Volume 6: Jan. – Sept. 1788

This is the sixth and final volume of Washington’s papers in the Confederation period. Beginning with the decision made early in 1787 to attend the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in the summer, Washington’s papers in volume 6 of the series reveal him as once again a public figure no longer standing outside and above the fray as he had been seeking to do with some success since leaving the army at the end of 1783.

In the first nine months of this year Washington continued to give meticulous attention to his personal affairs at Mount Vernon as he had done before, but his correspondence, particularly that with James Madison, makes it clear that his overriding concern had become the ratification of the new Federal Constitution and that his mind was turning to the role he should, and must, play in establishing the new government. The next volume of the Papers, volume 1 of the Presidential Series, which has been in print since 1987, traces the path to the presidency that Washington followed from September 1788 until his departure for New York in the spring Of 1789.

W.W. Abbot, ed., The Papers of George Washington: Confederation Series volume 6, January – September 1788. Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 1997.

Purchase from the University of Virginia Press.