George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James Madison, 26 December 1787

From James Madison

New York Decr 26. 1787.

Dear Sir

I am just informed by a Delegate from New Hamshire that he has a letter from President Sullivan which tells him that the Legislature had unanimously agreed to call a convention as recommended, to meet in February. The second Wednesday is the day if I have not mistaken it.1 We have no further information of much importance from Massachusetts. It appears that Cambridge the residence of Mr Gerry has left him out of the choice for the Convention, and put in Mr Dana formerly a Minister of the U. States in Europe, and another Gentleman, both of them firmly opposed to Mr Gerry’s Politics.2 I observe too in a Massts paper that the omission of Col. Mason’s objection with regard to commerce, in the first publication of his Objections, has been supplied. This will more than undo the effect of the mutilated view of them.3 New Jersey the newspapers tell us has adopted the Constitution unanimously. Our European intelligence remains perfectly as it stood at the date of my last. With the most affectionate esteem & attachment I am Dear [Sir], Your Obedient & very hble Servt

Js Madison Jr

ALS, DLC:GW; copy, DLC: Madison Papers.

1Gen. John Sullivan (1740–1795) was president of New Hampshire. The ratifying convention met in Exeter in February and on the twenty-second, without taking action, adjourned until June.

2Elbridge Gerry, who had declined to sign the Constitution at Philadelphia, was invited to attend the ratifying convention in Boston in January to answer questions, but he stalked out on 19 Jan. after engaging in a shouting match with Francis Dana (1743–1811), who was presiding. See Rufus King to Madison, 20 Jan. 1788, in Rutland and Hobson, Madison Papers, description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds. The Papers of James Madison, Congressional Series. 17 vols. Chicago and Charlottesville, Va., 1962–91. description ends 10:400–401. The second member of the Cambridge delegation was Stephen Dana, who voted for ratification on 5 February.

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