Front Page Titles (by Subject) GENERAL WASHINGTON TO JAY. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 3 (1782-1793)
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GENERAL WASHINGTON TO JAY. - John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 3 (1782-1793) 
The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, ed. Henry P. Johnston, A.M. (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890-93). Vol. 3 (1782-1793).
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GENERAL WASHINGTON TO JAY.
Mount Vernon, June 8th, 1788.
By the last mail, I had the pleasure to receive your letter of the 29th of May, and have now the satisfaction to congratulate you on the adoption of the Constitution by the Convention of South Carolina.
I am sorry to learn there is a probability that the majority of members in the New York Convention will be anti-federalists. Still I hope that some event will turn up before they assemble, which may give a new complexion to the business. If this State should, in the intermediate time, make the ninth that shall have ratified the proposed Government, it will, I flatter myself, have its due weight. To shew that this event is now more to be expected than heretofore, I will give you a few particulars which I have from good authority and which you might not, perhaps, immediately obtain through any public channel of conveyance.
On the day appointed for the meeting of the Convention, a large proportion of the members assembled and unanimously placed Mr. Pendleton in the chair.—Having on that and the subsequent day chosen the rest of their officers and fixed upon the mode of conducting the business, it was moved by some one of those opposed to the Constitution to debate the whole by paragraphs, without taking any question until the investigation should be completed. This was as unexpected as acceptable to the Federalists; and their ready acquiescence seems to have somewhat startled the opposition for fear they had committed themselves.
Mr. Nicholas opened the business by very ably advocating the system of representation. Mr. Henry in answer went more vaguely into the discussion of the Constitution, intimating that the Fœderal Convention had exceeded their powers and that we had been, and might be happy under the old Confederation with a few alterations. This called up Governor Randolph, who is reported to have spoken with great pathos in reply and who declared, that, since so many of the States had adopted the proposed Constitution he considered the sense of America to be already taken and that he should give his vote in favor of it without insisting previously upon amendments. Mr. Mason rose in opposition and Mr. Madison reserved himself to obviate the objections of Mr. Henry and Col. Mason the next day. Thus the matter rested when the last accounts came away.
Upon the whole, the following inferences seem to have been drawn—that Mr. Randolph’s declarations will have considerable effect with those who have hitherto been wavering.
Mr. Henry and Colonel Mason took different and awkward ground, and by no means equalled the public expectations in their speeches; the former has, probably, receeded somewhat from his violent measures to coalesce with the latter, and the leaders of the opposition appear rather chagreened and hardly to be decided as to their mode of opposition.—
The sanguine friends to the Constitution counted upon a majority of twenty at their first meeting which number they imagine will be greatly increased; while those equally strong but more temperate in their habits of thinking speak less confidently of the greatness of the majority and express apprehensions of the arts that may yet be practised to excite alarms, particularly with the members from the western District (Kentucke). All, however, agree that the beginning has been as auspicious as could possibly have been expected. A few days will now ascertain us of the result.
With sentiments of the highest esteem and regard,
I am, Dear Sir,