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

Page View

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 658

IV. AFTERMATH OF RATI".FICATION
upon some alteration in government which will be peaceably adopted
by the people.
1. This item was not reprinted in any other Pennsylvania newspaper and was
reprinted only once outside the state: in the Maryland Journal on 29 January.
A Citizen of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Gazette, 23 January"
In the list of the signers of the protest of the minority of the Con-
vention against the Federal Constitution, we find six (and three of
them the only speakers against it in the Convention)2 whose names
are upon record as the friends of paper money, and the advocates for
the late unjust test law of Pennsylvania, which for near ten years
excluded the Quakers, Mennonists, Moravians, and several other sects
scrupulous against war, from a representation in our government.
In the Minutes of the second session of the Ninth General Assembly
of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we find in the 212th page the
following persons among the yeas, who voted for the emission of paper
money, which has, by its depreciation, so much injured the trade and
manufactures of the state, and which, by impairing its funds, has
weakened the strength of our government, and thereby destroyed the
hopes and support of the public creditors. The persons are William
Findley, John Smilie, Robert Whitehill, Adam Orth, Nicholas Lutz,
Abraham Lincoln.
In the 302d page of the same book, we find a report declaring the
Quakers, Moravians, etc. who, from conscientious scruples, decline
taking part in the war, to be "enemies to liberty and the rights of
mankind-British subjects, aliens and cowards-who had no share in
the declaration of independence, in the formation of our constitution,
or in establishing them by arms"; which report is agreed to, as appears
in the list of the yeas, by the same William Findley, John Smilie,
Robert Whitehill, Adam   Orth, Nicholas Lutz, Abraham  Lincoln.
These men certainly are not in earnest when they talk and write
of liberty and of the sacred rights of conscience. Their conduct con-
tradicts all their speeches and publications; and, if they were truly
sensible of their folly and wickedness in opposing the new government
instead of trying to excite a civil war (in which they will bear no
more part than they did in the late war with Great Britain), they ought
rather to acknowledge, with gratitude, the lenity of their felLow citi-
zens in permitting them to live among us with impunity after thus
transgressing and violating the great principles of liberty, government,
and conscience.
In the Centinel No. X13 we are told that General Washington (un-
658


Go up to Top of Page