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Source & Citation Info

title:“Richard Peters to James Madison”
authors:Richard Peters
date written:1789-8-24

permanent link
to this version:
https://consource.org/document/richard-peters-to-james-madison-1789-8-24/20130122080247/
last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:02 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Oct. 17, 2019, 6:23 p.m. UTC

transcription
citation:
Peters, Richard. "Letter to James Madison." Creating the Bill of Rights. Ed. Kenneth R. Bowling and Helen E. Veit. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991. 288-89. Print.
manuscript
source:
Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress

Richard Peters to James Madison (August 24, 1789)

I am obliged by your Information & acknowledge that some of your Reasons are the best that can be given. They are such therefore as I knew you could give. But many of them are founded on Apprehensions which forgive me for saying I think too highly wrought. I believe that a Firmness in adhering to our Constitution 'till at least it had a longer Trial would have silenced Antifœderalists sooner than magnifying their Importance by Acknowledgments on our Part & of ourselves holding up a Banner for them to rally to.1 All you offer comes not up to their Desires & as long as they have one unreasonable Wish ungratified the Clamour will be the same. I know there are among them good Characters, but many of those who lead do it not from other Motives than to make or keep themselves Heads of a Party. Our Character abroad will never acquire Consistency while Foreigners see us wavering even in our Government about the very Instrument under which that Government acts. In short I fear worse Consequences from the good Disposition of the Conciliators (especially now when some Things done by Congress have startled even many Fœderalists) than I apprehend from an Adherence to the System. But I have agreed with myself not to enter far into a Subject which you have so long considered.

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