Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from James Madison, 16 June 1788

From James Madison

Richmond June 16. 1788

My dear Sir

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.1 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 that cannot be to weary the members into a adjournment without taking any decision. It [is] presumed at the same time that they do not despair of carrying the point of previous amendments2 which is preferable game. The parties continue to be nicely balanced. If we have a majority at all it does not exceed three or four. If we lose it Kentucke will be the cause;3 they are generally if not unanimously against us.

I have been partially recovered since my last, but to day have a sort of relapse. My health is not good, and the business is wearisome beyond expression. I wish you every happiness & am yrs.

Js. Madison Jr4

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

2Madison is referring to the attempt of opponents of the Constitution in the Virginia Ratifying Convention to procure amendments to the Constitution before adopting it.

3The Continental Congress, despite Virginia’s offer of independence, had not admitted Kentucky to the Union as a separate state. That region, therefore, was still part of Virginia.

4At the bottom of this letter are written the words “turn over.” On the reverse side was an undated letter from Henry Lee to H. See Lee to H, June 16, 1788.

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