George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James McHenry, 18 May 1788

From James McHenry

Baltimore 18 May 1788.

Dear General.

It has not been in my power to acknowlege the receipt of your letters of the 27 Ulto and the 8 inst. before to-day.

Immediately on my return from Annapolis I sent the peas by Capn Mann with orders, if the wind would admit, to drop them at Mount Vernon, otherwise, to leave them with Col. Hoe; so that I expect they will have reached you long before this comes to hand.1

Campion for some time taught fencing—he then tried the billiard table, and within these few days past has decamped (I am told) to New York. I understand he has cheated as many as would trust him.

You will have concluded from the address of our minority that the convention were a little embarassed on the subject of amendments. A very good friend of yours for whom I have the greatest respect brought us into the difficulty, and we were obliged to leave him to get out of it. The amendments were intended to injure the cause of federalism in your State, and had we agreed to them they were well calculated to effect it.2 With the greatest regard and affection I am Dr General your

James McHenry


1McHenry is referring to peas sent by Richard Dobbs Spaight to GW from North Carolina by way of Baltimore. See GW to McHenry, 8 May, and note 2 of that document. GW records in his diary planting on 30 June and 2 July the seed sent by Spaight; and on 22 Oct. he writes in his diary: “Those Pease which were sent me by Colo. Spaight and planted at this place [Muddy Hole] at the same time were quite ripe and had been pulled great part of them many days ago—qty. of these latter about 9 bushels from about [ ] Acres of grd. These are a very forward kind, and must be reserved for Seed” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:353, 354, 410).

2Daniel Carroll wrote James Madison on 28 May: “The truth is Mr [Thomas] Johnsons accomodating disposition and a respect to his charac[ter] lead the Majority into a Situation, out of which they found some dificulty to extricate themselves” (Rutland and Hobson, 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 11:66–68). This was with reference to the report of the committee appointed by the Maryland Ratifying Convention to make recommendations regarding William Paca’s twenty-eight proposed amendments to the Constitution.

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