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Jensen, Merrill; Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Pennsylvania
2 (1976)

A. The assembly calls the state convention,   pp. 58-111


Page 74

I. ASSEMBLY AND CONSTITUTION
therefore hope gentlemen will withdraw their opposition and let a
degree of unanimity prevail, which may be an inducement to others
steadily to cooperate in perfecting a work, that bids fair to relieve our
embarrassments and carry us to a height of prosperity we have hitherto
been strangers to.
[Alexander J. Dallas' report of Clymer's speech, Pennsylvania
Herald, 2 October (Mfm:Pa. 74): Sir, The resolutions before you
may be divided into two propositions-first, whether the House will
call a convention, and secondly, in what manner it shall be done.
On the first of these propositions the House is certainly prepared to
decide, and the other may be left till the afternoon. I therefore
propose a division of the question in order to accommodate the argu-
ments of the gentlemen who think it necessary to consult upon the
times and places of holding the election.]
HUGH H. BRACKENRIDGE: Before the division of the propositions,
I had made up my mind to be in favor of the postponement; but it
now appears clear to me, that we may decide upon the general prin-
ciple, to wit, shall a convention of the people be called? With respect
to this point, every member must have made up his mind fully,
because it is a measure, that from the first was apparent and must
have occupied the attention of every individual who had but seen
the plan. This, as was remarked before, has been on your table
many days, and from its magnitude and importance must have been
a subject of reflection to the members, who wished to perform the
duty they owed to their God, their conscience, and fellow citizens,
so that voting now on a subject already well understood cannot be
difficult; and, in my opinion, we are as well prepared to determine
upon the principle as we shall be after dinner.
ROBERT WHITEHILL: The gentleman from Westmoreland [Hugh
H. Brackenridge], as well as the others who have spoken in favor of
the resolutions, seemed generally of opinion, that they ought to
be adopted without further consideration, concluding that every mem-
ber is prepared to determine on the propriety thereof. But this, sir,
is not the case; for I own, that I have not prepared myself to take
up this business, because I did not expect any notice would be taken
of it for Congress ought to send forward the plan before we do any-
thing at all in this matter. For of what use was sending it forward
to them unless we meant to wait their determination. Now as these
measures are not recommended by Congress, why should we take
them up? Why should we take up a thing, which does not exist?
For this does not exist, that is before us, nor can it until it is ratified
by Congress. I have no doubt for my part, but Congress will adopt
it; but if they should make alterations, and amendments in it, is there
74


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