James Madison Papers

To James Madison from George Washington, 10 January 1794

From George Washington

Friday 10th. Jany. 1794.

Dear Sir,

Herewith you will receive sundry Pamphlets &ca. under the patronage of Sir John Sinclair.1 I send you his letters to me also, that the design may be better understood.

From all these, you will be able to decide, whether a plan of enquiry similar to the one set on foot in G. Britn, would be likely to meet legislative or other encouragement, and of what kind, in this Country.

These, or any other ideas which may result from the perusal of the papers, I would thank you for, as the letters remain unacknowledged, and the writer of them will expect this if nothing more.

RC (PPAmP: Feinstone Collection); letterbook copy (DLC: Washington Papers). Complimentary close and signature clipped from RC; docketed by JM.

1The Scottish agricultural reformer Sir John Sinclair met Jefferson and John Adams during their diplomatic service in Europe. In 1793 James Makittrick Adair carried to America a letter from Sinclair to Washington announcing the formation of the Board of Agriculture in London, expressing the hope “that a similar Board will be set on foot by Congress, and, under its auspices, a statistical survey carried on” in the U.S., and enclosing his Plan for Establishing a Board of Agriculture and Internal Improvement (London, 1793). Washington subsequently received from Sinclair several of the board’s publications and agricultural surveys. He referred these materials not only to JM but also to Jefferson and Adams, expressed great interest in the board’s activities, but concluded: “It will be sometime I fear, before an Agricultural Society with Congressional aids will be established in this Country.” In 1795 the London board admitted Washington to foreign honorary membership (Malone, Jefferson and His Time, 2:59; Sinclair to Washington, 15 June and 15 Aug. 1793, diploma of London Board of Agriculture to Washington, 25 Mar. 1795 [DLC: Washington Papers]; Washington to Adair, 4 Sept. 1793, Washington to Sinclair, 20 July 1794, Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745–1799 (39 vols.; Washington, 1931–44). description ends , 33:81, 436–40).

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