University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Leffler, Richard (ed.) / Commentaries on the Constitution, public and private. Volume 4: 1 February to 31 March 1788
16 (1986)

Index,   pp. 540-596


Page 590

COMMENTARIES ON THE CONSTITUTION
We were the first to mention, and to deplore, the frequent miscarriages of
the newspapers, which we supposed were directed to us from the other
States2-We made inquiry into the cause of this miscarriage; and the result
has convinced us, that it was not owing to any mal-conduct in the Post-
Master-General; but might be imputed partly to the neglect of the Print-
ers-and more to the peculation of the persons who carry the mails on
horseback, between Hartford and New-York-who, we are confidently told,
do not scruple to break the bundles, and take from, and sell, the newspa-
pers directed to Printers. These Mail-Carriers, therefore, and the Printers,
are alone blameable.-The former, we are told, will not long be continued
in employ-the latter, we trust, will remedy their part of the evil. However
a radical cure will not be effected until the mails are again carried in the
Stages, as during the time they carried them, no cause of complaint ex-
isted.
What then, it will be inquired, has occasioned the invective against the
Post-Master-General, in the papers? It may be replied-to answer a politi-
cal purpose. Drowning men catch at any thing to keep their heads above
water-So when argument has failed, those who experience the failure, will
also catch at any thing to keep contention alive:-We have, therefore, seen
in the antifederal papers, the most unfounded charges against the Post-
Master-General, (who is esteemed a federalist) of intentionally stopping the
circulation of "antifederal papers"-while the writers in those papers, which
are conducted on the broad plan of impartiality, have patiently waited for
evidence of the culpability of the persons suspected.
Among the instances of mal-conduct in the officers of the Post-office, set
forth by the antifederal writers-the stoppage of the papers, containing the
"Reasons of Dissent of the Minority of the Convention of Pennsylvania," has been
the principal: These writers have not scrupled to assert, that the said "Rea-
sons, &c." were not, in consequence of this malversation, received in this
town, until after the adoption of the Constitution by our Convention-and
that after they were received, they had a most wonderful effect, in turning
people against the federal plan.-The Printers in this town know this to be
a falshood-and it is their duty to undeceive the publick (if, in fact, any
were deceived) respecting it. The Printer of this paper, assures his readers
that he received three copies of these "Reasons," by one mail, and within
ten days after they were signed at Philadelphia-one in Messrs. Dunlap &
Claypoole's paper; another in Mr. Bailey's, and a third printed separately
by Col. Oswald: Other Printers, we suppose, received as many.3
The other charges of partial stoppages, made by these writers (which, by
the by, are all laid at Mr. Hazard's door) are alike ill-founded-and they
will answer no other purpose, than serving to convince the unconvinced
part of the world, of the baseness of that cause, to support which its advo-
cates are obliged to resort to misrepresentations, and to falshoods.
1. Reprinted: Newport Mercury, 19 May (only first two paragraphs); New York Daily
Advertiser, 20 May; New York Independent journal, 21 May; Philadelphia Freeman'sJour-
nal, 28 May; Pennsylvania Mercury, 29 May.
590


Go up to Top of Page