Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “We have this little piece of history that I found, this essay that was written by John Taylor about the yet to be assembled Virginia Dynasty’s quandary in the early days of the [r]epublic. If you don’t know what the Virginia dynasty was, it was the presidencies of Jefferson, Madison and then Monroe. For those 24 years, New England aggression or the Eastern aggression, as they called it, was held in check. There were those that, after five years of being married to John Adams and the Massachusians, Virginians wanted to bail. They wanted to run for the hills as fast as they could.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest…
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: We have this little piece of history that I found, this essay that was written about John Taylor and the Virginia dynasty. If you don’t know what the Virginia dynasty was, it was the presidencies of Jefferson, Madison and then Monroe. For those 24 years, New England aggression or the Eastern aggression, as they called it, was held in check. There were those that, after five years of being married to John Adams and the Massachusians, Virginians wanted to bail. They wanted to run for the hills as fast as they could. So imagine what if what I’m about to share with you had actually inveighed against the continuance of Virginia in the new federal union? What would have happened?
James Madison takes this letter, that is written in longhand from John Taylor of Caroline, sticks it in his own personal correspondence, and he puts it in a specific box he has that is not to be published. He leaves very explicit instructions with his wife Dolly: Look, you see that box there, Dolly? You can publish all that, everything that’s in there, all of it. This box over here, don’t give this to anyone. Whatever you do, don’t open the box. He didn’t tell her not to open the box, he told her to take great care with the contents of that box and to only share the contents with family members that wish to have an insight into the affairs of State that Madison wished to keep from the public. What I’m about to read to you is one such instance. This was a letter that was found in 1905 in that box that I’m talking about. It took them about six weeks to translate it. If you’ve ever seen some 18th century handwriting, you’ll understand why. I actually have the image of the letter that Taylor wrote describing to Madison these events I’m about to share with you from the Congress of 1794. I can’t read them. I don’t know how these people translated this.
Madison takes the letter, realizes the sensitivity of it: I can’t let anyone know that we have two-thirds of Virginians want to secede five years after we just ratified my pet, the Constitution. I’ve got to keep this from people. That’s why he hid it away. Since Taylor was the author of the letter and did not keep a copy for himself, he did not have — when he died, all his papers were published. This one went missing. It was discovered around 1905 and, as I said, it was translated. Then they converted it into a typewritten facsimile so that people like me could read it.
This disappeared then into the mists of time in a journal published by what was known as the John Branch Historical Society. This is back in the day when Americans actually cared about their history. Again, I know there are only eight of you, maybe 16 by now, that care about any of this stuff. I think it’s important. Not only that, I think it’s encouraging. You’ll see that you and I are not very much different from our 1794 or 220 years backwards in time counterparts, that they also were desperate. They also thought the new federal leviathan, that it was already out of control and it was just evil and no one should have to live under it. If the New Englanders want to live under it, let them. We want out and we want out now. Here is what Taylor transcribed to James Madison:
On the 8th. or 9th. instant of May Taylor asked leave of absence of the Senate, and expressed seriously his intention to resign. Rufus King soon after invited Taylor into one of the committee rooms, and informed him, that he wished to converse with him seriously & candidly upon a very important subject. He stated that it was utterly impossible for the union to continue. That the southern and eastern people thought quite differently. That the former cloged and counteracted every operation of government.
[Mike: The former being the Southern, that would be the Virginians.]
That when Izard & Smith of S. Carolina were out, the southern interest would prevail. That the eastern would never submit to their politicks. And that under these circumstances, a dissolution of the union by mutual consent, was preferable to a certainty of the same thing, in a less desirable mode.
[Mike: Let me read that to you again. Rufus King of Massachusetts, pulling John Taylor into the cloakroom and saying: Look, dude, we don’t want to be in bed with you yahoos from Virginia either. As a matter of fact, I think that breaking the union up right now is the smartest thing we can do, and I’ve heard that’s what you think, too. We should read on.]
That the eastern would never submit to their politicks.
[Mike: Southern politics: Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia.]
And that under these circumstances, a dissolution of the union by mutual consent, was preferable to a certainty of the same thing, in a less desirable mode.
[Mike: In other words they should all secede, leave the union right now, because to remain in it would not be desirable.]
About this time Ellsworth joined King & Taylor, as if by accident, tho’ Taylor thought from concert.
[Mike: In other words, Oliver Ellsworth shows up and it’s like: Oh, hey, what are you guys doing in here? Rufus King acts surprised: Gee, Mr. Ellsworth, fancy seeing you here. John Taylor of Caroline is not buying it: I know you guys just set me up.]
King then, protesting that he had never mentioned the subject to Ellsworth before, ran over the same ideas, in which Ellsworth concured. King was throughout the chief spokesman, tho’ Ellsworth occasionally joined him, & appeared intirely to concur with him.
[Mike: In other words, Ellsworth was saying: Yeah, we ought to have a disunion right now.]
It was pressed upon Taylor in this dilemma, that a friendly intercourse among the members, for fixing the outlines of a seperation was desirable.
[Mike: In other words, let’s bring some more people in here. Let’s figure out how we can bust this whole thing up into pieces, map the plan out, and then pull the trigger. So to refresh, if you’re just joining, this is happening in the U.S. Senate in 1794.]
King declared that he was very indifferent as to the line of division,
[Mike: What he means by that is he doesn’t care who splits up and joins who.]
from the potowmack to the Hudson. Taylor expressed his approbation of a friendly & cool discussion of great political subjects in conversation, but approved highly of supporting the union if possible, thought that no material contrariety of interests opposed it, but if he was mistaken, agreed that an amicable seperation was certainly preferable.
[Mike: Again, disunion, secession, break the whole monster up. Folks, this is a baby monster. How many of you have seen the movie Ricky Bobby? This is just little 6 lb., 7 oz. baby federal monster.]
Previously to coming to this extremity, Taylor said that an effort ought to be made to unite the two parties which distracted the government; that he considered the debt
[Mike: He’s talking about debt that was, at that time, $19 million.]
as the great cause of these parties. Because if we might judge from their mutual accusations, one party suspected that the other was determined to use this debt as a political machine, & to counteract its payment, whilst the other suspected the first of an intention to destroy it. Suppose therefore said Taylor the two parties were to act in such a manner as to remove these mutual suspicions, might it not give new vigor to the union? If it was proposed for instance, to disband the indian army—to employ one third of its present expence in sudden excursions upon the heels of each other into the indian country—instead of lessening the taxes, to devote by the strongest sanction the two thirds saved to the payment of the principal of the debt—to impose a new tax, founded upon the principle of equality, for the same object—
Mike: In other words, you have Hamilton and Adams and their crew that have levied taxes. They want to spend the money to field a standing army. They want the army to go out west and start invading Indian country, and they want to rack up debt in the endeavor, and they don’t want to pay it off. Does any of this sound familiar? Gee, I think I might have heard that last week. What was Taylor’s conclusion and what was King and Ellsworth’s conclusion on how you might stop this? Although I believe King was in on it and they were just trying to get rid of the Virginians because they feared the Virginians, more powerful and with more votes, would stop the scam. What was the solution that was proposed? Was it to elect a brand-new Tea Party caucus? No. Let’s take the U.S. Senate over with friends of republicans. No. What was the solution that was being proposed? The solution that was being proposed was: We’re gonna have to split this thing up because something is going to go really, really wrong, and somebody is going to get really, really royally screwed. So why don’t we just part company now? This is happening in May of 1794, not 1894, not 1994, May of 1794, a mere five years after the First Congress was convened. That is an historical gem.
End Mike Church Show Transcript