Charleston, May 2d, 1788.
Mr. Martin's long mischievous detail of the opinions and proceedings of the late general convention, . . . with all his colourings and uncandid insinuations, in regard to General Washington and Doct. Franklin, . . .
What pity the salutary caution of Doct. Franklin, just previous to his signing the constitution recommended by the convention, had not been strictly attended to! If we split, it will in all probability happen in running headlong on the dangerous rock he so prophetically (as it were) warded us from, "That the opinions of the errors of the constitution born within the walls of the convention, should die there, and not a syllable be whispered abroad." This Hint is full of that foresight and penetration the Doctor has always been remarkable for.
When the general convention met, no citizen of the United States could expect less from it than I did, so many jarring interests and prejudices to reconcile! The variety of pressing dangers at our doors, even during the war, were barely sufficient to force us to act in concert and necessarily give way at times to each other. But when the great work was done and published, I was not only most agreeably disappointed, but struck with amazement. Nothing less than that superintending hand of Providence, that so miraculously carried us through the war (in my humble opinion), could have brought it about so complete, upon the whole.