Letter from James Madison (front)


Letter from James Madison (front)



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W. Fontainer Jan. 13th 1789 Dear Sir In attending yesterday at your Court House I had chiefly in view an opportunity of seeing several of my friends and particularly your- self. I wished to furnish them with the real sentiment by which I shall be governed, if honored with the trust for which I am a candidate, & enable them by that means to contradict more effectively the false opi -nion ascribed to me by report. Being disappointed in the expected pleasures, I shall in a few words state to you the grounds in which my services are offered, and of which I have endeavored to make known as far as occasions have presented themselves. The Constitution being now ratified by a sufficient number of states to secure it against the weight of the refusing States, I think it proper that it should be so revised and amended as will make it satisfactory to all who sincerely aim at the good of their Country, without altering however any of its partial or useful parts. I think particularly that effectual revision ought to be made for the great rights which have been thought in danger, such as the rights of conscience, the freedom of the press, trials by jury, security against genl. [general] warrants etetr. [etcetera]. It has always been my opinion that it would be additional advantage also to make the increase of the House of Representatives a Constitutional regula -tion, instead of being left to the discretion of the govt. [government] itself. I am fur -ther of opinion that it will be proper to guard against a possible abuse of power in the Judiciary Department, by an excess prohibition of ap -peals in cases where they would be vexatious or superfluous In many other particulars it is my wish that alterations should be made either as [[right margin]] Maddison 228 Monroe 124 4 voted in 2 counties [[/right margin]] [[most likely a different author for this section]]


James Madison


Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections


Jan. 13, 1789


Gift of Mr. James N. Boyd '58 and Mr. J. P. McGuire Boyd '64.


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James Madison, “Letter from James Madison (front),” Hampden-Sydney College Digital Repository, accessed May 25, 2024, https://dams.hsc.edu/items/show/3342.