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title:“Notes on Debates by John Lansing”
authors:John Lansing, Jr.
date written:1787-6-26

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:22 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Nov. 30, 2023, 7:53 p.m. UTC

Lansing, John, Jr. "Notes on Debates by John Lansing." Supplement to Max Farrand's The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Ed. James H. Hutson. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987. 119-20. Print.
Photostat, Library of Congress

Notes on Debates by John Lansing (June 26, 1787)

Reed moved to insert nine Years in the Blank.
Madison—The Advantages of Government cannot be extended equally to all—Those remote from Seat of Government cannot be placed in a Situation equally advantageous with such as near it—Distinctions will always exist—that of Debtor and Creditor—Property had made Distinctions in Europe before a Nobility was created—Inequality of Property will produce the same Distinctions here—The Man in affluent Circumstances has different Feelings from the man who daily toils for a Subsistence. The landed Interest has now the Supreme Power—a Century hence the commercial may prevail—The Government ought to be so organized as to give a Balance to it and protect one Order of Men from the predominating Influence of the other.—The Senate ought to represent the opulent Minority1
- -If this is not done the System cannot be durable.2
Sherman—Permanency and Security appear the great Objects of pursuit
—In Connecticut have had annual Elections for 135 years—It has protected Property effectually and no Imputations of Instability on it.
Hamilton—We are now considering the Cause of Democracy—he is attached to a free Government and would chearfully become a Martyr to
it—The occasional Violence of Democracy and the uniform Tyranny of a Despot are productive of the same Consequences—to prevent them he is for tuning the Government high—In the ordinary Progress of Things we must look to a Period as not very remote when Distinctions arising from Property will be greater—You must devise a Repository of the Rights of the wealthy—At Rome after the Institution of the tribunitian Power greater Distinctions arose from the unequal Distribution of Riches and Rich and
Poor were more oppressive Distinctions than patrician and plebeian. Under the Colonial Government of Connecticut its Objects were contracted—but we have taken a new Station—Its Powers ought to be enlarged in Proportion to the Magnitude of the Objects it is intended to embrace. He will therefore go beyond any of the Ideas advocated by either Party.—Is for nine Years.
Wilson—Foreigners in making Treaties will naturally be inclined to wish a permanent Body to treat with—This will give their Measures Respect and Permanency—Great Britain will not make Treaty with us because Congress instable.—2nd Branch have that [?] Power.
On Question Delaware Georgia and Pennsylvania Aye-8 Noes.
Gorham moves six Years one third to go out biennially.
7 Ayes—4 Noes—New York New Jersey South Carolina and Georgia No.
C. C. Pinkney—moves that to receive fixed Stipends be struck out—It is the prevailing Idea that 2nd Branch ought to represent the Wealth of the Nation—If so they ought to serve without Compensation.
Franklin—Is of the same Opinion—We will always be able to command the Attendance of a sufficient Number of Men, whose Wealth will enable them to serve Gratis—On Question 5 Ayes—6 Noes.
Elseworth moves To be paid out of the State Treasurys.
Madison—by making Elections six Years distant from each other we evince a Disposition to make them independent.—This can only be done by a Payment from national Treasury.
Strong—If you fix the Provision it will not comport with oeconimical Ideas of the Day—It will alarm the Public—Let Legislature provide for themselves.
On Question 5 Ayes-6 Noes.
To be paid out of the Treasury of the United States.
Mason—The second Branch is intended as a Check to the democratic Spirit—Would it not be best to insert a Qualification of Estate?
On Question 5 Ayes-6 Noes.
To be ineligible to any Office by any particular State.
On Question 3 Ayes-8 Noes.
Or United States during the Time for which they were elected and for one Year thereafter.
On Question—Unanimously affirmative.
5th Resolve—carried unanimously without Debate.
Adjourned till to Morrow

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