James Madison Papers

Election of the Senate, [31 May] 1787

Election of the Senate

[31 May 1787]

Wilson had suggested that the Senate should be chosen from special political units created by a fusion of several districts formed for selecting members of the first branch.

Mr. Madison observed that such a mode would destroy the influence of the smaller States associated with larger ones in the same district; as the latter would chuse from within themselves, altho’ better men might be found in the former. The election of Senators in Virga. where large & small counties were often formed into one district for the purpose, had illustrated this consequence. Local partiality, would often prefer a resident within the County or State, to a candidate of superior merit residing out of it. Less merit also in a resident would be more known throughout his own State.1

Ms (DLC).

1Pierce’s version:

“Mr. Maddison thinks the mode pointed out in the original propositions the best” (Farrand, Records description begins Max Farrand, ed., The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 (4 vols.; New Haven, 1911–37). description ends , I, 59).

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