Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO GEORGE WASHINGTON. wash. mss. - The Writings, vol. 5 (1787-1790)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
TO GEORGE WASHINGTON. wash. mss. - James Madison, The Writings, vol. 5 (1787-1790) 
The Writings of James Madison, comprising his Public Papers and his Private Correspondence, including his numerous letters and documents now for the first time printed, ed. Gaillard Hunt (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1900). Vol. 5.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
TO GEORGE WASHINGTON.wash. mss.
New York, Octr. 14, 1787.
The letter herewith inclosed was put into my hands yesterday by Mr. de Crevecœur who belongs to the Consular establishment of France in this Country. I add to it a pamphlet2 which Mr. Pinkney has submitted to the public, or rather as he professes, to the perusal of his friends, and a printed sheet3 containing his ideas on a very delicate subject, too delicate in my opinion to have been properly confided to the press. He conceives that his precautions against any further circulation of the piece than he himself authorizes, are so effectual as to justify the step. I wish he may not be disappointed. In communicating a copy to you, I fulfil his wishes only.
No decisive indications of the public mind in the Northn & Middle States can yet be collected. The Reports continue to be rather favorable to the Act of the Convention from every quarter; but its adversaries will naturally be latest in shewing themselves. Boston is certainly friendly. An opposition is known to be in petto in Connecticut, but it is said not to be much dreaded by the other side. Rhode Island will be divided on this subject in the same manner that it has been on the question of paper money. The Newspapers here have contained sundry publications animadverting on the proposed Constitution & it is known that the Government party are hostile to it. There are on the other side so many able & weighty advocates, and the conduct of the Eastern States if favorable, will add so much force to their arguments, that there is at least as much ground for hope as for apprehension. I do not learn that any opposition is likely to be made in N. Jersey. The temper of Pennsylvania will be best known to you from the direct information which you cannot fail to receive through the Newspapers & other channels.
Congress have been of late employed chiefly in settling the requisition, and in making some arrangements for the Western Country. The latter consist of the appointment of a Govr & Secretary, and the allotment of a sum of money for Indian Treaties, if they should be found necessary. The Requisition so far as it varies our fiscal system, makes the proportion of indents receivable independently of specie, & those of different years indiscriminately receivable for any year, and does not as heretofore tie down the States to a particular mode of obtaining them. Mr. Adams has been permitted to return home after Feby. next, & Mr. Jefferson’s appointment continued for three years longer.
With the most perfect esteem & most affectionate regard, I remain Dr Sir,
Your Obedt friend & servt.
[2 ]“Observations on the Plan of Government submitted to the Federal Convention in Philadelphia, on the 28th of May, 1787. By the Hon. Charles Pinckney, Esq., L.L.D. Delegate from the State of South Carolina. Delivered at different Times in the course of their Discussions. New York:—Printed by Francis Child.”—P. L. Ford’s Pamphlets on the Constitution, 419.
[3 ]Pinckney’s speech on the Mississippi question delivered in Congress in secret session. See Madison’s letter to Jefferson, Oct. 24, and to Washington, Oct 28, post. “Mr. C. Pinckney is unwilling, . . . to lose any fame that can be acquired by the publication of his sentiments. If the subject of the navigation of the Mississippi could have remained as silent, and glided as gently down the stream of time for a while, as the waters do that are contained within the banks, it would, I confess, have comported more with my ideas of sound policy, than any decision that can be come to at this day.”—Washington to Madison Oct. 22, 1787, Ford’s Writings of Washington, xi., 175.