University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Leffler, Richard; Schoenleber, Charles H.; Carlson, Marybeth (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Virginia (1)
8 (1988)

I. The debate over the Constitution in Virginia, 3 September 1787-31 March 1788,   pp. 3-524


Page 12

I. DEBATE OVER CONSTITUTION
House of Delegates, 1777-78, 1779-81. Around this time, Edmund Randolph also wrote
letters (none of which have been located) to Benjamin Harrison, Richard Henry Lee,
James Mercer, and James Monroe, all of whom became opponents of the Constitution.
For a newspaper item based upon information in this letter, see Virginia Independent
Chronicle, 26 September (below).
George Washington to the Marquis de Lafayette
Philadelphia, 18 September'
My dear Marqs.
In the midst of hurry, and in the moment of my departure from
this City2 I address this letter to you. The principal, indeed the only
design of it is, to fulfil the promise I made that I would send you the
proceedings of the Foederal Convention as soon as the business of it
was closed.-More than this, circumstanced as I am at present is not
in my power to do. nor am I inclined to attempt it, as the enclosure,
must speak for itself & will occupy your thoughts for sometime.
It is the production of four months deliberation.-It is now a Child
of fortune, to be fostered by some and buffited by others. what will
be the General opinion on, or the reception of it, is not for me to,
decide, nor shall I say any thing for or against it-if it be good I
suppose it will work its way good-if bad it will recoil on the Framers.
my best wishes attend you, and yours-and with the sincerest friendship
and most Affectionate regard I am ever yours
1. FC, Washington Papers, DLC. Lafayette (1757-1834) had served under Washing-
ton as a major general in the Continental Army from 1777 to 1781. On 15 August
Washington promised Lafayette that he would "communicate the result of our long
deliberation" soon after the Constitutional Convention adjourned (Fitzpatrick, XXIX,
258). In his letter of 18 September, Washington probably enclosed the official six-page
Dunlap and Claypoole broadside containing the Constitution, the two resolutions of the
Convention, and the letter of the President of the Convention to the President of
Congress (CC:76). On the same day Washington also wrote Thomas Jefferson in Paris
and sent him a copy of the Constitution (Fitzpatrick, XXIX, 276).
2. Washington left Philadelphia with fellow Virginia delegate John Blair on the 18th,
arriving at his Mount Vernon home on the 22nd.
James Madison to Edmund Pendleton
Philadelphia, 20 September'
The privilege of franking having ceased with the Convention, I have
waited for this opportunity of inclosing you a copy of the proposed
Constitution for the U. States. I forbear to make any observations on
it, either on the side of its merits or its faults. The best Judges of both
will be those who can combine with a knowledge of the collective &
permanent interest of America, a freedom from the bias resulting from
a participation in the work. If the plan proposed be worthy of adop-
12


Go up to Top of Page