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title:“Notes for a Speech by John Dickinson (II)”
authors:John Dickinson
date written:1787-7-9

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retrieved:Nov. 30, 2023, 2:14 p.m. UTC

Dickinson, John. "Notes for a Speech by John Dickinson (II)." Supplement to Max Farrand's The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Ed. James H. Hutson. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987. 158-59. Print.

Notes for a Speech by John Dickinson (II) (July 9, 1787)

Acting before the World What will be said of this new principle of founding a Right to govern Freemen on a power derived from Slaves in preference to other property themselves incapable of governing yet giving to others what they have not. The omitting the Word will be regarded as an Endeavour to conceal a principle of which we are ashamed. Every Importation of Slaves will increase the power of the state over others. This principle I wish to avoid. A Calculation of the Value of Property I acknowledge to be impractical. Why not admit actual Contribution as the Rule. Objection from Massachusetts.1 Is it to be taken for granted that no other Imposition is to be laid by the national Legislature. It is next to impossible. England and Holland with their vast Commerce and their Imposts and Excises have land taxes. Tis true their Laws extend to the Affairs and Expenses of the whole Nation. Here divided with the particular Legislatures but this national Legislature will certainly comprehend especially in Time allmost the whole Expenses of the Nation. The rest will be but a Drop in the Bucket. National Debt and arrears of Expenses committees Proposition Objection from Massachusetts holds not in that Case if even Imposts and Excises were to be computed, yet the Inconvenience apprehended might be totally removed by a provision that the Representation of no state should rise beyond a certain proportion to its Neighbors. Emotion shall submit Half a Slave if adopted Ruinous to the whole system. Former jointments the same. 3 arguments only used. 1. Equality of Representation 2. England and Holland. 3. Resolution of Sept. 1774. As to the first. It subtracts the only Reason on which our Objection is founded. Attention to Interests of particular states. Dependencies not parts. Government of Republics over their Dependencies. As to second they are selected by the same King equal to all his subjects. Despotism will be thought better than such a Dominion of fellow Citizens. As to the 3 absolutely perpetually confirmed afterwards by the Confederation. Having endeavoured to remove these Objections I now pass to the Consideration of the System on Policy and Justice.

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