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sentation there? Were it possible to collect the whole body of the people together, they would determine the questions submitted to them by their majority. Why should not the same majority decide when voting here, by their representatives? The larger colonies are so providentially divided in situation, as to render every fear of their combining visionary. Their interests are different, and their circumstances dissimilar. It is more probable they will become rivals, and leave it in the power of the smaller states to give preponderance to any scale they please. The voting by the number of free inhabitants, will have one excellent effect, that of inducing the colonies to discourage slavery, and to encourage the increase of their free inhabitants. Mr. Hopkins observed, that there were four larger, four smaller, and four middle-sized colonies. That the four largest would contain more than half the inhabitants of the confederating states, and therefore would govern the others as they should please. That history affords no instance of such a thing as equal representation. The Germanick body votes by states. The Helvetick body does the same; and so does the Belgick confederacy. That too little is known of the ancient confederations, to say what was their practice. Mr. Wilson thought, that taxation should be in proportion to wealth, but that representation should accord with the number of freemen. That government is a collection or result of the wills of all; that if any government could speak the will of all, it would be perfect; and that so far as it departs from this, it besomes imperfect. It has been said, that Congress is a representation of states, not of individuals. I say, that the objects of its care are all the individuals of the states. It is strange, that annexing the name of 'state' to ten thousand men, should give them an equal right with forty thousand. This must be the effect of magick, not of reason. As to those matters which are referred to Congress, we are not so many states; we are one large state. We lay aside our individuality whenever we come here. The Germanick body is a burlesque on government; and their practice on any point, is a sufficient authority and proof that it is wrong. The greatest imperfection in the constitution of the Belgick confederacy is their voting by provinces.— The interest of the whole is constantly sacrificed to that of the small states. The history of the war in the reign of Queen Ann, sufficiently proves this. It is asked, shall nine colonies put it into the power of four to govern them as they please? I invert the question, and ask, shall two millions of people put it into the power of one million to govern them as they please? It is pretended, too, that the smaller colonies will be in danger from the greater. Speak in honest language and say, the minority will be in danger from the majority. And is there an assembly on earth, where this danger may not be equally pretended ? The truth is, that our proceedings will then be consentaneous with the interests of the majority, and so they ought to be. The probability is much greater, that the larger states will disagree, than that they will combine. I defy the wit of man to invent a possible case, or to suggest any one thing on earth, which shall be for the interests of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, and which will not also be for the interests of the other States. These articles, reported July 12, '76, were debated from day to day and time to time, for two years, and were ratified July 9, '78, by ten states, by New Jersey on the 26th of November of the same year, and by Delaware on the 23d of February following. Maryland alone held off two years more, acceding to them March 1, '81, and thus closing the obligation. Our delegation, says Mr. Jefferson, had been renewed for the ensuing year, commencing August 11; but the new government was now organized, a meeting of the legislature was to be held in October, and I had been elected a member by my county. I knew that our legislation'under the regal government had many very vicious points which urgently required reformation, and I thought I could be of more use in forwarding that work. I therefore retired from my seat in Congress on the 2d of September, resigned it, and took my place in the legislature of my state on the 7th of October. In this situation he was indefatigable in his labours to improve the imperfect constitution of the state, which had been recently and hastily adopted before a draught of one, which he had formed on the purest principles of republicanism, had reached the Convention, which was deliberating at Richmond. This Convention was no sooner assembled than they had immediately proceeded to the formation of a new plan of government; and, with a haste which abandoned all discretion, a constitution was adopted in the succeeding month. Mr. Jefferson was at this time absent in Philadelphia, as a delegate to Congress; but he had, for a long time previous, devoted unmitigated reflection and research to maturing a plan for a new government, and had already formed one well adapted to all the wants and privileges of democratick freemen. This draught was transmitted by him to the Convention; but unfortunately, the one that they had framed, had received a final vote in its favour on the day Mr. Jefferson's reachedits destination. The debate had already been ardent and protracted, the members were wearied and exhausted, and after making a few alterations, and adopting entire the masterly preamble which Mr. Jefferson had prefixed, it was thought expedient, for the present, to adhere to the original plan, imperfect as on all hands it was acknowledged to be. The extremes of right and wrong are said very closely to approach each other; and, according to a discriminating writer, an incident in the political history of Virginia does not invalidate the maxim. In June, a constitution had been adopted, breathing in every article the most vehement spirit of equal rights, and established on the downfall of arbitrary rule. No later than the following December, a serious proposition was made to establish a Dictator, “invested with every power, legislative, executive, and judiciary, civil and military, of life and of death, over our persons and over our properties.” To the wise and good of every party, to the patriot and philanthropist, such a scheme could not but appear as absurd as its success would be tyrannical and awfully dangerous. In Mr. Jefferson it found a ready and efficient opponent at the time, and he has devoted to its consideration and cens sure, a few pages of his later works. But the chief service which Mr. Jefferson performed as a member of the legislature, was as one of a commission for revising the laws, consisting, besides himself, of Edmund Pendleton, George Wythe, George Mason, and Thomas Ludwell Lee, by whom no less than one hundred and twenty-six bills were prepared, from which are derived all the most liberal features of the existing laws of the commonwealth. The share of Mr. Jefferson in this great task was prominent and laborious. To him Virginia is indebted for the laws prohibiting the future importation of slaves; converting estates tail into fee simple; annulling the rights of primogeniture; establishing schools for general education; sanctioning the right of expatriation, and confirming the rights of freedom in religious opinion; which were all introduced by him, and were adopted at the time they were first proposed, or at a subsequent period; and in addition to these, he brought forward a law proportioning crimes and punishments, which was afterwards passed under a different modification. His own account of the passage of some of these laws, the evils they were intended to remedy, and the opposition they overcame, must be gratifying to those who are concerned in the fame of their author. We have his own description. First, in relation to the law declaring tenants in tail to hold in fee simple. “In the earlier times of the colony,” he informs us, “when lands were to be obtained for little or nothing, some provident individuals procured large grants; and desirous of founding great families for themselves, settled

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