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title:“Melancton Smith's Notes of the New York Ratification Convention Debates”
authors:Melancton Smith
date written:1788-6-24

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 7:59 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Dec. 6, 2023, 10:10 p.m. UTC

Smith, Melancton. "Melancton Smith'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. 1846-47. Print.
Melancton Smith, Notes, New York State Library, Albany, New York

Melancton Smith's Notes of the New York Ratification Convention Debates (June 24, 1788)

R. R. LIVINGSTON. Did not expect to be raised— The amendments 2 objects— 1st. recallable 2d. rotation—1
It cannot be contended the time too long—because they are to form Treaties— The Repr. of States—the Rep. of S. Legis But no right to call—liable to impulse— Rep. of States—so also of US— they wd. also consult Int. of States— Many members wish to possess their places—would form factions— things will appear proper to one State not to others—Navig Law— Missip Argts. from Corruption, no weight—no possible source of Corruption—are the people to bribe them— the Senate cant apply money alone— Rotation rejected, because it was an abridgement of natural Liberty The Governor of the State instanced— The State may have very good men and suffer greatly for want of power Can their Officers be compared to the offices of this State— we must submit to possibility— The States cannot recal have not appd. but not reappd— Govt. necessary only because the people sometimes [not?] right[ —]— The people cannot recal— why did not Govr. chuse for 3 years— permanency in Govr— the Coroner & Sheriff not appd. by the Pe[o]ple—neither is the Senate
* * * * *
MORRIS. the effect will be to destroy it—create a power exterior to the Govt— suppose them upon some great object—the [Sen.?] recalled—The eastern States attacked the Southern States recall their Senators—
* * * * *
HARISON. Two branches allowed— Local Interests ought to be counteracted—therefore ought to be independ of his State—2 We are strenghg weakng the strong people principle— 2 Most eminent Men of the State—that have no equals—engaged in making a Treaty—shall we deprive— Corruption—cannot be by public money—because the Repres. are to give it—Cannot hold offices while Senators—
* * * * *
R. R. LIVINGSTON. They have no power because they cant act alone— Every govt. should have the power of continuing themselves— distinction between the Govt. of the States—
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HAMILTON. The mind at the Revolution run into extremes— the extreme was, we consulted nothing but to tie the Representative to the people— A Stable body—wt. oppurtunty. to know guard agst. instability The people of every country desire its prosperity but want [i.e., lack] information frequently misled by artful Men—conciliate two objects. one Body who shall be closely united to the people, this in the Representative The other a Body of firmness to pursue the true Interest of the people against the fluctg. [– – – ] of the people— This the object, tenor of off[i]c[e] app. &c— the Senate in this [state] 4 Years [– – – ] reeligible— The proposal is, that they are to hold their places during the pleasure of the Legis— If the Senator[s] are dependent [upon?] the State Legisl—they cannot have firmness— The State Legisls. may be misinformed when the Int. of the S[tate] Consd. It may be necess to yield a part. State Int—too great anxiety for State Ints-3 It is suppd. when we app. men to genl govt. they will be vultures preying upon the State govermts they will be attached to the States— The States will have gr. power— 1st. The difft. States have near 2000 [representatives]— 2. More Offices in the gift of the State— The general govt. may appoint revenue officers but will only appt. custom officers—Judges— Ambs.—&c supposing they appoint all— bear no comparisons— Gov[ernor] Senate Assembly Judges Justices Sheriff— 3. It is natural for the people will look to those who regulate agriculture &c— Whenever they geny. meditate any encroachmts—the whole body of the people to resist—The State government will have great inf[luence]— by the S. Legislature
* * * * *
HAMILTON. by choosing Senate— and influencing the choice of Representative—the remark of the Alby. gen. [John Lansing, Jr.] that the State should be restrd— certain permt. Interests— but other local Int[eres]ts— 6 Years— little more than this State one third may be changed—in 6 Ys. all may be changed— Will not 6 Years be responsible not—In former go[vernmen]ts we elected for 7 Years were responsible enough The senate will be under the controul of the State governt. because they will watch them—4
Responsible & firmness consist— The State have not exercised the power we cannot argue that from the past to the future—the part[icu]l[ar] sit[uatio]n of the present Conf. not appl-
The objects to which they extend pro5ves the propriety of duration— A knowledge of the powers of Europe their commerce—politics—[face?] & Interest—the com[me]r[cial] In[terest] of your own country, its produce, finances [– – –]. this requires time— Its necessary to make them responb.
knowledge— firmness— Responsibility—6
dependant to such degree as to render them useless— violently to promote the S. Go[vernmen]ts.— Historical facts proves its imp— Our own States prove it, a Lawyer at the end of every session has to learn a new System—

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