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title:“Richard Henry Lee to Patrick Henry”
authors:Richard Henry Lee
date written:1789-5-28

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retrieved:Nov. 30, 2023, 9:01 p.m. UTC

Lee, Richard Henry. "Letter to Patrick Henry." Creating the Bill of Rights. Ed. Kenneth R. Bowling and Helen E. Veit. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991. 240-41. Print.

Richard Henry Lee to Patrick Henry (May 28, 1789)

So far as this has gone, I am satisfied to see a spirit prevailing that promises to send this system out free from those vexations and abuses that might have been warranted by the terms of the constitution. It must never be forgotten, however, that the liberties of the people are not so safe under the gracious manner of government, as by the limitation of power Mr. Madison has given notice, that, on Monday s'n-night he will call for the attention of the house to the subject of amendments. I apprehend that his ideas, and those of our convention, on this subject, are not similar. We shall carefully attend to this, and when the plan comes to the senate, we shall prepare to abridge, or enlarge, so as to effect, if possible, the wishes of our legislature. I think, from what I hear and see, that many of our amendments will not succeed, but my hopes are strong that such as may effectually secure civil liberty will not be refused. As two–thirds of the legislatures have refused to apply for a general convention, the Congress, it seems, can constitutionally only submit their propositions of amendments to the legislatures, or to state conventions; but, I suppose, neither of these modes will fail, where the design is more effectually to secure civil liberty; the wish to do which, was, I assure you, the sole reason that could have influenced me to come here,.

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