James Madison Papers

To James Madison from George Washington, [ca. 31 May] 1789

From George Washington

[ca. 31 May 1789]

… As far as a momentary consideration has enabled me to judge, I see nothing exceptionable in the proposed amendments. Some of them, in my opinion, are importantly necessary, others, though in themselves (in my conception) not very essential, are necessary to quiet the fears of some respectable characters and well meaning Men. Upon the whole, therefore, not foreseeing any evil consequences that can result from their adoption, they have my wishes for a favorable reception in both houses.…

Printed extract (Stan. V. Henkels Catalogue No. 694 [1892]). According to the catalogue, JM made the following endorsement: “Amendments to the Constitution proposed by J. M. at the first Session of Congress in 1789.” JM probably gave Washington a preview of his amendments some time late in May, before presenting them to Congress. The amendments were originally scheduled to be brought before the House on 25 May, but the subject was postponed until 8 June (Gazette of the U.S., 27 May 1789).

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