Washington's Letter to David Stuart


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November 30, 1787. To David Stuart.

I have seen no publication yet that ought, in my judgment, to shake the proposed Constitution in the mind of an impartial and candid public. In fine, I have hardly seen one that is not addressed to the passions of the people, and obviously calculated to alarm their fears. Every attempt to amend the Constitution at this time is in my opinion idle and vain. If there are characters, who prefer disunion, or separate confederacies, to the general government, which is offered to them, their opposition may, for aught I know, proceed from principle; but as nothing, according to my conception of the matter, is more to be deprecated than a disunion of these distinct confederacies, as far as my voice can go it shall be offered in favor of the latter. That there are some writers, and others perhaps who may not have written, that wish to see this Union divided into several confederacies, is pretty evident. As an antidote to these opinions, and in order to investigate the ground of objections to the Constitution which is submitted, the Federalist, under the signature of PUBLIUS, is written. The numbers which have been published, I send you. If there is a printer in Richmond who is really well disposed to support the new Constitution, he would do well to give them a place in his paper. They are, I think I may venture to say, written by able men; and before they are finished will, or I am mistaken, place matters in a true point of light. Although I am acquainted with the writers, who have a hand in this work, I am not at liberty to mention names, nor would I have it known that they are sent by me to you for promulgation.



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