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title:“James Madison to J. C. Cabell”
authors:James Madison
date written:1829-2-2

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:16 a.m. UTC
retrieved:May 11, 2021, 8:04 p.m. UTC

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

James Madison to J. C. Cabell (February 2, 1829)

Montpellier Feby. 2. 1829—
What the extract is to be from Yates account of the Convention, which convicts me of inconsistency, I cannot divine — If any thing stated by him has that tendency, it must be among the many errors in his crude & broken notes of what passed in that Body. When I looked over them some years ago, I was struck with a number of instances in which he had totally mistaken what was said by me, or given it in scraps & terms, which, taken without the developments or qualifications accompanying them, had an import essentially different from what was intended. Mr. Yates bore the character of an honest man, & I do not impute to him wilful misrepresentation. But beside the fallible & faulty mode in which he noted down what passed, the prejudices he felt on the occasion, with those of which he was a Representative, were such as to give every tincture & warp to his mind of which an honest one could be susceptable. It is to be recollected too that he was present during the early discussions only, which were of a more loose & general cast; having withdrawn to make his welcome Report, before the rough materials were reduced to the size & shape proper for the contemplated Edifice. Certain it is that I shall never admit his report as a test of my opinions, when not in accordance with those which have been repeatedly explained & authenticated by myself. The Report of Luther Martin is as little to be relied on for accuracy & fairness.

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