James Madison Papers

To James Madison from George Washington, 12 May 1796 (Abstract)

§ From George Washington

12 May 1796. Invites JM “to dine on Thursday next at 4 oClock.” Requests an answer.1

FC (DLC: Washington Papers). A printed card, with name, date, and time in Washington’s hand.

1There has been some speculation that this dinner invitation was connected with Washington’s decision to announce his retirement by issuing a farewell address. At this time, Washington was certainly considering ways in which to incorporate the drafts JM had written for him in 1792 into a valedictory, but in view of the fact that the president, on 15 May, decided to entrust the drafting of the address to Alexander Hamilton, it seems unlikely that this was the reason behind a dinner invitation for 19 May (see Freeman, Washington, 7:381; Paltsits, Washington’s Farewell Address, pp. 30, 241–43).

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