To Richard Butler
Mount Vernon 3d April 1788.
Your observation respecting the instability & inefficacy of our general Government is very just; they are not only apparent in the instances which you mention, but have, for a long time, strongly marked all our national transactions. This, in my opinion, is a powerful argument for adopting the proposed Constitution, even if it was less perfect than it is, and while a constitutional door is left open for amendments whenever they may be found necessary.
I thank you, my dear Sir, for your information respecting the opposition to the proposed Government in the Country west of the Susquehanna. Notwithstanding the rancour & activity of the opponents in Pensylvania, I trust that they are, generally speaking, persons of too little importance & of too contemptable characters to endanger the general welfare of the Union by extending their influence to other States, or even any further in their own than to a few Counties, or over persons whose characters, dispositions & situations are conformable to their’s.
How the important question will be decided in this State is yet uncertain. Opinions are various, & I can say nothing upon the subject from my own knowledge, as I but very rarely ride off my farms, and am wholly indebted to the publick papers & those Gentlemen who visit me for any information which I have; however, from everything that I can collect, I am still confident of its adoption here. I am, Dear Sir, Yr most Obedt Hbe Servt
LS, in the hand of Tobias Lear, MiDbEI; LB, DLC:GW.
1. Letter not found.