Mount Vernon, February 24, 1789
The obstructions to my journey from the Snow, the River at Fredericksberg, and the unparallelled badness of the roads, prevented my arrival here sooner than the evening before last. Harry will be able to give the particulars of the Journey. I detained him yesterday in order to give both him & the horses a little rest after their fatigue; and shall leave it in some measure to himself, to return either by way of Fredg. or Norman’s Ford, according to the state of the weather & the information he may receive concerning the latter route.—I am not yet decided as to the day on which I shall go forward from this place. Being now convinced from the state of the weather & the rivers that I could not possibly reach New York by the day fixed for the meeting of Congs. and if I could that there will not be a sufficient number of members for business, I shall think myself more at liberty to consult my own conveniency. By waiting a few days I promise myself also the company of some of my colleagues, particularly Mr. Page who will I think be sure to call on the General. Mr. R. B. Lee is the only member who has yet set out, according to my information. He has gone on to Alexandr. but will wait I presume for company, at least untill the weather shall invite him to proceed.
I meet here with no news worth communicating. The inclosed papers, I recd. at Fredericksbg. and may be read as a continuation of the intelligence from New York.
I find myself perfectly well after my ride, & hoping that this will find my mother in better health, and the rest of the family still well, I remain Yr. affct. Son.
Labels: Writings of James Madison
Paris, February 9, 1789
—I wrote you last on the 22d of Jan on which day I received yours of Dec 31, and since that the other of Jan 14. We have now received news from America down to the middle of December They had then had no cold weather. All things relative to our new constitution were going on well. Federal Senators are; N Hampshire Presidt. Langdon and Bartlett. Massach. Strong & Dalton. Connect. Dr. Johnson & Ellsworth. New Jersey Patterson & Ellmer. Pennyslva Rob Morris & McClay. Delaware Reed & Bassett. Virga. R. H. Lee & Grayson. Maryld. Charles Carrol of Carrolton & John Henry. All of these are federalists except those of Virga: so that a majority of federalists are secured in the Senate and expected in the H of representatives. Genl. Washington will be president and probably Mr. Adams vice president. So that the constitution will be put under way by those who will give it a fair trial. It does not seem probable that the attempt of N York to have another convention to make amendments will succeed, tho’ Virginia concurs in it. It is tolerably certain that Congress will propose amendments to the assemblies, as even the friends of the constitution are willing to make amendments, some from a conviction they are necessary, others from a spirit of conciliation. The addition of a bill of rights will probably be the most essential change. A vast majority of Antifederalists have got into the assembly of Virginia, so that Mr. Henry is omnipotent there. Mr. Madison was left out as a Senator by 8. or 9. votes and Henry has so modelled the districts for representatives as to tack Orange to counties where he himself has great influence that Madison may not be elected in the lower federal house, which was the place Madison had wished to serve in, & not the Senate. Henry pronounced a Philippic against Madison in open assembly, Madison being then at Philadelphia. Mifflin is Presidt. of Pennsylvania and Peters speaker. Colo Howard is Govr of Maryland. Beverly Randolph Govr of Virginia (this last is said by a passenger only & he seems not very sure). Colo Humphreys is attacked in the papers for his French airs, for bad poetry, bad prose, vanity, &c. It is said his dress in so gay a style gives general disgust against him. I have received a letter from him. He seems fixed with Genl Washington. Mayo’s bridge over Richmond was completed, & carried away in a few weeks. While up, it was so profitable that he had great offers for it. A turnpike is established at Alexandria & succeeds. Rhode island has again refused to call a Convention. Spain has granted to Colo Morgan of New Jersey a vast tract of land on the Western side of the Mississipi with the monopoly of the navigation of that river. He is inviting settlers & they swarm to him. Even the settlement of Kentuckey is likely to be much weakened by emigrations to Morgan’s grant. Warville is returned charmed with our country. He is going to carry his wife & children to settle there. Gouverneur Morris is just arrived here, deputed, as is supposed, to settle R. Morris’s affairs which continue still deranged. Dr. Franklin was well when he left America, which was about the middle of December.
Labels: Works of Thomas Jefferson