my hands a draught of a Constitution; and in that draught he had proposed a “President for three years.” Now, the fact is, that in that plan, the original of which I ascertained several years ago to be among his papers, the tenure of office for the President is not three years, but during good behavior.
CCCLXXXI. James Madison to J.K. Paulding.
Much curiosity & some comment have been excited by the marvellous identities in a “Plan of Govt. proposed by Chs. Pinckney in the Convn. of 1787, as published in the Journals with the text of the Constitution as finally agreed to. I find among my pamphlets a copy of a small one “entitled “Observations on the Plan of Govt submitted to the Fedl Convention in Phila on the 28th. of May by Mr. C. P. a Delegate from S. C. delivered at different times in the Convention”
My Copy is so defaced & mutilated that it is impossible to make out eno’ of the Plan as referred to in the Observation, for a due comparison of it, with that printed in the Journal. The pamphlet was printed in N. Y. by Francis Childs. The year is effaced: It must have been not very long after the close of the Convention; and with the sanction at least of Mr. P. himself. It has occurred that a copy may be attainable at the Printing office if still kept up, or examined in some of the Libraries, or Historical Collections in the City. When you can snatch a moment in yr walks with other views; for a call at such places, you will promote an object of some little interest as well as delicacy, by ascertaining whether the article in question can be met with. I have among my manuscript papers, lights on the subject, The pamphlet of Mr. P. could not fail to add to them
CCCLXXXII. James Madison to J.K. Paulding.
June 6. 1831.
Since my letter answering yours of Apl. 6, in which I requested you to make an enquiry concerning a small pamphlet of Charles Pinckney printed at the close of the Fedl Convention of 1787, it has occurred to me that the pamphlet might not have been put in circulation, but only presented to his friends &c. In that way I may have become possessed of the copy to which I referred as in damaged state. On this supposition the only chance of success must be among the Books &c. of individuals on the list of Mr. P–’s political associates
- Documentary History of the Constitution, V, 367–368.
- Documentary History of the Constitution, V, 371.