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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...
I have been very delinquent My Dear Sir in not thanking you sooner for your letter from Philadelphia. The remarks you make on a certain subject are important and will be attended to. There is truly much embarrassment in the case. I think however the principles we have talked of, in respect to the legislative authorities, are not only just but will apply to the other departments. Nor will the...
I believe I am in your debt a letter or two, which is owing to my occupations in relation to the elections &c. These are now over in this state, but the result is not known. All depends upon Albany where both sides claim the victory. Our doubts will not be removed till the latter end of the month. I hope your expectations of Virginia have not diminished. Respecting the first volume of Publius...
Some days since I wrote to you, My Dear Sir, inclosing a letter from a Mr. V Der Kemp &c. I then mentioned to you that the question of a majority for or against the constitution would depend upon the County of Albany. By the latter accounts from that quarter I fear much that the issue there has been against us. As Clinton is truly the leader of his party, and is inflexibly obstinate I count...
In my last I think I informed you that the elections had turned out, beyond expectation, favourable to the Antifœderal party. They have a majority of two thirds in the Convention and according to the best estimate I can form of about four sevenths in the community. The views of the leaders in this City are pretty well ascertained to be turned towards a long adjournment say till next spring or...
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...
Yesterday, My Dear Sir, The Convention made a house. That day and this have been spent in preliminary arrangements. Tomorrow we go into a Committee of the whole on the Constitution. There is every appearance that a full discussion will take place, which will keep us together at least a fortnight. It is not easy to conjecture what will be the result. Our adversaries greatly outnumber us. 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...
I thank you for your letter of the 9th. instant and am glad to learn that you think the chance is in your favour. I hope no disagreeable change may happen. Yet I own I fear something from your indisposition. Our debate here began on the clause respecting the proportion of representation &c. which has taken up two days. Tomorrow I imagine we shall talk about the power over elections. The only...
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...
I am very sorry to find by your letter of the 13th that your prospects are so critical. Our chance of success here is infinitely slender, and none at all if you go wrong. The leaders of the Antifederalists finding their part seems somewhat squeamish about rejection, are obliged at present to recur to the project of conditional amendments. We are going on very deliberately in the discussion and...
A day or two ago General Schuyler at my request sent forward to you an express with an account of the adoption of the Constitution by New Hampshire. We eagerly wait for further intelligence from you, as our only chance of success depends on you. There are some slight symptoms of relaxation in some of the leaders; which authorises a gleam of hope, if you do well; but certainly I think not...
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....
Your letter of the 20th. came to hand two days since. I regret that your prospects were not yet reduced to greater certainty. There is more and more reason to believe that our conduct will be influenced by yours. Our discussions have not yet travelled beyond the power of taxation. To day we shall probably quit this ground to pass to another. Our arguments confound, but do not convince. Some of...
I felicitate you sincerely on the event in Virginia; but my satisfaction will be allayed, if I discover too much facility in the business of amendment-making. I fear the system will be wounded in some of its vital parts by too general a concurrence in some very injudicious recommendations. I allude more particularly to the power of taxation. The more I consider requisition in any shape the...
I thank you My Dear Sir for yours by the post. Yesterday I communicated to Duer our situation which I presume he will have communicated to you. It remains exactly the same, no further question having been taken. I fear the footing mentioned in my letter to Duer is the best upon which it can be placed; but every thing possible will yet be attempted to bring the party from that stand to an...
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...
I wrote to you by the last post since which nothing material has turned up here. We are debating on amendments without having decided what is to be done with them. There is so great a diversity in the views of our opponents that it is impossible to predict any thing. Upon the whole however our fears diminish. Yrs. Affecly I take the liberty for certain reasons to put the inclosed under cover...
[ 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 thank you My Dear Sir for yours of the 20th. The only part of it which surprises me is what you mention respecting Clinton. I cannot however believe that the plan will succeed. Nor indeed do I think that Clinton would be disposed to exchange his present appointment for that office or to risk his popularity by holding both. At the same time the attempt merits attention and ought not to be...
I thank you My Dear Sir for the line you was so obliging as to leave for me and for the loan of the book accompanying it; in which I have not yet made sufficient progress to judge of its merit. I dont know how it was but I took it for granted that you had left town much earlier than you did; else I should have found an opportunity after your adjournment to converse with you on the subjects...
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...
You will oblige me by taking the trouble to peruse the Report which accompanies this; and if the weather permit, I will call upon you sometime tomorrow or next day to converse on the subject of it. I remain with great esteem and regard   D Sir Yr Obed ser It will not be disagreeable to me if after perusal you hand it over to Mr. Jefferson. ALS , University of Virginia. Presumably this is a...
[ New York, May 20, 1801. On May 26, 1801, Madison wrote to Hamilton : “I have received your letter of the 20th.” Letter not found. ]
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...
[ New York, April 18, 1784. “I take the liberty to introduce him to you, as to one who will be disposed, so far as your situation will permit and the circumstances of the State may render practicable, to patronise any just or equitable claims which he may have upon the State. What those claims are he will himself explain to you, I have assured him that he will find in you a friend to justice...
Can nothing be done in our Assembly for poor Paine? Must the merits, & Services of Common Sense continue to glide down the stream of time, unrewarded by this Country? His writings certainly have had a powerful effect on the public mind; ought they not then to meet an adequate return? He is poor! he is chagreened! and almost, if not altogether, in despair of relief. New York it is true, not the...
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...
After the several conversations we have had on the subject of inland navigation; and the benefits which would, probably, be derived from a commercial intercourse with the Western territory; I shall make no apology for giving you the trouble of the enclosed. It is matter of regret to me, however, that I cannot accompany them with some explanations & observations. It was intended these Papers...
Gentlemen: I returned yesterday from Annapolis, having conducted the Marquis La Fayette that far on his way to New York, and left him proceeding on the road to Baltimore, on Wednesday last. This trip afforded me opportunities of conversing with some of the leading characters in the different branches of the Legislature of Maryland, on the subject of inland navigation, and the benefits which...
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 have been favored with your letter of the 11th. The proceedings of the conference, and the Act & resolutions of this Legislature consequent thereupon (herewith transmitted to the Assembly) are so full, & explanatory of the motives which governed in this business, that it is scarcely necessary for me to say any thing in addition to them; except that, this State seem highly impressed with the...
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 thank you for the perusal of the enclosed reports—Mr Jay seems to have laboured the point respecting the Convention. If any thing should occur that is interesting, & your leizure will permit it, I should be glad to hear from you on the subject; Printed in Henkels catalog no. 694, item 30, 6–7 Dec. 1892; copy, MH : Jared Sparks Collection. The editors of the Madison Papers (8:380–81)...
Receive my thanks for your obliging favor of the 20th—with its enclosure—of the latter I now avail myself in a letter to the Governor, for the General Assembly. Your delicate sensibility deserves my particular acknowledgements: both your requests are complied with—the first, by congeniality of sentiment; the second because I would fulfil your desire. Conceiving it would be better to suggest a...
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...
Receive my thanks for your obliging communications of the 11th—I hear with much pleasure that the assembly are engaged, seriously, in the consideration of the revised Laws. A short & simple code, in my opinion, tho’ I have the sentiments of some of the Gentlemen of the long robe against me, would be productive of happy consequences, and redound to the honor of this or any Country which shall...
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...