« ПредишнаНапред »
dice and warmth, to examine the plan submitted with the utmost coolness and candour, to consider themselves as citizens assembled to consult for the general good, and not as state officers, who might be opposed, in that capacity, to every determination of their authority. He concluded his speech by a motion which, with some amendments, was agreed to by the house, that they would discuss the Constitution by paragraphs, and any amendments which might be proposed in the course of the debate, without taking the question as to any paragraphs, or as to any amendments which might be offered, until the whole Constitution was discussed. This, sir, is a sketch of the proceedings of the Convention to this day. We expect they will this morning enter on the subject by paragraphs. I imagine they will be some time engaged in the discussion, probably three weeks. As to the result, I can only say I look forward to it with anxious uncertainty. I do not abandon hope. I think the opposition discover great embarrassment. I believe they do not know what to do. Some of them, I am told, have said they will not vote against it. The decision in NewHampshire and Virginia, we are flattering ourselves, will be favourable; and that they will give energy to the debate on one side in our Convention, and confusion, if not absolute despair, to the other side. I hope you and our friends in New-York will give us the earliest information from those states.
In giving you the heads of the chancellor's speech, I believe I am not mistaken. He spoke rather low, and there was so much noise, and the bar so much crowded, that I confess I lost at least one third of the speech, though I trust not the general course of reasoning. What I regretted more, I lost some of his figures, for which he is peculiarly eminent. I shall take the liberty to trespass on your patience by every opportunity, as I trust your curiosity will excuse me.
I am, &c., &c.
JAMES KENT. P.S. I am directed by Mr. Benson to request you will communicate this information to Colonel Duer.
WILLIAM DUER TO JAMES MADISON.
1788. MY DEAR SIR, Our mutual friend, Hamilton, has communicated to me, in confidence, the substance of your letter on the political pros.
pects in Pennsylvania and Virginia. I learn with extreme regret the division of the Federalists in the former state, and the malignant perseverance of the opponents to the Constitution in your own. I trust, however, that we shall have the benefit of your councils and exertions in the House of Representatives, notwithstanding Mr. Henry's maneuvres to prevent it.
You may remember some conversation I once had with you on the subject of electing Mr. John Adams as Vicepresident. I have ascertained, through General Knox, that this gentleman, if chosen, will be a strenuous opposer against calling a Convention, which, in the present state of parties, I consider as a vital stab to the Constitution; and not only that, I have been informed, in a mode perfectly satisfactory, that he and his old coadjutor, R. H. Lee, will be altogether opposite in all measures relative to the establishment of the character and credit of the government. I am therefore anxious that the Federalists to the southward may join in supporting his nomination. A greater knowledge of the world has cured him of his old party prejudices, and I am satisfied nothing is to be feared from that quarter ; on the contrary, should he be elected to that station (which I am fully convinced is his wish), the weight of his state would 'be cast into the Federal scale.
Interested as I know you are in the welfare of the Union, I cannot omit giving you this information, on the authenticity of which you may rely, that you may (without committing my name) make such use of it as you think proper.
I am, with sentiments of great esteem,
WILLIAM Duer. P.S. I have no objection to Messrs. Robert and Gouv. erneur Morris seeing this letter.
JAMES MADISON TO WILLIAM A. DUER.
Montpelier, May 5th, 1835. DEAR SIR, I have received your letter of April 25th, and, with the aid of a friend, an amanuensis, have made out the following an
On the subject of Mr. Pinckney's proposed plan of a Constitution, it is to be observed, that the plan printed in the journal was not the document actually presented by him to
the Convention. That document was in no otherwise noticed in the proceedings of the Convention than by a reference of it, with Mr. Randolph's plan, to a committee of the whole, and afterward to a committee of detail, with others; and not being found among the papers left with President Washington, and finally deposited in the Department of State, Mr. Adams, charged with the publication of them, obtained from Mr. Pinckney the document in the printed journal as a
opy supplying the place of the missing one. In this there must be error; there being sufficient evidence, even on the surface of the journals, that the copy sent to Mr. Adams could not be the same with the document laid before the Convention. Take, for example, the article constituting the House of Representatives—the corner-stone of the fabric; the identity, even verbal, of which, with the adopted Constitution, has attracted so much notice. In the first place, the detail and phraseology of the Constitution appears to have been the result of successive discussions, and are too minute and exact to have been anticipated. In the next place, it appears that, within a few days after Mr. Pinckney presented his plan to the Convention, he moved to strike out from the resolution of Mr. Randolph the provision for the election of the House of Representatives by the people, and refer the choice of that house to the legis. latures of the states ; and to this preference he appears to have adhered in the subsequent proceedings of the Convention. Other discrepancies might be found, in a source also within your reach, in a pamphlet published by Mr. Pinckney soon after the close of the Convention, in which he refers to parts of his plan which are at variance with the document in the printed journal.* Farther evidence on this subject await a future, perhaps a posthumous disclosure. One conjecture explaining the phenomena has been, that Mr. Pinckney interwove with the draught sent to Mr. Adams passages as agreed on in the Convention in the progress of the work, and which, after a lapse of more than thirty years, were not separated by his recollection.
The resolutions of Mr. Randolph, the basis on which the deliberations of the committee proceeded, were the result of a consultation among the Virginia deputies, who thought
* Observations on the Plan of Government submitted to the Federal Convention, on the 28th of May, 1787, by Charles Pinckney, &c., &c. Vide “ Select Facts,” vol. ii., in the library of the Historical Society of New. York.
it possible that, as Virginia had taken so leading a part in reference to the Federal Convention, some initiative propositions might be expected from them. They were understood not to commit any of the members, absolutely or definitively, on the tenour of them. The resolutions will be seen to present the characteristic provisions and features of a government as complete, in some respects, perhaps more so, than the plan of Mr. Pinckney, though without be. ing thrown into a formal shape. The moment, indeed, a real Constitution was looked for as a substitute for the confederacy, the distribution of the government into the usual departments became a matter of course with all who speculated on the prospective change, and the form of general resolutions was adopted, as most respectful to the Convention, and as the most convenient for discussion. It may be observed that, in reference to the powers to be given to the General Government, the resolutions comprehended as well the powers contained in the Articles of Confederation, without enumerating them, as others not overlooked in the resolutions, but left to be developed and defined by the Convention.
With regard to the plan proposed by Mr. Hamilton, I may say to you, that a Constitution such as you describe was never proposed in the Convention, but was communicated by him to me, at the close of it. The original draught being in the possession of his family, and their property, I have considered any publicity of it as lying with them. Mr. Yates's notes, as you observe, are very inaccurate ; they are also, in some respects, grossly erroneous. The desultory manner in which he took them, catching sometimes but half the language, may in part account for it. Though said to be a respectable and honourable man, he brought with him to the Convention the strongest prejudices against the existence and objects of that body, in which he was strengthened by the course taken in its deliberations. He left the Convention long before the opinions and views of many members were finally developed into their practical applica. tion. The passion and prejudice of Mr. Luther Martin, betrayed in his public letter, could not fail to discolour his representations. He also left the Convention before the completion of their work. I have heard, but will not vouch for the fact, that he became sensible of, and admitted his error; certain it is that he joined the party who favoured the Con stitution in its most liberal construction.
I had, as you may recollect, an acquaintance with your father, to which his talents and social accomplishments were very attractive; and there was an incidental correspondence between us, interchanging information at a critical moment, when the elections and state conventions which were to decide the fate of the new Constitution were taking place. You are, I presume, not ignorant that your father was the author of several papers auxiliary to the numbers of “The Federalist.” They appeared, I believe, in the Gazette of Mr. Childs. With great respect and cordial salutations, yours,
E, p. 41. PROCLAMATION BY ANDREW JACKSON, PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES. WHEREAS a convention assembled in the State of South Carolina have passed an ordinance, by which they declare " that the several acts and parts of acts of the Congress of the United states, purporting to be laws for the imposing of duties and imposts on the importation of foreign commodi. ties, and now having actual operation and effect within the United States, and more especially” two acts, for the same purposes, passed on the 29th of May, 1828, and on the 14th of July, 1832, “ are unauthorized by the Constitution of the United States, and violate the true meaning and intent thereof, and are null and void, and no law,” nor binding on the citizens of that state or its offiers; and by the said ordinance it is farther declared to be unlawful for any of the constituted authorities of the state, or of the United States, to enforce the payment of the duties imposed by the said acts within the same state, and that it is the duty of the Legislature to pass such laws as may be necessary to give full effect to the said ordinance :
And whereas, by the said ordinance it is farther ordained that, in no case of law or equity, decided in the courts of said state, wherein shall be drawn in question the validity of the said ordinance, or of the acts of the Legislature that may be passed to give it effect, or of the said laws of the United States, no appeal shall be allowed, to the Supreme Court of the United States, nor shall any copy of the record be permitted or allowed for that purpose ; and that any per