By the spring of 1790,
American politicians such as George Washington and John Adams had cause to worry about the
survival of the Union to which they had devoted their careers. Southerners remained angry
over their inability to establish the capital on the Potomac and the northern demand that
the federal government assume the state debts. Northerners expressed their frustrations
openly, especially after the House rejected assumption on April 12. Prominent men in both
sections began to question the viability of the Union. Henry Lee of Virginia (later to be
the father of Robert E. Lee) wrote Madison that he would "rather myself
submit to all the hazards of war and risk the loss of every thing dear to me in Life, than
to live under the rule of a fixed insolent northern majority."
Full text transcript of Henry Lee's letter.