James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Edmund Randolph, 22 July 1788

To Edmund Randolph

New York July 22. [1788]

My Dear Sir

The inclosed papers will give you a view of the business in the Convention at Poughkepsie. It is not as yet certain that the ratification will take any final shape that can make New York immediately a member of the new Union. The opponents can not come to that point without yielding a compleat victory to the federalists, which must be a severe sacrifice of their pride. It is supposed too that some of them, would not be displeased at seeing a bar to the pretensions of this City to the first meeting of the New Government. On the other side, the zeal for an unconditional ratification is not a little increased by contrary wishes.

There have been no late arrivals from Europe: nor any news from any other Quarter.

Don’t omit sending me the papers containing the series of letters announced in a late one.1 Yr. Affecte friend

Js. Madison Jr

RC (DLC). Addressed, franked, and marked “private” by JM. Docketed by Randolph. Enclosures not found.

1JM referred to a notice in the Va. Independent Chronicle of 9 July 1788 announcing a forthcoming series of letters on the Constitution. The author proposed “to view with candour the objections, which were urged in the late Convention of this state, and to answer such others, as may from time to time appear.” The first letter of the “Republican” (presumably Randolph) was published in the Richmond paper on 16 July. At least one more letter appeared before the author announced a discontinuation on 27 Aug. Copies of the newspapers containing additional numbers have not survived. The “Republican” decided to drop his series after the New York convention sent a circular letter calling for a second general convention to consider amendments to the Constitution. This proposal, he said, fully answered his purpose of reconciling Antifederalists to the new plan. Randolph sent the first two numbers of the “Republican” to JM on 13 Aug.

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