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June 16 1812: Senator Bayard Delays War Bill

On June 16. 1812, the opponents of the war bill in the Senate try to delay it from being passed. On this day, the charge is being led by  Senator James A. Bayard of Delaware. Bayard was a strong opponent of declaring war but once war was called he strongly supported its vigorous prosecution. President Madison would later choose Bayard as the only Federalist to be one of the peace commissioners that negotiated the Treaty of Ghent ending the war. After the peace negotiations, Bayard would leave Europe in 1815, become ill on the voyage home and die five days after his return. 

On June 16, 1812, Senator Bayard is using every parliamentary trick to try and stop the declaration of war. He first brings motion to postpone the further consideration of the war bill to the thirty-first day of October. The motion is defeated with 11 yeas to 21 nays.

Senator Bayard then brings a motion to postpone the further consideration of the bill to the third day of July next. Again, the motion is defeated, 9 yeas to 23 nays. Undaunted, Senator Bayard brings a third motion to postpone the further consideration of the war bill to Monday next. Again, the motion is defeated, yeas 15 and nays 17. Unsuccessful, on his motions Senator Bayard has nevertheless delayed the passage of the war bill for another day. A motion is then brought to adjourn the Senate. This motion is successful, yeas 18 t0 14 nays. The Senate adjourned to 11 o'clock to-morrow morning.

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