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energy that this happened? If two provinces / government, will cost this continent immense bare paid nothing, what have not the rest done? sums. Double sets of collectors will double And have not these two provinces made other the expense. To these are to be added oppresexertions? Ought they, to avoid this inconve- sive excisemen and custom-house officers. Sir, nience, to have consolidated their different the people have an hereditary hatred to customStates, and have a ten miles square? Compare house officers. The experience of the mother that little spot, nurtured by liberty, with the country leads me to detest them. They have fairest country in the world. Does not Holland introduced their baneful influence into the adpossess a powerful navy and army, and a full ministration, and destroyed one of the most treasury? They did not acquire these by de- beautiful systems that ever the world saw. Our basing the principles and trampling on the forefathers enjoyed liberty, there, while that rights of their citizens. Sir, they acquired system was in its purity, but it is now contamithese by their industry, economy, and by the nated by influence of every kind. freedom of their government. Their commerce The style of the government (we the peois the most extensive in Europe; their credit is ple) was introduced, perhaps, to recommend it unequalled; their felicity will be an eternal to the people at large; to those citizens who monument of the blessings of liberty; every are to be levelled and degraded to the lowest nation in Europe is taught by them what they degree, who are likened to a herd, and who, are, and what they ought to be. The contrast by the operation of this blessed system, are to between those nations and this happy people, be transformed from respectable, independent is the most splendid spectacle for republicans, citizens, to abject, dependent subjects or slaves. the greatest cause of exultation and triumph to The honorable gentleman has anticipated what the sons of freedom. While other nations, pre- we are to be reduced to, by degradingly assimcipitated by the rage of ambition or folly, have, ilating our citizens to a herd. in the pursuit of the most magnificent projects, Here Mr. Randolph rose, and declared that riveted the fetters of bondage on themselves he did not use that word to excite any odium, and their descendants, these republicans have but merely to convey the idea of a multitude. secured their political happiness and freedom. / Mr. Henry replied, that it made a deep imWhere is there a nation to be compared to pression on his mind, and that he verily believed, them? Where is there now, or where was that system would operate as he had said. [He there ever a nation, of so small a territory, and then continued]-I will exchange that abomsa few in number, so powerful, so wealthy, so inable word for requisitions; requisitions which happy? What is the cause of this superiority? gentlemen affect to despise, have nothing deLiberty, sir, the freedom of their government. grading in them. On this depends our political Though they are now unhappily in some degree prosperity. I never will give up that darling consolidated, yet they have my acclamations, word, requisitions; my country inay give it up; when put in contrast with those millions of a majority may wrest it from me, but I will their fellow-men who lived and died slaves. never give it up till my grave. Requisitions The dangers of a consolidation ought to be are attended with one singular advantage. guarded against in this country. I shall exert They are attended by deliberation. They secure my poor talents to ward them off. Dangers to the States the benefit of correcting oppressive are to be apprehended in whatever manner we errors. If our assembly thought requisitions proceed; but those of a consolidation are the erroneous, if they thought the demand was too most destructive. Let us leave no expedient great, they might at least supplicate Congress untried to secure happiness; but whatever be to reconsider, that it was a little too much. The our decision, I am consoled, if American liberty power of direct taxation was called by the will remain entire only for half a century; and I honorable gentleman the soul of the governtrust that mankind in general, and our posterity ment: another gentleman called it the lungs of in particular, will be compensated for every the government. We all agree, that it is the anxiety we now feel.
most important part of the body politic. If Another gentleman tells us, that no inconve- the power of raising money be necessary for nience will result from the exercise of the power the general government, it is no less so for the of taxation by the general government; that States. If money be the vitals of Congress, is two shillings out of ten may be saved by the it not precious for those individuals from whom impost; and that four shillings may be paid to it is to be taken? Must I give my soul, my the federal collector, and four to the State col- lungs, to Congress? Congress must have oui lector. A change of government will not pay souls; the State must have our souls. This is money. If from the probable amount of the dishonorable and disgraceful. These two coimpost, you take the enormous and extravagant ordinate, interfering, unlimited powers of har expenses, which will certainly attend the sup- assing the community, are unexampled-unport of this great consolidated government, I precedented in history; they are the visionary believe you will find no reduction of the public projects of modern politicians: tell me not of burdens by this new system. The splendid imaginary means, but of reality: this political maintenance of the president and of the mem- solecism will never tend to the benefit of the bers of both Houses, and the salaries and fees community. It will be as oppressive in practice of the swarm of officers and dependants on the l as it is absurd in theory. If you part from this, which the honorable gentleman tells you is the | By a bold implication, they said they had a soul of Congress, you will be inevitably ruined. right to bind us in all cases whatsoever. This I tell you, they shall not have the soul of Vir constructive power we opposed, and successginia. They tell us, that one collector may fully. Thirteen or fourteen years ago, the most collect the federal and State taxes. The general important thing that could be thought of, was government being paramount to the State legis- to exclude the possibility of construction and latures, if the sheriff is to collect for both-his implication. These, sir, were then deemed right hand for the Congress, his left for the perilous. The first thing that was thought of, State-his right hand being paramount over the was a bill of rights. We were not satisfied left, his collections will go to Congress. We with your constructive argumentative rights. will have the rest. Deficiencies in collections Mr. Henry then declared a bill of rights inwill always operate against the States. Con- dispensably necessary; that a general positive gress being the paramount, supreme power, provision should be inserted in the new system, must not be disappointed. Thus Congress will securing to the States and the people every have an unlimited, unbounded command over right which was not conceded to the general the soul of this commonwealth. After satisfy government; and that every implication should ing their uncontrolled demands, what can be be done away. It being now late, he concluded left for the States? Not a sufficiency even to by observing, that he would resume the subject defray the expense of their internal administra- another time. tion. They must therefore glide imperceptibly and gradually out of existence. This, sir, must On the 9th, Mr. Henry continued his remarks naturally terminate in a consolidation. If this
as follows: will do for other people, it never will do for me.
Mr. CHAIRMAN: I find myself again constrainIf we are to have one representative for ed to trespass on the patience of this committee. every thirty thousand souls, it must be by im- I wish there was a prospect of union in our plication. The constitution does not positively sentiments; so much time would not then be secure it. Even say it is a natural implication, taken up. But when I review the magnitude why not give us a right to that proportion in of the subject under consideration, and of the express terms, in language that could not admit | dangers which appear to me in this new plan of evasions or subterfuges? If they can use of government, and compare thereto my poor implication for us, they can also use implication abilities to secure our rights, it will take much against us. We are giving power; they are more time, in my poor unconnected way, to getting power : judge, then, on which side the traverse the objectionable parts of it; there are implication will be used. When we once put friends here who will be abler than myself to it in their option to assume constructive power, make good these objections which to us appear danger will follow. Trial by jury, and liberty well founded. If we recollect, on last Saturday, of the press, are also on this foundation of im- I made some observations on some of those plication. If they encroach on these rights, dangers, which these gentlemen would fain and you give your implication for a plea, you persuade us hang over the citizens of this comare cast; for they will be justified by the last monwealth, to induce us to change the governpart of it, which gives them full power “to ment, and adopt the new plan. Unless there make all laws which shall be necessary and be great and awful dangers, the change is danproper to carry their powers into execution." gerous, and the experiment ought not to be Implication is dangerous, because it is un- made. In estimating the magnitude of these bounded: if it be admitted at all, and no limits dangers, we are obliged to take a most serious be prescribed, it admits of the utmost exten- view of them, to feel them, to handle them, sion. They say, that every thing that is not and to be familiar with them. It is not suffigiven is retained. The reverse of the proposi- cient to feign mere imaginary dangers; there tion is true by implication. They do not carry must be a dreadful reality. The great question their implication so far when they speak of the between us is, does that reality exist? These general welfare. No implication when the dangers are partially attributed to bad laws, sweeping clause comes. Implication is only execrated by the community at large. It is necessary when the existence of privileges is in said the people wish to change the government. dispute. The existence of powers is sufficiently I should be happy to meet them on that ground. established. If we trust our dearest rights to Should the people wish to change it, we should implication, we shall be in a very unhappy be innocent of the dangers. It is a fact, that situation,
the people do not wish to change their governImplication in England has been a source of ment. How am I to prove it? It will rest on dissension. There has been a war of implica- my bare assertion, unless supported by an in tion between the king and people. For one ternal conviction in men's breasts. My poor hundred years did the mother country struggle say-so is a mere nonentity. But, sir, I am under the uncertainty of implication. The persuaded that four-fifths of the people of Virpeople insisted that their rights were implied : ginia must have amendments to the new plan, the monarch denied the doctrine. Their bill of to reconcile them to a change of their governrights in some degree terininated the dispute. I ment. Our assertions form but a slippery foun
dation for the people to rest their political salva- | might go further; I might say, not from public tion on. No government can flourish unless it authority, but good information, that his opinion be founded on the affection of the people. Un- is, that you reject this government. His charless gentlemen can be sure that this new system acter and abilities are in the highest estimais founded on that ground, they ought to stop tion; he is well acquainted, in every respect, their career.
with this country; equally so with the policy I will not repeat what the gentlemen say, of the European nations. This illustrious citibut will mention one thing. There is a dispute zen advises you to reject this government, till between us and the Spaniards, about the right it be amended. His sentiments coincide enof navigating the Mississippi. This dispute has tirely with ours. His attachment to, and sersprung from the federal government. I wish a vices done for this country, are well known. great deal to be said on this subject. I wish to At a great distance from us, he remembers and know the origin and progress of the business, studies our happiness. Living amidst splendor as it would probably unfold great dangers. In and dissipation, he thinks yet of bills of rightsmy opinion, the preservation of that river calls thinks of those little despised things called for our most serious consideration. It has been maxims. Let us follow the sage advice of this agitated in Congress. Seven States have voted commuil friend of our happiness. It is little so as that it is known to the Spaniards, that usual for nations to send armies to collect debts. under our existing system the Mississippi shall The house of Bourbon, that great friend of ve taken from them. Seven States wished to America, will never attack her for the unwillrelinquish this river to them. The six Southern ing delay of payment. Give me leave to say, States opposed it. Seven States not being suf-that Europe is too much engaged about obficient to convey it away, it remains now ours. Ijects of greater importance to attend to us. On If I am wrong, there are a number on this that great theatre of the world the little Amerfloor who can contradict the facts; I will ican matters vanish. Do you believe, that readily retract. This new government, I con- the mighty monarch of France, beholding the ceive, will enable. those States, who have al- greatest scenes that ever engaged the attention ready discovered their inclination that way, to of a prince of that country, will divert himself give away this river. Will the honorable gen- from those important objects, and now call for tleman advise us to relinquish this inestimable a settlement of accounts with America? This navigation, and place formidable enemies to our proceeding is not warranted by good sense. backs? This weak, this poor confederation The friendly disposition to us, and the actual cannot secure us. We are resolved to take situation of France, render the idea of danger shelter under the shield of federal authority in from that quarter absurd. Would this country. America. The southern parts of America have man of ours be fond of advising us to a meabeen protected by that weakness so much exe- sure which he knew to be dangerous, and can crated. I hope this will be explained. I was it be reasonably supposed, that he can be ignonot in Congress when these transactions took rant of any premeditated hostility against this place. I may not have stated every fact. I country? The honorable gentleman may susmay have misrepresented matters. I hope to pect the account, but I will do our friend the be fully acquainted with every thing relative to justice to say that he would warn us of any the subject. Let us hear how the great and danger from France. important right of navigating that river has Do you suppose the Spanish monarch will been attended to; and whether I am mistaken risk a contest with the United States, when his in my opinion, that federal measures will lose it feeble colonies are exposed to them? Every to us for ever. If a bare majority of Congress advance the people here make to the westward, can make laws, the situation of our western makes him tremble for Mexico and Peru. Decitizens is dreadful.
spised as we are among ourselves under our We are threatened with danger for the non-present government, we are terrible to that payment of the debt due to France. We have monarchy. If this be not a fact, it is generally information from an illustrious citizen of Vir- said so. ginia, who is now in Paris, which disproves the We are in the next place frightened by dansuggestions of such danger. This citizen has gers from Holland. We must change our goynot been in the airy regions of theoretic specu- ernment to escape the wrath of that republic. lation; our ambassador is this worthy citizen. Holland groans under a government like this The ambassador of the United States of Ameri- new one. A stadtholder, sir, a Dutch president ca is not so despised as the honorable gentle has brought on that country miseries which man would make us believe. A servant of a will not permit them to collect debts with fleets republic is as much respected as that of a mon- or armies. The wife of a Dutch stadtholder arch. The honorable gentleman tells us, that brought one hundred thousand men against that hostile fleets are to be sent to make reprisals republic, and prostrated all opposition. This apon us; our ambassador tells you, that the president will bring miseries on us like those of king of France has taken into consideration to Holland. Such is the condition of European enter into commercial regulations on reciprocal affairs, that it would be unsafe for them to send terms with us, which will be of peculiar advan- fleets or armies to collect debts. But here, sir, tage to us. Does this look like hostility? Is they make a transition to objects of another kind. We are presented with dangers of a very of that State to know the reasons of adopting uncommon nature. I am not acquainted with that system or understand its principles, in so the arts of painting. Some gentlemen have a very short a period after its formation? This peculiar talent for them. They are practised is the middle of June. Those transactions hapwith great ingenuity on this occasion. As a pened last August. The matter was circulated counterpart to what we have already been in- by every effort of industry, and the most pretimidated with, we are told, that some lands cipitate measures taken to hurry the people into have been sold which cannot be found; and that an adoption. Yet now, after having had several this will bring war on this country. Here the months since to investigate it, a very large part picture will not stand examination. Can it be of this community-a very great majority of supposed, that if a few land speculators and job- this community, do not understand it. I have bers have violated the principles of probity, that heard gentlemen of respectable abilities declaro it will involve this country in war? Is there no they did not understand it. If after great pains, redress to be otherwise obtained, even admit- men of high learning, who have received the ting the delinquents and sufferers to be numer- aid of a regular education, do not understand ous? When gentlemen are thus driven to pro it; if the people of Pennsylvania understood it duce imaginary dangers, to induce this conven- in so short a time, it must have been from tion to assent to this change, I am sure it will intuitive understandings, and uncommon acutenot be uncandid to say, that the change itself is ness of perception. Place yourselves in their situreally dangerous. Then the Maryland compact ation; would yon fight your neighbors for considis broken, and will produce perilous conse- ering this great and awful matter? If you wish quences. I see nothing very terrible in this. for real amendments, such as the security of The adoption of the new system will not re- the trial by jury, it will reach the hearts of the move the evil. Will they forfeit good neigh-people of that State. Whatever may be the borhood with us, because the compact is broken? disposition of the aristocratical politicians of Then the disputes concerning the Carolina line that country, I know there are friends of human are to involve us in dangers. A strip of land nature in that State. If so, they will never running from the westward of the Alleghany to make war on those who make professions of the Mississippi, is the subject of this pretended what they are attached to themselves. dispute. I do not know the length or breadth As to the danger arising from borderers, it of this disputed spot. Have they not regularly is mutual and reciprocal. If it be dangerous confirmed our right to it and relinquished all for Virginia, it is equally so for them. It will claims to it? I can venture to pledge, that the be their true interest to be united with us. Tho people of Carolina will never disturb us. The danger of our being their enemies, will be a strength of this despised country has settled an prevailing argument in our favor. It will be immense tract of country to the westward, as powerful to admit us into the Union, as a Give me leave to remark, that the honorable vote of adoption without previous amendments gentleman's observations on our frontiers, north could possibly be. and south, east and west, are all inaccurate. Then the savage Indians are to destroy us.
Will Maryland fight against this country for We cannot look them in the face. The danger seeking amendments? Were there not sixty is here divided; they are as terrible to the other members in that State who went in quest of States as to us; but, sir, it is well known that amendments? Sixty against eight or ten were we have nothing to fear from them. Our back in favor of pursuing amendments. Shall they settlers are considerably stronger than they, fight us for doing what they themselves have and their superiority increases daily. Suppose done? They have sought amendments, but dif- the States to be confederated all around us, ferently from the manner in which I wish what we want in number, we shall make up amendments to be got. The honorable gentle- otherwise. Our compact situation and natural man may plume himself on this difference. Will strength will secure us. But to avoid all danthey fight us for this dissimilarity? Will they gers, we must take shelter under the federal fight us for seeking the object they seek government. Nothing gives a decided importhemselves? When they do, it will be time tance but this federal government. You will for me to hold my peace. Then, sir, comes sip sorrow, according to the vulgar phrase, if Pennsylvania, in terrible array. Pennsylva- you want any other security than the laws of nia is to go in conflict with Virginia. Penn- Virginia. sylvania has been a good neighbor hereto- A number of characters of the greatest emifore. She is federal---something terrible: Vir- nence in this country, object to this governginia cannot look her in the face. If we suffi- ment, for its consolidating tendency. This is ciently attend to the actual situation of things, not imaginary. It is a formidable reality. If we will conclude that Pennsylvania will do consolidation proves to be as mischievous to what we do. A number of that country are this country as it has been to other countries, strongly opposed to it. Many of them have what will the poor inhabitants of this country lately been convinced of its fatal tendency. do? This government will operate like an They are disgorged of their federalism. I be- ambuscade. It will destroy the State governseech you to bring this matter home to your ments, and swallow up the liberties of the zelves. Was there a possibility for the people I people, without giving them previous potice. .f gentlemen are willing to run the hazard, let the national expenses will be increased-if not them run it; but I shall exculpate myself by doubled, it will approach it very near. I might, my opposition, and monitory warnings within without incurring the imputation of illiberality these walls. But then comes paper money. / or extravagance, say, that the expense will be We are at peace on this subject. Though this multiplied tenfold. I might tell you of a nuis a thing which that mighty federal convention merous standing army; a great, powerful navy; had no business with, yet I acknowledge that a long and rapacious train of officers and depaper money would be the bane of this coun- pendents, independent of the president, senatry. I detest it. Nothing can justify a people tors and representatives, whose compensations in resorting to it, but extreme necessity. It is are without limitation. How are our debts to at rest, however, in this commonwealth. It is be discharged unless the taxes are increased, no longer solicited or advocated.
when the expenses of government are so greatly Sir, I ask you, and every other gentleman | augmented ? The defects of this system are so who hears me, if he can restrain his indignation numerous and palpable, and so many States at a system, which takes from the State legis- object to it, that no union can be expected, unlatures the care and preservation of the inter- less it be amended. Let us take a review of the ests of the people ; one hundred and eighty facts. New Hampshire and Rhode Island have representatives, the choice of the people of rejected it. They have refused to become fedeVirginia, cannot be trusted with their interests. ral. New York and North Carolina are reThey are a mobbish, suspected herd. This ported to be strongly against it. From high country has not virtue enough to manage its authority, give me leave to tell, that New York own internal interests. These must be referred is in high opposition. Will any gentleman say to the chosen ten. If we cannot be trusted that North Carolina is not against it? They with the private contracts of the citizens, we may say so, but I say that the adoption of it, must be depraved indeed. If he can prove, that, in those two States, amounts to entire uncerby one uniform system of abandoned principles, tainty. The system must be amended before the legislature has betrayed the rights of the these four States will accede to it. Besides, people, then let us seek another shelter. So there are several other States who are dissatisdegrading an indignity-so flagrant an outragefied, and wish alterations. Massachusetts has, on the States—so vile a suspicion is humiliating in decided terms, proposed amendments; but to my mind, and many others.
by her previous ratification, has put the cart Will the adoption of this new plan pay our before the horse. Maryland instituted a comdebts? This, sir, is & plain question, It is mittee to propose amendments. It then apinferred, that our grievances are to be redressed, pears, that two States have actually refused to and the evils of the existing system to be re- adopt—two of those who have adopted, have a moved by the new constitution. Let me inform desire of amending. And there is a probability the honorable gentleman, that no nation ever of its being rejected by New York and North paid its debts by a change of government, with Carolina. The other States have acceded without the aid of industry. You never will pay out proposing amendments. With respect to your debts but by a radical change of domestic them, local circumstances have, in my judgeconomy. At present, you buy too much, and ment, operated to produce its unconditional, make too little to pay. Will this new system instantaneous adoption. The locality of the promote manufactures, industry, and frugality? seat of government, ten miles square, and the If, instead of this, your hopes and designs will seat of justice, with all their concomitant emobe disappointed, you relinquish a great deal, luments, operated so powerfully with the first and hazard infinitely more for nothing. Will adopting State, that it was adopted without it enhance the value of your lands? Will it taking time to reflect. We are told that uulessen your burdens? Will your looms and merous advantages will result from the conwheels go to work by the act of adoption? If centration of the wealth and grandeur of the it will in its consequences produce these things, United States in one happy spot, to those who it will consequently produce a reform, and en- will reside in or near it. Prospects of profit able you to pay your debts. Gentlemen must and emoluments have a powerful influence on prove it. I am a sceptic-an infidel on this the human mind. We, sir, have no such propoint. I cannot conceive that it will have thesejects as that of a grand seat of government for happy consequences. I cannot confide in as- thirteen States, and perhaps for one hundred sertions and allegations. The evils that attend States hereafter. Connecticut and New Jersey as, lie in extravagance and want of industry, have their localities also. New York lies beand can only be removed by assiduity and tween them. They have no ports, and are not economy. Perhaps we shall be told by gentle- importing States. New York is an importing men, that these things will happen, because State, and taking advantage of its situation, the administration is to be taken froin us, and makes them pay duties for all the articles of placed in the hands of the luminous few, who their consumption: thus, these two States being will pay different attention, and be more stu- obliged to import all they want, through the diously careful than we can be supposed to be. medium of New York, pay the particular taxes
With respect to the economical operation of of that State. I know the force and effect of the new government, I will only remark, that reasoning of this sort, by experience. When