President John Sullivan on the Constitution Portsmouth

New Hampshire Spy

December 10, 1787

It is with real pleasure that we can announce the sentiments of his Excellency, President SULLIVAN, to be perfectly federal. He has been heard to express himself in near the following terms, “That although he did not doubt New-Hampshire, singly considered, might have framed a better constitution for themselves, yet when the whole of the thirteen states were considered; that it was to unite them, jarring in interests, in politics and prejudices, he was bold to say, It was one of the best systems of government that ever was devised; and that all the objections which have been raised against it are no more than what might be brought against any form of government whatever.”

339-B. John Sullivan: Speech to the New Hampshire General Court New Hampshire Mercury, 30 January (excerpts)

…Among the public papers which I have the honor to lay before you, the report of the national Convention, respecting a Plan of Government for the people of the United-States, with the Resolve of Congress accompanying the same, will undoubtedly claim your attention.

The important question, Whether the proposed form shall be received or rejected, can no farther come under your consideration, at this time, than as it stands connected with, or may be affected by your determination respecting the propriety of appointing delegates to decide upon it.

The proposed plan undoubtedly has its defects: the wisdom of man has never yet been able to furnish the world with a perfect system of government: perhaps that which claims the attention of America is liable to as few exceptions as any which has hitherto been produced.

I have carefully considered the plan, and endeavored to weigh the objections which have been raised against it; and have not, as yet, been able to discover any of more weight than might be urged against the most perfect system which has yet been offered to mankind; or, perhaps, might be alledged against any which human wisdom may ever contrive…

Permit me, gentlemen, to recommend to you unanimity and dispatch; and to assure you that I shall most chearfully join you in every measure for promoting the public interest.

Given at the Council-Chamber in Portsmouth, the 5th day of December, 1787, and in the 12th year of American Independence.

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