Manuscript/Mixed Material Letter from James Madison to Edmund Randolph, May 10, 1789.

About this Item

Title
Letter from James Madison to Edmund Randolph, May 10, 1789.
Contributor Names
Madison, James, 1751-1836 (Author)
Created / Published
May 10, 1789
Subject Headings
-  Washington, George, 1732-1799
-  Letter
Genre
Letter.
Notes
-  James Madison, a representative from Virginia at this time and future president of the United States, writes to Edmund Randolph, who was appointed first as attorney general, then as secretary of state under President Washington. In a partial transcription of pages 2-3 from this letter, Madison describes why President-elect Washington was delayed in coming to New York for his inauguration, the certainty of his election, the removal of titles in his inaugural address as prescribed beforehand by a joint congressional committee. "No question has been made in this quarter or elsewhere as far as I have learned, whether the Genl ought to have accepted the Trust. On the contrary opinions have been unanimous & decided that it was essential to the commencement of the Government and a duty from which no private considerations could absolve him. The promptitude of his setting out from Mount Vernon was the effect of information of the delay of business here, the impatience of the public mind, and the necessity of his presence to make the Government competent to its first & most urgent objects. His election was ... a certainty a long time before the ballots were opened, and informally communicated I believe, before it was regularly notified. It was taken for granted here that under the circumstances of the occasion, he would lose no time in repairing to his station, if he meant not to decline it altogether. Col. Griffin has I presume sent you his inaugural speech. Inclosed is the answer of the H. of Reps. The address is purged you will observe of all titles whatsoever except the Constitutional one. This point had been previously determined by a report from a joint committee originated by the Senate for the purpose of settling what or whether any titles shd be assigned to the President & vice President. The report was unanimously agreed to by the the H. of Reps previous to the address. I am sorry to find that the Senate do not concur in this principle of dignified simplicity. They have disagreed to the report of the joint Committee, and have proposed another consultation on the subject. The H. of Reps will assuredly adhere to the first determination."
-  Letter from James Madison to Edmund Randolph, May 10, 1789.
-  Forms part of The James Madison Papers, 1723 to 1859; for additional information, see: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/eadmss.ms009141
-  Original document scanned in 1999-2000 for the former American Memory presentation “I Do Solemnly Swear”: Presidential Inaugurations (retired 2016).
Source Collection
The James Madison Papers at the Library of Congress
Repository
Manuscript Division
Online Format
image

Rights & Access

Rights assessment is your responsibility.

The contents of the Library of Congress James Madison Papers are in the public domain and are free to use and reuse.

Credit Line: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, James Madison Papers.

More about Copyright and other Restrictions.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Madison, James. Letter from James Madison to Edmund Randolph. 1789. Manuscript/Mixed Material. https://www.loc.gov/item/pin0103/.

APA citation style:

Madison, J. (1789) Letter from James Madison to Edmund Randolph. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/pin0103/.

MLA citation style:

Madison, James. Letter from James Madison to Edmund Randolph. 1789. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/pin0103/>.