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title:“Theodore Sedgwick to Samuel Henshaw”
authors:Theodore Sedgwick
date written:1789-4-6

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:00 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Feb. 24, 2021, 11:37 p.m. UTC

Sedgwick, Theodore. "Letter to Samuel Henshaw." Creating the Bill of Rights. Ed. Kenneth R. Bowling and Helen E. Veit. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991. 228-29. Print.
Harvard University

Theodore Sedgwick to Samuel Henshaw (April 6, 1789)

In your obliging letter of the 25th. ult. you are pleased to observe that many people in this district within the compass of your information have several objections to my being a representative in the national government. I thank you for that frankness and friendship which you discover in naming the objections, and for your candor & delicacy in observing on them; and I shall endeavor to give you the satisfaction required.
You observe that the primary objection is, "that I have not publickly declared my sentiments in favor of amending the national constitution of government; and that therefore the people conclude I am against any amendments at all." I am not, my dear sir, answerable for such conclusions—1They may be drawn with equal propriety against the objectors themselves, and against every person in the district who has not publickly declared himself to be of different sentiments. My friends and acquaintances know and all with whom I have had the pleasure of conversing on the subject know, that I have been and am now a zealous advocate for many amendments. Before the constitution was ratified by this state, I did every thing in my power to forward its adoption; because I then thought and do now think that the happiness, the permanent happiness of the people would be established by it. Not the happiness of any professional order of men, or of the great [illegible] but of the bulk of citizens—of the various artizans and innumerable yeomanry of the county. Sure I was in my mind if government could begin to operate on the leading principles of the constitution, the farmer, the manufacturer and the laboring poor would soon reap vast advantages from the efficiency of our national union. But I never once dreamed but what the constitution l would be perfected agreeably to the provision in the 5th. article—And those amendments which will render it more perfect—more congenial to the sentiments and feelings of the PEOPLE who are to live under it and to support it, can never meet with successful oposition from any quarter. But, my friend we must guard against partial or local amendments—Should amendments of this kind which are proposed by some of the states be adopted, the most essential advantages of a commercial nature would be lost to this state.

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