James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Edmund Pendleton, [2 September] 1789

From Edmund Pendleton

[2 September 1789]

… I congratulate you upon having got through the Amendments to the Constitution, as I was very anxious that it should be done before y’r adjournment, since it will have a good effect in quieting the minds of many well meaning Citizens, tho’ I am of opinion that nothing was further from the wish of some, who covered their Opposition to the Government under the masque of uncommon zeal for amendments, & to whom a rejection or a delay as a new ground of clamour, would have been more agreeable. I own also that I feel some degree of pleasure, in discovering obviously from the whole progress, that the public are indebted for the measure to the friends of Government, whose Elections were opposed under pretense of their being averse to amendments.…

Printed extract (Stan. V. Henkels Catalogue No. 694 [1892]). Pendleton also criticized the judiciary bill as “defective both in its general structure, and many of its particular regulations” (JM to Pendleton, 14 Sept. 1789). The list probably kept by Peter Force (DLC: Madison Miscellany) notes that this letter consisted of one page and calendars it as follows: “The amendments to the Constitution. The new Judiciary system.”

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