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title:“Fisher Ames to George R. Minot”
authors:Fisher Ames
date written:1789-8-12

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:37 a.m. UTC
retrieved:March 3, 2021, 6:28 p.m. UTC

Ames, Fisher. "Letter to George R. Minot." Creating the Bill of Rights. Ed. Kenneth R. Bowling and Helen E. Veit. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991. 274-75. Print.

Fisher Ames to George R. Minot (August 12, 1789)

We are beginning the amendments in a committee of the whole. We have voted to take up the subject, in preference to the Judiciary, to incorporate them into the Constitution, and not to require, in committee, two thirds to a vote. This cost us the day. To-morrow we shall proceed. Some General, before engaging, said to his soldiers, "Think of your ancestors, and think of your posterity." We shall make a dozen or two of rights and privileges for our posterity.1 If I am to be guided by your advice, to marry and live in Boston, it behooves me to interest myself in the affair. It will consume a good deal of time, and renew the party struggles of the States. It will set Deacon Smead and many others to constitution-making, a trade which requires little stock, and often thrives without much custom. The workman is often satisfied to be the sole consumer. Our State is remarkable for it. We made several frames of government, which did not pass. The timber was so green, the vessels rotted on the stocks. However, I am persuaded it is proper to propose amendments, without delay, and if the antis affect to say that they are of no consequence, they may be reproached with their opposition to the government, because they protested that the principles were important.

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