James Madison Papers

From James Madison to George Washington, 20 [30] November 1787

To George Washington

N. York Novr. 20. [30] 1787.1

Dear Sir

My last inclosed the seven first numbers of the paper of which I gave you some account. I now add the seven following numbers, which close the first branch of the subject, the importance of the Union. The succeeding papers shall be forwarded from time to time as they come out.

The latest authentic information from Europe, places the Dutch in a wretched situation. The patriots will probably depend in the event on external politics for the degree of security and power that may be left them. The Turks & Russians have begun a war in that quarter. And a general one is not improbable.

I have heard nothing of consequence lately concerning the progress of the New Constitution. The Pennsylvania Convention has probably by this time come to a decision; but it is not known here.

Not more than two or three States are yet convened. The prospect of a quorum during the winter continues precarious. With every sentiment of respect & attachment I remain Dear Sir Yr. Affect. humble servt.

Js. Madison Jr

RC (DLC: Washington Papers); Tr (DLC). RC docketed by Washington. Enclosures not found.

1Although JM wrote “Novr. 20,” this is clearly a mistake, and several circumstances point to 30 Nov. as the correct date of the letter. JM enclosed with this letter copies of The Federalist, Nos. 8–14, but the last of these was not printed until 30 Nov. In the letter he says that the Pennsylvania convention had “probably by this time come to a decision,” but that convention did not begin until 21 Nov. On 7 Dec. Washington acknowledged JM’s letters of 28 Oct. and 18 Nov., but not the one dated 20 Nov., which he should have received by that time.

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