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If Mr. Madison should be disengaged this Evening Mr. Hamilton would be obliged by an opportunity of conversing with him at his lodgings for half an hour. If engaged this Evening he will thank him to say whether tomorrow Evening will suit. AL , James Madison Papers, Library of Congress. H’s note is undated. It probably was written between October, 1787, and March 4, 1788, a period during which...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
[ 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...
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...
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 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...
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...
I thank you for the communications in your letter of the first instt. The decision of the House on the question respecting a paper emission, is portentous I hope, of an auspicious Session. It may certainly be classed among the important questions of the present day; and merited the serious consideration of the Assembly. Fain would I hope, that the great, & most important of all objects—the...
Not having sent to the Post Office with my usual regularity, your favor of the 8th did not reach me in time for an earlier acknowledgment than of this date. It gives me the most sensible pleasure to hear that the Acts of the present Session, are marked with wisdom, justice & liberality. They are the palladium of good policy, & the only paths that lead to national happiness. Would to God every...
Your favor of the 7th came to hand the evening before last. The resolutions which you say are inserted in the Papers, I have not yet seen. The latter come irregularly, tho’ I am a subscriber to Hays Gazette. Besides the reasons which are assigned in my circular letter to the several State Societies of the Cincinnati, for my nonattendance at the next General meeting to be holden in Philadelphia...
At the sametime that I acknowledge the receipt of your obliging favor of the 21st Ult. from New York, I promise to avail myself of your indulgence of writing only when it is convenient to me. If this should not occasion a relaxation on your part, I shall become very much your debtor—and possibly like others in similar circumstances (when the debt is burthensome) may feel a disposition to apply...
I thank you for your letter of the 30th Ult. It came by the last Post. I am better pleased that the proceedings of the Convention is handed from Congress by a unanimous vote (feeble as it is) than if it had appeared under stronger marks of approbation without it. This apparent unanimity will have its effect. Not every one has opportunities to peep behind the curtain; and as the multitude often...
When I last wrote to you, I was uninformed of the Sentiments of this State beyond the circle of Alexandria, with respect to the New Constitution. Since, a letter which I received by the last Post, dated the 16th, from a member of the Assembly, contains the following paragraphs. “I believe such an instance has not happened before, since the revolution, that there should be a house on the first...
Your favor of the 18th Ulto came duly to hand. As no subject is more interesting, and seems so much to engross the attention of every one as the proposed Constitution, I shall, (tho’ it is probable your communications from Richmond are regular and full with respect to this, and other matters, which employ the consideration of the Assembly) give you the extract of a letter from Doctr Stuart,...
Since my last to you, I have been favored with your letters of the 28th of Octr & 18th of Novr—With the last came 7 numbers of the Fœderalist under the signature of Publius. For these I thank you. They are forwarded to a Gentleman in Richmond for re-publication. The doing of which, in this State, will, I am persuaded, have a good effect; as there are certainly characters in it who are no...
I stand indebted to you for your favors of the 20th & 26th Ult.; and I believe for that of the 14th also, & their enclosures. It does not appear to me that there is any certain criterian in this State, by which a decided judgment can be formed of the opinion which is entertained by the mass of its Citizens with respect to the New Constitution. My belief on this occasion is, that whenever the...
I am indebted to you for several of your favors, and thank you for their enclosures. The rumours of War between France and England have subsided; and the poor Patriots of Holland, it seems, are left to fight their own Battles or negotiate—in neither case with any great prospect of advantage—They must have been deceived, or their conduct has been divided, precip-[it]ant, & weak—the former, with...
The decision of Massachusetts, notwithstanding its concomitants, is a severe stroke to the opponents of the proposed Constitution in this State; and with the favorable determinations of the States which have gone before, and such as are likely to follow after, will have a powerful operation on the minds of Men who are not actuated more by disappointment, passion and resentment, than they are...
Your favor of the 10th Ult. came duly to hand, and the enclosure for Mr D. Carroll was forwarded the next day by a direct & safe conveyance. That Gentleman, however, was not of the Convention. But the body of which you supposed him to be a member, by a large and decided Majority (of Sixty odd to twelve) have ratified the New Constitution. A thorn this in the sides of the leaders of opposition...
I am much obliged by the few lines you wrote to me on the 4th and though it is yet too soon to rejoice one cannot avoid being pleased at the auspicious opening of the business of your Convention. Though an ulterior opinion of the decision of this state on the Constitution would at any time previous to the discussion of it in the Convention have been premature yet I have never dispaired of its...
Since my last, acknowledging the first letter you did me the favor to write to me after your arrival in Richmond, I have received your subsequent ones of the 13th & 18th instant; which, tho’ less favourable than the former, are more pleasing than suspence. I will yet hope that the good sense of this Country, maugre all the arts of opposition, will ultimately decide right on the important...
Your favors of the 21st & 27th of last month came duly to hand. The last, contained the pleasing—and I may add (tho’ I could not reconcile it with any ideas I entertained of common policy) unexpected account of the unconditional ratification of the Consitution by the State of New York—That No. Carolina will hesitate long in its choice I can scarcely believe; but what Rhode Island will do is...
Although the letter of Mr Pleasants and its enclosure will appear under date of the 25th of July, it never got to my hand till friday last. Tomorrow is the first Post by which I could forward it. It is now sent with thanks for the perusal. I shall write to the Count de Moustier, but in pretty general terms—giving the substance rather than the detail of this business. That the circular letter...
I duly received your letter of the 24th of last Month, but as we had no intelligence or circumstance in this quarter worthy of your acceptance, I postponed even the acknowledgment untill I was gratifyed by the receipt of your subsequent favor of the 14th instant. Indeed I have now little more to give you in return, than this information to prevent your apprehension of miscarriage; and my...
It has so happened, that the letter which you did me the favor of writing to me on the 5th, did not get to my hands until the 15th instant; owing, in part, to the uncertainty of the Mail (on account of the change from the Summer to the Winter establishment of the Stages) and partly to some engagements which prevented my sending to the Post Office agreeably to my usual custom. I wish it was in...
By a notification in the Pensylvania Packet, it appears that the Southern Mail was robbed on the 22d ult. in the State of Delaware. As it was about, at least not far from the time, I wrote you fully in answer to your favor of the 5th of Novr I am anxious to know its fate. If it has not reached your hands I will upon intimation thereof transmit a duplicate of my sentiments respecting the Falls...
The letters which will accompany this, for you, came to my hand by the Post on Tuesday. The direction of them is altered; and they are fowarded to Alexandria to receive a conveyance in the Mail tomorrow. Is there any safe, and tolerably expeditious mode by which letters from the Post Office in Fredericksburgh are conveyed to you? I want to write a private & confidential letter to you, shortly,...
Having heard of your Election by a respectable majority of the suffrages of the District for which you stood and conceiving it probable that you would soon be on your journey to New York—possibly before my return from the Seneca Falls—for which place, by appointment, I am this moment setting off by the way of George Town; where I expect to meet Governors Johnson & Lee. I take the liberty of...
Your favors of the 5th & 8th came duly to hand; the first from Baltimore, the latter from Philda. The design of this is merely to acknowledge the receipt of them, and to forward the enclosed; but I will add, as I have my pen in my hand, that Col. Bland, after having lain a weak with the Gent. at Gunston, after having been shipwrecked & land-wrecked, mired, fatigued with walking, &C. &C....
I have been favored with your Letter of the 19th by which it appears that a quoram of Congress was hardly to be expected until the beginning of the past week. As this delay must be very irksome to the attending members, and every days continuance of it (before the Government is in operation) will be more sensibly felt, I am resolved, no interruption shall proceed from me that can well be...
RC ( LC : Madison Papers). Salutation, “The Honbl Mr. Madison.” Cover addressed to “The Honorable Mr. Madison Princeton. Honored by Major Sergant.” Docketed by JM, “Institution of the Cincinnati from E. Haskill Sepr. 12. 1783.” “Sergant” was probably Major Winthrop Sargent (1753–1820). Between 1787 and 1801 he was successively the surveyor, secretary, and governor of the Northwest Territory....
RC (Harvard College Library: Dearborn Papers). Addressed in the hand of a clerk, probably George Hay, “To James Madison. Sept 13th: 1783,” and almost certainly enclosed by Randolph in his longer letter of the same date to JM ( q.v. ). If your attention to congressional business, and your cramped situation will allow you to shew civilities to a new acquaintance, I must consign Mr. Francis...
RC ( LC : Madison Papers). Unsigned, but in Randolph’s hand. Cover addressed by him to “The honble James Madison jr. esq of Congress Princeton.” Docketed by JM, “Sepr. 13. 1783 E.R.” The bracketed letters are those excised from the manuscript by an overly close cropping, especially along the right margin of the second folio. Norfolk and its neighbourhood are I fear, doomed to perpetual...
Summary ( LC : Madison Miscellany). Copied from a calendar, probably prepared about 1850 by Peter Force’s clerk. He noted that the manuscript of the letter, addressed “To James Madison,” consisted of “1 page 4°.” Recovery from illness. Sir Guy Carlton. The people Eastward averse to the half-pay, or commutation. The British restrictive proclamation. Pendleton probably referred to his own...
Printed excerpt (Stan. V. Henkels Catalogue No. 694 [1892], p. 94). About 1850 the present letter was calendared, probably by a clerk of Peter Force, as follows: “Garrisons in time of peace. A standing army the bane of society. Should garrisons be Continental or supported by the States where located. German-Town as a seat for the Government merely another name for Philadelphia. Trade with...