Friday, October 24, 2008

In Which My English Teacher Has Cardiac Arrest

In early March 1788, James Madison, having finished his last contribution to the Federalist Papers, left New York City for Montpelier in order to canvass for election to the Virginia Convention that was to meet to consider whether to ratify the proposed federal constitution. When Madison arrived in Virginia, however, he stopped over at Mount Vernon, and wound up tarrying there for several weeks.

Then, as Robert Allen Rutland tells it, Madison received "a letter from an Orange County friend urging him to hurry home" because an opponent was attacking the Constitution with some success. Madison's correspondent, Joseph Spencer, told him that the attacks were
in such Horred carrecters that the weker clas of people are much predegessed agains it by which meens he has many which as yet, appears grately in favour of him.

My old English teacher would be appalled. Poor Mr. Spencer can't even spell "favor" correctly.

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