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title:“John Wendell to Elbridge Gerry”
authors:John Wendell
date written:1787-12-15

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:02 a.m. UTC
retrieved:March 1, 2021, 8:16 p.m. UTC

Wendell, John. "Letter to Elbridge Gerry." The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution. Vol. 14. Ed. Gaspare J. Saladino and John P. Kaminski. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 1983. 444-45. Print.

John Wendell to Elbridge Gerry (December 15, 1787)

I am honored with your Favour in which you are pleased to mention yr having forwarded my Letter to Mr Coates for which I am much Obliged-
I have been so unlucky as being from home in the Country I have not had an Oppertunity of Seeing your Observations on the new proposed Constitution-but I admire & respect your Fortitude & Honesty in defending your private Opinion on it and think your fellow Citizens after they have fully considered for themselves must think otherways than as they are now in a Manner taught to believe witht exercising their own Judgments, observe many Capital Errors in it which MUST be mended in a short Time, but I am decidedly for adopting it with all its Imperfections from believing: that we cannot long exisst as a Nation under the present chaotic Form; and that there is no probability of ever obtaining Another less Exceptionble than the proposed-1It is plain that the Representation of the States are unequal, the Institutions of Inferior Courts will be burthensome,2 The order of the Cincinnati may obtain too great an Interest & Influence, & may engross so much of the publick Imployments as may endanger the Introduction of a standing Army in ye Time of Peace-3but these My dear Friend, are Anticipations we must not give Way to, but rather adopt the Sentiment of Cicero-to Emulate wth each other Ne quid Detrimenti Respublica capiat, I honour yr Integrity, coincide with you that there must be an alteration made in it Here after, but Necessity fatal Necessity obliges me to determine in its Favr: if it was only to obtain the Institu[tion] of a Revenue to support public Credit or we are Undone wthout Benefit of Clergy- I write Currente Calamo and when I have seen your Observation[s] I will do myself the Honr to write you again.

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