Page:The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 Volume 3.djvu/328
Baltimore 16 June 1788.
You have been so kind as to put your brothers letter into my hand. I have read it attentively and cannot help thinking that he has looked for an illustration where his own experience might have taught him it could not possibly be found. He doubts where the blame lays. When did Mr. Martin and Mr. Mercer become authorities? He suggests also that I should have made him acquainted with the list. If I had shewn it to him, I must have shewn it to others who were equally affected by it, with some of whom I have been for these thirteen years past in the closest habits of intimacy and friendship. Such a step, he must be aware, would have brought on immediate personal altercations (at a most critical time) with a man prone to anger, and excessively captious. I did what I thought much safer and more decisive. I reserved myself to expose it publicly in case a public use had been made of it. This has never been done tho’ the fairest opportunity in the world was offred for doing it. Can any one who witnessed that occasion, who heard me charge Mr. Martin with uttering falsehoods, entertain a belief that his representation to Mr. Carroll is true, or that he would have remained silent and condemned before the general assembly, if he could have given me as an evidence of what he there asserts? As to Mr. Mercer, I wish your brother had mentioned what he has recently done or said that has induced him to think more favorably of his veracity.
I have only to regret in this affair that my anxiety for the public good and your brothers quiet, for whom I have the most sincere friendship, should have occasioned him a moments uneasiness, and am only surprised that he has not treated this as he has the other fictions which have been gravely reported to the world for truths.
I am very respectfully
Sir Your obt. and hble st.
[Address:] Revd. John Carroll Esqr.
ⅭⅭⅩⅡ. Debate in the Virginia Convention.
June 17, 1788.
… Mr. Madison — Mr. Chairman — I should conceive this clause to be impolitic, if it were one of those things which could be excluded without encountering greater evils. — The southern
- Robertson, Debates of the Convention of Virginia, 1788 (2d edit., 1805), pp. 321–345.