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

A. Responses to ratification and to The Dissent of the Minority,   pp. 646-669


Page 667

A. RESPONSES TO RATIFICATION/16 FEB.
all that influence which arises from the creating and appointing of
all offices and officers, who can doubt but at a proper occasion they
will succeed in such an attempt? and who can doubt but that men
will arise who will attempt it? Will the doing so be a more flagrant
breach of trust, or a greater degree of violence and perfidy, than hath
already been practiced, in order to introduce the proposed plan? Do
these inconsistent arrangements and contradictory declarations of
power merit the character of candor? Of the same kind, and full as
inconsistent and dangerous, is the first clause of the second Article
compared with the second clause of the second section, we first find
the President fully and absolutely vested with the executive power,
and presently we find the most important and most influential portion
of the executive power, viz., the appointment of all officers vested in
the Senate; with whom the President only acts as a nominating mem-
ber. It is on this account that I have said above that the greatest de-
gree of virtue may be expected in the House of Representatives, for
if any considerable part of the executive power be joined with the
legislature, it will as surely corrupt that branch with which it is com-
bined, as poison will the human body; therefore, though the small
House of Representatives will consist of the natural aristocracy of the
country, as well as the Senate, yet not being dangerously combined
with the executive branch, it hath not such certain influential induce-
ments to corruption. Doth this contradiction justify the character of
candor? To the character of being inconsistent, I shall add that of
being mysterious and hard to be understood, or at least very liable of
being misunderstood. What reader will say that the other persons,
three-fifths of which are to be taken with a view to taxation and rep-
resentation, or the clause respecting the raising of a revenue from, or
prohibiting the importation of persons in the first and ninth sections,
is expressed with candid clearness? If slaves, or emigrant servants only
are designed, why are they not so expressed? Candor certainly re-
quired a manner of expression suitable to the people's uptakings.
I find that most readers believe that the House of Representatives
are certainly to consist of one to 30,000 whereas the truth is they are
to consist of one to 50,000 and may be reduced to one to [?] 00,000
if our future rulers see fit. The number of 30,000 was inserted out
of compliment to General Washington, near the close of their sitting,
who, being confined to his chair, had no vote nor share in the argu-
ments, but was so much displeased with the smallness of the represen-
tation that he requested an alteration. They complimented him with
a nominal change in the ratio, but not with an increased representa-
tion.5 But passing other instances which repeated and attentive read-
ing will discover, I would ask what is meant by the guarantee of a
667


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