Log In Register

Source & Citation Info

title:“Nathan Dane to Samuel Adams”
authors:Nathan Dane
date written:1788-5-10

permanent link
to this version:
last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:04 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Sept. 26, 2023, 4:31 p.m. UTC

Dane, Nathan. "Letter to Samuel Adams." The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution. Vol. 18. Ed. Gaspare J. Saladino and John P. Kaminski. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 1995. 3. Print.
New York Public Library

Nathan Dane to Samuel Adams (May 10, 1788)

Yesterday were sent to me inclosed-the inclosed pamphlet and printed letter, with a request to convey them to you, which I do myself the honor to transmit accordingly-So far as my information extends the sentiments expressed by this writer, very generally meet the approbation of those who aim at Just and uncorrupt Government on republican principles-nor do I perceive any thing in this publication in the least inconsistent with the determination of the Massa. Convention-a determination, in my opinion, by far the wisest & best that has been made on the Subject-for tho the situation of the Country made it prudent to adopt the Constitution, and put it into operation; yet, clear I am, that we ought not to relax a moment in our attention and vigilance for further guarding and checking the exercise of powers given by the Constitution, and for securing the liberties of America, and an honest administration of Government on known and certain principles-My fears and apprehensions do not arise altogether from a consideration of the faults in the new Constitution; but, in a considerable measure, from a full persuasion that we have many men, and able ones too, in this Country who have a disposition to make a bad use of any government; and who, if not well checked and restrained by the forms of the Government, will, so far as they can have influence produce a wicked and corrupt administration-and you may, Sir, be assured that the Zealous advocates for the adoption of this Constitution, and who are pretty numerous, artful and active, do not intend that any amendments shall be adopted, even after the Constitution shall be put into operation, if they can anyway prevent it-at least they will oppose all amendments which, I believe, the republican and honest part of the Community will contend for-1however, I think the true FÅ“deralists, or true friends of a genuine federal republic, are extending their influence and connections very considerably; and tho a large proportion of them considering our situation agree to adopt the system as presented, they are determined with candor and firmness, to endeavour to establish in these States governments on principles of freedom and equality-whether the friends of honest measures-or the friends of influence and corruption will succeed time only can determine-Sure I am, the former will have the support and advice of your Self and many others who have Steered the political Ship through the late Storm Eight States have now determined relative to the Constitution proposed-I can give you no certain information respecting the other five-our accounts respecting the Sentiments of the men elected for the State Conventions are various-but, on the whole, I am inclined to believe they will adopt with recommending amendments as in Massa.-in this State Virga. & N. C. the numbers for and agt. are pretty equal, as well as abilities-Your friend Mr. Lee I understand, declined going to the State Convention, principally, on account of the unhealthiness of the place where the Convention is to meet-
I mentioned to you in my last the application of Kentucky for an admission into the union-I am just informed gentleman has arrived in this place from Vermont, to make enquiries, &c respecting her admission into the union I understand the State has appointed a Committee and given them power to apply to Congress whenever they shall see a fair opportunity for again bringing under consideration the independance and admission of that State into the union-I have been wishing for sometime that this Subject might again be brought into view-for I am well persuaded if these States do no[t] unite in their infancy, and cement the union, they will not do it hereafter-

Resource Metadata







Annotations (2)