The Confederation Series
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This is the fourth of six volumes of Washington's papers in the Confederation period. George Washington stays close to home between April 1786 and the end of January 1787, and much of his correspondence continues to focus on his multifarious private affairs. By the fall of 1786, however, many of both incoming and outgoing letters reflect the intensifying concern about what both Washington and his correspondents viewed as the critical state of the American union.
Henry Knox almost weekly sends full reports on developments in Massachusetts as Daniel Shays and his followers mount their rebellion. A letter from Madison of 1 November marks the opening of the remarkable political correspondence between the two men extending to the time of Washington's election to the presidency. Among the other men who were frequently corresponding with Washington about the affairs of the nation were Henry Lee, John Jay, David Humphreys, and Edmund Randolph. Before the end of 1786 George Washington learned that he had been chosen as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention to be held in Philadelphia in May 1787, and he was still agitating the question whether or not he should attend as late as February 1787.
W.W. Abbot, ed., The Papers of George Washington: Confederation Series volume 4, April 1786 – January 1787. Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 1995.