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title:“Sherman and Ellsworth to the Governor of Connecticut”
authors:Oliver Ellsworth, Roger Sherman
date written:1787-9-26

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:04 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Oct. 2, 2023, 5:43 p.m. UTC

Ellsworth, Oliver and Roger Sherman. "Letter to the Governor of Connecticut." The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Vol. 3. Ed. Max Farrand. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911. Print.

Sherman and Ellsworth to the Governor of Connecticut (September 26, 1787)

New London, Sept. 26.
The general principles, which governed the convention in their deliberations on the subject, are stated in their address to congress.
We think it may be of use to make some further observations on particular parts of the constitution.
The congress is differently organized: yet the whole number of members, and this state's proportion of suffrage, remain the same as before.
The equal representation of the states in the senate, and the voice of that branch in the appointment to offices, will secure the rights of the lesser, as well as of the greater states.
Some additional powers are vested in congress, which was a principal object that the states had in view in appointing the convention. Those powers extend only to matters respecting the common interests of the union, and are specially defined, so that the particular states retain their sovereignty in all other matters.
The objects, for which congress may apply monies, are the same mentioned in the eighth article of the confederation, viz. for the common defence and general welfare, and for payment of the debts incurred for those purposes.3 I4t is probable that the principal branch of revenue will be duties on imports; what may be necessary to be raised by direct taxation is to be apportioned on the several states, according to the numbers of their inhabitants, and although congress may raise the money by their own authority, if necessary, yet that authority need not be exercised, if each state will furnish its quota.5
The restraint on the legislatures of the several states respecting emitting bills of credit, making any thing but money a tender in payment of debts, or impairing the obligation of contracts by ex post facto laws, was thought necessary as a security to commerce, in which the interest of foreigners, as well as of the citizens of different states, may be affected.
The convention endeavoured to provide for the energy of government on the one hand, and suitable checks on the other hand, to secure the rights of the particular states, and the liberties and properties of the citizens. We wish it may meet the approbation of the several states, and be a mean of securing their rights, and lengthening out their tranquility.
With great respect, we are, Sir, your excellency's Obedient humble servants, Roger ShermanOliver Elsworth,
His excellency gov. Huntington.