George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edward Carrington, 10 May 1799

From Edward Carrington

Richmond May 10 1799

Dear Sir,

I have been honored by the receipt of your letter of the 30th Ult. and take pleasure in complying with your request as far as my information enables me.

In our Congressional Representation we have eight Federal Members towit, Genl Marshall, Evans, Lee, Powell, Robt Page, Goode, Gray, Parker—the first six are certainly in real disposition firm supporters of our Government and the administration of it—Mr Gray is a Young Gentleman of Southampton County who is said to have been antifederal formerly, but is now to be relied upon as federal—it is certain that the election was warmly contested upon the two principles, and that he has been elected as the federal Candidate. As to Colo. Parker you are well acquainted with his political conduct—he is now considered as federal, and as such was Supported against an antifederalist.1 The remaining eleven Members are undoubtedly violent opponents of Government, mostly old ones reelected. Accounts from the district formerly represented by Mr Machir, which came here somewhat before the election, encouraged a belief that Mr Haymond a federalist, would get in there, but we hear that Jackson, a very opposite Character, has succeeded.2

We have gained ground considerably,3 and as the weight of ability and character, is on the federal side of the Representation, we may hope to keep and add to it. This circumstance will also greatly ensure the preservation of the ground gained in the North Carolina Representation in the last election.

I am not as yet sufficiently informed as to the elections to the State Legislature to enable me to give any useful intelligence on them. Mr Henry is elected, but was too much indisposed to be at the election; and I fear he is not likely to be in health to take his ground when the Session comes on. We had a report a few days ago of his death, but it is contradicted indubitably—his death, or even inability to attend, would be truly deplorable. I have the honor to be Dear Sir Yr affectionate H[umbl]e St

Ed. Carrington


1Carrington was accurate in reporting that these eight men who were elected could be termed Federalist. Robert Page (1765–1840) of Frederick County served only one term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Josiah Parker (1751–1810) of Isle of Wight County was a member of Congress from 1789 to 1801 and generally voted with the Federalists after 1795. For references to the election, see particularly John Marshall to GW, 1 May, nn.2 and 3.

2The Republican George Jackson did take the third Virginia district seat, defeating John Haymond’s bid to succeed James Machir. See John Marshall to GW, 1 May, n.2.

3Only three avowed Federalists had been elected to Congress from Virginia in 1797: Daniel Morgan, James Machir, and Thomas Evans of the Eastern Shore.

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