The Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, 1789-1791

ALS, Baldwin Folder, Yale University Library, New Haven, CT.

Abraham Baldwin to Joel Barlow

You gave us all such a scolding in your last letters for not writing, that I shall write now constantly, merely through fear. I have nothing to write but politicks, and there is enough of that for every day in the week, the circle of our friends does not furnish any thing to my recollection worth communicating, which I have not told you before. We have made but one law yet, prescribing oaths agreeably to 6th art. of constitution. The impost law has passed our house and was yesterday returned from the senate with many alterations. We have bills on the principal executive departments, treasury & c. now before us. We shall abolish board of treasury, and try a minister in that department again; boards are but little better than shingles in such work.
We have also in the works a bill containing the machinery for the collection of the duties laid in the impost law. A heavy piece of work. The senate have before them a bill on the judiciary department, in my opinion admirably contrived, my chum Ellsworth has been at work at it night and day these three months. A few days since, Madison brought before us propositions of amendment, agreeably to his promise to his constituents. Such as he supposed woud tranquillize the minds of honest opponents without injuring the system. viz. "That what is not given is reserved, that liberty of the press & trial by jury shall remain inviolable, that the representation shall never be less than one for every 30,000 & c." ordered to lie on the table. We are too busy at present in cutting way at the whole cloth, to stop to do any body's patching. There is no such thing as antifederalism heard of. R.I. and N.C. had local reasons for their conduct, and will come right before long. Montezuma feels well, has two levees a week, and now and then a small circle without form to dine with him. Madame, Lear & Lewis are with him. I send this via Falmouth, in ten days by Bunyan you shall have a packet of news papers. God bless you.