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title:“Melancton Smith's Notes of the New York Ratification Convention Debates”
authors:Melancton Smith
date written:1788-6-28

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:04 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Oct. 1, 2022, 2:33 a.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. 1994-97. Print.
Melancton Smith, Notes, New York State Library

Melancton Smith's Notes of the New York Ratification Convention Debates (June 28, 1788)

HAMILTON. The Gent. of Ulster [George Clinton] seems to suspect they were intr[oduce]d to shew inconsisty— The papers read, to prove the distress this State suffered the inefficacy of Requisn.—the sents. of the Legislar—Dictator the ebullition of ardent what is energetic fedl. govt—one operatg. on States—or individs—Impost once passed—then refused—afterwds. defeated—his opn. always for it—takes it for granted—but opposed in manner asked—The opinion then was—Congress ought not to have power assumed—now it is said, the Congress ought to have had addl. powers—at a loss, to reconcile the opposn— End[eavore]d yesterday, to establish several princ[iple]s— 1. That this govt. is a Republic, wt. all the characterices of one. 2. Infered from it safely trusted, and no danger of their inj[urin]g the State govt—could have no view, and the States wd. have means to resist— 3d. The right of taxes concurrent— The word supreme, means the act cant be cont[rolle]d by the act of no other— The acts of US—so also that of the States— This could take place one—penny in the p[oun]d be each— the govt. taking the first step wd. be rew[arde]d— The thing [pracl.?] by exper—like the case of 2 Credrs—the first cr[edito]r take the Step—recov[er]s— The [enqy.?] will be in a situ[atio]n—the same as if in one or both— The principle, all powers not granted, reserved—as a portion of soverigns When you give general Legise. powers to States—none reserved, but such as is reserv'd and unalienable rights— 1—The rule difft. as appld. to States difft.—because the sovereignties already given therefore all not taken away remains— not a word, that the power is exclusive [theirs?] 2—another when a power is given to one and by another clause taken by another 3—A power may be given, wch. it is physically impossible both can exercise—uniform naturln—by implication—neither of these apply to the matter of taxation—no direct inconsistency— if willing to give it this explanation— The consequence is all sources of Revenue—open but imposts— this but 1/3-2/3 open to both— Can it be doubted, they will be supp[orte]d—when 2/3 of the Revenue opened— The demands for the present considerable— Sources of Revenue must be left— Soon will be small— We are forming a govt. for posterity— It is wise to give the genl. govt. admitted that the wants of a commy. are equal to its resources—If the resources are equal then the difficulty cant happen—If not to happen—the primary objects—the State govt—and general govt—these objects must be sati[sfie]d—then if beyond ability they cant be provided for wt. oppress—absurd that the Represves. of one will oppress more than [the] other—if we cant pay all—pay as much as we can—this will be the reasong—the people represented in that govt— The natl. opera[tio]n will be mutual forbearance—if they do not—the State govts—can defeat them—equal authority—more confidence of the people—Gent. carry their [argument] too far it will operate thus— The Govt. will take par[ticu]l[ar] objects—such as will operate to make the tax equal—Sufft. objects will remain in the several States—not of general many things that the States can legislative upon— that the general— One object, will be left to the States—taxing by the Lump— Why not seperate—answer—because though this may be the case—in war it may be necssy.— If we suppose the men delegated to be vultures not worthy of confidence—this reason no wt. but conclusive—The State has a right to lay a poll Tax—are they tyrants— Mr Haml. again[st] a poll tax, but may be necessary—Holland gave once part— It is sd. impossible to exercise the power— concludes that it is safe, if impossible— But it may be sd. exercise it despotically— If they will exercise despotism— The general govt. may lay a tax, on consumptn.—on Land by commrs. to value on assessment, as the State do— not bound, to vary—because they must lay the tax by a rule— It will render it necessary to act wt. caution—must tax Luxeries—lest they disoblige the com. people— If they are prudent, they will make reg[ulatio]ns the least oppressive— The power in the gen. govt. will operate to make taxes equal and least oppressive— An eulogium on State govts.—not the questn—the States have been not so well as is pret[ende]d—other States have done ill—credit is low—lands deprecd—50 Ct—admitted, that will be cured— what has this to do wt. gen. govermt—Intended to induce a beleif, the States will comply wt. requisitions, if circumstances—what has happd. since peace—Some States wch. felt most by the war, contrd. most since— defalcation in Requin—owing to delibern—to parl. charactrs—influence—In every war those near the seat of the war—N. hampshire pd. nothing—N. Carolina—nothing—did not suffer by the war—Congress with great difficulty support their officers— Ever since the peace borrowed to pay, the Interest loaned— The States do not contribute in proportion—The prop [ositio]n admits an unld. power—involves the same Conseqes.—because if it demands more than is suff. to both—more likely to exist under the amendment than under the clause— They will calculate upon estimates If they tax they will estimate upon the sources— Requin. if not complied wt. by some States— then Congress to inflict a penalty to disgrace them—will never do it—some will do it—no remedy—the demands on some States, never can pay—must forgive the debt—a recent Ins[tance]—seen—Georgia proposes a Cession, but requires a credit, more than all her requis—cannot recover it—injures us—the same will always happena— Object. to excise on growth & manufacture—against this State—because we shall not be a manufactg State—we reduce the genl govt. to the necessy. of laying all taxes on imports—These divided between importer &consumer—when plenty the importer pays a part— The Eastern States manufacture— N Engd. manufacture more ard[en t Spirits than we do— The eastern States encourage manufacts.—put it out of our power to derive advantages— You are to presume they will not be laid prematurely— Apologizes, for using strong expressions—mode he is accustomed—and earnest—
  • (a) The same will always happen in taxes—
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