George Washington to James Madison, October 10, 1787

Selected images from the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress


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George Washington to James Madison, October 10, 1787

George Washington returned to the center of national political life during the struggle to create a strong national republican government to replace rule by the divided state and confederation governments. Working closely with James Madison, Washington helped pave the way to the Federal Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, where he sat as presiding officer from May to September 1787, while the new constitution was written. This October 10, 1787, letter to Madison, reveals Washington's political maturity. Washington clearly saw the importance of the public's perception of Congress's unanimous referral of the Constitution to the states and the nature of opposition from George Mason, Richard Henry Lee and the other anti-federalists in Virginia.

See Series 2, Letterbook 14, images 158-161 for additional images and a transcription of this letter.


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