To James Madison
Saturday Morning [8 Feb. 1794]
The Agricultural Society of Philadelphia, are preparing the “out lines of a Plan for establishing a state Society of Agriculture in Pennsylvania” to be laid before the Legislature.1 Mr Peters—to whom sometime ago I mentioned the Pamphlets &ca which had been sent me by Sir John Sinclair; & who is appointed to prepare the business for the Legislature—wishes to have the perusal of those Pamphlets—as at this moment—they might be particularly serviceable to him.2 I would, for this reason, thank you for them. They shall be returned to you, after he has availed himself of any information which is to be derived from them.3 I am sincerely & Affectionately Yours
ALS (photocopy), DLC:GW, series 9.
1. On 15 Feb. the Pennsylvania state legislature considered a petition “for promoting agriculture and rural æconomy,” in which a request was made that “an Act may be passed for incorporating a State society, for the purposes mentioned in the plan submitted to the Legislature by the Philadelphia society” (Journal of the first session of the fourth House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. which commenced at Philadelphia, on Tuesday, the third day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three [Philadelphia, 1793–94], 193). The proposal, which never received legislative approval, was published by the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture as Outlines of A Plan, for Establishing a State Society of Agriculture in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1794). According to this pamphlet, John Beale Bordley, George Clymer, Richard Peters, and Timothy Pickering comprised the committee charged with preparing the plan and the petition.
3. Madison returned the pamphlets to GW along with a letter of this same date that reads: “J. Madison presents his apologies to the President for not sending the pamphlets &c. from Sir J. Sinclair, sooner for the use of Mr Peters, as was intimated when he last had the honor of seeing the President. He had hopes of being able prior to this to have looked a little into them, and have complied with the desire of the President expressed when the papers were put into J.M.’s hands. It has been impossible for him to do this hitherto. To day & tomorrow he had contemplated an effort for the purpose; but it will be even more convenient for him after Mr Peters shall have had the requisite use of them” (DLC: Madison Papers). GW sent the pamphlets once more to Madison on 16 April along with a letter that reads: “Not ’till yesterday did I receive the Agricultural Pamphlets from Mr Peters. Knowing that you had not finished the perusal you intended to give them, I return them to you for that purpose. After you have examined them at your leizure I wd thank you for such remarks as shall have occurred to you on the occasion for I have yet to acknowledge Sir Jno. Sinclairs politeness in sending them” (ALS, MeHi). For GW’s acknowledgment, see his letter to Sinclair of 20 July (ALS, UkLoBM: Add MS 5757).