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title:“Theodore Sedgwick to Benjamin Lincoln”
authors:Theodore Sedgwick
date written:1789-7-19

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Sedgwick, Theodore. "Letter to Benjamin Lincoln." Creating the Bill of Rights. Ed. Kenneth R. Bowling and Helen E. Veit. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991. 263-64. Print.
Massachusetts Historical Society

Theodore Sedgwick to Benjamin Lincoln (July 19, 1789)

Mr. Madison's talents, respectable as they are will for some time be lost to the public, from his timidity. He is constantly haunted with the ghost of Patrick Henry. No man, in my opinion, in this country has more fair and honorable intentions, or more ardently wishes the prosperity of the public, but unfortunately he has not that strength of nerves which will enable him to set at defiance popular and factious clamors. His system of amendments we must fairly meet, and must adopt them in every instance in which they will not shackle the operations of the government. It is a water gruel business, and I hope will be so managed as only to produce a more temperate habit in the body politic. Those substantial amendments which would have a tendency to produce a more compleat and natural arrangement of the national union we must despair of attaining at present.1

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