George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James Madison, 8 March 1789

From James Madison

Philada March 8th 1789

Dear Sir

We arrived here yesterday evening where we have met with Mr Dawson just from New York. When he left it, 18 Representatives and 8 Senators had assembled. It is not certain when the deficiencies will [be] made up.1 The most favorable conjectures postpone it to Monday Sennight. The members attending are chiefly from the Eastward. I do not learn that a single member except Mr White is from a State South of Pennsylva, unless indeed Dr Tucker is to be included in the exception.2 The N. Jersey Reps, are not yet announced. Mr Clarke it is supposed will be one. Mr Cadwallader, Mr Boudinot, and Mr Shureman, are talked of as the others.3

I find that the communication made you from Kentuckey corresponds with an official letter to Congs from Govr St Clair, which speaks of the same emissary, and the same errand.4 Notice has been transmitted of the affair to the Executive of Virga in order that regular steps may be taken, if sufficient ground be afforded, for apprehending the incendiary. The project of G. M—n for establishing a Colony beyond the Mississippi is also going on.5 It is the opinion of Mr Brown, as explained to Mr Griffin, that em[i]grations to the Spanish territory will be enticed from Kentuckey, as rapidly, as the allurements of the latter place, have obtained them from the Atlantic States.6 All these circumstances point out the conduct which the New Govt ought to pursue with regard to the Western Country & Spain.

I dropped you a few lines from Baltimore mentioning the unanimity of the Electoral Votes of S. Carola & Georgia for a Presid. & the manner in which the Secondary votes were disposed of.7 I am Dr Sir Yr truly affecte

Js Madison Jr

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

1For Congress’s delay in assembling, see Henry Knox to GW, 5 Mar. 1789, n.1.

2Thomas Tudor Tucker (1745–1828) of South Carolina represented the state in the last session of the Continental Congress and was already in New York for the opening of the new Congress.

3For the New Jersey congressional elections, see Madison to GW, 19 Mar. 1789, n.3.

4Harry Innes wrote to GW in December 1788 concerning British intrigue in Kentucky. For John Connolly’s activities and Arthur St. Clair’s letter to Congress, see Innes to GW, 18 Dec. 1788, n.1., and Thomas Marshall to GW, 12 Feb. 1789. GW may well have shown Innes’s letter to Madison when Madison stopped at Mount Vernon on his way to New York.

5For George Morgan’s settlement at New Madrid, see Madison to GW, 26 Mar. 1789.

6The information supplied by John Brown of Kentucky to Cyrus Griffin of Virginia, the last president of the Continental Congress, was probably part of Brown’s confidential disclosures concerning Spanish ambitions in Kentucky. See Thomas Marshall to GW, 12 Feb. 1789, n.3.

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