James Madison Papers

From James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, 6 August 1795

To Thomas Jefferson

Augst. 6. 95.

Dear Sir

I return the paper covered by your favor of the third, which was handed me by a gentleman who picked it up in Charlottesville. I find that the meeting in N. York was not exactly as represented to you. The Republicans were never outnumbered; & the vote of a very full meeting was finally unanimous in remonstrating agst. the Treaty. The Chamber of Commerce has had a separate meeting & has passed some counteracting Resolutions. In Portsmouth, Boston & Philada. unanimous Remonstrances have also issued from Town Meetings & been sent by express to the P.1 The silence of the disaffected minorities is easily explained. I understand that Mr. Wythe presided at the Richmond Meeting, a circumstance which will not be without its weight; especially as he presided at the former Meeting in support of the Proclamation.2 A gentleman who was present says he was told two individuals only in the City, (Hopkins & one of the Marshalls) openly espoused the Treaty. Even Andrews joins in the general denunciation of it. I have a letter from the Bishop which is a Philippic on the subject. In short from all quarters the public voice seems to proclaim the same detestation; except from Alexandria & its neighbourhood where there is some division. Docr. Stuart & the Lees take the side of the Treaty. I have a letter from Chancellor Livingston which tells me he has taken the liberty of writing a free letter to the P. with a view to impress on him the public sentiment & the consequences of ratifying an act so hostile to the opinions & interests of the people, & to the good unsterdanding [sic] with France. The in[c]losed papers contain some remarks on the Treaty from a hand which will claim attention. They are borrowed, & you may therefore return them by Mr. Jones or any other convenient opportunity. Yrs. affecly.

Js. M. Jr.

RC (DLC). Docketed by Jefferson, “recd. Aug. 8.” Enclosures not found.

1Public meetings at Boston on 13 July, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on 17 July, and Philadelphia on 25 July approved addresses to Washington opposing the Jay treaty (Treaty of Amity,… to Which Is Annexed, a Copious Appendix, pp. 156–60, 160–62, 172–75).

2On 29 and 30 July George Wythe, Jefferson’s former law tutor, presided at Richmond public meetings that approved resolutions denouncing the Jay treaty. Copies of the resolutions were sent to Washington. JM was heartened because two years earlier Federalists had persuaded Wythe to preside at a similar meeting that had endorsed Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation and criticized Citizen Genet (Richmond Va. Gazette, and General Advertiser, 5 and 12 Aug. 1795; JM to Jefferson, 27 Aug. 1793, PJM description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (1 vol. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984—). description ends , 15:75, 76 n. 2).

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