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[ Richmond, June 13, 1788. On June 25, 1788, Hamilton wrote to Madison: “I am very sorry to find by your letter of the 13th that your prospects are so critical.” Letter not found. ]
Your favour of came to hand by the mail of Wednesday. I did not write by several late returns for two reasons; one the improbability of [your] having got back to Mount Vernon; the other a bilious indisposition which confined me for some days. I am again tolerably well recovered. Appearances at present are less favorable than at the date of my last. Our progress is slow and every advantage is...
I am tolerably well over the bilious indisposition which confined me at the date of my last. The progress of the Convention is extremely slow; though from the impatience of the members, I think the Session will not be long. The issue of it is more doubtful than was apprehended when I last wrote. The ostensible points of opposition are direct taxation, the imperfect representation in the H. of...
Your favour of came to hand by the mail of Wednesday. I did not write by several late returns for two reasons; one the improbability of having got back to Mount Vernon; the other a bilious indisposition which confined me for some days. I am again tolerably well recovered. Appearances at present are less favorable than at the date of my last. Our progress is slow and every advantage is taken of...
Henry asked for information from those delegates who had served in Congress when a treaty with Spain covering navigation rights on the Mississippi had been debated. Henry Lee, Monroe, and Grayson spoke ahead of JM. Mr. Madison . Mr. Chairman—It is extremely disagreeable to me to enter into this discussion, as it is foreign to the object of our deliberations here, and may, in the opinion of...
Letter not found. 13 June 1788 . Acknowledged in Carrington to JM, 25 June 1788 . Apparently reports that the Federalists’ prospects at the Richmond convention depend upon favorable votes within the Kentucky delegation.
Letter not found. 13 June 1788 . Mentioned in Hamilton to JM, 25 June 1788 . Describes the critical outlook for ratification of the Constitution at the Richmond convention.
After Sections 4 and 5 of Article I were read, Monroe asked why the regulation of elections for members of Congress was under the “ultimate controul” of the national legislature, “and also why there was an exception as to the place of electing senators” ( Robertson, Virginia Debates David Robertson, Debates and Other Proceedings of the Convention of Virginia (2d ed.; Richmond, 1805). , p....
Henry complained that Article I, Section 6, was dangerous in allowing members of Congress to fix their own salaries and to be appointed to federal offices. Mr. Madison . Mr. Chairman—I most sincerely wish to give a proper explanation on this subject, in such a manner as may be to the satisfaction of every one. I shall suggest such considerations as led the convention to approve of this clause....
Mr. Madison . Mr. Chairman—The honorable gentleman has laid much stress on the maxim, that the purse and sword ought not to be put in the same hands; with a view of pointing out the impropriety of vesting this power in the general government. But it is totally inapplicable to this question. What is the meaning of this maxim? Does it mean that the sword and purse ought not to be trusted in the...
Yours of the 8th. is just come to hand. I mentioned in my last that Oswald had been here in consultation with the Antifedl. leaders. The contents of your letter confirm the idea that a negotiation for delay is [on] foot between the opposition here & with you. We have conjectured for some days that the policy is to spin out the Session in order to receive overtures from your Convention; or if...
Yours of the 8th is just come to hand. I mentioned in my last that Oswald had been here in consultation with the Antifedl. leaders. The contents of your letter confirm the idea that a negociation for delay is [on] foot between the opposition here & with you. We have conjectured for some days that the policy is to spin out the Session in order to receive overtures from your Convention; or if...
Henry continued his harangue against the powers granted Congress under Article I, Section 8, dwelling particularly on the power to raise armies and to call forth the militia to execute the laws and suppress insurrection. Mr. Madison . Mr. Chairman—I will endeavor to follow the rule of the house; but must pay due attention to the observations which fell from the gentleman. I should conclude,...
The power of Congress to exercise exclusive legislation over the federal district was dangerous, Henry warned, especially in conjunction with its power to make all laws necessary and proper to carry its powers into execution. Mr. Madison . Mr. Chairman—I am astonished that the honorable member should launch out into such strong descriptions without any occasion. Was there ever a legislature in...
The importation of slaves until 1808, guaranteed by Article I, Section 9, was attacked by Mason as “a fatal section, which has created more dangers than any other.” Mason said “this infamous traffic” would continue, but those who already owned slaves had “no security for the property of that kind” ( Robertson, Virginia Debates David Robertson, Debates and Other Proceedings of the Convention of...
No question direct or indirect has yet been taken, by which the state of parties could be determined. of course each is left to enjoy the hopes resulting from its own partial calculations. It is probable the majority on either side will not exceed more than 3, 4, 5 or 6. I indulge a belief that at this time the friends of the Constitution have the advantage in point of number. Great moderation...
No question has been yet taken by which the strength of parties can be ascertained. Each hopes for victory. There will not probably be half a dozen for a majority on either side. I hope & think that if no accident happens the Constitution will carry the point. But when the balance is so extremely nice, it is improper not to mingle doubts with our expectations. A few days will probably decide...
No question has yet been taken by which real strength of parties in our Convention can be measured. There is not a majority of more than three or four on either side. Both sides claim it. I think however it rather lies as yet in favor of the Constitution. But it is so small as to justify apprehensions from accidents as well as change of opinion. An unwillingness to risk a positive decision on...
No question direct or indirect has yet been taken, by which the state of parties could be determined. Of course each is left to enjoy the hopes resulting from its own partial calculations. It is probable the majority on either side will not exceed more than 3, 4, or 5 or 6. I indulge a belief that at this time the friends of the Constitution have the advantage in point of number. Great...
The Antifederalists maintained that the electoral college created by Article II, Section 1, would result in the choice of a president by less than a majority of those eligible to vote. Mr. Madison . Mr. Chairman—I will take the liberty of making a few observations which may place this in such a light as may obviate objections. It is observable, that none of the honorable members objecting to...
Mr. Madison , adverting to Mr. Mason’s objection to the president’s power of pardoning, said, it would be extremely improper to vest it in the house of representatives, and not much less so to place it in the senate; because numerous bodies were actuated more or less by passion, and might in the moment of vengeance forget humanity. It was an established practice in Massachusetts for the...
Our debates have advanced as far as the Judiciary Department against which a great effort is making. The appellate congnizance of fact, and an extension of the power to causes between Citizens of different States, with some lesser objections are the topics chiefly dwelt on. The retrospection to cases antecedent to the Constitution, such as British debts, and an apprehended revival of the...
Our debates have advanced as far as the Judiciary Department against which a great effort is making. The Appellate connazance of fact, and an extension of the power to causes between Citizens of different States, with some lesser objections are the topics cheifly dwelt on. The retrospection to cases antecedent to the Constitution, such as British debts, and an apprehended revival of the...
No question has been yet taken by which the strength of parties can be determined. The calculations on different sides do not accord; each making them under the bias of their particular wishes. I think however the friends of the Constitution are most confident of superiority; and am inclined myself to think they have at this time the advantage of 3 or 4 or possibly more in point of number. The...
On 19 June, Mason charged the judicial powers were bound to adversely affect thousands of Virginians directly and undermine the legal systems of the state governments. Mr. Madison . Mr. Chairman—Permit me to make a few observations which may place this part in a more favorable light than the gentleman placed it in yesterday. It may be proper to remark, that the organization of the general...
The Judiciary Department has been on the anvil for several days; and I presume will still be a further subject of disquisition. The attacks on it have apparently made less impression than was feared. But they may be secretly felt by particular interests that would not make the acknowledgement, and wd. chuse to ground their vote agst. the Constitution on other motives. In the course of this...
The Judiciary Department has been on the anvil for several days; and I presume will still be a further subject of disquisition. The attacks on it have apparently made less impression than was feared. But they may be secretly felt by particular interests that would not make the acknowledgment, and wd. chuse to ground their vote agst. the Constitution on other motives. In the course of this week...
We are at length approaching the close of our deliberations on the several parts of the Constitution. The Judiciary Department has been gone over; though perhaps it may receive some additional disquisitions. The attack has apparently been less formidable than I had apprehended. Independently of some particular interests, the objections against it have not been calculated in my opinion to make...
We got through the constitution by paragraphs today. Tomorrow some proposition for closing the business will be made. On our side a ratification involving a few declaratory truths not affecting its validity will be tendered. The opposition will urge previous amendments. Their conversation to day seemed to betray despair. Col. Mason in particular talked in a style which no other sentiment could...
We got through the constitution by paragraphs today. Tomorrow some proposition for closing the business will be made. On our side a ratification involving a few declaratory truths not affecting its validity will be tendered. The opposition will urge previous amendments. Their conversation to day seemed to betray despair. Col. Mason in particular talked in a style which no other sentiment could...