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title:“James Madison to John Quincy Adams”
authors:James Madison
date written:1820-6-13

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:14 a.m. UTC
retrieved:June 7, 2023, 12:57 p.m. UTC

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

James Madison to John Quincy Adams (June 13, 1820)

Montpr. June 13 1820
I have recd. & return my thanks for your polite favor accompanying the Copy of the printed Journal of the Federal Convention transmitted in pursuance of a late Resolution of Congress.
In turning over a few pages of the Journal, which is all I have done a casual glance caught a passage which erroneously prefixes my name, to ye proposition made on the 7th. day of Sepr. for making a Council of six members a part of the Executive branch of the Govt. The proposition was made by Col: George Mason one of the Virga. delegates, & seconded by Dr. Franklin. I cannot be mistaken in the fact: For besides my recollection which is sufficiently distinct on the subject, my notes contain the observations of each in support of the proposition.1
As the original journal according to my extract from it, does not name the mover of ye propn the error, I presume must have had its source in some of the extrinsic communications to you; unless indeed it was found in some of the separate papers of the Secretary of the Convention: or is to be ascribed to a copying pen. The degree of symphony in the two names Madison & Mason may possibly have contributed to the substitution of the one for the other.
This explanation having a reference to others as well as myself, I have thought it wd. be neither improper nor unacceptable.
[Footnotes as included or written by Farrand]
  • 1 Crossed out: "The only part I bore in it, was merely that of promoting a fair consideration of the object of my colleague."
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