From George Mason
Gunston-Hall [Fairfax County] Octor 2d 1785
I take the Liberty of inclosing You a Memorial and Remonstrance to the General Assembly, confided to me by a particular Freind, whose Name I am not at Liberty to mention; and as the Principles it avows entirely accord with my Sentiments on the Subject (which is a very important one) I have been at the Charge of printing several Copys, to disperse in the different parts of the Country. You will easily perceive that all Manner of Declamation, & Address to the passions, have been avoided, as unfair in themselves, & improper for such a Subject, and altho’ the Remonstrance is long, that Brevity has been aimed at; but the Field is extensive.1
If upon Consideration, You approve the Arguments, & the principles upon which they are founded, Your Signature will both give the Remonstrance weight, and do it Honour.2 I wou’d have waited on you personally, upon this Occasion; but have been so shattered by a late violent Fit of the convulsive Cholic, complicated with the Gout in my Stomach, that I am hardly able to walk across the Floor.
The Bearer will deliver you a packet, inclosing another Copy for my Friend Dr Stuart. I am in Hopes He, & his Colleague, will endeavour to forward the Subscriptions in this County. Mrs Mason, & the Family here, present their Compliments to You, Your Lady, & Miss Bassett, with Dear Sir Your affecte & obdt Sert
1. For the text of James Madison’s anonymous Memorial and Remonstrance against religious assessment, directed to the Virginia general assembly and dated c.20 June 1785, and for the editors’ discussion of the pamphlet, see Rutland and Rachal, Madison Papers, description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds. The Papers of James Madison, Congressional Series. 17 vols. Chicago and Charlottesville, Va., 1962–91. description ends 8:295–306.