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title:“William Grayson to James Monroe”
authors:William Grayson
date written:1787-5-29

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retrieved:April 16, 2024, 7:19 a.m. UTC

Grayson, William. "Letter to James Monroe." The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Vol. 3. Ed. Max Farrand. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911. Print.

William Grayson to James Monroe (May 29, 1787)

N York May 29th. 1787.
The draught made from Congress of members for the Convention has made them very thin & no business of course is going on here: I do not believe that this will be the case untill that body shall be dissolved, which I hardly think will be the case these three months. What will be the result of their meeting I cannot with any certainty determine, but I hardly think much good can come of it: the people of America don't appear to me to be ripe for any great innovations & it seems they are ultimately to ratify or reject: the weight of Genl. Washington as you justly observe is very great in America, but I hardly think it is sufficient to induce the people to pay money or part with power.
The delegates from the Eastwd. are for a very strong government, & wish to prostrate all ye. state legislature, & form a general system out of ye. whole; but I don't learn that the people are with them, on ye. contrary in Massachuzets they think that government too strong & are about rebelling again, for the purpose of making it more democratical: In Connecticut they have rejected the requisition for ye. present year decidedly, & no Man there would be elected to the office of a constable if he was to declare that he meant to pay a copper towards the domestic debt: — R. Island has refused to send members — the cry there is for a good government after they have paid their debts in depreciated paper: — first demolish the Philistines /i, e, their Creditors/ & then for propriety.
N Hamshire has not paid a shilling, since peace, & does not ever mean to pay one to all eternity: — if it was attempted to tax the people for ye domestic debt 500 Shays would arise in a fortnight. — In N. York they pay well because they can do it by plundering N Jersey & Connecticut. — Jersey will go great lengths from motives of revenge and Interest: Pensylvany will join provided you let the sessions of the Executive of America be fixed in Philada. & give her other advantages in trade to compensate for the loss of State power. I shall make no observations on the southern States, but I think they will be/ perhaps from different motives/ as little disposed to part with efficient power as any in the Union.

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