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inabitants to pass over, and which may be very receding from my duty: And conscious that lan retrimental in case of any invasion or other ound to consider the sihject of a confederation emergency, and hope that due attention may be had of the United States, upon the broad basis of equa!in remedying this evil.
ity, I shall endeavor to discharge this obligation, IV. We return oor thanks to his honor the chief first, by viewing the plan before us, with liberality, justice, for his excellent and patriotic charge de. and with that decency and respect, due to the high livered at the opening of this sessions, and beg the authority from which it is derived; and then, by same, with our presentments, may be forthwith taking the liberty of throwing out my ideas of printed and published.
such terms, as in my opinion are desirable, attainEdward Lightwood, foreman, (l. s.]
able, and likely to forin a beneficial confederation.
The best writers upon government, agree in this Philip Tidyman,
as a political truth; that were the liberties of the Jihn Webb,
(l. 8.) Jolon Creighton,
people are to be preserved, the legislative and ex. (L. S.]
ecutive should ever be separate and distinct; and Henry Samruyes,
(t. s.] John Lyon,
that the first should consist of parts mutuaily form(1.. s.]
ing a check upon each other. Tie consuls, sejale Samuel Legare,
and people, consti'uted suc'i a government in Rome: Josiah Bonneau,
The king, lords and commons, erecied such a gor. Samuel Dunlap,
ernment in Britain. The first, one of the best of John Rivers,
antiquity-the last, the most perfect system, the Robert Murrell, jun.
wit of man ever devised: But both, as it is the case James Witter, jun.
with all things temporal, lost their capability of ac. William Royall,
(L. s.] Benjamin Edings,
tion, and changed their very nature. (LS.)
We are about to establish a confederate l goJudge Drayton's Speech. vernment which I religiously hope will last for The speech of the hon. William Henry Drayton, e89. ages. And, I must be pardoned when I say, that rhief justice of South Carolina, delivered on the this government does not appear likely to be form. twentieth January, 1778, in the general assemblyresolved into the committee of the whole, upon the ed upon those principies, which the wisest men articles of the confederution of the United States have deemed, and which long and invariable exof America.
perience prove, to be the mosi secure defences to Mr. Chadema..--A plan of a consederation of liberty. The congress seem to have lost sight of the United States of America, is at length by con- this wise mode of government: At least it is cer. gress, given to the continent: A subject of as high tain, that they have rejected it. I lament their de. importance as can be presented to their attention. cision: bave apprehensions for the consequences. Upon the wise formation of this, their independen. Into their own hands, they appear inclined to ascy, glory and happiness ultimately depend. The sume almost all the important powers of governplan is delivered abroad for private and public in- ment. The second article speaks of the sovereignformation: It is sent to us for consideration. Sir, ty of the respective states, but by the time we ar. my mind labors under the load that is thus thrown rive at the last, scarce the shadow of sovereignupon it.-Millions are to experience the effects of ty remains to any. “No two or more States shall the judgment of those few, whom the laws per enter into any treaty,” but by consent of congress mit to think and to act for them in this grand bu- .... nor shall any body of forces be kept up by siness. Millions-posterity innumerable, will bless any state, in time of peace, except such number or curse our conduct!-Their happiness or misery only," as congress shall deem requisite ..."110 vesdepend upon us--their fate is nos in our hands! sels of war, shall be kept up in time of peace by I almost tremble, while I assist in holding the im- any state, except such number only," as congress portant balance!—But sir, the great disposer of sball deem necessary..."nor shall any state grant all things, las placed us in this important period, commissions 10 any ships or vessels of war, except pregnant with vast events. He has called us forth it be after a declaration of war by,” Congress-to legislate for the new world; and to endeavor and, these are great and humiliating restrictions to bind the various people of it, in durable bands upon their sovereignty. It is of necessity, that the of friendship and union. We must obey: and 1 sovereignty of the states should be restricte i- but trust we shall obey, with courage and integrity. I would do this with a gentle hand. Catinot a good Actuated by these principles, 1 am incapable of confederation be had, without these bumiliating
restrictions? I think it may. However, independ consider the subsequent provisn, worded in these ent of the settlement of this point; the two last most peremptory terms, that "no treaty of com. restrictions require another observation. From merce shall be made whereby the legislative power the first of them, it ought to be presumed, that up of the respective states shall be restrained from im. on & vacancy in any of the vessels of war, kept up posing such imposts and duties on foreigners, as their by any state in time of peace by the permission of own people are subject to, or from prohibiting the congress, the state to which they belong shall in erportation or importation of any species of goods time of peace, be at liberty to issue a new com. or commodities whatsoever." I know, that the role mission: But if this is to be presumei, the senti- of construction in law, is capable of warranting ment ought to have been precisely expressed; for it is the meaning I have extended to the first clause, obvious, a doubt upon this matter, may arise from and of giving efficacy to both: But then it.must, the restriction, that no state shall grant conmis. Jelestroy the positive terms in the second, qualifying sions to any ships or vessels of war, ercept it be af. by giving them an operation only respecting trea. ter a declaration of war. These clauses, if we ties of commerce, which shall be nade exclusive and give dae efficacy to the signification of words, re- indepenılent of the foreign stipulations of congreg ally clash-at least displaying an ambiguity, they in treaties already proposed. And unless this ride require a rule of construction, that must destroy Cakes place, the first clause is absolutely in effect the peremptoriness of words. A rule which ought repealed, by that which is subsequent. We expe. not to be admitted into an instrument of this kind; rimentally know, that men will not always admit for it should be maturely considered; and it may that to be reason, which really is so; and that where be precisely worded, without the formality in a there is a doubt, they will obstinately contend for, statute law.
and persist in opposite constructions. Those two There seems to be a dangerous inaccuracy in that clauses will undoubtedly admit of contention; and part of the sixth article, prohibiting the states re.
the least consequence that can arise, will be, either spectively from entering into any conference with that the first clause must be considered us repeal. any king, prince or state. I presume this ought ed, or the natural import of the positive terms in to be understood, to respect a foreign state only:
the last must be destroyed, and qualified. And But it may be insisted upon, that the probibition independent of these disagreeable alternatives, the includes even the United States. And why should
last clause appears to be an intolerable clog to fo. not iwo or more of these bave uny conference | reign negociacion...-I could wish here to finish par.. would have the doubt absolutely destroyed.
ticularizing matier of doub:: but it is necessary to The third section of the article now under my main tendency of these objections.
select one instance more, and then I will show the observation, declares, that "no state shall lay any
In the fourth section of the ninth ar: icle, con. imposts or duties, which may interfere with any
gress is vested with the power of “regulating the stipulations in treaties, entered into by congresserade and managing all affairs with the Indians, nnd with any king, prince or state, in pursuance of any
members of any of the states, provided that the treaties already proposed by congress to the courts
legislative right of any state within its own limits, of France and Spain:" And I must contrast this, with the provision in the ninth article,“that noirea.
be not infringed or violated." I much approve
the grant, but I confess I do not understand the ty of commerce shall be made whereby the legis.
grani and proviso combined. For I cannot conceive, lative power of the respective siates shall be re
in what inanner the legislative right of a sluts strained from imprising such imposts and duties within its own limits, can be infringed, by an act on foreigners, as their own people are subject to, of congress relative to Indians not members of any or from probibiling the esportation or impor state; and therefore not within the limits of any so as tation of any species of goods or commodities
to be subject to the operation of its legislative right. whatsoever."....I am of opinion, we are to un. derstand from the first of these clauses, that no
It is of no moment with me, whether the doubt3 state shall lay any imposts or duties, which may inier. I have raised, are deemed obvious and importa, fere with the present foreign stipulations of con
or rather refined and of little consequence. Grail', gress, in treaties already proposed; and that such, and it must be admitteil, that they have the up:. stipulations, free of such interference, may be con peurance of doubts-1 ask no more. The house cluded by treaty: But this latter meaning, is not and interest of Americu require, that their grund expressed. Indeed a great doubt arises, whether/uct of confederalion, should be a puble munun.ent, this be the true intent of ibal clause, when wel tree, as far as human wisdom can enable it iu wo
from defect and Aaw: Every thing unnecessary, through which the free white inhabitants of that should be critically removed---every appearance of state are by law entitled – This article also prodoubt, should be carefully eradicated out of it. It vides for the "removal of property imported into is not to be thought, but that the present congress any state;" but the removal of property acquired clearly understand the confederation. But other in it, into that "of which the owner is an inhabi. congresses will look for the spirit of the law. This tant,” is neglected. Has not the owner an equal “will then be the result of their good or bad logic; right to enjoy at bome, the last kind of property as and this will depend on their good or bad digestion; the first? The provision in behalf of the congress, on the violence of their passions; on the rank and or a state, is manifestly in contradistinction, to condition of the partics, or on their connections that in favor of a private owner. with congress; and on all those little circumstances,
The fifth article directs, that delegates shall be which change the appearance of objects in the
annually appointed to meet in congress, on the Auctuating mind of man.” Thus thought the illus- first Monday in November; and this is a matter retrious marquis Beccaria, of Milan, a sublime phi- quiring particular attention. Our climate instructs Josopher, reasoning on the interpretation of laws.
118, that the general assembly should make their I must be permitted to continue bis ideas, yet a
long and important session in winter; and but a little further upon this subject---they are so exacte
short one in summer, rather to finish than begin Jy in point. He says, “there is nothing more dan
even common business. Indeed this is essented to gerous than the common axiom: The spirit of the
by the members, and of course but few, and those laws is to be considered. To adopt it, is to give way too, in the vicinity of Charleston, attend the sumto the torrent of opinions.” “When the code of
mer sitting, which cannot even with prudence be laws is once fixed, it should be observed in the
had between the months of July and November, literal sense.” “When the rule of right which when then, sir, are the delegates to be elected ought to direct the actions of the philosopher, as for the November congress? Are they to be chowell as the ignorant, is a matter of controversy, sen in the summer session; and in a very thin house not of fact, the people are slaves to the magis of course? Congress cannot intend this—our coun. trates."...Is it not the intention of the confedera
try cannot admit of it: because such delegates, a tion, that the people shall be free?..Let it tben be
representation of the highest nature, should ever be adapted to the meanest capacity --let the rule of
chosen in a full house, as the most obvious sign right be not matter of controversy, but of fact--let
that they are the real delegates of the people. Nor the confederation be understood according to that
can it be expected, they should be chosen in Jan. stict rule by which we understand penal laws.
uary, the time, which the climate and local cir. The confederation is of at least much import
cumstances point out, as the most proper for beo ance to America, as penal laws are in a small so.
ginning our long and important session. For this ciety-safety to the people is the object of both. would be reducing us to the necessity of appointIn a word, the spirit of laws, lays down this maxim,
ing delegates, almost twelve months before they that “in republics, the very nature of the constitu.
were to serve-a measure neither necessary, nor tion requires the judges to follow the letter of the law.
to be admitted, if we can avoid it. Those months The fourth articles declares, "ihat the free in. comprehend an inclement summer and autumn; and habitants of each of these states, paupers, vaga- death or sickness may destroy the intended reprebonds and fugitives from justice excepted, shall sentation: In which case the state may not, by the be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free united voice of the people, be represented in con. citizens in the several states:" A position, in my gress from the beginning of November to the midopinion, absolutely inadmissible. Would the peo- dle of February—an event, that might be of fatal ple of Massachusette, have the free Negroes of consequences. I shall therefore be very glad to see, Carolina, eligible to their general court? Can it either the month of February, March or April sub. be intended, that the free inhabitants of one state, stituted instead of November. These reasons will al. shall have power to go into another, there to vote so support me, in objecting to that part of the same for representatives in the legislature! - And yel article, relative to the recal of delegates, within their these things are clearly included in that clause. 1 year. A thin house may cast an unmerited censure think there ought to be no doubt, but that the upon a worthy delegate. I do not wish to see such free inhabitants should be white, and that such of a power existing. Not that I expect if there was one state, should be entitled to the privileges and such, that it would be abused, but we ought, as immunities in another, only by the same means far as we can, to guard against the possible abolse
of power. And, in addition to these principal ob.jpected, that general assessment will ascertain, jections against the fifth article, I must, add, that the true value? More or less than this, ought not I think it is utterly impolitic, to exclude a mem. to be rated: In the first case, the state would be ber of congress from being nominated to a commis. injured in the last, the other states would be desion under the United States: The clause upon frauded; and that course should be taken, which this subject is rather dark. Many a delegate, may seems most likely to avoid this Sylla and Charyb. be able to render much more important service to dis. All movements in politics, as in mechanics, the confederacy, in such a station, than in congress are difficult and hazardous in proportion to their
- the occasion of such service may be pressing complexedness. Now, in order to raise the gene. as fit a person out of congress may not then beral aid, a complex motion of government is neces. known-a member of congress may be most capa. sary. First, to assess the value of the land-then ble of the station, because possessed of the secrets to ascertain the sum to arise from it-and then, to of congress and shall the service of such a man raise the sum, by a variety of taxes, according to be lost to the confederacy, merely because he is a the discretion of the legislature. Is such a com. member of congress! The answer is obvious I think plicated motion to raise the aid desirable, especial. --No, but let his acceptance of the commission va-lly when it cannot possibly be done with equality cate his seat, and render him incapable of a re- to the several states; and also, when another prin. election during the time he holds it.
ciple is at hand, perfectly simple in its nature, just
and equal in its operation, and is the allowed criI have already said, the sovereignty of the states
terion to ascertain the proportion that is desired! should be restricted with a gentle hand: I now
I have been given to understand, that a capitation add it ought to be restricted, only in cases of abso
throughout the United States, was in contempla. late necessity.---What absolute necessity is there,
tion of congress; and I have ever understood from the that congress should have the power of causing
most approved writers upon this subject, that the the value of all granted land, to be “estimated ac
true riches and strength of a state were to be rated cording to such mode, as they shall from time to
in proportion to the number of people sustained in direct?” Congress should have no power, but what
it. I would then have this, the criterion of the is clearly defined in the nature of its operation.--
public aid from each state. It is, in my humble But I am absolutely against the position, that the
opinion, in every respect preferable to the other. public aids shall be raised by the several states,
The criterion may be ascertained, and the tax in proportion to the value of their granted lands,
raised by one act of government. Such a criterion buildings and improvements. At the first blush
and mode of taxation, has long been in use in some of this proposition, nothing seems more equitable:
parts of this co
ent; and it is best, under a new But viewing the subject with more attention, I think I see, that it is unequal, injurious and impoli- government, to continue customs in use under the
old, as long as they are salutary and practicabletic. It is unequal, because it seems to be in vain
this is the north point in my political compass. If to expect, that such lands, f&c. will be equally as
we can attach the people, by esempting them from sessed in their true value. To have any chance of doing this, the assessors must actually know every is the soundest policy to do 80; for this interests
old impositions, such as quit rents in particular, it acre; and the multitude of them must have an equal
them in support of the new establishment: But we judgment: But can either be even hoped for? Do
cannot be too cautious in trying projects of a conve not positively know, that this mode of assess
trary nature. I said, the capitaiion criterion of ment does not answer the end..-an equal and just
proportion, was in every respect preferable to the assessment of the value? The assessors in Charles.
land assessment: I now add, that it will be an imton, are men of knowledge, diligence and integrity, and is it not notorious, that the landed property inhabitants, to be taken in order to rate the mili.
portant check upon the numeration of the white in Charleston, although minutely known, and with.
tary quota of each state; and this is a very material in a small circle is unequally valued? Shall we,
reason in support of the capitation criterion-we with our reason in full vigor, wish to extend to
cannot well have too many proofs, to establish the an immense circle, & principle that we are sensi.
true number of white inlsabitants. ble fails us even in a small one? Is there any cer. tain criterion of value? Does not value altogether The mode of trial of disputes between any two depend on opinion, imagination, caprice? Hence or more states seems full of delay, and therefore it is, that we see the ideas of men upon this mat. it ought to be amended. The fifth article provides, ter, infinitely wide. How then can it be ex• that the representation of each state, shall not be
less than two delegates: But the mode of trial spe to each of the quotas; and they rank with regi. cifies, that in a certain case, "congress shall name mental officers. I cannot see the sbadow of u three persons out of each of the United States, from good reason, why the states should not have the whom the judges shall be selected. Now, a state appointment of all officers necessary to complete may be represented by only two delegates, and their respective quotas. Their bonor, interest and then, the trial cannot be had, and considering the safety arc immediately and primarily effected, by expense of paying delegates—the inconvenience of the proper formation and regulation of their quo. their attendance upon congress at a distance from tas. Their respective spheres of action, being their private affairs, and from constant experience, within a very small circle, in comparison of that, a bare representation is oftener to be expected, in which the congress preside; they must of consethan a supernumerary one. If it is meant, the quence be enabled to view objects at a nearer disthree shall be taken from the people at large, tance-to penetrate into the characters and abili. which I will not imagine to be the case, a court ties of candidates, and to make a proper choice may be picked; and therefore, that plan ought not with more accuracy and precision, than congress to be heard of.—In this case, I would prefer judges can be supposed to do. They will leave enough during good behavior, eminent for their knowledge upon their hands, in actuating the great machine in the law of nations; and who should be obliged of government. Their attention necessarily en to assign at large, the reasons upon wbich they gaged in general and important affairs, ought not ground their decrees.
to be permitted to be drawn off, by those inferior The congress would be vested with the sole and objects which can more minutely and therefore bet. exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy ter be examined by the respective states. This and value of coin struck by the authority of the resought to be a fundamental maxim in the confede. spective states; and of fixing the standard of rated policy. There is justice in it; and I will be weights and measures throughout the U. States: bold to say, it arises from principles of true wisBut I see no necessity for such delegation. To re. dom. It will display a confidence of the part of gulate the alloy and value of coin is one of the congress in the several states; and this must most distinguishing prerogatives of sovereignty, be the grand basis of their independency and free. nor can any of the united states part with it with dom. We do not mean, unnecessarily to delegate out esposing itself to be drained of specie. Did any part of our sovereignty: We are willing to sa. we not a few years ago, encrease the value of dol. crifice only such parts of it, as are necessary to lars and half johannesses, in order to retain those be sacrificed for the general safety. In sbort, we coins; and shall we now part with the very' abili:y enter into this confederacy, on the same principle of retaining coin among us? The balance of trade only, that men enter into society. may be against us, then remittances will be made
But independent of this position, as a matter in coin, and our produce will be left upon our bands. of right, I will consider the claim upon the footIt is our business to endeavor to reverse the case, ing of common prudence and experience. Whenand I hope we shall, by refusing to vest the con. ever congress sit, there will be a number of pergress with a power that we have hitherto been able sons, especially frum the nearer states, soliciting to exercise ourselves with advantage in a time of offices: They will form acquaintances with the necessity.–Nor do I see any reason for our resign. members; and we know the common effect of such ing the power of fixing the standard of our weights connections. In consequence, congress may apand measures. The states are very competent to point even an unexceptionable person, as to his this business. Let the weights and measures be character and capacity, to a post in a state in which ever so variable in the several states, the price of he has no cornections, and of which he is not a commodities will ever be adequate to the varia. member: This may occasion an envy against the tion in the respective markets.
officer, even to the detriment of the public service; Congress desire to be invested with the “ap. and a displeasure against congress, for baving pointing all officers in the land forces, excepting made, as it may be deemed, an appointment inju. regimental officers.” And far from seeing any ab. rious to those individuals of that stale, who were solute necessity for their having such a power, 1 in every respect capable of the office, and whom can see no degree of common propriety to war- the public would wish to see in it. Or congress rant the claira. "The several siates are to raise may be induced to appoint a member of the stale, the regiments composing the land forces. Deputy but such a one as the people never would bare staff officers in particular are absolutely necessary chosen, because they know him to be unequal to