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title:“John McKesson's Notes of the New York Ratification Convention Debates”
authors:John McKesson
date written:1788-7-3

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:29 a.m. UTC
retrieved:March 2, 2024, 10:50 p.m. UTC

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. 2087-93. Print.
McKesson's Notes, New-York Historical Society

John McKesson's Notes of the New York Ratification Convention Debates (July 3, 1788)

CONVENTION PROCEEDINGS. Mr. Jones—his Amendmt. [moved on 1 July] to 7 Parag. of 8 Sect of the 1st. Article [i.e., to establish post offices and post roads] read and passed— Mr. Jones & Mr Lansing Amendmts. To raise and support Armies
JOHN LANSING, JR. Standing Armies dangerous to Liberty— Amendmt. Proposed by Mr Lansing "Provided 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 both Houses present"
CONVENTION PROCEEDINGS. To the two Clauses relative to the Militia Mr. M Smith moved the followg. Amendment— "Provided that the Militia of any State Shall not be marched out of such State without the Consent of the Executive thereof, nor be continued in Service out of the State without the Consent of the Legislature thereof for a longer Term than Six Weeks—And provided that the power to organize Arm and discipline the Militia shall not be construed to extend further than to prescribe the Mode of Arming and disciplining the Same." . . . . To exercise exclusive Legislation &ca in ten Miles Square MELANCTON SMITH. I think the best amendmt. would be to expunge it—I will if possible think of Amendmts.
JOHN LANSING, JR. provision should be made to preserve a republican form of Govt. within the Jurisdiction of the Genl Govt. —And Provision that forts and Dockyards Should not become Sanctuaries agt. the Process of Courts in their respective States To the last Clause and the next "To make all Laws which shall be necessary & proper ["] Mr. Lansing proposed the following Amendmt. "Provided that no power shall be exercised by Congress, but such as is expressly given by this Constitution—And all other powers not expressly given shall be reserved to the respective States to be by them exercised."
CONVENTION PROCEEDINGS. Sect 9. paragraph 2d. Mr. Lansing Moved the following Amendmt. "Provided that whenever the privilege of Habeas Corpus shall be Suspended such Suspension shall in no Case exceed the Term of Six Months or until the then next Meeting of the Congress"— 10 Days
CONVENTION PROCEEDINGS. Article 1st. Sect. 9 paragraph 3. No bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed— Mr. G. Livingston moved the following Amendmt. "Provided that the Meaning of ex post facto Laws shall not be construed to prevent calling public Defaulters to account but shall extend only to Crimes"—
CONVENTION PROCEEDINGS. Sect. 9. paragraph 4. Mr. Tredwell moved the Clause be amended as follows No direct Tax shall be laid unless in proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken, and no Capitation Tax shall ever be laid— Mr. Tredwell then delivered the Motion in the followg words "Resolved as the opinion of this Committee that no Capitation tax ought ever to be laid"— Sect 9. paragraph 5—"Nor Shall Vessels bound to or from one State be obliged to enter clear or pay duties in another." MELANCTON SMITH requests an Explanation of Mr. Hamilton—
ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Mr. Hamiltons explanat[ion] — I suppose It intends that a Vessel bound from one State to another— If She puts into any port in another State which She is bound She shall not there be Obliged [to] enter clear or pay Duties SAMUEL JONES.
CONVENTION PROCEEDINGS. paragraph 6. Sect. 9— Mr. Tredwell moved for the following Amendmt. "Provided that the words from time to time shall be so construed as that the receipts and Expenditures of public money shall be published at least once in every year, and be transmitted to the Executives of the Several States to be laid before the Legislatures thereof"
CONVENTION PROCEEDINGS. Sect. 9. Article [i.e., paragraph] 7th. Mr. M Smith moved the following Amendmt. to the said Article— "Resolved as the Opinion of this Committee that the Congress shall at no Time Consent that any person holding any Office of profit or Trust in or under the united States shall accept of any Title of Nobility from any King Prince or foreign State"—
CONVENTION PROCEEDINGS. Sect. 10. of Article 1st. No State shall &ca. Or Law impa[i]ring the Obligation of Contracts—
SAMUEL JONES. What is the Extent of the word Impair can it be defined—
ALEXANDER HAMILTON. The word Impair an english word and means to weaken or Injure— This gives no Light—how far shall this weakening extend—Is it practicable so to State it as to prevent Litigation hereafter—

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