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tion that the general sentiment in the Eastern and Middle States is friendly to the proposed system at this time,
TO THOMAS JEFFERSON.
New York, October 24, 1787. DEAR SIR,
When the plan of the Constitution proposed by the Convention came before Congress for their sanction, a very serious effort was made by R. H. Lee and Mr. Dane, from Massachusetts, to embarrass it. It was first contended, that Congress could not properly give any positive countenance to a measure which had for its object the subversion of the Constitution under which they acted. This ground of attack failing, the former gentleman urged the expediency of sending out the plan with amendments, and proposed a number of them corresponding with the objections of Col. Mason. This experiment had still less effect. In order, however, to obtain unanimity, it was necessary to couch the resolution in very moderate terms.
Mr. Adams has received permission to return, with thanks for his services. No provision is made for supplying his place, or keeping up any representation there. Your reappointment for three years will be notified from the office of foreign affairs. It was made without a negative, eight States being present. Connecticut, notwithstanding, put in a blank ticket, the sense of that State having been declared against embassies. Massachusetts betrayed some scruple on like ground. Every personal consideration was avowed, and I believe with sincerity, to have militated against these scruples. It seems to be understood that letters to and from the foreign ministers of the United States are not free of postage; but that the charge is to be allowed in their accounts.
The exchange of our French for Dutch creditors has not been countenanced either by Congress or the Treasury Board. The paragraph in your last letter to Mr. Jay, on the subject of applying a loan in Holland to the discharge of the pay due to the foreign officers, has been referred to the Board since my arrival here. No report has yet been made. But I have little idea that the proposition will be adopted. Such is the state and prospect of our fiscal department, that any new loan, however small, that should now be made, would probably subject us to the reproach of premeditated deception. The balance of Mr. Adams's last loan will be wanted for the interest due in Holland, and, with all the income here, will, it is feared, not save our credit in Europe from farther wounds. It may well be doubted whether the present Government can be kept alive during the ensuing year, or until the new one may take its place.
Upwards of one hundred thousand acres of the lands of the United States have been disposed of in open market. Five millions of unsurveyed have been sold by private contract to a New England company, at two-thirds of a dollar per acre, payment to be made in the principal of the public securities. A negotiation is nearly closed with a New
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.''
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