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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 25

COMMENTARIES, 30 SEPTEMBER
instruct him to vote for the Calling of a Convention in Virginia to take into their
Consideration the new Constitution. . ." (to George Mitchell, 8 October, CC:140). On
10 October George Washington wrote James Madison that George Mason favored sub-
mitting the Constitution to a state convention: "Had his sentiments however been op-
posed to the measure, Instructions which are given by the freeholders of this County
to their representatives, would have secured his vote for it" (below).
Richard Henry Lee to Elbridge Gerry
New York, 29 September'
According to your request I now enclose you the Amendments that
I proposed to the new Constitution. I incline to think, that unless some
such alterations & provisions as those are interposed for the security
of those essential rights of Mankind, without which liberty can not
exist, we shall soon find that the New plan of Government will be far
more inconvenient than any thing sustained under the present Gov-
ernment. And that to avoid Scilla we shall have fallen upon Caribdis.
1. RC, Americana Room, Daughters of the American Revolution, National Head-
quarters, Washington, D.C. Lee appended this note to a copy of the amendments that
he had presented to Congress on 27 September. For Lee's amendments, see his letter
to Edmund Randolph, 16 October (below). Gerry was in New York City when he received
this note and amendments. He endorsed it: "ColoRH Lees/propositions to/amend ye
Constitution/Sepr 1787."
Edmund Randolph to James Madison
Bowling Green, 30 September (excerpts)'
My dear friend
We arrived here last night, with as little inconvenience as possible.
Betsey has recovered by travelling....
In Alexandria the inhabitants are enthusiasts, and instructions to
force my dissenting colleague to assent to a convention are on the
anvil.2 I wrote to him yesterday, suggesting to him this expedient: to
urge the calling of a convention as the first act of the assembly: if they
shd. wish amendments, let them be stated and forwarded to the states:
before the meeting of the convention an answer may be obtained: if
the proposed amendments be rejected, let the constitution immediately
operate: if approved, by nine states, let the assent of our convention
be given under the exception of the points amended. This will, I be-
lieve, blunt the opposition, which will be formidable, if they must take
altogether or reject. The reeligibility of the president and senate has
excited Mr. Jas. Mercer's resentment, and he positively objects to the
constitution without an alteration.4-I learn nothing of Mr. H-y nor
of Mr. Pendleton except that he is almost perfectly recovered.
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