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Jersey company for two millions more on like terms, and another commenced with a company of this city for four millions.
TO GENERAL WASHINGTON.
New York, Oct. 28, 1787. DEAR SIR,
The mail of yesterday brought me your favor of the twenty-second instant. The communications from Richmond give me as much pleasure as they exceed my expectations. As I find by a letter from a member of the Assembly, however, that Col. Mason has not got down, and it appears that Mr. Henry is not at bottom a friend, I am not without fears that the combined influence and management may yet create difficulties. There is one consideration which I think ought to have some weight in the case, over and above the intrinsic inducements to embrace the Constitution, and which I have suggested to some of my correspondents. There is at present a very strong probability that nine States at least will pretty speedily concur in establishing it. What will become of the tardy remainder? They must be either left, as outcasts from the society, to shift for themselves, or be compelled to come in, or must come in of themselves when they will be allowed no credit for it. Can either of these situations be as eligible as a prompt and manly determination to support the Union, and share its common fortunes ?
My last stated pretty fully the information which had arrived here from different quarters, concerning the proposed Constitution. I recollect nothing that is now to be added, farther than that the Assembly of Massachusetts, now sitting, certainly gives it a friendly reception. I enclose a Boston paper, by which it appears that Governor Hancock has ushered it to them in as propitious a manner as could have been required.
Mr. Charles Pinckney's character is, as you observe, well marked by the publications which I enclosed. His printing the secret paper at this time could have no motive but the appetite for expected praise; for the subject to which it relates has been dormant a considerable time, and seems likely to remain so.
A foreign gentleman of merit, and who, besides this general title, brings me a letter which gives him a particular claim to my civilities, is very anxious to obtain a sketch of the Potomac and the route from the highest navigable part of it to the western waters which are to be connected with the Potomac by the portage, together with a sketch of the works going on, and a memorandum of the progress made in them. Knowing of no other channel through which I could enable myself to gratify this gentleman, I am seduced into the liberty of resorting to your kindness; and of requesting, that, if you have such a draught by you, your amanuensis may be permitted to take a very rough copy of it for me. In making this request I beseech you, Sir, to understand that I do it with not more confidence in your goodness than with the sincerest desire that it may be disregarded if it cannot be fulfilled with the most perfect convenience."9
TO EDMUND RANDOLPH.
New York, November 18, 1787. Dear Sir,
I have not since my arrival collected any additional information concerning the progress of the Federal Constitution. I discovered no evidence on my journey through New Jersey, that any opposition whatever would be made in that State. The Convention of Pennsylvania is to meet on Tuesday next. The members returned, I was told by several persons, reduced the adoption of the plan in that State to absolute certainty, and by a greater majority than the most sanguine advocates had calculated. One of the counties which had been set down by all on the list of opposition, had elected deputies of known attachment to the Constitution.
I do not find that a single State is represented except Virginia, and it seems very uncertain when a Congress will be made. There are individual members present from several States; and the attendance of this and the neighbouring States may, I suppose, be obtained when it will produce a quorum.
TO EDMUND RANDOLPH.
New York, December 2, 1787. DEAR SIR,
Our public letter gave you the latest authentic information from Europe. A general war seems not impossible; a war between the Russians and the Turks has actually commenced. The enterprizing movements of the Prussian troops have disconcerted the patriotic party and their supporters, and it seems as if the Stadtholder would gain a complete triumph. What effect this may have on the Government of that country, I cannot undertake to foretell. I have never been inclined to think that complete success to the views of either party would be favorable to the people. If the Stadtholdership were abolished, the government, unless further changes occurred, would be a simple aristocracy. Should the patriots, as they call themselves, be excluded from the government, the Stadtholder would be an absolute monarch. Whilst both continue, they check each other; which is absolutely necessary, as the people have no check on either. The consequence of the people arises from the competitions of the two for their favor. In general the lower orders have been partizans of the Stadtholder. They are so, it is said, in the present contest.
We have not more than two or three States as yet attending. It is altogether conjectural when the deficiency of a quorum will be made up.
. No recent indications of the views of the States as to the Constitution have come to my knowledge. The elections in Connecticut are over, and, as far as the returns are known, a large majority are friendly to it. Doctor Johnson says, it will be pretty certainly adopted; but there will be opposition. The power of taxing any thing but imports appears to be the most popular topic among the adversaries. The Convention of Pennsylvania is sitting. The result there will not reach you first through my hands. The divisions on preparatory questions, as
they are published in the newspapers, shew that the party in favor of the Constitution have forty-four or forty-five vs. twenty-two or twenty-four, or thereabouts.
The enclosed paper contains two numbers of the Federalist. This paper was begun about three weeks ago, and proposes to go through the subject. I have not been able to collect all the numbers, since my return from Philadelphia, or I would have sent them to you. I have been the less anxious, as I understand the printer means to make a pamphlet of them, when I can give them to you in a more convenient form. You will probably discover marks of different pens. I am not at liberty to give you any other key than that I am in myself for a few numbers, and that one besides myself was a member of the Convention..50
TO THOMAS JEFFERSON.
New York, December 20, 1787. Dear Sir,
Mr. De la Forest, the Consul here, called on me a few days ago, and told me he had information, that the Farmers General and Mr. Morris, having found their contract mutually advantageous, are evading the resolutions of the Committee by tacit arrangements for its continuance. He observed, that the object of the Farmers was singly profit, that of the Government two fold, revenue and commerce. It was consequently the wish of the latter to render the monopoly as little hurtful to the trade with