Confederation Series Documents
of Washington's handwritten revisions to the Constitution, as dictated
by the Committee of Detail and the Committee of Style. GW
(or, in a few instances, the secretary of the convention William Jackson)
entered on his printed copy of the draft of the Constitution presented
to the Convention on 12 Sept. by the committee of style, all of the
various changes in form and content adopted by the Convention between
12 and 15 Sept. when the Constitution took its final form.
Stith to George Washington, Philadelphia, 22 March 1787
This letter from Buckner Stith (1722–1791), originally of the Chotank
area of the Northern Neck of Virginia, is unique in that it is the
only known letter from a companion of GW's childhood recalling the
days of their youth: "I have seriously had thoughts of troubling
you with an Epistle these four Years, but my Mind has all the way
fallen under the task; 'till just know, after smoking three full Pipes,
which you know inebriates a good deal if the Tobacco be strong, and
a little Man here informing me he lived within three miles of your
House, zounds said I, I will this minute write to the General..."
to Richard Henry Lee, 22 August 1785
"The currt of my information
from France is, that the dispute between the Emperor & Holland
will be accomodated without bloodshed: but after the explicit declarations
which have been made on both sides, I do not see how either (especially
the first) can recede from his claims. To save appearances, &
to let the contending parties down handsomely, say some of
my letters, is now the greatest difficulty. but all agree that, a
spark may set the whole in flames. indeed Bavaria it is expected will
yet do that...."
Dispatch from Richmond, Virginia,
The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser, 21 April 1787
on the Institution of the Society of the Cincinnati, c.4
Selected letters from Washington dated
1783 to 1788.
Washington to Bushrod Washington, 9 November 1787 : "The
warmest friends to and the best supporters of the Constitution,
do not contend that it is free from imperfections; but these were
not to be avoided, and they are convinced if evils are likely
to flow from them, that the remedy must come thereafter; because,
in the present moment it is not to be obtained. And as there is
a Constitutional door open for it, I think the people (for it
is with them to judge) can, as they will have the aid of experience
on their side, decide with as much propriety on the alterations
and amendments wch shall be found necessary, as ourselves; for
I do not conceive that we are more inspired—have more wisdem—or
possess more virtue than those who will come after us. " Read more letters...
GW to Robert Morris
and Robert Morris to GW,
June 1784, regarding effective icehouse construction. GW requests
details from Morris, who writes back with information on the construction
of and methodology behind the design of his icehouse. Washington later
incorporated some of these ideas into his own icehouse at Mount Vernon.
Link to more information on
and images of this icehouse, rediscovered in 2000 during an archaeological
dig near Independence Hall.