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Jensen, Merrill; Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Pennsylvania
(1976)

C. Public and private commentaries on the Constitution, 10 October-10 November 1787,   pp. 180-223


Page 184

II. DEBATE OVER CONSTITUTION
may go to the managers of the great mill, who assemble themselves
weekly together on the fifth day of every week, and there continue
to receive from them corn, that we may live as beseemeth us, for lo!
it is there in great abundance, and whosoever can borrow his neigh-
bor's note may have thereof as much as he willeth. Blessed be the
mill where corn may be thus had in plenty!"
4. So they forgat themselves and did eat, and consume, and waste
corn in abundance, but thou also knowest that while their hearts
were merry, destruction came upon many of them as a whirlwind,
and as a thief in the night, and that in their fall many who had
given and endorsed notes fell also. Nay, that so great was the rage for
wasting of corn, that every man was upbraided and esteemed as
nothing who wasted not corn in like manner with themselves, until
it became general throughout all the country and regions round
about-insomuch that notwithstanding the managers of the mill whom
thou hast appointed, required for surety such as they esteemed to
have much corn of their own in store to pay withal, and never let
any of the sons of men fall in an unfavorable moment, while our
notes or endorsements were thought to be insecure, yet even we are
in danger of losing corn also in some cases.
5. These things, and others of like kind, have brought on a day of
general calamity. There is no corn in our land to repay the corn
which was lent to us by other nations in the day that we went out
to battle against our enemies, and every man's inquiry hath been
pursuing the cause thereof. Now thou knowest that as it is unnatural
for all men to blame their own folly as the cause of their adversity,
so the people sought to lay the blame on something else.
6. And it came to pass that it was not long ere the covenant [Arti-
cles of Confederation] which had been made between and amongst
the twelve tribes and the tribe of Manasseh [Rhode Island], in the
day that the Lord delivered them and saved them from the hands
of their enemies, was held out [by] many as the cause of all the
evils which had come upon the land, and they cried out every man
saying, let us alter this covenant, for it hath caused much evil, as ye
all behold even at this day.
7. Thou rememberest that under this covenant a wall was built
around our mill, and some supposed it would have secured it from
the people, but it was weak and the people trampled it down, more-
over they said that the wall stood upon improper ground and withal
was of none effect.
8. Now therefore let us take away the covenant from before the
eyes of the people, and let us make a firm league, so shall we have a
184


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