HENRY WYNKOOP moved, after some debate, that the second Article should be taken into consideration.
JOHN SMILIE: On this, Mr. Smilie observed, that he hoped so precipitate a measure would not be adopted, for, in his opinion they had not yet got over the first six words of the Preamble.
Yesterday the Convention proceeded in their deliberations upon the first Article of the proposed Constitution, and Mr. Wynkoop moved, after some debate, that the second Article should be taken into consideration. On this, Mr. Smilie observed, that he hoped so precipitate a measure would not be adopted, for, in his opinion, they had not yet got over the first six words of the Preamble. He then reduced the present subject of discussion to two general heads, viz: 1st the necessity of a declaration of rights, and 2dly whether the plan was a consolidation or a confederation of the United States? After these points are ascertained, he observed, it would be proper to consider each section of the first Article particularly, in order to state the objections to the powers delegated to the Congress for imposing internal taxation, raising a poll tax, and maintaining standing army in time of peace. The Convention adjourned at 2 o'clock.
Mr. M'Kean said yesterday in the Convention, that he wished the opponents of the proposed Constitution would not merely find out its defects, but state the remedies.
Since they consider a bill of rights so essential, why do they not show us one that we may judge of its necessity? To this Mr. Smilie answered, he was happy to hear the idea suggested, for he had understood that the Convention did not mean to admit either additions or amendments, but let them agree to do this, and he pledged himself to produce such a declaration of rights and such other amendments as would conciliate the opponents of the plan in its present state, who wished not to reject it altogether, but to make it as secure as possible, in favor of the civil liberties of the people.1