James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Joshua Stow, 20 September 1817

From Joshua Stow

Middletown, Connt. Sept. 20th. 1817.


Our semi-anual election for the State Legislature, was held this week on monday; the result of which, is the complete change of Connecticut.1

Hierarchy and Aristocracy no longer rule this state.

In the House of Representatives there will be about two republicans to one federalist, and the republican-ticket for the nomination of twenty persons (from whom the twelve who compose the Governors Council, forming the Senate of the State, must be chosen next April) is compleatly carried by a large and decided majority. Of course, next May, all the legislative Powers of the State, will be entirely in the hands of the friends of the General Goverment.

This change will be perminent! Our joy is inexpressible! I am, very respectfully Your Obedient Servant

Joshua Stow2

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1The September 1817 elections in Connecticut ended Federalist domination of the state and opened the way to a constitutional convention to rewrite the frame of government (Richard J. Purcell, Connecticut in Transition: 1775–1818 [Middletown, Conn., 1963], 227–31).

2Joshua Stow (1762–1842), judge and state politician, was born in Middlefield, Connecticut. He was the commissary of a surveying party that explored the Western Reserve of Ohio in 1796, and he invested in a township there in 1804 that bears his name. A passionate Republican, Stow vehemently supported the successful effort in the Connecticut Constitutional Convention of 1818 to disestablish the Congregational Church. He became postmaster at Middletown, Connecticut, under Andrew Jackson (Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Ohio [3 vols.; Columbus, Ohio, 1889–91], 3:337–38; Purcell, Connecticut in Transition, 237, 239, 240, 252, 253–54).

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