Philadelphia, August 20th, 1787.
I have been honored with your Excellency's Letter of the 26th Ulto. in which you are pleased to suggest you have been disappointed in receiving particular information respecting the Convention; In my last I wrote your Excellency the Reasons which I flatter myself you have received and approved of, why Communications could not be made until the Business before this Body be Completed and prepared for the public Eye, much time has been employed in drawing the outlines of the Subjects of their Deliberations in which as much unanimity has prevailed as could be well expected from so many Sentiments Arising in twelve Independent Sovereign Bodies; Rhode Island not having deigned to keep company with her Sister States on this Occasion. The Convention after having agreed on some great principles in the Government of the Union Adjourned for a few days, having appointed a Committee composed of the following Gentlemen, to wit: Mr. Rutledge of South Carolina, Mr. Randolph of Virginia, Mr. Elsworth of Connecticut, Mr. Wilson of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Gorham of Massachusetts, to detail or render more explicit the chief subjects of their Discussion; on the Report of these Gentlemen the Convention again met, and are now employed taking up the same Paragraph by paragraph, and so slow is the progress that I am doubtful the Business will not be fully reduced to System and finished before the middle of September next, if then.
It is the wish of the Members of Convention that the States be fully represented in Congress at the time they will be presented with the Conventional Transactions, of which should Congress give their approbation the same may be transmitted to the Legislatures of the several States at their next meeting, that the sense of the Union be obtained as soon as possible thereupon. Colo. Ashe is alone at Congress, Colo. Burton was expected before this, but is not yet arrived; Col. Blount has been with us from Congress for some days past, as Col. Davie was under the Necessity to return Home; Mr. Hawkins is also returned. I am also obliged to be at Salisbury Superior Court in Sept. next, and propose to sett off the first of that month on my return. The State will still be represented fully in Convention by my Honourable friends Messrs. Spaight, Blount & Williamson. My absence may I think be the more easily dispenced with when I have the pleasure to inform your Excellency the Deputation from the State of North Carolina have generally been unanimous on all great questions, and I flatter myself will continue so until the Objects of their mission be finished. Tho' I have not told your Excellency affirmatively what the Convention have done, I can tell you negatively what they have not done. They are not about to create a King as hath been represented unfavourably in some of the eastern States, so that you are not to expect the Bishop Oznaburg or any prince or great man of the World to rule in this Country. The Public Curiosity will no doubt be gratified at the next Assembly, perhaps before.
[Footnotes as included or written by Farrand]