Letter from James Madison (back)


Letter from James Madison (back)



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as expedient in themselves or due to the characters & numbers who
think them so.
As to the mode of obtaining amendments, I have not
changed my opinion that the business ought to be taken up by the first Congress
which is to meet in March next. It is plain that the object can be attained
in that mode more steadily, more certainly, more cheaply, and with less
danger or the apprehension of it, than by the an adherence to the case of
a general convention to which an any States with not consent which could not
take place until 2/3 have applied if that proportion were ready to consent,
and which would spread a general alarm if convened in the present fer-
ment of parties. It is to be observed however that the question for calling
a convention rally in no respect depend on the discretion of the Congress
or either branch of it. If a sufficient number of states make application,
Congress cannot refuse to call one; if not they have no right to do so.
The great objection propagated agst. [against] my pretensions
is, I find, that I think the constitution perfect as it stands, & that no al-
-teration of a single clause ought to be admitted. As a very pointed contra
-diction to such a supposition. I have, besides explaining my present state
-ments as above, mentioned the circumstances now & then. That I was an
unsuccessful candidate in the federal convention for several of the very
amendments which are now signed by this and other States. Being under the
necesty. [necessity] of drafting these lines in much haste. I must request you to ex
-mine the marks of it, as well as to be persuaded of the esteem & regard.
with which I am dear Sir.
Yr. [Your] friend & Obedt. [Obedient] Sert. [Servant]
Js. Madison [V]
I have written to sundry persons per this situation
both out of this county & in it. [[away]] the letter I have
included capt. Js. [James] Dabney. to whose politics I am a stranger -

[[left margin]] Col. William. O. Callis [[/left margin]]


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 (back),” Hampden-Sydney College Digital Repository, accessed May 25, 2024, https://dams.hsc.edu/items/show/3343.