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title:“Notes on Debates by John Lansing”
date written:1787-6-30

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"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. 131-32. Print.

Notes on Debates by John Lansing (June 30, 1787)

Mr. Hamilton left Town this Morning. Brearly—moves that President write to Executive of New Hampshire to send Delegation. Question. New York and New Jersey Ayes-5 Noes I divided. Each State shall have equal Vote.—Wilson—Gentlemen have declared the Reluctance of Eastern States to acceed to national Government.—If a Minority are inclined to separate it never can be on stronger or better Principles. State of Votes now as 22 to go—Shall the one fourth controul the Remainder. Can we forget for whom we form Governments—for Men not imaginary Beings called States. Elseworth—On this Occasion each State has only a preventive Vote— the Minority is not to govern but to prevent its own Destruction—this is not novel—it is useful. It is said the Equality of Suffrage has embarrassed us—Can Gentleman Instance salutary Measure being lost by not having a Majority of States in its Favor. Rhode Island did not defeat Impost under Confederation. If Security be the principal Object of the great States they have it here. All the Reason in favor of national Government founded on Ideas of State Interests having too powerful Operation—as they are permitted to exist they must still influence. Madison—Equality of Representation was dictated by the Necessity of the Times. The larger States cannot be safe unless they have a greater Share in Government. Connecticut has shewn a Disregard to her fœderal Compact—She has declined complying with Requisition. Elseworth—That Connecticut has not complied with Requisition is owing to her superior Exertions during the War—to keep her Regiments compleat she incurred an enormous Expence—She was exhausted—that was Reason of Delinquency. Sherman—That Legislature of Connecticut did not comply with Requisition is no Impeachment of Congress. If the Argument is to have any Weight shew that the State frustrated it in Congress. Davie-90 Members are proposed for Senate—As States accede the Numbers will be much increased—this will embarrass—they ought to be less. The Preservation of the State Governments is the only Object of Confederation. but if each State has a single Vote it will defeat the whole System. Wilson—he subscribes to Justice of Davies Remark—the Senate ought to consist of a few. In apportioning Representation he will agree that every 100,000 Persons shall be represented by one Member and that every State having less should have one. Franklin—We must do like a Joiner in making a Table—take off the Protuberances—pare the different Opinions to a common Standard. He has prepared a Proposition with that Intention—Each State ought to have a certain Number of Votes in Senate. On some Occasions an Equality of Suffrage to be admitted in States, in others to be apportioned. but thinks Equality is inequitable. In the last War the U. States and King of France had not an equal Vote in the Disposition of the Money expended for common Defence! King—Every Vice of the present System will be perpetuated by adopting Amendment—We subject our minds to imaginary Evils—Is much affected—has heard no Arguments in Favor of it. Dayton—If Gentlemen will substitute Declamation for Argument it is not surprising that they are unattended to—A Number of Reasons forcible in their Nature have been assigned in Favor of Amendment—they have not been answered. He is convinced this can never receive Approbation of the People. Bedford—Will rather agree to consolidate Government than apportion Representation unequally. Ambition and Avarice influences us—We represent the different Interests of our States—the larger States wish to aggrandize themselves at the Expence of the others. The Language of the greater States is give us Power we will exert it for your Benefit. If a Combination does not destroy us a Rivalship of the large States will. The smaller States are entrapped—you get a Representation under one View you give into another. Is a Breach of the Union so trifling as to be told with a Smile—that a few States will confederate—they dare not—It is only calculated to intimidate. The People expect an Amendment of the Confederation—they will be surprised at our System—they are not ripe for it.1 King—When Scotland and England united the same Arguments were adduced—Their Rights however still exist. If there is a Power which from its Prevalence may absorb all others, it will have that Effect whether you confederate or not. Adjourned till Monday next.

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