James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Edmund Randolph, 22 April 1796

From Edmund Randolph

Richmond April 22. 1796.

My dear friend

For reasons, which I assigned to you on our interview near Balto, I have not written to you, since your sojournment at Phila. The inclosed notice1 presents a subject, not influenced by those reasons. It is a branch of the Phila. system, which underwriters, merchants and the devotees of the administration invariably inforce; and unless counteracted, will throw every thing at their feet. The meeting on monday will in great measure be composed of British; and Scotch, who have no freeholds: of those, who are at the beck of the treasury, and of those, who are dependent on them. They will be met in argument; but will be victorious. However, a paper will be drawn up for countersignature, and dispersed. Tell Mr. Clopton, he stands firm. The tories had set up an opponent to him, long before they heard of his vote; and it is not worth his while to expect the smallest shadow of their favor.2 Yrs. very truly

E. R.

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1Randolph evidently enclosed a notice (not found) for the Richmond public meeting that met on 25 Apr. On that meeting, see Randolph to JM, 25 Apr. 1796, and n. 1.

2John Clopton had supported the resolutions presented by Edward Livingston and Thomas Blount during the Jay treaty debates in the House of Representatives. Randolph presumably alluded to Clopton’s Federalist opponent in the 1795 and 1797 congressional elections, Burwell Bassett (Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 4th Cong., 1st sess., 759, 782–83; Philadelphia Aurora General Advertiser, 29 Mar. 1797; 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 , 15:500 n. 1).

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