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25 August - Madison Against Slavery (2)

by khazzard

Cite as: khazzard, ‘25 August - Madison Against Slavery (2)’ in Kieran Hazzard, Bilder and Doubts Over Madison's Notes, Quill Project at Pembroke College (Oxford, 2019), item 292.


In one session in late August Madison writes that he made two anti-slavery comments. Bilder suggests that these may have been changed or added after the Convention, probably in 1789.

The last three and a half weeks of the Convention contain some of the most important developments in the framing of the constitution, yet Bilder suggests that Madison’s record of these events may have been altered.

She states that there is “no evidence proves that these sheets were written in August-September 1787.” Instead the evidence points to their being written in late 1789.

The most compelling evidence to Bilder is that Madison incorporated what looks like large parts of text from the Journal into the body of his notes, whereas previously these were clearly made as additions to his earlier writings. There are far fewer corrections and changes to these sheets, and are the notes are written on different paper to previous sessions. This therefore suggests that they were later compositions or replacements.

Approved for publication