New York, Sept. 28, 1787.
You ask me for such information as I can, with propriety, give you, respecting the proceedings of the Convention: In my letter from Philadelphia, in July last, I informed you that everything was covered with the veil of secrecy. It is now taken off, and the great work is presented to the public for their consideration. I enclose you a copy of it, with the letter which accompanies the Constitution.
You will probably be surprised at not finding my name affixed to it, and will, no doubt, be desirous of having a reason for it. Know then, Sir, that I was absent in New York on a piece of business so necessary that it became unavoidable. I approve of its principles, and would have signed it with all my heart, had I been present. To say, however, that I consider it as perfect, would be to make an acknowledgement immediately opposed to my judgment. Perhaps it is the only one that will suit our present situation. The wisdom of the Convention was equal to something greater; but a variety of local circumstances, the inequality of states, and the dissonant interests of the different parts of the Union, made it impossible to give it any other shape or form.