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title:“James Madison to Alexander White”
authors:James Madison
date written:1789-8-24

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retrieved:Dec. 9, 2023, 6:17 p.m. UTC

Madison, James. "Letter to Alexander White." Creating the Bill of Rights. Ed. Kenneth R. Bowling and Helen E. Veit. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991. 287-88. Print.
Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress

James Madison to Alexander White (August 24, 1789)

The week past has been devoted to the subject of amendments, all that remains is a formal vote on a fair transcript which will be taken this morning; and without debate I hope as each of the propositions has been agreed to by two thirds of the House.1 The substance of the report of the Committee of eleven has not been much varied. It became an unavoidable sacrifice to a few who knew their concurrence to be necessary, to the despatch if not the success of the business, to give up the form by which the amendts. when ratified would have fallen into the body of the Constitution, in favor of the project of adding them by way of appendix to it. it is already apparent I think that some ambiguities will be produced by this change, as the question will often arise and sometimes be not easily solved, how far the original text is or is not necessarily superceded, by the supplemental act. A middle way will be taken between the two modes, of proposing all the amendts. as a single act to be adopted or rejected in the gross, and of proposing them as independent amendts. each of which shall take place or not, as it may be individually decided on. The several propositions will be classed according to their affinity to each other, which will reduce them to the number of 5 or 6 in the whole, to go forth as so many amendts. unconnected with one another.

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