But to call in dispute, at this time, and in the manner Caesar does, the right of free deliberation on this subject, is like a man's propounding a question to another, and telling him, at the same time, that if he does not answer agreeable to the opinion of the propounder, he will exert force to make him of the same sentiment:-to exemplify this, it will be necessary to give you a short history of the rise and progress of the Convention, and the conduct of Congress thereon. The states in Congress - suggested, that the articles confederation had provided for making alterations in the confederation-that there were defects therein, and as a mean to remedy which, a Convention of delegates, appointed by the different states, was resolved expedient to be held for the sole and express purpose of revising it, and reporting to Congress and the different legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as should (when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the several states) render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of government. This resolution is sent to the different states, and the legislature of this state, with others, appoint, in conformity thereto, delegates for the purpose, and in the words mentioned in that resolve, as by the resolution of Congress, and the concurrent resolutions of the senate and assembly of this state, subjoined, will appear. For the sole and express purpose aforesaid Convention of delegates is formed at Philadelphia:-what have they done? have they revised the confederation , and has Congress agreed to their report?-neither is the fact
.-This Convention have exceeded the authority given to them, and have transmitted to Congress a new political fabric, essentially and fundamentally distinct and different from it, in which the different states do not retain separately their sovereignty and independency, united by a confederated league-but one entire sovereignty-a consolidation of them into one government-in which new provisions and powers are not made and vested in Congress, but in an assembly, senate, and president, who are not known in the articles of confederation.1
-Congress, without agreeing to, or approving of, this system proferred by the Convention, have sent it to the different legislatures, not for their confirmation, but to submit it to the people; not in conformity to their own resolution, but in conformity to the resolution of the Convention made and provided in that case. Was it then, from the face of the foregoing facts, the intention of Congress, and of this and the other states, that the essence of our present national government should be annihilated, or that it should be retained and only had an increase of substantial necessary power? Congress, sensible of this latter principle, and that the Convention had taken on themselves a power which neither they nor the other states had a right to delegate to them, and that they could not agree to, and approve of this consolidated system, nor the states confirm it-have been silent on its character; and though many have dwelt on their unanimity, it is no less than the unanimity of opinion that it originated in an assumption of power, which your voice alone can sanctify. This new government, therefore, founded in usurpation, is referred to your opinion as the origin of power not heretofore delegated, and, to this end, the exercise of the prerogative of free examination is essentially necessary; and yet you are unhesitatingly to acquiesce, and if you do not, the American Fabius, if we may believe Caesar, is to command an army to impose it. It is not my view to rouse your passions, I only wish to excite you to, and assist you in, a cool and deliberate discussion of the subject, to urge you to behave like sensible freemen. Think, speak, act, and assert your opinions and rights-let the same good sense govern you with respect to the adoption of a future system for the administration of your public affairs that influenced you in the formation of the present.-Hereafter I do not intend to be diverted by either Caesar, or any other-My object is to take up this new form of national government-compare it with the experience and the opinions of the most sensible and approved political authors-and to shew, that its principles, and the exercise of them, will be dangerous to your liberty and happiness.