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Letter to Henry Knox, October 15, 1787
TRANSCRIPT GLC 2437.52.141
George Washington. Letter copy: Mount Vernon, to Henry Knox, 1787 October 15. 3 p.

No-18: Copied from & compared with the Original Feby 8th 1854

Mount Vernon October 15th 1787

My Dear Sir,

Your favor of the 3d Inst. came duly to hand – The 4th day after leaving Philadelphia I arrived at home, and found Mrs Washington and the Family tolerably well: but the fruits of the earth almost entirely destroyed by one of the severest droughts (in this neighborhood) that has ever been experienced, The Crops generally below the mountains are injured: but not to the degree that mine and of my neighbors are here, -

The Constitution is now before the Judgement Seat – It has, as was expected, its adversaries, and its supporters: which will preponderate, is yet to be decided. The former it is probable will be most active: because the major part of them it is to be feared will be governed by Sinister and Self important considerations on which no arguments will work conviction - The opposition from another class of them, (if they are men of reflection, information and candour) may perhaps subside on the solution of the following plain, but important questions. 1st. Is the Constitution which is submitted, by the Convention preferable to the Government (if it can be called one) under which we now live? 2. Is it probable that more confidence will, at this time, be placed in another Convention (should the experiment be tried) than was [2] given to the last? And is it likely that there would be a better agreement in it? 3. Is there not a Constitutional door open for alterations or amendments: and is it not probable that real defects will be as readily discovered after, as before trial? And will not our posterity be as ready to apply the remedy as ourselves if occasion for it, when the mode is provided? To think otherwise will in my judgement, be ascribing more of the Amor Patriae – more wisdom – and more foresight to ourselves than I conceive we are entitled to – It is highly probable that the refusal of our Govr. and Col. Mason to subscribe to the proceedings of the Convention will have a bad effect in this State: for as you well observe, they must not only assign reasons for the Justification of their conduct, but it is highly probable these reasons will appear in terrific array, with a view to alarm the people – Some things are already addressed to the fears, and will have their effect – As far however, as the sense of this part of the Country has been taken, it is strongly in favor of the proposed Constitution – further I cannot speak with precision – If a powerful opposition is given to it, the weight thereof will I apprehend come from the Southward counties of James River and from the Western country.

Mrs Washington and the family join me in every good wish for you and Mrs Knox – and with great and sincere regard I am my dear Sir your Affectionate

(signed) Go: Washington
The Honble Genl Knox

Notes: Published in Fitzpatrick, John C. The Writings of George Washington. v. 29, pp. 288-90.