Pennsylvania and the Federal Constitution 1787-1788: Chapter X. Appendix
Pennsylvania and the Federal Constitution, 1787-1788
Edited by John Bach McMaster and Frederick D. Stone
NOTES OF THE DEBATE
FROM THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT IN THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA.[The foot-notes to this appendix are given as marginal notes in the original manuscript of James Wilson, and appear to be brief memorandums for a reply].
Monday, 26th Nov., 1787, P. M.
1 Mr. McKeanThere can be only one Question before us. The Question on separate Paragraphs would preclude A Vote of Approbation on the whole system. Each Paragraph may be discussed; but without taking a Question on the whole. A House convenient on the whole, may be defective in some of its Apartments. We come not to compose a new Book.
Moved and seconded that the tenth Rule be repealed.
Mr. SmilieIt would be more proper to go into a Committee on the whole than to repeal the Rule.By going into a Committee there will be a double Investigation.
2 Mr. R. Whitehill-We are not precluded from proposing Amendments-We are going to examine the Foundations of the Building. By proposing Amendments we can hear what they say in the other States, and then can accommodate.
Mr. SmilieIn a legal Discussion I am inferior to (Mr. McKean.).The mode proposed by him is contrary to every Idea of Order.The Mode that will give the longest Time to consider should be preferred.
In convention we can consider only each part once.The People of Penna. will be taxed by the Representatives of U. S.The Freemen of Penna. will think and act.
Mr. ScottWe are come to stamp the System with the Authority of the People, or to refuse it that Stamp.
Tuesday, 27th Nov., 1787, A. M.
Mr. WhitehillMoves that Reasons for Yeas and Nays may be entered on the Journals.
Mr. McKeanA Speech to promote Candour and mutual Forbearance.-No two Govts. exactly alike.
Division of the legislative Power, into two Branches, with a qualified Negative highly properthese should be Permanency in the Magistracies, and Stability in the Laws.
3 The Constitution opens with a solemn and practical Declarationthat the Supreme Power resides in the People. It is announced in their Name. They ordain and establish. They can repeal and annul.
There should be more than one Branch.
4 I. In order to secure Liberty and the Constitution, it is absolutely necessary that the Legislature should be restrained.
It may be restrained in several Ways:
- By the Judges deciding agst. the Legislature in Favor of the Constn.
- By Elections at proper Intervals of Time.
- By the Interposition of the Supreme Power of the People on necessary Occasions.
- Principally by a Division of the legislative Authority into more Bodies than one.
State the Necessity and Operation of this Division.
II. There will be more Cautionmore Precisionmore Stability in the Laws.
III. On the Principles of the Constitution, the States should be represented and possess the Powers of self-preservation.
5 This power is so strongly guarded, that it never can be lost to any State, without its own Consent.
Ill-founded is the Objection of annihilating the State Governments.
6 The Usefulness of the qualified Negative.
- It enlarges the Field of Deliberation and Debate.
- It provides the materials of a practical History of Legislation.
- It secures an additional Degree of Deliberation in passing the Law.
- 7 It gives an additional Independency and Security to the Powers delegated to the executive Department.
8 The importance of the Right of Suffrage.
In Convention. 28th Sept., [sic.] 1787.
Mr. SmilieThere is no Security for our Rights in this Constn.
Preamble to Declr. of Independence.
Why did they omit a Bill of Rights ?
With Respect to Trial by Jury and Hab. Cor. there is a Bill of Rights.
Without one we cannot know when Congress exceed their Powers.There is no Check but the Peopleno Security for the Rights of Conscience 6th Article of the Constu.
This sweeping Clause levels all the Bills of Rights of the several States and their Governments are not confirmed.
Mr. WhitehillIf we were sure that the general Government would not in-fringe on the State Govts. we would be satisfied. Power is of an increasing Nature.We are not bound by Forms or Examples of other Countries. We should improve on them.
“We the People “changes the Principles of Confederation and introduces a consolidating and absorbing Government.
Does not this System violate the Confedn? 9 States are sufficient here, 13 were necessary beforemay not the other 4 still insist on the Confedn?
The Business was intended to give more Powers to Congressthe Powers of the Delegates of this State in the Convention.
A genl. Govt. was not thought of. Nor to unhinge the State Govts.The Convention have made a Plan of their ownthey have assumed the Power of proposing.Alterations in Governmt. should proceed from the People.The Assembly of Penna. are limited in their Powers : And the Business should have been left to the People.
This is a Mode of Amendment in the present Confedn.
Art 1, s. 1. Power unbounded.
Who are to be judges of what is necessary and proper.
S. 2. Annual Parlts. and Assemblies necessary.Br. Parl. took 7 years.Present Delegates in Congress may be recalled.6 years too long.
S. 4. Times and Places of Election. The Members of the Senate may enrich themselves: For they have a Power to Tax: Their Powers pervade every Thing. It forms one genl. consolidating Government.
Power of borrowing Moneyraising Armies.
If we give the Power, we are wrong ; tho’ the Legislature are of our own Election.
Could any State oppose the genl. Govt? All are to be sworn to observe it. A Bill of Rights may be’dangerous to the Governours.
Ar. 1, 6. This Article eradicates every Vestige of State Govt.And was intended so, for it was deliberated.
Art. r. s. 4. This is intended to carry on the Business when the State Govts. are destroyed.
Can we give away the rights of Conscience ? There is no Reserve of it, tho’ these Reservations as to ex post facto Laws. Art. 1, s. 9.
Let us secure our Liberties, and not quarrel about the Bill of Rights.They are not secured except as to Hab. Cor.
Mr. SmilieThis Constn. goes too far in Favour of Tyranny.We admit that the Form of the State Govnt. must subsist: But their Efficiency and Power must be destroyed by the superabundant Power of the general Govt.
It is not a federal Govt., not a Confederation.
It is a complete Govt.LegislativeJudicialExecutive.
Its Powers extend to legislationto Taxes; and leave only to the States what they please.
Art. a, s. 8. “Collect Taxes.””To make all Laws necessary,” etc.
Who are to be the Judges of what is necessary for the Welfare of the U. S.
The State Govt. cannot make that agt. the genl. Government.
Power will not lessen.
A power appropriating Moneyraising Armies, and commanding the Militia.Could the State Govts. oppose this.
There would be a Rivalship between the Geld. and St. Govts.On each Side they will endeavor to increase their Power.
Oaths to be taken to the Genl. Govt.
The State Govts. will lose the Attacht. of their citizens by losing their Power.
The People will not support them ; but will suffer them to dwindle to Nothing.
The Forms of Govt. may subsist after the substance is goneas in the Senate of Rome.
The State Elections will be ill attended.
The State Govts. will be mere Electors.
Will one consolidated Govt. be a proper one for the United States?
Mr. McKeanThere has been no objection to two Branches in the Legislaturenor to the Mode of choosing them or the President.
The Powers are well defined and necessary.
The great guard agt. excessive Taxation, is that he that lays, pays, and frequent Election.
To prevent Mischief we will not give the Power of doing good.
Who are to [be] the Judges?those who are chosen because they are capable of being so.
Admn. of Govt. is of as much practical Importance as its Nature.
In Convention. 30th Nov., 1787.
Mr. WhitehillThe genl. Govt. may subsist after the Abolition of the State Govt.
The Powers of Congress are unlimited and undefined.
The Senators may hold their Places as long as they live ; and there is no Power to prevent them.
Art. 1, s. 8., last Clause gives the Power of self-preservation independent of the several States ; for in case of their Abolition, it will be alleged in Favour of the genl. Govt. that self-preservation is the first Law.
The “Time ” of Election is in their Power and therefore they may make it as long as they please.
There are some Reservations in this Govt.Why not more ?
It was systematically intended to abolish the State Goverts.
Mr. HartleyEngland became enslaved at the Time of the Conquest. The Power of collecting Taxes is necessary.
Recommendations have been insufficient.
Our Representatives have this Power.
In the Time of the Emperors, they appointed the Senate.
Dr. RushAll Bills of Rights have been broken. There is no security for Liberty but in two Thingsjust Representation and Cheqks.
The Citizens of the U. S. have the Preoccupancy of Liberty ; shall they make a Deed of Confiscation to themselves.
Mr. YeatesObjections reducible to 2 Headsthe Want of Bill of RightsAbolition of State Govt.
4 Art., 4 s. Guarantee of Repub. Government.
Power must be given. All power may be abused.
The Restrictions in Art. I, s. 10, will revive our Commerce, restore public Credit, lessen Taxes.
Mr. FindlayThe Observations made relate to what is, and what is not in the System.
I confine myself to answering the Remarks that have been made this Forenoon.
The natural Course of Power is to make the many Slaves to the few.
This is verified by universal Experience.
England had always the Coin. Law : Its Charter will not apply to us. Bills of Rights were great Improvements then.
Government will construe its own Powers so as to suit its own Wishes, which it will call Necessities.
Because all Securities are broken, shall we have none.
It is not a new Doctrine that, because a good Govt. ill-administered, produces Mischief, therefore we ought to be indifferent about it.
Powers givenPowers reservedought to be all enumerated.
Let us add a Bill of Rights to our other Securities.
In Britain the Appropriations are annual.
Annual Elections are absolutely necessary in the Govt. that is not merely federal.
The Senate, the principal Branch, is elected for 6 years, and removes Responsibility far.
Number of Representatives too small.There should be more in this new and thinly settled Country, than in one old and populous.
Pennsylva. would not have any Representatives far from Philada.
This is not a confederate but a consolidating Government.
We ought to suppose that Congress will abuse its Powers.
The Powers of the gent. Govt. extend to State and internal Purposes.
Dr. RushOur Rights are not yet all known, why should we attempt to enumerate them?
Mr. SmilieIn the Remembrancer there is a Bill of Rights of Virginia.
Mr. McKeanI wish to see what kind of Bill of Rights those Gentlemen would propose.
Mr. SmilieWe will exhibit a Bill of Rights if the Convention will receive it.
- Great Point.Is a Bill of Rights necessary.
- Does this System abolish the State Governments.
Direct Taxationpoll Taxstanding Army are Objections.
Freedom almost unknown in the old World.Are we to go there for Precedents of Liberty?
Bill of Rights necessary as the Instrument of original Compactand to mention the Rights reserved.The Sovereignty and Independence of the States should be reserved.
There must be a People before there is a King ; and the People, in the first Instance, have inherent and inalienable Rights.
We ought to know what Rights we surrender, and what we retain.
Suppose Congress to pass an Act for the Punishment of Libels and restrain the Liberty of the Pressfor they are warranted to do this-what Security would a Printer have tried in one of their Courts ?
An aristocratical Govt. cannot bear the Liberty of the Press.
The Senate will swallow up any Thing.
What Harm from a Bill of Rights?
In Convention, Dec. 1st, 1787.
Mr. PickeringOur principal Debate during the many Days we have met has been whether the House would have a Porch. Let us first take a Survey of the Mansion and see whether a Porch is necessary.
Mr. ChambersThe Manner of Debate is been very irregular and desultory.
“All Legislative Powers herein granted.”
Art. 1, s. 1.
Mr. FindlayIt has been the Endeavour of many to paint our Necessities highly, like persuading a Man in Health that [he] is sick. Our Situation is such that we are not hastened in Point of Time and Necessity. We are enjoying Liberty and Happiness to a very great Degree.
Our Difficulties arose from the Requisition and heavy Taxes laid in 1782. This system not suitable to our Necessities or Expectations.
Necessities.We could not enforce Treatiesregulate Commerceand draw a Revenue from it.
This System goes to raise internal TaxesCapitationExcisesto an Extension of the Judiciary Power even to Capital Casesa Dependence of the State officers in the genl. Govt.
This system is not such as was expected by me, by the People, by the Legislatures, nor within these Powers.
It is a consolidating Government and will abolish the State Govts. or reduce them to a Shadow of Power.
I. from its Organization.
9 “We the People,” not “We the States.”
From this we could not find out that we were United States.
10 The Sovereignty of the States not held forth nor represented.
“Each Senator shall have one Vote.”Under the present Confederation the State Sovereignty is represented.In Congress they vote by States.A State can speak but one Voice.
2. From its Powers.
The[y] who can tax, possess all other Sovereign Powers. There cannot be two Sovereign Powers.
A subordinate Sovereignty is no Sovereignty.
Will the People submit to two taxing Powers
The Power of our Elections gives absolute Sovereignty.So of judging Elections.
The Judicial Powers are coextensive with the Legislative Powers.
Oath of Allegiance shews it to be a Consolidating Govt.
The Wages paid out of the public Treasury a Proof of consolid Govt.
Mr. SmilieCongress have Authority to declare what is a Libel. Art. 1, s. 8.
A Jury may be packed.
Mr. FindlayThat the Supreme Power is of Right in the People is true in all Countries.
Cajole the People.
Mr. WhitehillTho’ it is not declared that Congress have a Power to destroy the Liberty of the Press; yet in Effect they will have it: For they will have the Powers of self-preservation.
They have a Power to secure to Authors the Right of their Writings.Under this they may license the Press no Doubtand under licensing the Press they may suppress it.
Art. 1, s. 6. The Press is by this clause restrained, because the Members shall not be questioned for Speeches in any other Place.
Admendts. may be laid before Congress.
Mr. SmilieIn the Construction of a complete Government all the necessary Powers are given that are not restrained.
The Supreme Court shall have Jurisdiction in Cases where a State is a Party.
Crimes shall be tried by Jury, erg. they have Power to declare. Mr. FindlayNo Opposition on local Principles.
This Plan is inimical to our Liberties.
In Convention, Monday, 3d Dec., 1787, P. M.
Dr. Rush.We sit here as Representatives of the Peoplewe were not appointed by the Legislature.
A Passion for State Sovereignty despoiled the Union of Greece.
Britain-Franceenjoyed more Advantages united than separate.
A. Plurality of Sovereigns is Political Idolatry.
The Sovereignty of Penna. is ceded to U. S.
- I have now a Vote for Members of Congress.
- I am a Citizen of every State.
- I have more security for my ppty.The Weakness of Penna, in the Wyoming Business.The Insurgents are Antifederal.
- No Corruption of Bloodor Forfeiture except.
- No Paper Money or Tender Laws.
- No religious Test.
- Commerceits Influence on Agriculture.
- Ship buildingIron Mines
- Produce to load our Vessels built.One only exists in the Southernthe other only in the Eastern States.
- The Communication of the Mississippi with the Atlantic will be opened under the new Constitution.
The Members in Virginia from Kentucky are enthusiasts for this system.
By adopting the fundary System, we have assumed a great Disproportion of the public Debt. It must be thrown back on Congress.
Distress general thro’ the Country.
- It is admitted that the State sovereignty is given up.
- I never heard any Thing so ridiculous except a former [unintelligible] of the same Gent.
- Our preposterous Commerce has been the Source of our Distresstogether with our Extravagance.
- We wish alterations made in the Confedn. But we wish not to sacrifice the Rights of Men to obtain them.
- Rights of Conscience should be secured.They are so in the Bill of Rights of Penna.
- A Confederation and good Government would be more to me and my family than Wealth, Honour and Offices.
- This is a Govt. of Individuals, and not a Confederation of States.
- Sovereignty is in the States and not in the People-in its Exercise.
- Vattell’s description of Sovereigntyit belonged originally to the Body of the Society. Vat. page 9 of the Sovereign.
- Vattel’s Description of a federal Republic. If I am wrong, Vattel and Montesquieu are wrong. Vat. p. ii, s. 10.
- 1. Investigate the Nature and Principles of the Government.
- 2. How will it apply to our Security and Interests.
- Gentlemen should first explain its Principles.
- General Interests are well secured.
- A single Branch I will concede.
- I wish not to destroy this system: Its Outlines are well laid. By amendments it may answer all our Wishes.
- Notwithstand. the legislative Power in Art. 1, s. 1.
The Power of Treaties is given to the Presd. and Senate. This is Branch of legislative Power.
- Dark Conclave.
Mr. PickeringAccording to common Acceptation of WordsTreaties are not Part of the legislative Power. The King of Gr. Britain.
- Mr. FindlayThe King of Gr. Britain makes laws ministerially.And the Legislature confirms them.
- Ministers impeached for the Partitior Treaty.
- Mr. SmilieIf the Ministers of Gr. Br. make an inglorious Conduct, they may be impeached and punished.But can you impeach the Senate before itself.
- If it is ministerial, the Senate are here not a Legislature.
- Supreme Laws cannot be made ministerially, but legislatively. Mr. PickeringIn Gr. Br. Treaties are obligatory.
- Mr. Smilie. In Gr, Br. a Law is frequently necessary for the Execution of a Treaty.
- Mr. WhitehillWhen a Treaty is made in G. B. it binds not the People if unreasonable. Treaties are binding by Acts of Parlt. and the Consent of the People.
- Mr. FindlayThe President has a qualified Negative : This is another Inconsistency.
- Mr. SmilieIf the K. of G. Br. makes a treaty contrary to Act of Parlt. it cannot be executed till the Law is repealed. We have not the same security here.
- If the Senate could be impeached as the British Ministers may be, we would have more security.
- Mr. FindlayThe manner of numbering the Inhabitants is dark, “other Persons.” Art. 1, s, 2.
- Art. 1, s. 9. 1st clauseMigration, etc., is unintelligible : It is unfortunate if this guaranties the Importation of Slavesor if it lays a Duty on the Importation of other Persons.
- This is a Reservation ; and yet the Power of preventing Importation is no where given.
- Mr. SmilieAs the greatest Part of the States have compound Legislatures, I shall give up that Point.
- I shall not object to the President’s negative, for he will never be able to execute it. The King of Gr. B. does not execute.
- Tho’ there be no separate Orders, there is a natural Aristocracy: The Senate will represent it. House of Reps. will represent the common Mass of the People.
- Are the Rights of the People secured? Is the Balance preserved? A Comparison between the Powers of the two Houses.
- The Number of the House of Reps. too small.
- They will not have the Confidence of the People, because the People will not be known by them, as to their Characters, etc. Only 8 for Penna.the Districts will be very large.
- The greatest Part of the Members even in this House will be attached to the natural Aristocracy.
- This Body will be subject to Corruption, and the Means of Corruption will he in the Senate ; for they have a Share in the Appointment of all officers.
- There will be People willing to receive Bribes. The lower House may be corrupted with offices by the Senate ; as the House of Commons are. There will be JudgesTax gatherers, Land WaitersTide WatersExcise officers.
- To the Legislative Power of the Senate are added some Judicial Power and an alarming share of the Executive. They are to concur with the Presidt. in making Treaties, which are to be the Supreme Law of the Land.
- 11 In G. B. if Treaties interfere with subsisting Laws, they must be con-formed. Treaty of Cora. between France and England, Art. 14.
- The Senate may be bribed : Ought they not to be brought to Punishment? Will their Colleagues convict him on Impeachment?
- If it was not for such Things as these, we would not contend agt. this Constitution.
- The Senate may for ever prevent the Addition of a single member to the Lower House ; while their own Representation may be increased.
- This Constitution contradicts the leading Principles of Govt. Mont. 6, 11, is 6 p., 199.
- We have not every Security from the judicial Department.–The Judges for disobeying a Law may be impeached by one House and tried by the other.
- Mr. FindlayThe States made Bills of Rights not because they were known in Britain ; but because they were proper.
- A Majority of the States have them.
- M. 6, 202. “The People in whom the Supreme Power resides.”
- Vat. 6. 1, s. 1, 2. “Sovereignty.”
- The Sovereignty is essentially in the People ; but is vested in a Senate or a Monarch.
- Vat. 6. 1, s. zz, zo.
- If all the Powers of Sovereignty are vested in one Nan or Body, it is Tyranny.
- The States have already parted with a Portion of their Sovereignty : It is now proposed to give more : But the People did not mean that the whole should be given up to the general Government.
- The State Governments are not subordinate to the gent Government as to internal Taxes and other internal Purposes.
- Congress may with safety raise a Revenue from Commerce.
- The general Government is farther removed from the People than the State Governments.
- There cannot be two taxing Powers on the same Subject.Taxation draws Legislation with it. There will [be] no Sovereignty in the States with Regard to Taxation.
- There is no Sovereignty left in the State Governmentsthe only one is in the general Government.
- The general Interests of Pennsylvania were not represented in the Convention.
- Sovereignty essentially resides in the People, but they have vested certain Parts of it in the State Governments and other Parts in the present Congress.
- We never said that the People were made for the States.
- Who denied that Sovereignty was inalienably in the People?
- There is a Declaration in the Bill of Rights of Penna. that the People may change the Constitutionand they only add a Constitutional Rightwhich is also done in the system before us.The same Thing has also been done in some of the other States.
- The Checks on the Senate are not sufficient.
- We ought to draw Instruction from the State Constitutions. Many of themVirginia in particulardeclare that the legislative, executive and judicial Departments should be kept distinct and independent.
- What can be a greater source of Corruption than for the Legislature to appoint Officers and fix Salaries ?
- I would be at any Expense rather than submit to the Beginnings of Corruptionsuch as this.
- There can be no Legislation without Taxation.The States will not be able to raise a civil List.
- I mean by a consolidating Govt. that which puts all the thirteen States into one.
- This is a consolidating Govermt. as to all useful Purposes of Sovereignty.
- In the Senate a Citizen of Delaware enjoys ten Votes for one that a Citizen of Penna. enjoys.
- It is all one for a Citizen of Penna. to be taxed by a Representative from Georgia as for by his own Representative.
- The smaller States have a Majority in the Senate; and they may lay Taxes on the larger States.
- Congress may make the Number of Representatives as few as they please.
- In Penna. before the Revolution the new Counties were unequally represented.
- Penna. is unequally represented in the House of Representatives.
- 100 Members are enough for a deliberative Body : And, on the present Plan, the Number will be either too large or the Representation too small. To avoid this let us have a federal Government.Internal Power in a federal Govt. is inadmissible See next page but one.
- To state the Danger of refusing this plan is improper. It is the Tyrant’s Plea : Take this or Nothing.
- Mr. Findlay. The partial Negative of the President is a Part of legislative Authority, as no Bill can become a Law without his Revision.
- Mr. Adams defines a natural Aristocracy ” Such as have a separate Interest from the Community.” “Those that in most Countries are called the Nobles.”
- The larger the Districts, the purer the Elections-is a novel Doctrine to us, and opposed to the very End of Elections.
- Adams’ Def. Pref.; p. 3.
- The Voice of the People is the Law of the Land. 12
- Are 8 Members a better Representation of Penna. than what they now enjoy?
- While the Forms of State Govts. continue, all their Apparatus of Offices continue.
- We all mean the same Theory about the Sovereignty of the People.Sovereignty remains essentially in them.
- Annual Elections are an annual Recognition of the Sovereignty of the People.
- 13 Are the State Governments a Snare? They are not wrapt in Mystery and Darkness.
- I believe that there are Govts. that keep the several Powers more distinct than the System before us.
- We are agreed as to the Independence of the Judges.
- The present System has increased the Difficulty of drawing the Line between Genl. and State Governments by encroaching into internal objects.
- The President may aid the aristocratical Senateand must aid it.
- Internal Powers in a federal Governt. are inadmissible.
- There is no Guard against Congress making Paper Money.
- The States have redeemed their Paper Money better than Congress have done.
- Amendments will always take more Power from the People, and give more to the Government.
- There is no Security for such Amendments as we want : If we don’t obtain them now, we shall probably never procure them.
- The System ought to speak for itself, and not need Explanations.
- Mr. WhitehillIf we go to the 2d Article shall we be permitted to draw our Objection from the firstto show that this is a consolidating Govt. and will annihilate the States.
- Art. r, s. 3. How shall the Seats of the &c first Class of the Senators be vacated? This must be made by Law of the Senators and Representatives : But they may make or not make this Law at their Pleasure.
- The present Congress or some other Body should have decided this Matter.
- The Senate may be enlarged under the 5th Article. ” Its equal Suffrage ” may mean a Suffrage in Proportion to Numbers, and consequently would increase the Numbers and Influence of the Senate.
- Such Members may be chosen as the City of Philada. shall please.Men of Wealth, etc.
- Art. 5. To whom are Congress to propose Amendments? to a few Men of the different States if they please.
- Congress, when they propose Amendments, will have it in their Power to regulate the Elections of Conventions ; or may order one Election and one Convention for the whole Union.
- As long as the World stands, there never will be another Amendment, if the present System be confirmed.
- Even Post-Roads are in the Power of Congress.
- A Citizen of one State may sue a Citizen of another State for an Inheritance of Land, claimed by Will under the Law of the State where the Land is.
- They may establish the Rights of Primogeniture.
- Mr. Smilie.Has not this Day been pretty closely occupied by us in the Opposition?
- Mr. SmilieI object to the Power of Congress over the Militia, and to keep a standing Army.
- What I mean by a consolidating Govt. is one that will transfer the Sovereignty from the State Govts. to the genl. Govt.
- It is properly an aristocracy.
- Because the Representatives are too few, and will be elected only by a few Tools in very large Districts.
- In Penna. before the Revolution, the little Country Towns governed the Elections.
- The People will not attend the Election; only the Tools of the Government will attend.
- If Congress exercise their Powers over the Times, Places and Manner of Elections, where are we? 8 Men may be elected in one Ticket and at one Place. Should any Body have this Power?
- The Balance of Power is in the Senate. Their Share in the Executive Department will corrupt the Legislature and detract from the proper Power of the President, and will make the President merely a Tool to the Senate.
- The President should have had the Appointment of all the Officers, with the Advice of a Council.
- The Senate will overset the Balance of Government by having the Purse and the Sword: The President will act in Concord with them.
- In a free Govt. there never will be Need of standing Armies, for it depends on the Confidence of the People. If it does not so depend, it is not free.
- The Convention, in framing this Govt., knew it was not a free one; otherwise they would not have asked the Power of the Purse and the Sword.
- The last Resource of a free People is taken away, for Congress are to have the Command of the Militia.
- The Laws of Penna. have hitherto been executed without the aid of the Militia.
- The Governour of each State will be only the drill Sergt. of Congress.
- The Militia officers will be obliged by Oath to support the genl. Govt. agt. that of their own State.
- Congress may give us a select Militia which will, in Fact, be a standing Armyor Congress, afraid of a general Militia, may say there shall be no Militia at all.
- When a select Militia is formed, the People in general may be disarmed.
- Will the States give up to Congress their last Resource, the Command of the Militia?
- Will the Militia Laws be as mild under the genl. Govt. as under the State Govt. Militia? Men may be punished with Whipping or Death. They may be dragged from one State to any other.
- ” Congress guarantees to each State a Republican Form of Govt.” Is this a Security for a free Govt? Mr. Adam’s Defence. 86 Poland is a Republic.
- Can even the Shadow of State Govts. be continued if Congress please to take it away ?
- The Senate and Presidt. may dismiss the Representatives when once a standing Army is established with Funds ; and there this Government will terminate.
- Mr. FindlayThe Objections of the Members from Fayette are founded, important, and of extensive practical Influence. Tax and Militia Laws are of universal Operation.
- The Militia will be taken from Home, and when the Militia of one State has quelled Insurrection and destroyed the Liberties; the Militia of the last State may at another Time be employed in retaliating on the first.
- No Provision in Behalf of those who are conscientiously scrupulous of bearing Arms.
- Mr. SmilieAs Citizens we are all equally interested. Let us have a friendly, free and fair Discussion.
- Mr. FindlayThe Power of regulating Elections remains to be considered.
- Art. 1, s. 4, as to the ” Place ” of Elections, struck the Public more suddenly and with more Force than any other. The “Time” may be justified.
- Congress may say that none shall vote by Ballot.
- The Modes of Election will be appointed in such Way as to give the greatest Influence to Govt.
- The “Places” of Elections are of more Importance than the Time or Manner.
- The States were competent as to the Places by their Knowledge and Responsibility. This is intrusted by our Constitution to the State Legislature.
- This can have no virtuous or pure Use.
- The Place of Elections may be removed so as to take it out of the Reach of the lower and midling Classes of Men.
- By this Clause the Government may mould and influence Elections as it shall please.
- This Govt. may go into the Channel of Monarchy, but more likely of Aristocracy.
- Under the present Confederation, Congress have not both the Power of raising standing armies and the Means of paying them.
- I could not contrive a better plan [than] this, for introducing Aristocracy.
- Mr. SmilieMr. Adams says there is in all Societies a natural Aristocracy. Letter 53, p. 362. Three Branches of Government in every Society. The Executive ought to have a Negative on the Legislature.
- The People of the U. S. thought a single Branch sufficient for Congress, which is not a legislative but a diplomatique Body, etc., ib.
- Letter 55, 372.
- Mr. WhitehillThe Vice-President will be an useless and perhaps a dangerous office, as he will be more blended with the Legislature and will have a Voice when the Votes are equal. Salaries may depend on his Vote.
- The Power of Congress to fix the Time of choosing the Electors of the President is improper : We have no Power to oblige Congress to act.
- The Power of the Senate to make Treaties is dangerous.
- The Extent of this Government is too great. It cannot be executed. We have proved it to be a consolidating Government.
- Mr. FindlayOnly a Part of the Executive Power is vested in the President. The most influential Part is in the Senate, and he only acts as primus inter pares of the Senate ; only he has the Sole Right of Nomination.
- The officers of Government are the Creatures of the Senate : The Senate should not therefore be the Judges on Impeachments.
- The great Objection is the blending of executive and legislative Power : Where they are blended there can be no Liberty : Mr. Adams says so. This great Subject is better understood by the People and attended to by the Legislature than any other : It is my Duty to insist, and I will insist, that the Distribution of Power in the present System be amended.
- Mr. WhitehillWhy is the Sovereignty of the People always brought to Voice? There are 13 Sovereignties in the United States, and 13 different Governments : Why knock down all Distinction of different Governments.
- The judicial Department is blended with and will absorb the judicial Powers of the several States ; and Nothing will be able to stop its Way.
- The Supreme Court will have very extensive Powers indeed : They must be an extension of the United States.
- There must be a great Number of inferior Courts in the several States. One for a large State would not be enough.Shall an Action for 5 or in be brought in it? There ought to be one in every County. The Number of judicial officers will be multiplied.
- Appeals will be to the Supreme Court, which will put it in the Power of the wealthy to oppress the poor.
- The Powers will be too extensive for the Safety and Happiness of the People : Justice cannot be administered.
- Any Kind of Action may by Contrivance be brought into the federal Courts.
- There may be Courts of Equity as well as Law.
- Can the federal Courts give Relief to the Complaints of the People in proper Time. The State Courts have mnch Business. How much more will the genl. Courts have?
- The general Courts may alter the Rights of Dissent and the Division of real Property. They may establish the Rights of Primogeniture.
- The Trial of Crimes is to be by Jury, therefore the Trial of civil Causes is supposed not to be by Jury.
- We preserved the Trial by Jury against the Attempts of the British Crown.
- I wish for the Honour of the Convention this had not been omitted.
- Art. 3, s. 2, “The Laws of the United States” Laws may be made in Pursuance of the Const,” tho’ not agreeably to it : The Laws may be unconstitutional.
- Treaties may be so made as to absorb the Liberty of Conscience, Trial by Jury and all our Liberties.
- ” Citizens of another State ” must mean all the Citizens.
- There is no Line drawn in the judicial Department, between the genl. and State Govts.
- Houses may be broke open by the officers of the gent. Govt. They will not be bound by this Constitution.
- Mr. SmilieIn common Law Cases there ought not to be an Appeal as to Facts. Facts found by a jury should never be re-examined.
- I doubt whether there has not been an Intention to substitute the civil Law instead of the common Law.
- There may be Danger in the Execution of the judicial Department as in the Case of a rigorous Collection of direct Taxes.A Quarrel between a Collector and a Citizen would drag the Citizen into the Court of Congress.
- The Courts must be very numerous or very few. Either will be inconvenient. They must be numerous.
- If the State Govts. are to continue, the People will not be able to bear the Expense of them and the genl. Govt. Will this save Expense ?
- Mr. Findlay. The Convention, no doubt, thought they were forming a Contract or Compact of the greatest Importance.
- The judges are better for the Guard of Juries in all possible Cases. The Mistakes of juries are never systematical. The Laws can never be so enacted, as to prevent the Judges from doing wrong.
- I admit that it would have been impossible to have accommodated the Trial by Jury to all the States : But Power ought not to have been given applying to such internal Objects.
- There might have been a Declaration that the Trial by Jury in Civil Cases as it hath hitherto been in the several States, or in the State where the Cases arose.
- The jurisdiction will, I believe, be chiefly appellate, and therefore chiefly without Jury.
- The States can make “no post facto Laws, etc,” therefore there was no Occasion for introducing the Clause “between Citizens of different States.”
- This Clause may produce Doubts in the, Dealings between Citizens of this State and New Jersey.
- ” Compensation ” is a new Form : Does it denote Salary or Perquisites? These should be incapable of holding offices under the States, or other Offices under the genl. Govt.They may hold Sinecures. I have only lately discovered this Objection.
- A Treaty is not constitutionally guarded. It may be superior to the Legislature itself. The House of Representatives have Nothing to do with Treaties.
- Mr. SmilieI cannot see the great Difficulty of securing at Cost the Substance of Jury in civil Cases.It ought [to] have been said that the Legislature should make Regulations for the Trial by jury in them.
- Whatever is not given is reserved. The Trial by Jury is given in criminal cases, therefore reserved in civil Cases.
- The Judges may be bribed by bolding other Offices.
- 14 Mr. SmilieThis System puts the Govt. in a Situation, in which the Officers are not responsible.
- Every Door is shut against Democracy.
- It was the Design and Intention of the Convention to divest us of the Liberty of Trial by Jury in civil Cases ; and to deprive us of the Benefits of the common Law.
- The Word Appeal is a civil Law Term and therefore the Convention meant to introduce the civil Law.
- On an Appeal the Judges may set aside the Verdict of a Jury.
- Appeals are not admitted in the Common Law.
- If a Jury give a false Verdict, a Writ of Attaint lies, or the Verdict may be set aside. A Writ of Error lies as to Matters of Law, but on that Writ the Facts are not re-examined.
- 15 3 Bl., 378concerning Trials by Jury.
- 3 BI., 392. The Expense of civil Law Proceedings.
- 3 BI., 390, 391. The Propriety of new Trials.
- 3 BI., 452. Chancery frequent[ly] directs the Trial of Facts by a Jury.
- 3 BI., 336. Trial by Witness is the only Mode known to the civil Law.
- 16 The Case of Fossey av Cunningham, New York. Appeal to the Governour and CouncilReasons of the Chief Justice for the Conduct of the Judges.
- “All the Appeals we have yet had, have been in Error.”
- If such an attempt was made in England, what would the People or that Country do? It would set the whole Nation in a Flame.
- Securing the Trial by Jury in criminal Cases is worse than saying Nothing.
- The Convention might have said that Congress should establish Trials by Jury in civil Cases.
- Mr. WhitehillAre we to trust all to Judges, who will have their Favourites ?
- There is no Security by the Constitution for People’s Houses or Papers.
- Fareuer’s Letters. Let. 9. The King cannot punish till a Person be found guilty by his Peers, Excellence and Description of Trial by jury in criminal Cases.
- These Privileges (described in the Letter) are not secured by this Constitution.
- The Case of Mr. Wilkes and the Doctrine of general Warrants show that Judges may be corrupted.
- A wicked Use may be made of Search Warrants.
- If such Men execute as forward this Constitution, all Alterations will be for the worse.
- The People will not submit to this Govt.
- Art. 6, Clauses 2 and 3 are concluding Clauses that the State Governments will be abolished.
- 17 The Oath here required is contrary to the Oath required by the Constitution of Penna. No Member of Assembly will hereafter take the latter Oath.
- The next Thing will be to call Conventions to alter the State Governments.
- All our Constitutions may be altered by Treaties made by a few Senators.
- This lordly Domination will not do.
- Our greatest Liberties will, by this Constitution, be sacrificed to the Will of Men.
- The Trial by Jury is given up to the Will of Congress.
- Mr. FindlayThe State has had but two Months to consider this System.
- Trial by Jury is not secured in civil Cases as in criminal ones. It is at the Mercy of the Legislature.
- By the appellate Clause, an appeal lies from the Verdict of a Jury, a Thing hitherto unknown.
- Personal Liberty cannot be enjoyed without Trial by jury.
- All the northern Countries have been zealous of Freedom. Sweden till lately had Trials by Jury, and certainly a free Govt. well balanced, consisting of four Branches.
- Trial by jury is inconsistent with a complete Aristocracy.
- The Lower Class of People will be oppressed without Trial by jury.
- This Part is explanatory of other Parts of the Plan.
- The People never expressed a Wish to give up the Trial by jury.
- In Penna. the Trial by jury must be by a Jury of the proper County.
- Mr. SmilieIn all Times a Minority contending for the Rights of Mankind have been treated with Contempt.
- The People should be represented by Juries in the Administration of Justice.
- 3 Bl., 380. Every new Tribunal without Jury is a Step towards an Aristocracy.
In Convention, 4th Dec., 1787, A. M.
In Convention, 5th Dec., 1787, A. M.
In Convention, 5th Dec., 1787, P. M.
Mr. ChambersFrom the Silence on the other Side, I conclude they have no more to say against the first Article ; I move to proceed to the Consideration of the second Article.
Mr. WayneI second the Motion: I hope the Reasons in Favour of the proposed Constitution will induce many of the Opposition to come over.
In Convention, 6th Dec., 1787, A. M.
In Convention, 7th Dec., 1787, A. M.
In Convention, 8th December, 1787.
Mr. McKeanI have read as well as heard the Objections mentioned here in the Centinel, Brutus, Cincinnatus.
In Convention, Monday, 10th Dec., 1787, P. M.
Mr. FindlayAs to the Trial by Jury in Sweden. Mod. Un. His., Vol. 33, p. 21, 22, Juries remain in Office for Life. 3 Bl., 349, 380, 381.
- Consider Objections.
- Give Reasons in Favor of the PlanObjections.
- Elections not frequent enough.
- N[umber] of R[epresentatives] too few.
- Senate have too many blended Powers.
- Congress, Times, etc., Elections.
- Powers of Congress too large.
- Whole of the Ex. Power not lodged in Presdt. alone.
- Compn. of Judges may be incidentally increased.
- No Bill of Rights.
- A consolidating Govt.not a federal one.
Appropriations too long.
V.-Pres. should not have a vote in Senate.
I. Elections frequent enough.
The different Durations of Parliament.
Service should be longer than that of Representatives.
II. The Representation is large enough.
Before 25 years the Number will be doubled.
III.None of the simple Forms of Govt. are the best.
There is no Writer of Reputation but has allowed that the Br. Gov. was the best in the World before the Emancipation of U. S.
When a Judge, etc. is impeached, it is probable that none of those who appointed him will be present. The Danger lies from the Desire of Removal.
In Penna., Ex. Council appoint and impeach Officers.
IV. Art. I, s. 4.
Every House is Judge of Qualif. and Elections.
Are not all the States interested in the Elections?
V. Power of internal Taxes not too great.
Foreigners may compel Paymt. of their Debts.
Have we not had Experience enough of Requisitions ?
Is it not necessary that Congress should have a Power of raising and supporting Armies ?and the Command and Discipline of the Militia?
“All Laws necessary & proper,” etc., this liable to no first Exceptions.
“This Const.” etc., shall be the Supreme Law.
“Importation” etc. Subject of Applause.
VI. In Penna. there is no Responsibility in Council because the Prest. has given up his Rights of Nomn. and they appoint by Ballot, and therefore are not responsible.
There is scarce a King in Europe that has not some Check upon him in the Appt. of Offices.
VII. Offices to Judges’ Relations the same as to themselves.
There might be Improvements in the Institution of Juries ; particularly as to the Mode of appointing them.
The House of Lords have an appellate Jurisdiction in Law and Fact. Appellate Jurisdiction from Orphans’ Courts.
In the Eastern States, Causes tried by Juries are removed on Appeal.
VIII. What Occasion for a Bill of Rights when only delegated Powers are given? One possessed of 1000 As conveys 250, is it necessary to reserve the 750 ?
Kock. on Gov., p. 2, s. 141, 152.
IX. I shall not quarrel about Names.
X. An Aristocracy is the best Security against external Force.
Consequences of Accepting.
Strengthen the Governt.Assistance from the People of all the States.
settle and perpetuate our Independence.
Encourage our Alliesand make new Treaties, break our Parties and Divisions, invigorate Commerce, Shipbuilding.
The Clause of Amendment Art. 5.
This is the best System the World can now produce.
Mr. FindlayThe Principle of our Argument not statedconsolidating Govt.In Connection with this Principle were all our Arguments.
Mr. SmilieThose who clap and laugh are not the People of Pennsylvania. If the Gallery was filled with Bayonets, it would not intimidate me.
It is a great Misfortune that another State has been before us in the Surrender of their Liberties.
In Convention, 11th Dec., 1787, A. and P. M.
In Convention, 12th Dec., 1787, A. M.
Mr. FindlaySovereigntyVat., p. 9, 19.
Locke on Gov., p. 13.There is but one Supreme Power, viz., the legislative ; but is accompanied with a Trust, and there is still an inherent Right and Power in the People for self-preservation. But this inherent Power can never be exercised till the Government be dissolved.
Confederation, p. 11, s. 10.
Mont., 6, 9, c. 1. Confederate Republic.
There should have been a Council of Advice to the Presdt. responsible to their Conduct.
The Senate and Presdt. may make a Monarchy.
The Power of regulating Elections includes the Power of Elections.
It is not unreasonable to suppose that this System may be made better.
Mr. SmilieThe Case of the Active.
Are not the Persons to be entrusted with Power, Parties to this Govt?
British Liberties, p. 98, 99, 21.
In Convention, 12th Dec., 1787, P. M.
Mr. SmiliePowers undefined are extremely favorable for the Encrease of Power.
If this was an explicit Declaration that the People had a right to alter this System, all Matters would be easy.
The Rights of Conscience are not secured.Priestcraft useful to all tyrannical Govts.Congress may establish any Religion.
Aristocracy is the Govt. of the few over the many.
The Govt. cannot be excludedbecause the same Means must be employed for this Purpose as are necessary to execute a Despotism.But Discontent and Opposition will arise in every Quarter : If executed at all it must be by Force : The Framers of this Constitution must have seen that Force would be necessary.
This will be the Case; and if this be so, we have struggled and fought in vain.
Since the Peace there has been a Set of Men from N. H. to Georgia who could not bear to be on the same Footing with other Citizens. I cannot tell how many of these were in the Convention.
Congress, by the Powers they have already, have contributed to throw Things into Confusion to produce the present great Event.
A Change of Habits is necessary to relieve the present Distress of the People : The Adoption of the present System will not accomplish this.
If this Constitution is adopted, I look upon the Liberties of America as gone until they shall be recovered by Arms.
REPLIES OP MIFFLIN AND MORRIS TO CENTINEL.[The attacks made on Robert Morris and Thomas Mifflin, by anonymous writers in the "Freeman's Journal" and the "Independent Gazetteer," caused no small excitement at the time, and were thought serious enough to be answered. As these charges of fraud, undoubtedly false, were also made by "Centinel," and are given in the body of this book, the editors think it no more than common justice that the answers of Morris and Mifflin to the charges referred to by "Centinel" should also be given.]
Mr. Oswald. In the “Freeman’s Journal” of yesterday, among other names of Public Defaulters, in the most licentious manner held out to the public without any shadow of proof, we have the name of Gl Mn (meaning no doubt the present worthy and public spirited Speaker of the honorable House of Assembly of this State), in the words following, viz: ” Gl Mn, the quartermaster-general of the Continental army, is almost the first of the list. I tremble to relate the prodigious sums that these wicked Antifederalists suppose him indebted to the public.
“The sums supposed by the enemies of the new government, that three delinquents owe the public, would pay the taxes of our state for three years to come, under a mild and equitable government. I have annexed them to their names for your information
|Robert the Cofferer||…………||400,000,|
|Billy in the big house||…………||100,000,|
|Gl Mn, the quartermaster-general||…………||400,000,|
The following certificate from the Commissioners of the chamber of accounts, will show that on the settlement of the accounts of General Mifflin as quartermaster-general, there were only 3,203 continental dollars, equal in value to about forty-two dollars specie.
“PHILADELPHIA, 23D OCTOBER, 1781.
“We, the underwritten late commissioners of the chamber of accounts, do certify, that the accounts of Thomas Mifflin, esquire, late quartermaster general to the army of the United States, were a long time since presented for settlement : that from the state of his general account, there appeared to be a balance due to the United States in the year 1780, of three thousand, two hundred and three continental dollars ; and that he informed us he had an account to produce for expenses while in the department which was not included in the aforesaid account. Had it been charged, it is probable, the balance would have appeared in his favor.
“We likewise certify, that we have examined the said general account, and excepting a few trifling errors, the whole of his charges appeared to have been for the public service in purchases for the use of his department, and payments made to his deputies ; and that the said account, with the vouchers thereto, appeared as perfect and satisfactory as any accounts that have hitherto come before us, but that the accounts of his deputies have not been examined so as to ascertain the exact balance, or to judge on which side it may fall.
“JOHN D. MERCER.
“The original of the above, General Mifflin hath lodged with me, and I certify the same to be a true copy.
“Late Assistant Auditor-General.“
On this licentious and rude attack of one of the first characters under the American revolution, a friend of his wishes to state the following facts, which can be authenticated from public documents, viz:
- Since the date of the above certificate, General Mifflin has been twice at New York to settle his accounts with Congress, but a general rule of that body, not to settle with the principal of any department without a previous settlement with all the deputies, has hitherto prevented the final adjustment of his accounts.
- Several of the deputies have lately settled their accounts, and some few of them have declared that they are not in debt to Congress, and at present not in circumstances to attend at New York for the purpose of final settlement; but General Mifflin does not consider himself in any degree responsible for any of his deputies, as scarce any of them were appointed by himself, or by his direction, or at his request; and they generally drew for their own expenditures.
- General Mifflin received his pay in a very depreciated state, and since the adjustment of his accounts by the commissioners as above, he has been obliged to pay several sums in specie, which he had not charged at all, or only in continental money, and he has a very considerable balance now due him by the continent.
- To show the public sense of General Mifflin’s services, let it be remembered that he was appointed quartermaster-general in August, 1775, resigned in May, 1776, and in September, 1776, a committee of Congress made a request that the commander-in-chief would direct General Mifflin to resume the quartermaster-general’s department, which, like a true patriot, on account of the difficulty of the times, he did without any rigid regard to his own interest, and in Pennsylvania there is a cloud of evidence of the exertions he made for the public service in the moments of extremest danger.18
To the Printer of the Independent Gazeteer, Philadelphia.
Richmond, 21st March, 1788.
Sir: From some of your Gazettes which have lately reached me, and particularly from one of the 13th instant, I find that I am charged as a public defaulter to a very considerable amount. This assertion is made to support a charge against the Federal constitution, which those writers say is calculated to screen defaulters from justice. Without pretending to inquire whether the constitution be, in this respect, misunderstood or misrepresented, I readily agree that if, on fair investigation, that fault shall really appear, an amendment ought to be made.
I stand charged in a two-fold capacity: first, as a Chairman of Committees of Congress, and secondly, as Superintendant of the Finances. But it so happens that in neither of those capacities did I ever touch one shilling of the public money.
At an early period of the revolution, I contracted with the committees to import arms, ammunition, and clothing, and was employed to export American produce, and make remittances, on account of the United States, for the purpose of lodging funds in Europe. To effect these objects I received considerable sums of money. The business has been performed, but the accounts are not yet settled. Among the various causes which have hitherto delayed the settlement, I shall only mention here that I have not yet been able to obtain the required vouchers for delivery of articles in different parts of America, nor the duplicates of some accounts, and other needful papers, which were lost at sea during the war. It was my intention to have gone in person to New York, where alone (since the removal of Congress) this business can be finally adjusted; but circumstances unexpected obliged me to come to this country. I therefore employed a gentleman to proceed on the settlement of those accounts, but during the investigation, obstacles arose which he was not sufficiently acquainted with the transactions to remove ; and as some of the deficient vouchers are to be obtained in this state and South Carolina, he came on hither, and is now in pursuit of them. I have indeed been less solicitous on this subject than otherwise I should have been, from the conviction that there is a balance in my favor, so that no charge could justly lie against my reputation. Nor could my interest suffer by the delay; for the date of a certificate to be received for the balance was immaterial.
As Superintendant of the Finances, I have no accounts to settle. As I never received any of the public money, none of it can be in my hands. It was received in, and paid from the public treasury on my warrants. The party to whom it was paid was accountable; and the accounts were all in the treasury office, open (during my administration) to the inspection of every American citizen. The only point of responsibility, therefore, in which I can possibly stand is for the propriety of issues to others by my authority. It is true that I caused a statement of the receipts and expenditures to be made and printed, but this was not, by any means, intended for a settlement with Congress, but to be transmitted by them (if they should think proper) to the several states; for I have ever been of opinion that the people ought to know how much of their money goes into the public treasury, and for what purposes it is issued. Perhaps some persons may remember, that in conformity to this opinion, I caused the receipts (even during the war) to be published (monthly) in the Gazettes ; and the expenditures, as I have already mentioned, were open to public inspection. This mode of conduct was reprehended by some, and perhaps justly. My fellow-citizens will judge whether it looks like the concealment of a public defaulter. As to the suggestion that the United States in Congress were influenced by me to neglect the duty of calling me to account, I shall not attempt to refute it. Every man who feels for the dignity of America, must revolt at such an insult to her representatives.
Before I conclude, I think it necessary to apologize for having written this letter, to all who may take the trouble of reading it. A newspaper is certainly an improper place for stating and settling public accounts, especially those which are already before the proper tribunal. But I thought it in some sort a duty to take notice of charges which, if not controverted, might have influenced weak minds to oppose the constitution. This was at least the ostensible reason for bringing me forward on the present occasion. With what decency or propriety it has been done, I leave to the reflection of the authors. Their exultation on my “losses and crosses” is characteristic. To every pleasure which can arise from the gratification of such passions they are heartily welcome; and the more so, as I hope and expect the enjoyment will be of short duration.
ROBERT MORRIS. 19
1. The Matters of Form reduced to sound sense.
The Repeal of the Rule on Step to obtain the same free Debate as in Committee.
We have another Advantage as every Thing will appear on the Minutes.
We must take the System on the whole and, as the Result of the whole, ratify or not ratify.
The gen’l Convention took allowances of Power, and were not appointed by the People. Return to text
To whom shall we propose Amendments?
Do we know they will be agreeable to our Constcy as much in this as
Time in the other States. Return to text
3. Preamble.Contrast this with the Principle of Magna Charta. Return to text
4. Art. I, s. I. Return to text
5. Last Proviso in Art. 5. Return to text
6. The objections of the Presids. Will be assisted by the Knowledge and Experience of the Heads of Departments. Art. 2, s. 2. Return to text
7. The Judges possess their power of Independence and Self-Preservation by their Decisions. Return to text
Art. I, s. 2.
Mont. 6. 2, c. 2. Return to text
9. “For the United States.” Return to text
10. “Sovereignty in the People.” Return to text
11. [Editor's note] Bl. 252, 257. Return to text
12. [Editor's note] But not the Voice of Districts. Return to text
13. An Attempt was made to trap the People of Penn. At the Time of forming its Constitution. Return to text
14. New Hampshire Return to text
15. At the Will of Parlt. Return to text
16. The Question here waswhether Instructions from the Crown could, or were meant to alter the Law. Return to text
New H. Bils. R., s. 20, 21.
Mass. B.R. s. 15. Return to text
18. From the “Independent Gazetteer,” March 6, 1788. Return to text
19. From the “Independent Gazetteer,” April 8, 1788. Return to text