James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Benjamin Romaine, 11 January 1822

From Benjamin Romaine

Newyork 11th. January 1822.

Dear Sir,

I take the freedom to send to you (by mail) two Pamphlets containing an exhibition of reasons opposed to the adoption of the New Constitution of the State of New York, by an “old Citizen.”1 Accept, Sir, my grateful acknowledgments to yourself, and best wishes for the happiness of Mrs. Madison.

Bjn. Romaine2

Permit me, Sir, to add the following Note—

You may not recollect that the Subscriber obtained from you, during the late War, the Nomination to the Senate of Deputy Q. M. General of the third Military District, which duties I continued to discharge until after the close of the War.

It does appear to me that, the assumption of yielded rights to the General Government by the States, ought to be indignantly frowned at in every instance. If such course is permited to progress—the central force, now existing in the United States Government, will shortly be frittered away thro’ the contracted medium of “State Sovereignties.” The above pamphlet was written by me. I now discover some errors, too late to be altered.

Bjn. Romaine

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1[Benjamin Romaine], A Comparative View and Exhibition of Reasons, Opposed to the Adoption of the New Constitution, of the State of New-York (New York, 1822; Shoemaker 8413). JM’s copy is in the Madison Collection, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library.

2Benjamin Romaine (1762–1844), a Revolutionary War veteran, was grand sachem of Tammany Hall, 1808 and 1813, and frequently sachem. JM appointed Romaine deputy quartermaster general for the Third Military District in 1814 (Pittsfield Sun, 29 Feb. 1844; Gustavus Myers, The History of Tammany Hall, 2d ed. [1917; reprint, New York, 1968], 25; PJM-PS description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends 5:438 n. 1).

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