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Special Message

April 11, 1826

To the Senate of the United States:

On the 16th of January last I sent to the Senate a nomination of Daniel Bissell to be colonel of the Second Regiment of Artillery, and on the 3d of February I received from the Secretary of the Senate an attested copy of their proceedings in relation to that nomination, laid before me by their order, and closing with a resolution in these words:

Resolved, That in the opinion of the Senate Daniel Bissell is entitled to the place of colonel in the Army of the United States, taking rank as such from the 15th of August, 1812, with the brevet of brigadier-general from the 9th of March, 1814, and that the President of the United States may arrange him accordingly.

In the discharge of my own duties I am under the necessity of stating respectfully to the Senate--

First. That I can not concur in these opinions.

Secondly. That the resolution of the Senate, having on its face no reference either to the nomination or to the office for which it was made, leaves me doubtful whether it was intended by the Senate as their decision upon the nomination or not. If intended as their decision, it imports that the Senate do not advise and consent to the appointment of Daniel Bissell as colonel in the Second Regiment of Artillery. If intended as a mere expression of their opinions, superseding in their judgment the necessity of their immediate decision upon the nomination, it leaves the Senate still in possession of the nomination and free to act upon it when informed of my inability to carry those opinions into effect.

In this uncertainty I have thought it most respectful to the Senate to refer the subject again to them for their consideration. The delay in the transmission of this communication is attributable to the earnest desire which I have entertained of acceding to the opinions and complying with the wishes of the Senate, and to the long and repeated reconsideration of my own impressions with the view to make them, if possible, conform to theirs. A still higher duty now constrains me to invite their definitive decision upon the nomination.


John Quincy Adams, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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