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Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Moore, Timothy D. (Historian); Lannér-Cusin, Johanna E.; Schoenleber, Charles H.; Reid, Jonathan M.; Flamingo, Margaret R.; Fields, David P. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Maryland (1)
(2015)

I. The debate over the Constitution in Maryland, 17 September-30 November 1787,   pp. 3-67


Page 63

COMMENTARIES, 25 NOVEMBER 1787
for it-For my own part, I am for taking it, altho' I think there are
some points objectionable-What I dislike most, is the power given to
each state to put a negative on the erection of any new State within its
Lines-this matter had better have been referred to the foederal Leg-
islature entirely-for the State which thinks itself injured by a loss of
territory, finding itself supported by the force of the whole Union, will
be apt to indulge the passions of interest & resentment, & prefer a
civil war to the common good-Another difficulty will be the Judicial
power-I am afraid some confusion will arise from the foederal Courts
taking cognizance of all disputes even on Bonds, book debts &c be-
tween Citizens of different States-I cannot see any necessity for this
innovation, & if exercised in its full extent, it may produce conse-
quences destructive of many old established principles in the several
States-I could say more on this head than time now permits-I am
a friend to the new System, & therefore in conversation I avoid entering
deep into the Judicial department. Were I its enemy, I think I could
erect a battery on this ground which would shake it-The truth is,
there are too many people who abhor all laws which will enforce the
payment of Debts-And if the people were made to understand in
Maryland, that under the foederal System, there would be more vigor
& dispatch than under the State laws, I am apprehensive they would
be alarmed-
There are many very good things in the proposed plan of govern-
ment-& I observe in general, that men of property & Integrity are
for it-When the System gets in motion, the legislature will have it in
their power to alter some of the exceptionable parts-& they should
be particularly careful to make such arrangements as will put the laws
of property in each state, as near their present situation as possible-for
men will not bear quick changes in matters of this kind-
Our Assembly are sitting-the Senate had not made a house when
I last heard-There will be no difference about calling a Convention-
A motion has been made in the house of Delegates, to call the repre-
sentatives to the late Convention before them-this I take to be a stroke
of the antifoederalists4-They want the Attorney General to harrangue
on the mischievous intrigues & plots of the Convention5-On this subject
he is almost frantic & will talk for hours-I want to get Information
on this important business, & shall thank you for any good publications
on either side of the question....
1. RC, Coxe Papers, Series II, Correspondence and General Papers, PHi.
2. See Coxe to Tilghman, 23 October, note 2 (above).
3. Impeachment is not mentioned in the Maryland constitution of 1776, but officers
could be removed from office, banished from the state, or disqualified from holding any
other office (Articles XXXIX, LIV, Thorpe, III, 1697, 1700).
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