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Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Leffler, Richard; Schoenleber, Charles H. (ed.) / Commentaries on the Constitution, public and private. Volume 6: 10 May to 13 September 1788
18 (1995)

Commentaries on the Constitution: public and private,   pp. [1]-367


Page 10

COMMENTARIES ON THE CONSTITUTION
hostile to the liberties of the people, they would rather have endea-
voured to procure the ratification of the constitution by a few, for
instance by the legislatures of the different states. But the truly eq-
uitable mode of deciding on this system, pointed out by the federal
convention, has, like many more of its greatest perfections, been highly
censured.(a) This I only mention to shew that men who are thus capable
of finding fault with its best parts, are very suspicious characters in-
deed, and, if their objections be not the result of ignorance, it is by
no means a breach of charity to conclude that they are enemies to the
peace, liberty, and happiness, of their country.
Finally, let us bear in mind that the people are the sole, the great
source from which all powers delegated to the federal government, by
this truly democratic constitution, are to flow; and that if ever they
be enslaved, it must be by a spontaneous surrender of their liberties;
for they are not only vested with the power of election, of impeach-
ment, and dismission from office for misdemeanors, and of further
punishing the culprits by the violated laws of their country; but they
will always enjoy the invaluable privilege of making such alterations in
their constitution as may, from time to time, be found necessary, still
further to secure those liberties which have been purchased by the
martyrdom of their fathers, and this, too, they will be enabled to effect
in a manner unknown in the political revolutions of other countries-
without the effusion of human blood.
Thus it appears that the incendiaries have neither truth, probability,
nor reason on their side, when they bestow on the chosen patriots of
America the name of conspirators, which I fear is too applicable to
themselves.
Blush, ye well-meaning citizens, who have associated with such men
as are the ringleaders of anti-federalism (alias sedition) in the United
States. Who are they? Let us examine-We must pass over the three
states of Delaware, New-Jersey and Georgia; not even one opposer of
the constitution having been found in the conventions of those states-
In Connecticut nearly one-third were against it; but these like peace-
able citizens and good republicans immediately acquiesced in the de-
cision of the majority-In Massachusetts a considerable part of the
minority have acted the same praise-worthy part, and none now per-
severe in anti-federalism but a few, who were, not long since, enrolled
under the banners of SHAYS.-Who were the opposers of federal mea-
sures in Maryland? None but Luther Martin and his ten followers-Thus
we perceive, that in six of the states which have adopted the consti-
tution, the opposition, comparatively speaking, is almost nothing-In
the convention of Pennsylvania, 'tis true, we have had twenty-three dis-
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