coadjutor, Mr. Paca, exerted every effort to hinder its adoption. When the Convention met on the 21st of April, whatsoever proposition came from Messrs. Chase, Paca, Martin, or Mercer, was viewed with jealousy or disgust, and generally rejected by a great majority ;” also, since the adjournment of the Convention, the Anti-Federalists,—whose dozen names are all given,—“have appealed to the public, complaining of the Convention, defending their own conduct, and asserting that they consider the proposed form of national government very defective, and that the liberty and happiness of the people will be endangered if the system be not greatly changed and bettered.”

After Mr. Mercer's participation in the Federal Convention of 1787 and in the State Convention of 1788, he served in the House of Delegates during the session of 1788–89, and again in that of 1791-2, until he was sent to Congress in 1791 in the



room of William Pinkney, resigned, where he remained over two years, i. e., from November 22, 1791, to April 13, 1794. The Annals of Congress state that on November 9, 1791, the Speaker laid before the House of Representatives a letter from the Governor of Maryland, inclosing a letter to him from William Pinkney, a member returned to serve in this House for the said State, containing his resignation of that appointment; also, a return of John Francis Mercer, elected a member to serve in this House in the room of the said William Pinkney, which were read and ordered to be referred to the Standing Committee of Elections. On November 22nd the House met in Committee of the Whole to consider the report of the Committee on Elections. It appears that Mr. Pinkney had never taken his seat, nor had the requisite oath been administered to him, hence it was a question whether he could resign from the House, having been only a memberelect. This state of affairs led to a discussion which continued the day following and ended in the “ acceptation” of the report of the Committee, which was in favor of Mr. Mercer's election. An amendment was, however, made to the report of the Committee the next day, which said report and amendment were twice read and agreed to by the House, as follows: “It appears that, at an election held for the State of Maryland, on the first day of October, 1790, William Pinkney was duly elected a Representative of that State to serve in the House of Representatives of the United States ; that the certificate of his election has been duly transmitted by the Executive thereof, and heretofore so reported by your Committee; that, by letter, dated the 26th of September, 1791, directed to the Governor and Council of that State, William Pinkney resigned that appointment, and that, in consequence of such resignation, the Executive issued a writ for an election to supply the vacancy thereby occasioned, and has certified that John Francis Mercer was duly elected, by virtue of that writ, in pursuance of the law of the State of Maryland in that case provided, [therefore],

“Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Committee that John Francis Mercer is entitled to take a seat in this House as one of the Representatives for the State of Maryland in the stead

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