Writings of James Madison, Volume 1

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Author: James Madison

To Edmund Randolph.

ORANGE, March 10th, 1785.

MY DEAR SIR,—Your favor of the 12th ult. came safe to hand through the conveyance of Capt. Barber, together with the several articles inclosed. The letter from Mr. Jefferson speaks of the state of things on the 11th of November on the other side of the Atlantic as follows: "The lamp of war is kindled here, not to be extinguished but by torrents of blood. The firing of the Dutch on an Imperial vessel going down the Scheld has been followed by the departure of the Imperial Minister from the Hague without taking leave. Troops are in motion on both sides towards the Scheld, but probably nothing will be done till the Spring. This Court has been very silent as to the part they will act. Yet their late Treaty with Holland, as well as a certainty that Holland would not have proceeded so far without assurance of aid, furnish sufficient ground to conclude they will side actively with the Republic. The King of Prussia, it is believed, will do the same. He has patched up his little disputes with Holland and Dantzic. The prospect is, that Holland, France, Prussia, and the Porte, will be engaged against the two Imperial Courts. England, I think, will remain neutral. Their hostility has attained an incredible height. Notwithstanding this, they expect to keep our trade and cabotage to themselves by the virtue of their proclamation. They have no idea that we can so far act in concert as to establish retaliating measures. Their Irish affairs will puzzle them extremely. Should things get into confusion there, perhaps they will be more disposed to wish a friendly connection with us. The Congress which met on the 25th of October consisted of deputies from 8 Counties only. They came to resolutions on the reform of Parliament and adjourned to the 20th of January, recommending to the other Counties to send deputies then."

I learn from an intelligent person lately from Kentucky, that the Convention there produced nothing but a statement of grievances and a claim of redress. The topic of independence was not regularly brought forward at all, and scarcely agitated without doors. It is supposed that the late extension of the tax on patents, which, as it stood before, is on the list of grievances, will turn the scale in favor of that measure.

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Chicago: James Madison Jr., "To Edmund Randolph.," Writings of James Madison, Volume 1 in James Madison, Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, 4 Vols. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co.), P.135 Original Sources, accessed January 23, 2020, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=47W3FH5Q3XYAGWM.

MLA: Madison, James, Jr. "To Edmund Randolph." Writings of James Madison, Volume 1, in James Madison, Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, 4 Vols. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co.), P.135, Original Sources. 23 Jan. 2020. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=47W3FH5Q3XYAGWM.

Harvard: Madison, J, 'To Edmund Randolph.' in Writings of James Madison, Volume 1. cited in , James Madison, Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, 4 Vols. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co.), P.135. Original Sources, retrieved 23 January 2020, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=47W3FH5Q3XYAGWM.