James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Edmund Randolph, 6 March 1790

From Edmund Randolph

Fredg. March 6. 1790.

My dear friend

In George Town and Alexa. your discrimination has, as it is said, few advocates. Dr. Stuart was my author concerning the opinions of the latter, Mr. Brook Beall1 concerning those of the former. But I collected afterward, from Mr. Laurence Washington,2 that Colo. Geo. Mason was strenuously in favor of your motion; and indeed what I recollect of his observations in convention coincides with this sentiment. At this place Genl. Weedon and Colo. Posey3 seem to think, that the same current prevails, as in the other towns. I can gather nothing as to the public temper, upon the assumption of the state-debts; except the judgment of Mr. Chas. Lee,4 who thinks, that they ought not to be transferred to the U. S. I ought however to add, that the sentiments of the Jersey man5 have been spoken of in terms of praise.

The reports of Colo. Grayson’s ill-health had brought him even to death, before we reached Dumfries. But there we found, that, tho’ low, he gave hopes of a restoration.

I hear, that Mr. Jefferson’s phaeton is in this town, with directions to proceed to-day to Alexa., there to wait his arrival. He is in Richmond with his newly-married daughter, and is expected here to-day, or tuesday in the stage.

RC (DLC). Complimentary close and signature omitted. Docketed by JM.

1Brooke Beall (1742–1798) was a member of a prominent family residing in the vicinity of Georgetown (Fielder M. Beall, ed., The Beall and Bell Families [Washington, n.d.], p. 184).

2Probably Lawrence Washington (1740–1799) of Belmont, on the north side of Occoquan Creek (John W. Wayland, The Washingtons and Their Homes [1944; Berryville, Va., 1973 reprint], pp. 281, 333).

3Thomas Posey (1750–1818), an officer of the Virginia Continental line during the Revolution, later held a commission as brigadier general in the U.S. Army (WMQ description begins William and Mary Quarterly. description ends , 1st ser., VI [1897–98], 65–68; Heitman, Historical Register U.S. Army description begins Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army (2 vols.; Washington, 1903). description ends , I, 800).

4Charles Lee (1758–1815), brother of Henry Lee and Richard Bland Lee, was then customs collector at Alexandria and later became U.S. attorney general.

5Elias Boudinot.

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