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title:“Jonathan Dayton in the United States Senate”
authors:Jonathan Dayton
date written:1803-11-29

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retrieved:May 6, 2021, 6:20 a.m. UTC

Dayton, Jonathan. "Jonathan Dayton in the United States Senate." The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Vol. 3. Ed. Max Farrand. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911. Print.

Jonathan Dayton in the United States Senate (November 29, 1803)

November 29, 1803.
Every member who had spoken on this subject seemed to have admitted, by the very course and pointing of their arguments, even though they may have denied it in words, that this was really a question between great and small States, and disguise it as they would the question would be so considered out of doors. The privilege given by the Constitution extended to five, out of which the choice of President should be made; and why should the smaller, for whose benefit and security that number was given, now wantonly throw it away without an equivalent? As to the Vice President, his election had no influence upon the number, because the choice of President in the House of Representatives was as free and unqualified as if that subordinate office did not exist. Nay, he said, he would venture to assert that, even if the number five were continued, and the Vice Presidency entirely abolished, there would not be as great a latitude of choice as under the present mode, because those five out of whom the choice must eventually be made, were much more likely hereafter to be nominated by the great States, inasmuch as their electors would no longer be compelled to vote for a man of a different State. The honorable gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Smith) has said, he was not surprised that those who had seats in the old Congress, should perplex themselves with the distinctions; but he could tell that gentleman, that it was not in the old Congress he had learnt them, for there he had seen all the votes of the States equal, and had known the comparatively little State of Maryland controlling the will of the Ancient Dominion. It was in the Federal Convention that distinction was made and acknowledged; and he defied that member to do, what had been before requested of the honorable gentleman from Virginia, viz: to open the Constitution, and point out a single article, if he could, that had not evidently been framed upon a presumption of diversity (he had almost said, adversity) of interest between the great and small States.

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