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title:“James Madison to Henry Lee”
authors:James Madison
date written:1824-6-25

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:07 a.m. UTC
retrieved:May 10, 2021, 10:00 p.m. UTC

Madison, James. "Letter to Henry Lee." The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Vol. 3. Ed. Max Farrand. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911. Print.

James Madison to Henry Lee (June 25, 1824)

Montpellier, June 25, 1824.
What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense! And that the language of our Constitution is already undergoing interpretations unknown to its founders will, I believe, appear to all unbiased inquirers into the history of its origin and adoption. Not to look farther for an example, take the word "consolidate," in the Address of the convention prefixed to the Constitution. It there and then meant to give strength and solidity to the union of the States. In its current and controversial application, it means a destruction of the States by transfusing their powers into the government of the Union.

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