James Madison Papers

George Tucker to James Madison, 19 September 1829

University. Sep. 19. 1829

Dear Sir,

Your letter, directed to me at Baltimore was duly received, as well as that it referred to, (inclosing a copy of the first draught of the Constitution, & your subscription to the Museum.) on my return to this place. The draught of the Constitution was very acceptable to us, as I have no doubt it will be to our readers. It will appear next week, accompanied with a notice of the most prominent points in which it differs from the Constitution as it now stands.

I have lately been making inquiries concerning the effects of universal suffrage in Maryland, Pennsylvania &c. and have endeavoured to observe for myself—The result is a conviction that we should act unwisely to carry the extension as far as they have done. Not that I believe that our Elections would be as much adulterated as theirs by foreign admixtures, but such extension would nevertheless vitiate them—and introduce, in some parts of the State, if not in all, a system of electioneering, injurious to the candidate, the voters, & finally, the State. The right of suffrage is now indeed unreasonably restricted, but can no mode be devised of extending it until it goes as far as is consistent with a discreet & independent exercise of it, without passing beyond it? I rely upon the wisdom of the Convention to devise such a mode, and on their weight of character for carrying it through.

We have about a hundred students here, which is somewhat more than we had this time last year, and all seems to be going on well. Mrs. Tucker desires to be remembered to Mrs. Madison & yourself, and I am with the greatest respect, her and your obedient Servant

George Tucker

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

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