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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 755

COMMENTARIES, 8 MARCH 1790
however speciously and ingeniously it may be built, will tumble into
ruin.-You have time enough to consult about and wisdom enough to
form a plan for establishing public credit, which shall be satisfactory to
the people at large.-To please every one is impossible.-We are in-
formed that your house have, by a large Majority, determined against
making any discrimination between the Original and present holders
of public securities,-that you are upon that part of the Secry's report
which respects the Assumption of the State Debts, and that no debt
prior to the commencement of the war will be considered as a part
thereof, because, I suppose, the admission of debts which accrued be-
fore that period might too much enhance the aggregate debt.-
You have heard of the Act of this State forfeiting such of the State's
securities, given for articles furnished during the war, which were not
exchanged for paper bills at par by certain periods.5 Some persons in
consequence of that Act received paper in exchange for their Securities
and delivered them up into the Treasury of the State,-and others
refused to exchange them, and still hold their Securities.-Will an es-
timate be made of the specie value of the paper received by the first,
and the difference between that and the Specie value of their Securities
be considered as a part of this State's Debt?-and will the Securities
which have not been delivered up come within the description of and
be viewed as State debt?-Upon the principles of Justice I think that
they, who, for fear of loosing the whole of their debt, received in fact
but a part only, ought to have the deficiency made up to them;-and
that they who still hold their securities ought to receive their full value.-
It would be hard indeed if the last should loose their whole debt; be-
cause they refused to submit to a most iniquitous law.-
When the New Constitution shall be adopted the Fed's will do every
thing in their power to prevent an Antifedl. Election to Congress,-
The Convention, after sitting only one week, have adjourned to the
fourth monday in May next to meet in this town.-
It was the determination of the Feds to force the Antis to a decision
on the Constitution but they could not effect it.-When they failed in
that point they moved for an adjournment to the last monday in March;
but could not succede,-they then tried for the fourth monday in April,
here they failed also,-they represented that the State would suffer
great injury if the Constitution was not adopted before the time limited
for the suspension of the navigation act of the U.S. as it respects this
State;6 that the trade of the State would be ruined, a great number of
its inhabit [ant] s be thrown out of employ, and in a word that we should
be involved in the deepest distress;-but it was to no purpose,-the
Antis must have a bill of rights, and a long string of Amendments to
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