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From James Madison to Arthur Fenner, 15 May 1804

To Arthur Fenner

Department of State 15 May 1804.


I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the ratification, by the Legislature of Rhode Island,1 of the Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, relative to the election of President and Vice President,2 which you have been pleased to transmit to me. With the greatest respect, I have the honor to be, Sir, Your most obed. servt.

James Madison

RC (R-Ar). In Wagner’s hand, signed by JM; addressed to “His Excellency The Governor of the State of Rhode Island.” The letterbook copy of a similar letter, addressed on the same day to the governor of New York (DNA: RG 59, DL, vol. 14), includes the note: “Mem: A letter similar to the above was addressed on the same day to the Governor of Kentucky and likewise to the Govrs. of Rhode Island, and of New Jersey.”

1For Fenner’s forwarding of the ratification, see his letter to JM, 14 Mar. 1804, PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends , 6:589.

2Copies of the proposed twelfth amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reconfigured the casting of ballots for president and vice president, were sent to the states on 13 and 14 Dec. 1803 for ratification (see Aaron Burr to JM, 12 Dec. 1803, ibid., 6:160 and nn. 1–2).

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