George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jabez Bowen, 25 October 1789

From Jabez Bowen

Providence [R.I.] Octobr 25 1789


I should have done my self The Honour of paying my Respects to you in person, did not my Duty require my attendance at The General Assembly tomorrow at South Kingston, where The great Question of calling a State Convention to adopt the Federal Constitution will be acted upon. we hope for a favourable Issue, but cannot be free from Fear, lest we may be disappointed Thro The Intrigues of The Enemies of all good Government. if we can agree to Call a Convention all will end well, if not our situation will be truly miserable.1

I shall be at Home on Sunday next and shall Think my self highly Honoured if you[r] Excellency will take Providence in your way on your Return, and spend a little time with us.2 I should hope That your Thus kindly noticing of us will not be of any disadvantage towards Establishing The great Cause That we have been so long engaged in promoting.

Mrs Bowen presents her most Respectfull Compliments and hopes you will favour us with a Visit.3 with sentiments of the highest Respect and Esteeme, I Remain Your Excellencys, most Obedent and verry Humble Servant

Jabez Bowen


1The Rhode Island assembly was meeting at South Kingstown. The United States Chronicle: Political, Commercial, and Historical (Providence), 29 Oct. 1789, noted in a comment dated 29 Oct. that although it had been widely anticipated that “a Vote recommending a Convention for determing on the new Federal Constitution would at this Session be obtained—but from the Instructions given by a large Number of the Towns, at the Town-Meetings on Monday last Week, there is reason to fear this desirable Event will not take Place at the present Meeting.” On Thursday, 29 Oct., the assembly rejected the convention by a vote of 39 to 17 and adjourned until January 1790 (United States Chronicle, 5 Nov. 1789).

2GW did not, of course, visit Rhode Island on his New England tour.

3Bowen’s wife was Sarah Bowen (c.1752–1800).

Index Entries