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Source & Citation Info

title:“Charles Pinckney to James Madison”
authors:Charles Pinckney
date written:1789-3-28

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:41 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Dec. 5, 2023, 10:59 p.m. UTC

Pinckney, Charles. "Letter to James Madison." Creating the Bill of Rights. Ed. Kenneth R. Bowling and Helen E. Veit. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991. 224-25. Print.
Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress

Charles Pinckney to James Madison (March 28, 1789)

Are you not, to use a full expression, abundantly convinced that the theoretical nonsense of an election of the members of Congress by the people in the first instance, is clearly and practically wrong. that it will in the end be the means of bringing our councils into contempt & that the legislature are the only proper judges of who ought to be elected?
Are you not fully convinced that the Senate ought at least to be double their number to make them of consequence & to prevent their falling into the same comparative state of insignificance that the State Senates have, merely from their smallness?
Do you not suppose that giving to the federal Judicial retrospective jurisdiction in any case whatsoever—from the difficulty of determining to what periods to look back from it's being an ex post facto provision, & from the confusion & opposition it will give rise to, will be the surest & speediest mode to subvert our present system & give it's adversaries the majority?
Do not suffer these and other queries I may hereafter put to you to startle your opinion with respect to my principles. I am more than ever a friend to the federal constitution, not I trust from that fondness which men sometimes feel for a performance in which they have been concerned but from a conviction of it's intrinsic worth. from a conviction that on it's efficacy our political welfare depends. my wish is to see it divested of those improprieties which I am sure will sooner or later subvert or what is worse bring it into contempt.

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