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    • Madison, James

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Documents filtered by: Period="Washington Presidency" AND Correspondent="Madison, James"
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I have been favored with yours of the 8th. Instant and thank you for the notice you take of my declining a visit to N. Y. I am the less inclined to take such a trip, since you have mentioned the great numbers who are there. I would not be rated amongst them for the best that any one of them will obtain. I am pleased to discover from the debates of your House that although an accurate attention...
Since my last which was written on Sunday last and included an introduction of young Mr. Colden who is to be the bearer of it from Scotland where he now resides, I have had the pleasure of yours of March 15. My former letters will have made known to you the obstacles to a licence for your visit to America. The new authority has not yet taken up your application. As soon as the auxiliary...
We have heard much of the di[s]agreement between the two Houses respecting titles and the rules to be established for their correspondence—if report speaks truth they have manifested a strong desire for titles and pre-eminence—how comes it that the doors where the Senate sit in their legislative capacity are shut and those of the representatives open—it appears to be equally proper and...
Letter not found. 28 May 1789. Calendared in the lists probably kept by Peter Force (DLC: Madison Miscellany). Mennis (b. 1755) was a member of a prominent York County, Virginia, family.
As far as a momentary consideration has enabled me to judge, I see nothing exceptionable in the proposed amendments. Some of them, in my opinion, are importantly necessary; others, though of themselves (in my conception) not very essential, are necessary to quiet the fears of some respectable characters and well meaning men. Upon the whole, therefore, not foreseeing any evil consequences that...
I have been favored with yours of the 19th. instant and thank you for the answer to Mr. St. John’s enquiries. The apprehensions of Mrs. Randolph give me unfeigned concern, but I indulge strong hopes that they proceed from an imaginary cause. There are so many symptoms which mimic the cancerous that it would be wrong to suffer appearances to prevail against the favorable chances. At the same...
… As far as a momentary consideration has enabled me to judge, I see nothing exceptionable in the proposed amendments. Some of them, in my opinion, are importantly necessary, others, though in themselves (in my conception) not very essential, are necessary to quiet the fears of some respectable characters and well meaning Men. Upon the whole, therefore, not foreseeing any evil consequences...
I have had the pleasure to receive your favour of the 5th of may, with the report of the committee, and the newspapers, and I can assure you I concur in every thing and from the bottom of my heart. The Character of the president, will give dignity and energy to our government, and will together with the favourable appearances stated by you tend to reconcile all parties to it. I, having know[n]...
Reasons urging amendts. 1. to prove fedts. friends to liberty 2. remove remaining inquietudes 3. bring in N. C. & R. Island. 4. to improve the Constitution Reasons for moderating the plan 1. No stop if door opend to theoretic amendts. 2. as likely to make worse as better till trial 3. insure passage by ⅔ of Congs. & ¾ of Sts. Objectns. of 3 kinds vs the Constn: 1. vs. the theory of its...
On 25 May, the day assigned to take up amendments, JM moved to postpone the subject for two weeks ( Gazette of the U.S. , 27 May 1789). On 8 June he moved to refer the business to a Committee of the Whole. Jackson opposed amendments at this time as premature, and suggested a postponement until March 1790. Others objected that Congress had more pressing business to complete before amendments...
… I hope the idea of titles is sent to eternal repose. I know nothing which in my judgment would more strengthen opposition than the adoption of such a measure, giving countenance to all the suspicions hitherto forged only, of a tendency in the Goverment to fav’r Aristocratic principles.… Printed extract (Stan. V. Henkels Catalogue No. 694 [1892]). The list probably kept by Peter Force ( DLC :...
I am to thank you for several favrs. & inclosures, the last May the 17th. I am much pleased with your new Gazzette, which I think promises to be as respectable as it’s name sake of London. The tardy progress of yr. revenue System, has I imagine produced all the mischief it was capable of, in letting the Spring importations escape it’s operation; however I do not mean to insinu[a]te blame to...
My private acquaintance with you would by no means warrant a correspondence of this kind, but the interest we have in your public character and exertions will sufficiently apologise for the freedom. You are well acquainted with the political situation of this State, its unhappy attachment to paper money, and that wild scepticism which has prevailed in it since the publication of the...
I have not heard from you for a long time but often hear of you. All ranks of people within my observation seem highly pleased with the govt. since its commencement & reckon far too much on the benefits which it may produce—these expectations will meet with disappointment, which may create chagrin in the public mind & renew clamor. The president is dear to the citizens beyond parralel or...
As the Communications herewith enclosed will not take much time to read; As there are matters related which to me are new; and as the information respecting land transactions, and other things in the Western Country will require to be noticed & acted upon in some way or another, I send them to you together with a Gazette with a marked paragraph containing some suggestions that have not, I...
We have nothing in this quarter worth mentioning or I should more frequently make communications. I conclude you receive our papers regularly or would inclose them weekly. Although the proceedings of the House of representatives on the impost bill produced some remarks and altercation respecting its equality and policy yet I think the disputes appr. to have somewhat more of warmth respecting...
Our personal acquaintance having been hitherto cursory I can claim no great Share of a correspondence, necessarily and very deservedly so extensive as yours. Your public Conduct, and the Intervention of our private & common Freinds have fixt you high in my Esteem, and I am persuaded that we are very intimately united, in our dispositions to exert our respective Talents & opportunities in...
As the Communications herewith enclosed will not take much time to Read; As there are matters related which to me are new; and as the information respecting land transactions, and other things in the Western Country will require to be noticed & acted upon in some way or another, I send them to you together with a Gazette with a marked paragraph containing some suggestions that have not, I...
The letter herewith enclosed from Col: H. Lee with the papers accompanying it fully explain themselves. Inclosed also is a letter from Mr. P. Carr, who has been here several weeks. One of his inducements to visit N. York during the present vacation, was a hope of falling in with you on your visit to America. I regret much both your disappointments. It is not yet in my power to say when the...
The letter herewith enclosed from Col. H. Lee with the papers accompanying it fully explain themselves. Inclosed also is a letter from Mr. P. Carr, who has been here several weeks. One of his inducements to visit N. York during the present vacation, was a hope of falling in with you on your visit to America. I regret much both your disappointments. It is not yet in my power to say when the...
I wrote you some time since, informing you that as exchange was higher with you, than here, that I should decline taking the Bill I applyed to you for, and that twould be most to your advantage to sell it in New York. Since this Letter, I have shiped the remaining three hhds of your Tobacco to my Brother, and you may draw as usual on them. I have today drawn on you in favor of French L. Gray...
The inclosed paper contains the proposition made on Monday last on the subject of amendments. It is limited to points which are important in the eyes of many and can be objectionable in those of none. The structure & stamina of the Govt. are as little touched as possible. Nothing of a controvertible nature can be expected to make its way thro’ the caprice & discord of opinions which would...
Upon my return home the other day after the close of the Chancery term, I found a letter from you in the post office, wh. had been there for sometime. This will apologize for my not answering it sooner. I am again call’d here, & shall attend untill the last of this month, upon the genl. & court of appeals. Mr. Jefferson we are taught to believe will visit this state in the course of the...
Permit me to congratulate you upon the adoption, & organization, of the Federal Constitution, a business in which you took so early—so conspicuous—& so Effectual a part, & altho’ I have not the honor of a seat in the Magnum Concilium of America—I feel myself much interested in her Dignity, wealth, & Power—& therefore take the liberty to suggest a measure which in my humble opinion will have a...
Letter not found. 15 June 1789. The list probably kept by Peter Force (DLC: Madison Miscellany) notes that Pendleton wrote a two-page letter to JM on this day. The summary reads: “Commending Nathaniel Pendleton jr for the appointment of District Court Judge in Georgia” (see JM to Pendleton, 15 July 1789 and n. 3).
Since my last I have recieved a Letter from my nephew Nathaniel Pendleton junr. of Georgia stating his information that besides the Judges of the Superior Court, one Fœdral Judge is to be appointed in each State I suppose for the trial of suits within the Appellate Jurisdiction: That he had written to his friends in New-York to sollicit for his appointment to that in Georgia, & as he had not...
Your Favor of the 4th. of June reached me yesterday. I am conscious that you have little leizure. I know that you have Constituents to whom communications are due—apologies for failing speedily to answer my Letters are unnescary [ sic ] to me—for I veiw Your friendly communications as conferring obligations which it will scarce ever be in my power to return—further than by assuring you I am...
The Committee of the Whole took up the bill establishing a department of foreign affairs. Smith (South Carolina) and others wished to strike out the clause declaring the secretary “to be removeable from office by the President of the United States.” Mr. Madison. If the construction of the constitution is to be left to its natural course with respect to the executive powers of this government,...
The inclosed bill relating to the Judiciary has been just introduced into the Senate. Having not yet looked it over I can say nothing of its merits. You will be a better judge, and such remarks as your leisure will permit, will be acceptable & useful. A very interesting Question is started—By whom officers appointed during pleasure by the Presidt. & Senate are to be displaced?—whether the...
I observe by the public Prints, that the Bill for the Establishment of the Impost has returned from the Senate, with considerable Reduction of the Duties on Several Specified Articles. I will not undertake to Scrutinize the Reasons that have urged the Amendments. But, as the Bill is now before the House of Representatives, I will take the Liberty of commenting on that part of it, which limits...
Debate continued on the clause in the bill establishing a foreign affairs department that declared the secretary could be removed from office by the president. Mr. Madison. However various the opinions which exist upon the point now before us, it seems agreed on all sides, that it demands a careful investigation and full discussion. I feel the importance of the question, and know that our...
I observe you have brought forward the amendments you proposed to the federal Constitution. I have given them a very careful perusal, and have attended particularly to their reception by the public. The most decided friends of the constitution admit (generally) that they will meliorate the government by removing some points of litigation and jealousy, and by heightening and strengthening the...
My last to you was of May 11. Yours of Mar. 29. came to hand ten days ago: and about two days ago I received a cover of your hand writing, under which was a N. York paper of May 4. & a letter from mr. Page to Mazzei. There being no letter from you makes me hope there is one on the way which will inform me of my Congé. I have never received mr. Jay’s answer to my public letter of Nov. 19. which...
The removal clause in the bill establishing a foreign affairs department was still under consideration. Mr. Madison. The question now seems to be brought to this, whether it is proper or improper to retain these words in the clause, provided they are explanatory of the constitution. I think this branch of the legislature is as much interested in the establishment of the true meaning of the...
Letter not found. 18 June 1789. Calendared in the lists probably kept by Peter Force (DLC: Madison Miscellany). The two-page letter was offered for sale in the Stan. V. Henkels Catalogue No. 694 (1892), which listed items from the McGuire collection of JM’s papers.
My last to you was of May 11. Yours of Mar. 29. came to hand ten days ago: and about two days ago I received a cover of your hand writing, under which was a N. York paper of May 4. and a letter from Mr. Page to Mazzei. There being no letter from you makes me hope there is one on the way which will inform me of my Congé. I have never received Mr. Jay’s answer to my public letter of Nov. 19....
Desperate must be His circumstances—and Credulous the Man, who forsakes His Country & friends, to follow an Adventurer So Wild as Morgan, who does not even pretend to originate His scheme in Any Manner of Security, or from power or Authority, whatever. His proposals can have no influence on me. Am Nevertheless most humbly thankfull my Good Sir for Your kind Condescention and trouble in the...
Yours I recd. for which I thank you and am happy to hear that the Members of your honorable body agree so well in Political matters. I wish very much to know your oppinion of the public debt, that bears so hard on us whether it can be discharged in any short time without having recourse to direct taxes—and how the general oppinion runs respecting the Certificates due to the officers and...
I lost no time in handing to the President the address inclosed in your favor of the 22 of May, and have postponed an acknowledgment of the latter in expectation of being able at the same time to cover the President’s answer. This has been and continues to be delayed by a very serious indisposition. We hope that he is not in much danger, but are by no means without our fears also. His disorder...
It was fortunate that a duplicate of your letter to Mr. Jefferson went so soon from Alexandria. The copy in My hands did not find a conveyance fit to be trusted for a very long time—it cannot have reached him yet. I was determined to await a secure opportunity, and the intermission of the French Packet left such an one extremely rare. I was compelled at last to put it into the hands of a...
The last favor for which I am to thank you is of June 9th. For some time past I have been obliged to content myself with inclosing you the Newspapers. In general they give, tho’ frequently erroneous and sometimes perverted, yet on the whole, fuller accounts of what is going forward than could be put into a letter. The papers now covered contain a sketch of a very interesting discussion which...
Mr. George James of Virginia is recommended to me by a friend as of integrity and worth, and on that ground I take the liberty of introducing him to you. He is not sure that his objects in visiting Europe will carry him to Paris, but the possibility of such an event interests him in the means of becoming known to you, and I lend my aid for the purpose the more readily, as it affords an...
I was very happy to learn that you had dismissed the first reported bill for the collection of the revenue. In this State and perhaps in some of the others, the Laws were too much in favor of the officers at the expence of the revenue. Here, where the imports are so very considerable, instead of a naval officer and collector constituted to be checks upon each other, the whole power was lodged...
Letter not found. 21 June 1789. Acknowledged in Maury to JM, 13 Feb. 1790 (DLC). Introduces George James.
The bill establishing a department of foreign affairs was still being debated in the Committee of the Whole. On 19 June the motion to strike out the clause, “to be removable from office by the President,” was defeated. The objection arose, however, that this clause had the appearance of being a grant of power by the legislature. To avoid this difficulty, Benson moved that whenever the...
Letter not found. 22 June 1789. Acknowledged in Johnston to JM, 8 July 1789 . Encloses President Washington’s reply to the address from North Carolina. Recommends the publication of both the address and the reply.
Accept my acknowledgments for your favor of the 18th. instant. The printed remarks inclosed in it are already I find in the Gazettes here. It is much to be wished that the discon[ten]ted part of our fellow Citizens could be reconciled to the Government they have opposed, and by means as little as possible unacceptable to those who approve the Constitution in its present form. The amendments...
My last stated a question relating to the power of removal from offices then on the anvil of the H. of Rs. I now inclose the discussions as conveyed to the public thro’ the Newspapers. It is not necessary to apprize you that the reasonings on both sides are mutilated, often misapprehended, and not unfrequently reversed. You will perceive yourself that much of the reasoning is also founded on a...
I thank you for the copy of the amendments proposed to the constitution which you lately inclosed to me —they are calculated to secure the personal rights of the people so far as declarations on paper can effect the purpose, leaving unimpaired the great Powers of the government—they are of such a nature as to be generally acceptable and of course more likely to obtain the assent of Congress...
In a letter of March 15. from Mr. Jefferson I am requested to communicate to you the result of his application for leave to make a visit to America. The application was made long ago, but never decided on under the old Congress, nor taken up under the present Government till a few days ago. His wish is now complied with and notice that he has leave of absence will be forwith transmitted...