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title:“Melancton Smith's Notes of the New York Ratification Convention Debates”
authors:Melancton Smith
date written:1788-7-11

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:27 a.m. UTC
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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. 2133-35. Print.
Melancton Smith, Notes, New York State Library

Melancton Smith's Notes of the New York Ratification Convention Debates (July 11, 1788)

JAY. We were sent to promote genl. good—to forget we belong to party— Reason first and then decide— This const. the work of freemen, of patriots—it merits Candid attention.—though not to pin our faith— Considn: This Consn. consid[ere]d by ten Conventions—The best men of every State—wise—objecti[on]s but 11 Verdicts in its favour—though not full evidence—yet strong circumsl. evidence of the expediency—for that reason we ought not to adopt it— With respect to the merits of the Constn.—nothing new can be said— The question reduced to a point—conveniency & inconveni[en]cy—Love Liberty— It is expedient— 1. From our national situation, is now bad—shall we change for the worse—we shall exchange for the better. 2. This Const. has been adopted by 10 States has grown too far—they will not call a Convention to make another— May say, we do not hope for a new one—but to amend this—if we are [to] amend either by conditions—or in the way pointed out by the Const— Congress have no power to alter—not found in the Constn.— We are to get amendts. the same way other States—this reasonl.
N. H. Mass. wish amendts—Penns. wish amends—Virga. S. Carol. North Carolina probably will have them— They will seek them in the way of the Const.— Nothing to authorize the calling a Conventn— No reason to presume other States less attentive than we—We are not warranted to be jealous—this country are one people—to all general purposes—therefore all determined by joint council—the majority must govern—why should we dictate—if Congress had such power would it be prudent to [—] the president—The septennial bill a party, whig measure—repented of—this measure may be dictated the same—Rhode Island may dictate—Congress cannot agree to it—we shall therefore be out until they accede to the amendts—by the mode proposed—how long will this be—perhaps 2 Years—sometime to organize—appoint Officers— Where shall we be in the mean time—standing on our own ground—unconnected—Their views will be—what may be conceived—among yourselves, will your Laws be exec[ute]d—all party heats subside—This cannot be—prays it may be the case—but we must view consequences—parties are formed and forming—men extendg their views—projects—indivs. will rather promote dissent for their own views—Some parts of the State not contd—Some of our Laws give cause of discontent—have fears of an increase—These parts of the State are most in favour of Constn.—The two parties disagree respg. right & wrong, as well as the Constn—When men are governed by passion, reason not attended to these men, not surrounded by peace makers—on the contrary— If we continue out, it [i.e., the new government] will be organized—and pass most import[ant] Laws—and we have no hand—we propose giving [construction?] — [—] [—] our weight— Does not mean to alarm our fears—But we ought to be prudent—to weigh consequs—other evil consequences— Of importance Congress should sit in the State— of importance the Treasury of the US. should be in our Capital—all who receive spend—The officers of govt. spend their Money 100,000 Dollars a Year— Much trade by Congress sitting—a hint suff—hard money owing to Congress sitting—feel much impressed—judgment—and attachment—inclines— If Congress cant accede, all Conditions vain—trust the States, as they us—many have proposed amendts—we shall have them—all want amendments— Many honestly object,—if he thinks they would not be obtained he would join—reasons good 6 Months ago not good now—10 States agreed—a number brot. forward the same amds—many considerations of exp[e]d[ience] now exist that did not— Departing fm their neighbours will war—

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