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title:“John Quincy Adams: Memoirs”
authors:John Quincy Adams
date written:1818-11-19

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:03 a.m. UTC
retrieved:June 15, 2021, 6:11 p.m. UTC

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

John Quincy Adams: Memoirs (November 19, 1818)

[1818, November] 19th. Major William Jackson, of Philadelphia, called upon me; . . . As he was the Secretary of the Convention of 1787, which formed the Constitution of the United States, I asked him to call again at my office this day, to look at the journals and papers deposited by President Washington in the Department of State, 19th March, 1796, and, if he could, to explain the condition in which they are. He did accordingly call, and looked over the papers, but he had no recollection of them which could remove the difficulties arising from their disorderly state, nor any papers to supply the deficiency of the missing papers. He told me that he had taken extensive minutes of the debates in the Convention, but, at the request of President Washington, had promised they should never be published during his own life, which he supposed had been a loss to him of many thousand dollars. He told me how he had been chosen Secretary to the Convention, for which place W. T. Franklin and Beckley were his competitors, and said that by far the most efficient member of the Convention was Mr. Madison; that Mr. Hamilton took no active part in it, and made only one remarkable speech. He also said Mr. King had told him he could perhaps supply some papers relating to the Convention, of which he was a member.

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