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title:“Edward Carrington to James Madison”
authors:Edward Carrington
date written:1789-9-9

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:26 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Feb. 28, 2024, 1:57 p.m. UTC

Carrington, Edward. "Letter to James Madison." Creating the Bill of Rights. Ed. Kenneth R. Bowling and Helen E. Veit. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991. 292-93. Print.
Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress

Edward Carrington to James Madison (September 9, 1789)

The People enquire with composure what Congress is doing and discover no apparent apprehension for the fate of the proposed amendments—1I mention these things to you, because reports may reach you of a different nature. Stories have been brought to this City by a few weak, as well as wicked, men that the magistrates in the southern Countries would generally refuse the oath. A very considerable change has taken place amongst the Antis as to yourself, they consider you as the patron of amendments, and it is no uncommon thing to hear confessions that they had been formerly imposed on, by representations that you were fixed against any alteration whatever. the subject of direct taxation is viewed in its proper light by many who were clamorous against it sometime ago, but the generality of the people seldom appear to think of it at all.2 indeed I see no appearance of any thing but acquiescence in whatever may be agreed on by those whom they have deputed to take care of their affairs.
I have observed with some little attention the amendments which have been agreed on in the Hs. of Rs. One of them which seems at present to be much approved of & was indeed made a considerable object of by all the States, will not I apprehend, be found good in practice—I mean the excessive enlargement of the representation; and what is still worse it will produce its inconveniences very unequally by their falling principally on the distant States: the greater the representation, the more difficult will it be to find proper characters whose convenience will admit of punctual attendance and this difficulty will be encreased in proportion to the distance from the Seat of Government—small the Representation now is, compared with what is proposed, disadvantages of this kind would be felt by the distant States as soon as the novelty of the service might have in some degree worn off. But independently of these considerations, would prefer a small representation. Numerous Assemblies deliberate but badly even when composed, and it is almost impossible to keep them so.

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