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title:“Robert R. Livingston to Marquis de la Luzerne”
authors:Robert R. Livingston
date written:1788-5-7

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:31 a.m. UTC
retrieved:May 7, 2021, 8:10 a.m. UTC

Livingston, Robert R.. "Letter to Marquis de la Luzerne." The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution. Vol. 17. Ed. Gaspare J. Saladino and John P. Kaminski. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 1995. 392-94. Print.
The New-York Historical Society

Robert R. Livingston to Marquis de la Luzerne (May 7, 1788)

I have delayed replying to your obliging favor by the Ct De Mou[s]tiers in hope that I might be able to give you some satisfactory information relative to the important events that are now taking place here but having lately heard of those in which your happiness is immediately interested your marriage & your appointment as ambassadour to G B: I can not defer my congratulations. The first of these will I dare say render you as happy as the prudence & propriety of the choice you have made gave your friends reason to hope[.] The pleasure I receive from the second I confess is not unmixed with regret [that] had it been consistent with your personal interests & the views of [Friends?] to have send you here with the same rank I am satisfied that you wd have rendered essential services to both countries-The present moment is very interesting I cannot but believe that America is going to undergo a change in her political constitution which may add to her importance in the scale of nations-The present disturbed State of Europe & seeds of Jealousy which are sown between france & G britain will if I mistake not soon involve them in new quarells in which case America if her government is established may not be unimportant to either[.] The British interest is by no means inconsider- able among us nor can it be prevented from acquiring an undue influence but by the attention of a minister acquainted with the character of the inhabitants solicitous to conciliate their affections & ready to accomodate himself to their prejudices-Without intending the smallest reflection upon the Ct. De Moustiers (who has not yet formed so intimate a connection with any of us as to permit us to judge of his character) I can not but think that a reciprocal connection between both nations would have been greatly strengthened by your residence in a country where you have so many friends-But having lost all hope prospect of this we must console ourselves in your absence by the interest we take in your advancement to a more agreeable & more important mission-
You Have doubtless seen the proposed federal constitution[.] it has met with many antagonists but the great bulk of the people & [- - -] particularly those who have most experience & information are warmly attatched to it[.] seven States Georgia Maryland Delaware P. NJ C: & Mast: have acceeded to it-Rhode Island is the only one that has as yet rejected it nor do I imagine it runs any other risk but from New York where parties are very equally balanced[.] the popular demagogues being fearful that it may lessen their importance are warmly opposed to it-Tho this constitution is by no means free from faults yet if well administered it may tend to unite us more firmly than we are & will certainly be much more vigorous in its operation than that we now have-Y1ou are in a country where you will hear of nothing but our poverty disstress &convultions yet be assured that nothing can be more groundless-The people of this country are the happyest in the world[.] poverty is hardly known in it[.] our population is more rapid than you can have any Idea of[.] such is the improved State of our agriculture that notwithstanding the inconveniences our trade labours under the general ballance will this year be in our favor-and will daily be more so-I speak of this State particularly-Many articles heretofore furnished from Europe are now made cheaper in the Northern States than they can be imported as nails, oil, coarse linnens glass- This is one of the good consequences which results from discouraging our foreign commerce & it will daily extend itself to a variety of other articles[.] Thus in this as in most human affairs good arises out of the evils our political enemies intended us-You will excuse the length of this &charge it to the desire I have of giving you a political ske[t]ch of a country in whose happiness I know you interest yourself with the further hope that it may be useful to you in your present situation- Be assured Sir of the Sincerity of the attatchment with which I have the honor to be Your Excellencys Most Ob Hum: Servt:

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