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title:“John McKesson's Notes of the New York Ratification Convention Debates”
authors:John McKesson
date written:1788-7-10

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https://consource.org/document/john-mckessons-notes-of-the-new-york-ratification-convention-debates-1788-7-10/20130122084138/
last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:41 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Dec. 11, 2018, 8:43 p.m. UTC

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citation:
McKesson, John. "John McKesson's Notes of the New York Ratification Convention Debates." The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution. Vol. 22. Ed. John P. Kaminski. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2008. 2119-27. Print.
manuscript
source:
McKesson Papers, New-York Historical Society

John McKesson's Notes of the New York Ratification Convention Debates (July 10, 1788)

JOHN LANSING, JR.: PLAN OF AMENDMENTS. In Convention.
This Convention having deliberately and maturely examined and considered the proposed Constitution reported to Congress by the Convention of delegates from the United States of America submitted to this Convention by concurrent Resolutions of the Senate and Assembly of the State of New York passed at their last Session do in the Name & in Behalf of the people of the State of New York make known and declare-
(Resolved) That all Freemen Men have essential Rights of which they cannot by Compact deprive or divest [their Posterity, among which are the?] Enjoyment of Life & Liberty & the pursuit of Happiness. (19th agd)
That all power is originally vested in &consequently derived from the people & that Government is instituted for their common Benefit, protection & Security. (agd)
That in all Cases in which a Man may be subjected to a capital or infamous punishment no one ought to be put to his Trial unless on an Indictment by a grand Jury1 & that in all capital or criminal prosecutions the accused hath a Right to demand the Cause & Nature of his Accusation; to be confronted with his Accusers and Witnesses to produce Testimony and have Council in his Defence and to a fair public & speedy Trial by an impartial Jury of the County in which the Crime was committed without whose unanimous Consent he ought not to be found guilty (except in the Government of the Land & Naval Forces) nor ought he to be compelled to give Evidence against himself. (agd.)
That no Freeman ought to be taken imprisoned or dissiesed of his Freehold or be exiled or deprived of his previleges Franchises, Life, Liberty or property but by due Course Process of Law. (agd)
That no person ought to be put in Jeopardy of Life or Limb or otherwise punished twice for one & the same offence except in Cases of Impeachmt. (agd)
That every Freeman restrained in his Liberty is entitled to an Enquiry into the Lawfulness of such Restraint without Denial or Delay and to a Removal there of if unlawful. (agd)
That in all Cases Controversies respecting property and in all Suits between Man & Man the antient Trial of Facts by Jury is one of the greatest Securities of the Rights of a free people & ought to remain sacred & inviolate forever. (agd)
That excessive Bail ought not to be taken required nor excessive punishments inflicted. (agd)
That every Freeman has a Right to be secure from all unreasonable
Searches & Seizures of his person his papers & his property without Information upon Oath or Affirmation of sufficient Cause & that all general warrants to search suspected places or to apprehend any suspected person without specially describing or naming the place or person are dangerous & oppressive & ought not to be granted. (agd)
That the people have a Right peaceably to assemble together to consult for their common Good or to instruct their Representatives and that every Freeman has a Right to petition or apply to the Legislature for a Redress of Grievances. (agd)
That the Freedom of the press ought not to be violated or restrained. (agd)
That the Militia should always be kept well organized armed & disciplined and include, according to past usages of the States, all the Men capable of bearing Arms and ought not to be subject to martial Law (except in Time of War Invasion or Rebellion) and that in all Cases the Military should be under strict Subordination to the civil power. (agd)
That standing Armies in Time of peace are dangerous to Liberty & ought not to be kept up but in Case of absolute Necessity. (agd)
That no Soldier in Time of peace ought to be quartered in any House without the Consent of the owner & in Time of War only by the civil Magistrates in such Manner as the Law may direct. (agd)
That any person religiously Scrupulous of bearing Arms ought to be exempted therefrom upon payment of an Equivalent.
That the free and peaceable Exercise & enjoyment of religious profession & worship is a natural & unalienable Right & ought never to be abridged or violated. (agd)
That Nothing in the said Constitution is to be construed to prevent the Legislature of any State to pass Laws at its Discretion from Time to Time to divide such State into as many convenient Districts and to apportion its Representatives to & among such Districts as the State shall be entitled to elect Representatives for Congress nor to prevent such Legislatures from making (agd)
That the Legislatures of the respective States may make provision that the Electors in each District shall chuse a Citizen of the United States who shall have been an Inhabitant of the District for the Term of one Year immediately preceeding the Time of Election for one of the Representatives of such State. (agd.)
That no power is to be exercised by Congress but such as is expressly given by the said Constitution & that all other powers not expressly given are reserved to the respective States to be by them exercised. (agd)
That the prohibition in the said Constitution against passing ex post Facto Laws extends only to Laws concerning Crimes. (agd)
That all appeals from any Court proceeding according to the Course of the common Law are to be by Writ of Error & not otherwise. (agd)
That the Judicial power of the United States as to Controversies between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States is not to be construed to extend to any other Controversies than those relating to such Lands as shall be claimed by two or more persons under either as Exceptions to the specified powers or as inserted for That Nothing in the said Constitution contained is to be construed to authorize any Suit to be brought against any State in any Manner whatever. (agd)
That the Judicial power of the United States in Cases in which a State shall be a party is not to be construed to extend to criminal prosecutions (agd)
That the Judicial power of the United States as to Controversies between Citizens of different States is not to be construed to extend to any Controversies relating to any real Estate not claimed under Grants of different States. (agd to be recommendatory)
That Nothing in the said Constitution contained is to be construed [—] [—] [-—] [—] [—] as to erect any Company with exclusive Advantages of Commerce. (to be recommendatory)
That no Treaty is to be construed to operate so as to alter the Constitution of any State— (agd)
That the Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the United States or of any other Court to be instituted by the Congress is not in any Case to be encreased enlarged or extended by any Fiction Collusion or mere Suggestion. (agd)
That the Clauses in the said Constitution which declare that the Congress shall not have or exercise certain powers shall not are not to be interpreted in any Manner whatsoever to extend the powers of the Congress but are to be construed either as Exceptions to the specified powers or as inserted for greatest Caution— (agd)
And the Convention do in the Name & Behalf of the people of the State of New York enjoin it upon their Representatives in Congress to exert all their Influence & use all reasonable Means to obtain a Ratification of the following Amendments to the said constitution in the Manner prescribed therein & in all laws to be passed by Congress in the mean Time to conform to the Spirit of the said Amendments as far as the Constitution will admit. (7)
That the Militia of any State shall not be continued in Service out compelled to serve without the Limit of the State for a longer Term than six Weeks without the Consent of the Legislature thereof. (agd. 26)
That the Congress do not impose any Excise on any Article except ardent Spirits of the Growth production or Manufacture of the United States or any of them. (2 agd.)
That Congress do not lay direct Taxes but when the Monies arising from the Impost and Excise shall be insufficient for the public Exigencies nor then until Congress shall first have made a Requisition upon the States to assess levy & pay their respective proportions of such Requisition agreeably to the Census fixed in the said Constitution in such Way and Manner as the Legislatures of the respective States shall judge best—in such Case if any State shall [neglect or refuse to pay its proportion?] pursuant to such Requisition the Congress may assess & levy such Sta[te's?] proportion together with Interest at the Rate of six per Centum per Annum from the Time of payment prescribed in such Requisition. (3. agd.)
That Congress shall not be authorized to make or alter any Regulation in any State respecting the Times places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators or Representatives unless the Legislature of such State shall neglect or refuse to make Laws or Regulations for the purpose or from any Circumstance be incapable of making the same and that in those Cases such power shall only be exercised then only until the Legislature of such State shall make provision in the premisses provided that Congress may not appoint an uniform time for the Election of Representatives provided that Nothing in this Article shall prevent Congress from may prescribe the Time for the Election of Representatives. (agreed unanimously— 4.)
That no standing Army or regular Troops shall be raised or kept up in Time of peace without the Consent of two thirds of the Members of each House Senators & Representatives present in each House. (agd.5)
That there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand Inhabitants according to the Enumeration or Census mentioned in the Constitution until the whole Number of Representatives amounts to two hundred: after which that Number shall be continued or encreased as Congress shall direct upon the principles fixed in the Constitution by apportioning the Representatives of each State to some greater Number of people from Time to Time as Population encreases. (Here agd.)
That no person be eligible as a Senator for more than six Years in any Term of twelve Years and that it shall be in the power of the Legislatures of the respective States to may recall their Senators or either of them & to elect others in their Stead to serve the Remainder of the Time for which the Senators so recalled were appointed. (14. agd.)
That no Senator or Representative shall during the Time for [which he was elected be appointed?] to any Office under the Authority of the United States. (15. agd)
That no Money be borrowed on the Credit of the United States without the Assent of two thirds of the Members of each House present Senators & Representatives present in each House. (agd. 6.)
That the Congress shall at no Time consent that any person holding any Office of Trust or profit in or under the United States shall accept of any Title of Nobility or any other Title or Office from any King prince or foreign State.
That the Words without the Consent of the Congress in the 7th Clause of the 9th Section of the 1st Article of the Constitution be expunged (agd. 27)
That no person shall be eligible to the Office of president of the United States a third Time. (Agd. 16.)
That the president of the United States shall never command the Army Militia or Navy of the United States in person without the Consent of the Congress That the Executive shall not in person take the actual Command of an Army in the field without the previous desire of the Congress the houses present Members of each house present Senators & Representatives That the president or person exercising his powers for the Time being shall not command an Army in the Field in person without the previous Desire of the Congress. (Agd. 18)
That the Executive shall not grant pardons for Treason without unless with the Consent of the Congress but that in Cases where persons are convicted of Treason he shall have Authority to but may at his discretion grant Reprieves to persons convicted of Treason until their Cases can be laid before the Congress. (Agd. 9)
That the Congress appoint in such Manner as they may think proper a Council to advise the president in the Appointment of Officers that the said Council shall not continue in Office for a longer Term than four Years that they shall keep a Record of their proceedings & sign the same and be impeachable for Mal-Conduct in Office that the Councillors shall have a reasonable allowance for their Services fixed not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years & who is not either a natural born Citizen of the United States or has become a Citizen of one of them before the fourth Day of July in the Year one thousand seven hundred & seventy six. (Disagred)
That all Letters patent [commissions?] Pardons [writs?] and process shall run in the Name of the people of the United States and be tested in the Name of the president of the United States or person holding his plac— exercising his powers for the Time being or the first Judge of the Court out of which the same shall issue as the Case may be. (Agd. 19)
That no Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States shall during his Continuance in Office hold any other Office under the United States or any of them. (Agd. 24)
That all the Senators & Representatives & all executive and Judicial Officers of the United States shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation not to infringe or violate the Constitutions & or Rights of the respective States. (Agd. 28)
That the Congress ought shall not to have the power or Right to declare declare War without the Consent Concurrence of two thirds of the Members of both houses present Members of each house present Senators & Representatives present in each House. (Agd. 7.)
That the Right of the Congress to exercise exclusive Legislation over such District not exceeding ten Miles square as may by Cession of a particular State and the Acceptance of Congress become the Seat of the Government of the United States shall not be so exercised as to exempt the Inhabitants of such District from paying the like Taxes Imposts Duties and Excises as shall be imposed on the other Inhabitants of the State in which such District may be and that no person shall be previledged within the said District from Arrest for Crimes committed or Debts contracted out of the said District and that the Inhabitants of the said District shall be entitled to the like essential Rights with as the other Inhabitants of the United States in general. (Agd. 9.)
That the Right of exclusive Legislation with Respect to such places as may be purchased for the Erection of Forts, Magazines Arsenals Dock-Yards & other needful Buildings shall not be construed to authorize the Congress to make any Law to prevent [the Laws of the States respectively in which?] they may be from extending to [such?] places in all civil &criminal Matters except as to such persons as shall be in the Service of the United States, nor to them with respect to Crimes committed without such places. (Agd. 10.)
That an Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of public Money shall at least once in every Year be transmitted to the Executives of the several States to be laid before the Legislature thereof. (Disagreed)
That Congress shall not constitute ordain or establish any Tribunals or Inferior Courts with any other than appellate Jurisdiction except such as may be necessary for the Trial of Causes of Admiralty and Maratime Jurisdiction & for the Trial of piracies & Felonies committed on the high Seas & in all other Cases to which the Judicial power of the United States extends & in which the Supreme Court of the United States has not original Jurisdiction the Causes shall be heard tried and determined in some one of the State Courts with the Right of Appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States or other proper Tribunal to be established for that purpose by the Congress with such Exceptions & under such Regulations [as the?] Congress shall make. (Agd. 21.)
That persons aggrieved by any Judgment, Sentence or Decree of the Supreme Court of the United States in any Cause [in?] which that Court has original Jurisdiction with such Exceptions & under such Regulations as the Congress shall make concerning the same shall upon Application have a Commission to be issued by the president of the United States to such Men learned in the Law as he shall nominate and by & with the Advice and Consent of the Senate appoint not less than seven authorizing such Commissioners or any seven or more of them to correct the Errors in such Judgment [or to review such Sentence?] or Decree as the Case may be & to do Justice to the parties in the premisses. (Agd. 23)
That the Congress shall not have power to suspend the previledge Previledge of the Habeas Corpus shall not at any Time be suspended for a longer Term than [six?] Months or until twenty Days after the then next Meeting of the Congress. (Agd. 8)
That the power to organize arm and discipline the Militia shall only . . . them.
That the number of Representatives be fixed at the Rate of one for every thirty Thousand Inhabitants, to be ascertained on the Principles mentioned in the second Section of the first Article of the Constitution, until they amount to two hundred; after which to be apportioned among the States in proportion to the Number of Inhabitants of the States respectively— That no Person be eligible as a Senator for more than Six years in any Term of Twelve years That it shall be in the Power of the Legislatures of the Several States, to recall their Senators, or either of them and to elect others in their Stead, to Serve the remainder of the Time for which the Senators so recalled, were appointed.
2
JOHN LANSING, JR.: DRAFT OF CONDITIONAL AMENDMENTS. This Convention having maturely and deliberately examined &considered the proposed Constitution reported by the Convention of Delegates from the United States of America submitted to this Convention by concurrent Resolutions of the Senate and Assembly of the State of New York passed the thirty first day of January and first Day of February last past Do in the Name & in Behalf of the people of the State of New York declare (here Declaration of Rights & Explanations) and with a firm Reliance and on the express Condition that the Rights aforesaid will not & shall not be lost abridged or violated and that the said Constitution shall in the Cases above particularized receive the Constructions herein before expressed; with a solemn Appeal to the Searcher of Hearts for the purity of our Intentions & in the Confidence that whatever Imperfections may exist in the Constitution will as soon as possible be submitted to the Consideration of a general Convention [bottom of page torn] the said Delegates in the Name & in Behalf of the people of the State of New York do by these presents assent to & ratify the said Constitution (a Copy whereof is hereunto annexed) Upon Condition nevertheless that until the Amendments herein contained & herewith recommended shall have been submitted to and determined upon by a general Convention to be called in the Mode prescribed by the said Constitution the Militia of this State shall not be continued in Service out of this State for a longer Term than six Weeks without the Consent of the Legislature thereof—that Congress shall not be authorized to make or alter any Regulation in this State respecting the Times places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators or Representatives unless the Legislature of this State shall neglect or refuse to make Laws or Regulations for the purpose or from any Circumstance be incapable of making the same & that in those Cases such power shall only be exercised until the Legislature of this State shall make provision in the premisses and that no Excise shall be imposed on any Article of the Growth or Manufactory of the United States or any of them within this State and that Congress do not lay direct Taxes within this State but when the Monies arising from the Impost & Excise shall be insufficient for the public Exigencies nor then until Congress shall first have made a Requisition upon the States to assess levy & pay their respective proportions of such Requisition agreeable to the Census fixed in the said Constitution in such Way and Manner as the Legislature of this State shall judge best, but that in such Case, if the State shall neglect or refuse to pay its proportion pursuant to such Requisition then Congress may assess & levy this State's proportion together with Interest at the Rate of six per Centum per Annum from the Time at which the same was required to be paid.

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