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I have been induced to this delay in acknowledging your letter of the 23d, inclosing one to you from Mr. Belknap of the 2d. Ulto. by a desire to obtain from my memory all the information it might have ever possessed in relation to the error in Docr. Kippis’ life of Capt: Cook. I was not a member of Congress till March 1780. It is probable therefore that, if his directions to American...
I duly received your letter of the 21st ulto. inclosing one to yourself from Mr. Malcom. I return the latter as desired. Mr. Malcom was not in time to be taken into consideration along with others having the same objects with him. I need not say that if it had been otherwise, and his comparative qualifications had entitled him to the appointment, I should have felt a pleasure in knowing that...
I have received your favor on the subject of Docr. Waterhouse, inclosing a letter from him which is now returned. Previous to this communication, the vacancy occasioned by the death of our Excellent friend, & the friend of mankind, had been filled by the appointment of his son Dr. James Rush. Besides the numerous & respectable interpositions in favor of it, I felt a pleasure, in putting this...
Your favour of the 28th. Ult: was duly received, tho’ with more delay, than usually attends the Mail. I return the interesting letter from your son, with my thanks for the opportunity of perusing it. I have caused the archives of the Dept of State to be searched with an eye to what passed during the negociations for peace on the subject of the fisheries. The search has not furnished a precise...
Your favor of the 4th. of Sepr. was handed to me, by Docr. Freeman, at my abode in Virga. just before I left it for this place. His transient stay afforded but a slight opportunity for the civilities I wished to shew to one who enjoys so much of your esteem, and who appeared so well to deserve them. He was so good as to call at the door since my arrival here; but being at the moment engaged,...
I have recd. your favor of the 22d Ult: with the two vols. bearing the name of Condorcet. If the length of time they remained in your hands, had been in the least inconvenient to me, which was not the case, the debt would have been greatly overpaid, by the interesting observations into which you were led by the return of them. The idea of a Government “in one center” as explained and espoused...
On my return two days ago from a Meeting appointed to report to the Legislature of the State a proper Scite for a University, I found your obliging favor of July 22. with its inclosed copies of Docr. Mayhews Sermon. I have read with pleasure this symbol of the political tone of thinking at the period of its original publication. The author felt the strength of his argument, and has given a...
I pay with much pleasure the debt of thanks for the copy of Mr. Wells’s Oration so kindly forwarded by you. It is a concise and well presented view of the great event celebrated, with a judicious selection of circumstances proper to be combined with it. I avail myself of this as of every occasion of renewing to you assurances of my high esteem and best wishes. MHi : Adams-Hull Collection.
Reposing special Trust and Confidence in your Integrity, Prudence and Ability I do appoint you the said William Steuben Smith Secretary of Legation of the United States of America at the Court of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias; authorizing you hereby to do and perform all such matters and things as to the said place or office doth appertain, or as may be duly given you in...
I have recd. the two Volumes of Lectures on Rhetoric & Oratory by your brother J. Q. Adams Esqr. Having not had an opportunity of perusing them, I can only return my thanks through you, and anticipate the pleasure promised by the application of his talents & taste to those interesting subjects. Accept my friendly respects MHi : Adams Papers.
I have received your Letter of the 1st. instant. Altho’ I have not learned that Mr. Adams has yet signified to the Department of State his wish to return from the Mission to St. Petersburg, it is sufficiently ascertained by your communication, as well as satisfactorily explained by the considerations suggested. I have accordingly desired the Secretary of State to let him understand that as it...
Reposing a special Trust and Confidence in your Integrity, Prudence and Ability: I have appointed you the said William Steuben Smith Secretary of Legation of the United States of America to His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias; authorizing you hereby to do and perform all such matters and things as to the said place or office doth appertain, and the same to Hold and exercise...
Reposing especial Trust and confidence in your Integrity Prudence and Ability, I do appoint you the said John Adams Smith Secretary of the Legation of the United States of America to His Britannic Majesty; authorizing you hereby to do and perform all such matters and things as to the said place or office doth appertain or as may be duly given you in charge hereafter and the same to hold and...
Reposing especial Trust and confidence in your Integrity, Prudence and ability I have nominated and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate appointed you the said John Adams Smith Secretary of the Legation of the United of America to His Britanic Majesty authorizing you hereby to do and perform all such matters and things as to the said place or office doth appertain or as may be duly...
Your favor of the 6th. of July by some singular ill luck never found its way to my hands till yesterday evening. The only part that now needs attention is a request that I will answer the following Question “What appeared to be my idea and disposition respecting the removal of Congress—did I appear to wish to hasten it, or did I not rather show a strong disposition to procrastinate it?” If...
Mr. Hamilton , had been hitherto silent on the business before the Convention, partly from respect to others whose superior abilities age & experience rendered him unwilling to bring forward ideas dissimilar to theirs, and partly from his delicate situation with respect to his own State, to whose sentiments as expressed by his Colleagues, he could by no means accede. The crisis however which...
To the People of the State of New-York. IT may be contended perhaps, that instead of occasional appeals to the people, which are liable to the objections urged against them, periodical appeals are the proper and adequate means of preventing and correcting infractions of the Constitution . It will be attended to, that in the examination of these expedients, I confine myself to their aptitude...
To the People of the State of New-York. TO what expedient then shall we finally resort for maintaining in practice the necessary partition of power among the several departments, as laid down in the constitution? The only answer that can be given is, that as all these exterior provisions are found to be inadequate, the defect must be supplied, by so contriving the interior structure of the...
To the People of the State of New-York. FROM the more general enquiries pursued in the four last papers, I pass on to a more particular examination of the several parts of the government. I shall begin with the House of Representatives. The first view to be taken of this part of the government, relates to the qualifications of the electors and the elected. Those of the former are to be the...
To the People of the State of New-York. THE next view which I shall take of the House of Representatives, relates to the apportionment of its members to the several States, which is to be determined by the same rule with that of direct taxes. It is not contended that the number of people in each State ought not to be the standard for regulating the proportion of those who are to represent the...
To the People of the State of New-York. THE number of which the House of Representatives is to consist, forms another, and a very interesting point of view under which this branch of the federal legislature may be contemplated. Scarce any article indeed in the whole constitution seems to be rendered more worthy of attention, by the weight of character and the apparent force of argument, with...
To the People of the State of New-York. THE second charge against the House of Representatives is, that it will be too small to possess a due knowledge of the interests of its constituents. As this objection evidently proceeds from a comparison of the proposed number of representatives, with the great extent of the United States, the number of their inhabitants, and the diversity of their...
To the People of the State of New-York. THE third charge against the House of Representatives is, that it will be taken from that class of citizens which will have least sympathy with the mass of the people, and be most likely to aim at an ambitious sacrifice of the many to the aggrandizement of the few. Of all the objections which have been framed against the Fœderal Constitution, this is...
To the People of the State of New-York. THE remaining charge against the House of Representatives which I am to examine, is grounded on a supposition that the number of members will not be augmented from time to time, as the progress of population may demand. It has been admitted that this objection, if well supported, would have great weight. The following observations will shew that like...
To the People of the State of New-York. HAVING examined the constitution of the house of representatives, and answered such of the objections against it as seemed to merit notice, I enter next on the examination of the senate. The heads into which this member of the government may be considered, are—I. the qualifications of senators—II. the appointment of them by the state legislatures—III....
To the People of the State of New-York. A FIFTH desideratum illustrating the utility of a senate, is the want of a due sense of national character. Without a select and stable member of the government, the esteem of foreign powers will not only be forfeited by an unenlightened and variable policy, proceeding from the causes already mentioned; but the national councils will not possess that...
The Heat of the weather &c. has laid me up with a bilious attack; I am not able therefore to say more than a few words. No material indications have taken place since my last. The chance at present seems to be in our favor. But it is possible things may take another turn. Oswald in Phila. came here on Saturday; and has closet interviews with the leaders of the opposition. Yours affcy. ALS ,...
[ 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. ]
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...
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...
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...
This day put an end to the existence of our Convention. The inclosed is a copy of the Act of Ratification. It has been followed by a number of recomendatory alterations; many of them highly objectionable. One of the most so is an article prohibiting direct taxes where effectual laws shall be passed by the States for the purpose. It was impossible to prevent this error. The minority will sign...
Inclosed is the final result of our conventional deliberations. The intended address of the minority proved to be of a nature apprehended by me. It was rejected by the party themselves when proposed to them, and produced an auspicious conclusion to the business. As I shall set out in a few days for N. York, I postpone further explanations. I have this instant the communications from N....
Yours of yesterday is this instant come to hand & I have but a few minutes to answer it. I am sorry that your situation obliges you to listen to propositions of the nature you describe. My opinion is that a reservation of a right to withdraw if amendments be not decided on under the form of the Constitution within a certain time, is a conditional ratification, that it does not make N. York a...
[ Philadelphia, November 20, 1788. On November 23, 1788, Hamilton wrote to Madison : “I thank you My Dear Sir for yours of the 20th.” Letter not found. ]
I was too much indisposed for some time after the receipt of your favor of the 12 Octr. to comply with the request in it, and since my arrival here and recovery I have till now been without a conveyance to the post office. The supplemental funds which at present occur to me as on the whole most eligible are 1. an excise on home distilleries. If the tax can be regulated by the size of the Still...
The bearer will deliver two of your books which have been some time in my hands. I add to them a pamphlet recd. not long since from France. I can not recommend it because I have not read it. The subject tho’ a hackneyed is an interesting one, and the titles of some of the chapters promising. You will soon discover how far it may be worth your perusal. The inclosed letter to Genl. Schuyler...
I have received your letter of the 20th enclosing one from Paris of March 23d. The Cession of Louisiana by Spain to the French Republic, referred to in the letter, had been previously signified to this Department from several sources, as an event believed to have taken place. Supposing you might wish to repossess the letter from Mr. C I herein return it. I have the honor to remain,   Sir, Your...
The sanction given by your favor of the 12th inst. to my desire of remunerating the genius which produced Common Sense, led to a trial for the purpose. The gift first proposed was a moiety of the tract on the Eastern Shore, known by the name of “the Secretary’s land.” The easy reception it found induced the friends of the measure to add the other moity to the proposition, which would have...
Letter not found: from James Madison, 11 Dec. 1784. On 28 Dec. GW wrote to Madison : “I have been favored with your letter of the 11th.”
I was yesterday honored with your favor of the 28 Ult. accompanying the report of the Conferees &c. &c. The latter have been laid before the H. of Delegates, and a Com[mitte]e appd to report a bill & Resolutions corresponding with those of Maryland. The only danger of miscarriage arises from the impatience of the members to depart, & the bare competency of the present number. By great efforts...
I have now the pleasure of confirming the expectations hinted in my last concerning the result of the measures which have been favoured with your patronage. The Bill for opening the Potowmac has passed precisely on the model transmitted from Maryland, the last conditional clause in the latter being rendered absolute by a clause in the former which engages this State for fifty shares in the...
Letter not found: from James Madison, 20 Oct. 1785. On 29 Oct. GW wrote Madison : “Receive my thanks for your obliging favor of the 20th.”
I recd your favor of the 29th ulto on thursday. That by Col. Lee had been previously delivered. Your letter for the Assembly was laid before them yesterday. I have reason to believe that it was received with every sentiment which would correspond with yours. Nothing passed from which any conjecture could be formed as to the objects which would be most pleasing for the appropriation of the...
Your favour of the 30 Novr was received a few days ago. This would have followed much earlier the one which yours acknowledges had I not wished it to contain some final information relative to the commercial propositions. The discussion of them has consumed much time, and though the absolute necessity of some such general system prevailed over all the efforts of its adversaries in the first...
I have been here too short a time as yet to have collected fully the politics of the Session. In general appearances are favorable. On the question for a paper emission the measure was this day rejected in emphatical terms by a majority of 84 vs 17. The affair of the Missisippi is but imperfectly known. I find that its influence on the federal spirit will not be less than was apprehended. The...
I am just honoured with your favor of the 5th inst: The intelligence from Genl Knox is gloomy indeed, but is less so than the colours in which I had it thro’ another channel. If the lessons which it inculcates should not work the proper impressions on the American Public, it will be a proof that our case is desperate. Judging from the present temper and apparent views of our Assembly, I have...
Notwithstanding the communications in your favor of the 18th Ult: which has remained till now to be acknowledged, it was the opinion of every judicious friend whom I consulted that your name could not be spared from the Deputation to the Meeting in May in Philada. It was supposed that in the first place, the peculiarity of the mission and its acknowledged preeminence over every other public...
Your favour of the 16th inst: came to hand too late on thursday evening to be answered by the last mail. I have considered well the circumstances which it confidentially discloses, as well as those contained in your preceding favor. The difficulties which they oppose to an acceptance of the appointment in which you are included can as little be denied, as they can fail to be regretted. But I...
Some little time before my arrival here a quorum of the States was made up and Genl Sinclair put in the Chair. We have at present nine States on the ground, but shall lose South Carolina today. Other States are daily expected. What business of moment may be done by the present or a fuller meeting is uncertain. The objects now depending and most immediately in prospect, are 1. The Treaty of...