James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Francis Mercer, 16 January 1787

From John Francis Mercer

Annapolis Jany. 16. 87.

Dear Sir

I have written you now my last invitation & that is to come by Annapolis as you go to Phila. Mr. D Carrol who is now with me joins in the request. We are talking Politics—for the Politics of this State have become so confused as to engage the universal attention. They appoint no Deputies to the General Convention this session.1 That & every other consequential measure is postponed to the next session in March, when they expect that the people will decide on a paper emission—two plans of which are submitted to them, one by the H. of Delegates on loans & another by the Senate of which I approve.2 Adieu—Good luck to you & call on us at all events. Yrs. with sin[c]ere esteem

John F Mercer

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1The Maryland House of Delegates, more interested in the paper-money issue, was in no hurry to appoint delegates to the convention of 1787. A report authorizing state participation was approved at the fall session of the Maryland assembly, but a delegation was not appointed until the April 1787 special session (Matthew Page Andrews, History of Maryland: Province and State [New York, 1929], p. 385).

2The House bill called for a limited circulation of paper money, to be loaned at 6 percent on collateral in “landed property of more than twice the value,” with debt retirement in twenty years (Nevins, American States during and after the Revolution, pp. 530–32). Another of the House plans was submitted by Thomas Johnson, but to no avail, perhaps because Johnson’s plan limited the emission to £100,000 and provided for the currency’s retirement within four years through a special tax (Kathryn L. Behrens, Paper Money in Maryland, 1727–1789 [Baltimore, 1923], pp. 83–84).

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