James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Edmund Pendleton, 25 August 1783

From Edmund Pendleton

Summary (LC: Madison Miscellany). The summary is copied from a calendar, probably prepared about 1850 by Peter Force’s clerk. He noted that the letter was addressed “to James Madison” and the manuscript consisted of “1 page folio.”

Mr. Pendleton’s reply to Madisons objection to his plan of paying public creditors.1 Consuls and Superintendents of Trade preferable to Foreign Ministers.2

1JM’s “objection” to Pendleton’s “plan” had probably been expressed in a missing letter to Pendleton on or about 12 August. The general nature of the plan is suggested in the summaries of Pendleton’s letters of 14 July (q.v.) and 4 August 1783 (q.v., and n. 3).

2Perhaps Pendleton believed that, following the ratification of the definitive peace treaty, the relationships between the United States and Europe should be almost exclusively commercial in nature. This position would also accord with his stress upon the virtues of an economical and simple government, unthreatened at its capital by the corruptive presence of a diplomatic corps (Pendleton to JM, 26 May; 16 June 1783, and n. 10).

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