To Edmund Randolph
RC (LC: Madison Papers). Cover missing. Docketed by Randolph, “J. Madison Aug: 5. 1783.”
Philada. Aug: 5. 1783.
My dear Friend
Your favor of the 18th. ult. which my last did not acknowledge was in the mail & was shortly after recd.1 Your succeeding one of the 25th. inclosing the pamphlet came to hand yesterday.2 The Gazette which I inclose will give you a sight of the Philada. Address to Congress and their answer.3 Since I left Princeton last I understand the question has been agitated relative to the return of Congs. to this City and a day fixed for its final discussion.4 There is little reason to suppose that it will be decided in the affirmative by the present composition & thinness of Congs. I rather suppose that no question will be taken when the probability of a negative is fully discovered; though it will be pushed by those who wish to multiply obsticles to a removal South of the Delaware.5
The arrival of the definitive Treaty at N. Y. which my last represented as probable, has sunk into a general disbelief.6 The most sanguine opinion goes no farther now than to the arrival of some preliminary intelligence and instructions touching it.
I am my dear Sir yrs. very affecy.
J. M. Jr.
2. Randolph’s letter of 25 July has not been found. The “pamphlet” was undoubtedly that by Meriwether Smith which Randolph had promised about three weeks before to send to JM as soon as it was published (Randolph to JM, 12 July 1783, and n. 4).
4. JM probably had not attended Congress since 26 July (JM to Randolph, 8 July, and n. 2; 15 July, and n. 7). The “reply” mentioned above had not committed Congress either to return or not to return to Philadelphia. On 1 August Congress agreed to delay until 6 August “farther consideration” of a motion to adjourn at Princeton on 8 August for the purpose of meeting in Philadelphia four days later (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 484–85). Although the issue had been made the order of the day for 6 August, the journal omits mention of renewed discussion of the matter until one week later (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 506–9). See Delegates to Harrison, 14–15 Aug. 1783.
5. Of the seven states north of the mouth of the Delaware River, all were effectively represented in Congress on 5 August, except New Hampshire and New York. Of the six south of that stream, Delaware and Georgia had no delegate and Maryland only one in Congress on that day. The arrival in Princeton on 7 August of Daniel Carroll from Maryland and Ezra L’Hommedieu from New York enabled those states to cast effective votes, provided that the two delegates from each of them concurred in their stand upon a particular issue (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXIV, 484, 492–93).