George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Langdon, 3 December 1787

To John Langdon

Mount Vernon Decr 3d 1787


I have received your letter of the 6th Ulto and am much obliged to you for the information contained in it.1 I am happy to find that the dispositions in your part of the Continent are so favourable to the proposed plan of Government; if the true interest of the United States was consulted I think there could be but little opposition to it in any part of the Country.

The publick papers have undoubtedly announced to you, before this, the proceedings of the legislature of this State upon the business; they have appointed the convention to meet on the first monday in June; whether putting it off to so late a period will be favourable or otherwise must be determined by circumstances, for if those States, whose conventions are to meet sooner, should adopt the plan, I think there is no doubt but they will be followed by this, and if some of them should reject it, it is very probable that the opposers of it here will exert themselves to add this to the number.2 I am Sir, Yr Most Obedt Hble Servt

Go. Washington

LS, in Tobias Lear’s hand, NhPoS: John Langdon Collection; LB, DLC:GW.

1Langdon’s letter from Portsmouth, N.H., of 6 Nov. reads: “Sir Your Excellency will permit me to congratulate you on the prospect that appears in this part of the Continent of speedily establishing the National plan of Government in the formation of which you took so laborious a part I have not heard a single person object to the plan & very few find fault even with a single sentence, but all express their greatest desire to have it establish’d as soon as may be. Our General Court unfortunately adjourn’d a few days before the official plan came to hand but will meet again next month & no doubt will call the Convention early for the purpose of accepting the National plan of Government. I have the Honour to be With the highest sentiments of Esteem and Respect Your Excellency’s Mo. Obdt St John Langdon” (DLC:GW).

2On the same day (3 Dec.) GW’s secretary Tobias Lear wrote Langdon, who was his patron: “since the Genls. return from Philadelphia his correspondents from all parts of Europe & America have poured their letters upon him so fast that it requires my constant & unremitting attention to them, and to be candid with you, my dear Sir, you are more obliged to him for the trouble of this letter than to me, for as he was about to write to you himself he asked me if I should answer your letter at this time, I told him I did not think I should be able to do it, he replied ‘that it should be done’—I was therefore obliged to obey—tho’ it will cost him half an hour of his own time to do what I should have been doing for him” (printed in Kaminski and Saladino, Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution, description begins John P. Kaminski et al., eds. The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution. 26 vols. to date. Madison, Wis., 1976—. description ends 8:196–98).

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