James Madison Papers
Documents filtered by: Author="Randolph, Edmund" AND Author="Randolph, Edmund" AND Recipient="Madison, James"
sorted by: date (ascending)

To James Madison from Edmund Randolph, 13 August 1788

From Edmund Randolph

Richmond Aug: 13. 1788

My dear friend

Inclosed are the first two numbers of the Republican,1 according to your request.

Govr. Clinton’s letter to me for the calling of a convention is this day published by my order. It will give contentment to many, who are now dissatisfied. The problem of a new convention has many difficulties in its solution, But upon the whole, I believe the assembly of Virginia perhaps ought, and probably will concur in urging it. It is not too early; because it will only incorporate the theory of the people with the theory of the convention; & each of these theories is intitled to equal respect. I do indeed fear, that the constitution may be enervated, if some states should prevail in all their amendments; but if such be the will of America, who can withstand it? For my own part, I fear that direct taxation may be too much weakened. But I can only endeavour to avert that particular evil, and cannot persuade myself to thwart a second convention merely from the apprehension of that evil. This letter will probably carry me sooner into the assembly, than I intended.2 I will prepare a draught upon this subject, and forward a copy to you, as soon as I can. My object will be, (if possible) to prevent instructions from being conclusive, if any should be offered, and to leave the conventioners perfectly free.

The Marquis of Condor[c]et has sent me some strictures on the constitution. But they do not appear to me to have a better title to notice, than the levities of the Abbe Mably concerning America.

No. Carolina has rejected by a large majority. The fact may be relied on; tho’ nothing official has come to hand. Yrs. afftely.

E. R.

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM. Enclosures not found.

2Randolph resigned the governorship in November to enter the House of Delegates.

Index Entries