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title:“An American”
date written:1787-8-4

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last updated:Feb. 27, 2016, 12:52 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Aug. 10, 2022, 8:14 p.m. UTC

"An American." Massachusetts Centinel 1787-08-04 : . Rpt. in The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution. Vol. 13. Ed. Gaspare J. Saladino and John P. Kaminski. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 1981. 184-85. Print.
Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress

An American (August 4, 1787)

Mr. RUSSELL, However inattentive to their situation the citizens of the United States, may appear-or however licentious and perverse they maybe represented, it is a truth, which numerous events will avouch, that when eminent occasion calls for an exhibition of that good sense, which is the foundation of political happiness-it bursts forth in all the strength of majesty, and teaches the world that the latitude of the patriotism and publick spirit of Americans, is as unbounded as the country they possess.
The Convention, I am told, have unanimously agreed on a system for the future government of the United States-which will speedily be laid before the several legislatures for their acceptance and ratification.-What this system is, is not as yet, known but to the framers of it-that it will be a system founded on justice and equity-in which the rights of the citizens, and of the rulers, will be properly ballanced, considering1 the characters who have formed it, none can doubt: -That consistent with these, it may be energetick, none can but wish.
Occasion, therefore, now presents itself, in which that good sense of the people can produce the most desirable event-for the people will NOW determine, whether a Nation possessing every advantage which nature can bestow to make it Great, and to which nothing is wanting but to improve those advantages, to make it such, shall be so, or not. But, my respected fellow citizens, can we have a reasonable doubt-Are we to behold a new thing under the sun?-Will the nature of things be reversed?-NO-the EXPERIENCE we have had, answers the queries in the Negative, and bids us anticipate the wished-for event of its meeting the approbation of all ranks of citizens-those excepted, who are, and ever will be, enemies to the prosperity of our infant empire.-Against such it behooves us to be on the guard-Be assured they will artfully cast stumbling-blocks in your way to national happiness and honour, and under the mask of patriotism, will endeavour to work your political destruction-That such are among us is certain-But, I trust your penetration will discover their designs however thick their cloak-however specious their hypocrisy.
That this country may long remain under the guardianship of him who raiseth up, and putteth down nations, is the fervent prayer of, AN AMERICAN

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