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Kaminski, John P.; Schoenleber, Charles H.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Leffler, Richard; Reid, Jonathan M.; Flamingo, Margaret R.; Lannér-Cusin, Johanna E.; Fields, David P.; Conley, Patrick T.; Moore, Timothy D. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Rhode Island (3)
(2013)

VI. The debate over the Constitution in Rhode Island, 20 January-29 May 1790,   pp. 711-897


Page 897

COMMENTARIES, 29 MAY 1790
and unjust-and have they weighed the Operation of such Duties? While
this City is growing so fast, a large Sum will be paid for your Lime. A
moderate Duty would put an End to the Trade. The Breweries of this
Place and Philadelphia furnish an increasing Vent for your Barley. Your
Cheese, Butter, &c. find their best, and many of your Articles their only
Market in the States. A Preference will be given to the Articles of the
like Kind produced in the States, and you will admit that it ought to
be so. What unknown Blessings attend your State of Disunion, to bal-
ance these grievous Inconveniences, I know not.-I do not believe that
any such exist. Now, in the Name of Peace and Union, which your
Accession would make perfect, is there no Possibility of keeping Men's
Passions quiet long enough to bring these Things before their Eyes? Is
there no one among the good Men who still oppose the Constitution,
and who alone will be heard with entire Confidence, who will shew how
much better he loves his Country than his Party, by warning his Friends
of these Evils, by shewing how weak, how useless and unavailing, how
pernicious and dangerous, any further Opposition will be? Though such
a Man may wear the Name of an Antifederalist, and be ever so obnox-
ious to the adverse Party, I shall not hesitate to pronounce him a Pa-
triot, the Benefactor of his Country, the Preserver of its Peace and
Honour. Men may overcome or despise the Passions of other Men, but
it is the Part of true Magnanimity to overcome one's own-and if your
Opponents should yield to the Duty which they seem manifestly to owe
their Constituents, they will go far to refute an Opinion which many
have adopted, that they do not care what may become of the Interest
of the Public in future, if they can only make Shift to keep in Power. I
confess I feel an Anxiety upon this Subject-I long to see the Union
complete-to see your State joining with the others in those Measures
which I verily believe will make our Nation the most respectable in the
World.-We are Brethren-the State of Discord and Alienation is un-
natural, and ought not to last a Day longer than may be necessary to
employ honest Men of both Parties to put an End to it."
1. For Rhode Island's refusal to send delegates to the Constitutional Convention in
1787, see RCS:R.I., Vol. 1, xxxv-xxxvii, 8-23.
2. See "Rhode Island General Assembly to the President, the Senate, and the House
of Representatives," 19 September 1789 (RCS:R.I., 605-7).
3. See "Congress Considers a Bill to Prohibit Commerce with Rhode Island," 28 April-
1 June 1790 (above).
897


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