James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Bradford, 3 June 1776—Summary

From William Bradford

Letter not found.

3 June 1776. In his “Memorandum Book” (see 20 May 1776) Bradford wrote:

“As my friend Maddison had desired me in his last to give him a sketch of the Constitution of this province and of that of Connecticut which might be useful to him as a member of Convention, I determined to return an early answer & wrote a rough draught of a Letter for that purpose. The constitution of Connecticut I learnt from douglas1 who is no very good historian & a little viva voce information I picked up as I travelled thro’ the province in my [journey] to the Camp at Cambrige last fall.2 … In the Evening I copied the Letter to Mr. Maddison… .”3

1William Douglass, M.D. (ca. 1691–1752), A Summary, Historical and Political, of the First Planting, Progressive Improvements, and Present State of the British Settlements in North-America (2 vols.; Boston, 1749–53). Douglass gives an account of Connecticut in Part III of his second volume.

2Perhaps this journey, together with his increasingly active role in the Revolution, explains why Bradford found no time after July 1775 to copy in his commonplace book his continuing correspondence with JM.

3Neither this letter nor its “rough draught” is known to be extant.

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