• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

A manual offering information on the most important laws and treaties approved by Congress in more than 200 years since the first session in 1789. Each Congress is covered in a separate chapter introduced by a historical essay setting the actions of the legislators in the context of their times.

Tenth Congress: March 4, 1807, to March 3, 1809
Tenth Congress: March 4, 1807, to March 3, 1809
  • First session—October 26, 1807, to April 25, 1808
  • Second session—November 7, 1808, to March 3, 1809
  • (Second administration of Thomas Jefferson, 1805–1809)
Historical Background

On June 22, 1807, the USS Chesapeake, a thirty-eight-gun frigate, was attacked by the British warship HMS Leopard off Norfolk, Virginia. After taking repeated broadsides and losing twenty-one of its crew (three were killed and eighteen wounded), the ship was forcibly boarded and four alleged British deserters were removed. Many felt the United States should declare war against the aggressor, but President Jefferson on July 2 instead ordered all British warships to leave American waters.

After the British announced in October that they would pursue the practice of impressment ...

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