George Washington Papers

From George Washington to James Madison, 17 May 1789

To James Madison

Sunday—7 ’Oclock A.M. [17 May 1789]1

Mr Madison having been so obliging as to draw the answer to the address of the House of Representatives—G.W. would thank him for doing the same to that of the Senate. If he receives it any time this day or tomorrow morning it will be sufficient.

AL, DLC: Madison Papers.

1The date of this document is conjectural. Madison docketed the letter—apparently some years after the fact—“G. Washington without date—(perhaps 1789,) 90 or 91.” John C. Fitzpatrick printed it under date of 10 Jan. 1790 (Fitzpatrick, Writings, description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed. The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745–1799. 39 vols. Washington, D.C., 1931–44. description ends 30:499), but, as the editors of the James Madison Papers have pointed out, Madison was not in New York in the early part of January 1790 and did not take his seat for the second session of the First Congress until 20 Jan. (Rutland, 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 12:166). Since Madison evidently drew up GW’s reply to the address from the House of Representatives in May 1789 (see GW to Madison, 5 May), it seems likely GW’s note was written at that time.

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