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title:“Notes on Debates by John Lansing”
authors:John Lansing, Jr.
date written:1787-6-7

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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. 57-58. Print.

Notes on Debates by John Lansing (June 7, 1787)

Met according to Adjourm't. 5th Resolution considered. C. Pinkney—the Number of which the second Branch was to consist ought previously to be fixed. If each of the smaller States is to have one will amount at least to 86. Dickenson—Supposed Legislatures ought to elect—he was for House of Peers or something similar. He moved the following Resolve— Resolved that the Members of the second Branch of the national Legislature ought to be elected by the Individual Legislatures. Mr. Williamson moved that after Legislature the words consisting of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . should be inserted. Supposes 100 Senators would be agreed to—he would be content to reduce them to 25. Mr. Wilson—As Convention have already voted a national Government fœderal Principles cannot obtain. If so, we ought to try to procure different Views and different Sentiments—Representation cannot be proportioned by Numbers—Propagation by best Calculation so rapid as to double Number of Inhabitants ever 25 Years—Of Consequence if Representation encreased in proportion to Population the older the Government the weaker and more debilitated would it be. He proposed a Division into Districts for Representation—that Division to be permanent. Mr. Janifer—Representation ought to be proportioned by Contribution. Mr. Mason—Can Gentlemen suppose that so extended an Empire can be benefited in proportion to the Burthens to which they submit to support it.—Is not for annihilating Individual States—a large Majority of the Legislature on most local Questions cannot be properly informed of those Circumstances which perhaps are indispensibly necessary to enable them to form a Judgment. Maddison—If each State retained its Sovereignty an Equality of Suffrage would be proper, but not so now. Dickenson—National Government like the Sun the Centre of the planetary System should rule attract pervade and brighten all the States—but cannot abolish State Governments. Wilson—Does not wish to extinguish State Governments—but believes they will neither warm or brighten the Sun—Rome in her most powerful Imperial State could not effectually pervade and protect every Part of its Dominion nor could the U. S. Moved by Mr. Wilson—that the second Branch be elected by the People of certain Districts to be formed for that Purpose. And that the Resolution be postponed.1 Mr. Maddison same Opinion. Question put. Negatived. Question on original Clause as moved by Dickenson. Carried unanimously. Adjourned till to Morrow.

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