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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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392. APPORTIONMENT BILL, History of Veto.—
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392. APPORTIONMENT BILL, History of Veto.—

The President [Washington] * * * [referred] to the representation bill,
which he had now in his possession for the
tenth day. I had before given him my opinion
in writing, that the method of apportionment
was contrary to the Constitution. He agreed
that it was contrary to the common understanding
of that instrument, and to what was understood
at the time by the makers of it; that yet
it would bear the construction which the bill
put, and he observed that the vote for and
against the bill was perfectly geographical, a
northern against a southern vote, and he feared
he should be thought to be taking side with
a southern party. I admitted this motive of
delicacy, but that it should not induce him to do
wrong; urged the dangers to which the
scramble for the fractionary members would
always lead. He here expressed his fear that
there would, ere long, be a separation of the
Union; that the public mind seemed dissatisfied
and tending to this. He went home, sent
for Randolph, the Attorney General, desired
him to get Mr. Madison immediately and come
to me, and if we three concurred in opinion
that he should negative the bill, he desired to
hear nothing more about it, but that we would
draw the instrument for him to sign. They
came. Our minds had been before made up.
We drew the instrument. Randolph carried
it to him, and told him we all concurred in
it. He walked with him to the door, and
as if he still wished to get off, he said, “and
you say you approve of this yourself.” “Yes,
Sir,” says Randolph, “I do upon my honor.”
He sent it to the House of Representatives
instantly. A few of the hottest friends of the
bill expressed passion, but the majority were
satisfied, and both in and out of doors, it gave
pleasure to have, at length, an instance of the
negative being exercised.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 115. Ford ed., i, 192.
(April. 1792)