James Madison Papers
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From James Madison to George Washington, 1 November 1786

To George Washington

Dear Sir

Richmond Novr. 1. 1786

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 Missisippi1 is but imperfectly known. I find that its influence on the federal spirit will not be less than was apprehended. The Western members will not be long silent on the subject. I inculcate a hope that the views of Congress may yet be changed, and that it would be rash to suffer the alarm to interfere with the policy of amending the Confederacy. The sense of the House has not yet been tried on the latter point. The Report from the Deputies to Annapolis lies on the Table, and I hope will be called for before the business of the Mississippi begins to ferment.2 Mr. Henry has signified his wish not to be reelected, but will not be in the Assembly. The Attorney & R. H. Lee are in nomination for his successor. The former will probably be appointed, in which case the contest for that vacancy will lie between Col. Innes & Mr. Marshal.3 The nominations for Congs. are as usual numerous.4 There being no Senate yet it is uncertain when any of these appointments will take place. With the sincerest affection & the highest esteem I am Dear Sir Yr. Obedt. & humble Servt.

Js. Madison Jr.

RC (DLC: Washington Papers); FC (DLC). The RC is docketed by Washington. The FC is in JM’s handwriting of a later time. In the FC JM identified “The Attorney” in brackets as “Ed. Randolph.”

1At some later time JM placed an asterisk here and wrote at the bottom of his FC, “*Mr. Jay’s project for shutting it for 25 years.”

2The Committee of the Whole House reported a resolution on 3 Nov. to implement the convention call issued at Annapolis (JHDV description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond, In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in either 1827 or 1828 and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , Oct. 1786, p. 21).

3Edmund Randolph was elected governor on 7 Nov., and James Innes was chosen as Randolph’s successor as attorney general on 23 Nov. Both took office on 30 Nov. 1786.

4The Virginia delegates to Congress elected on 7 Nov. were JM, Edward Carrington, William Grayson, Joseph Jones, and Richard Henry Lee. Jones declined the office, and Henry Lee (who had been serving in Congress but was not reelected in November) was then chosen for the fifth seat (JHDV description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held at the Capitol, in the City of Williamsburg. Beginning in 1780, the portion after the semicolon reads, Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond, In the County of Henrico. The journal for each session has its own title page and is individually paginated. The edition used is the one in which the journals for 1777–1786 are brought together in two volumes, with each journal published in Richmond in either 1827 or 1828 and often called the “Thomas W. White reprint.” description ends , Oct. 1786, pp. 26, 70).

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