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title:“Henry Gibbs to Roger Sherman”
authors:Henry Gibbs
date written:1789-7-16

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Gibbs, Henry. "Letter to Roger Sherman." Creating the Bill of Rights. Ed. Kenneth R. Bowling and Helen E. Veit. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991. 263. Print.
Yale University

Henry Gibbs to Roger Sherman (July 16, 1789)

Your favor of the 1rst. Ult. came seasonably to hand as has also that of the 7th. Inst. the former inclosed the pieces under the signature of "a Citizen of New Haven" which I immediately handed to our Printers & which were pubLish'd in their papers of June 30th. & July 7th. I am far from wishing that the Beauty of our new System should be marred by the many preposterous Alterations which have been propos'd, but as it was adopted by some of the States in full Confidence that the subject of Amendments would be soon constitutionally enter'd upon, I hope Congress will not delay canvassing the matter any longer than their more important Business renders necessary.1 All Ambiguity of Expression certainly ought to be remov'd; Liberty of Conscience in reLigious matters,2 right of trial by Jury,3 Liberty of the Press4 &c. may perhaps be more expLicitly secur'd to the Subject & a general reservation made to the States respectively of all the powers not expressly delegated to the general Government. These indeed may be tho't by most to be the spirit of the Constitution, but there are some who have their fears that the loose manner of expression in some instances will not sufficiently guard the rights of the Subject from the invasion of corrupt Rulers hereafter. Some such explanatory & reserving Clauses may therefore without giving umbrage to the friends of the new plan of Government tend greatly to conciLiate the minds of many of it's Opponents.5 As to any essential Alterations neither time nor Capacity will allow of my forming an Opinion respecting them.

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