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

A. Responses to ratification and to The Dissent of the Minority,   pp. 646-669

Page 659

der God the deliverer of our country) is a poor creature with many
constitutional infirmities; and that he has, from ambitious motives,
united with the conspirators of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey,
and Connecticut to enslave his country. Can human nature sink so
low as to be guilty of such base ingratitude to a man to whom America
owes her independence and liberties? or will the more grateful sons
of America suffer the author of such a declaration to continue to in-
sult their opinions and feelings? There was a time when the liberties
of our country were at the mercy of this great and good man. There
was a time when a defrauded and clamorous army, devoted to his
will, and a Congress without power of credit would have rendered it
an easy matter for him to have established a monarchy in the United
States. But how nobly did he behave in this alarming crisis of our af-
fairs. He composed the turbulent and punished the mutinous spirit
of the army. He strengthened by his influence the hands of Congress
and finally bequeathed, as his last legacy to his country, his parting
advice to form such a union as would forever perpetuate her liberties.
In the same Centinel we are told, that anarchy and a civil war
are less evils than the despotism (as he calls it) of the new government.
It would be an affront to the understandings of my readers to con-
trovert these two opinions. I shall only ask the author of them,
whether he will risk himself, at the head of a company of his Carlisle
white boys, in case he should succeed in his beloved scheme of exciting
a civil war, or whether he would not rather shelter himself under
a safe office, as he did during the late war, until the bloody storm
was over?
The people of Pennsylvania have been so often told of an appeal to
arms, when power and office (not liberty) were in danger, by the
leaders of the old Constitutional junto, that they now regard the
threat no more than the scolding of the apple women in Market
Street, when they are disturbed by the country people on a market
day. They remember how much these men boasted, and how little
they did, during the late war. They know full well that not only
wealth, but that numbers, virtue, courage, and military skill are all
on the federal side of the question in Pennsylvania. They know, that
the brave and tried militia of Delaware and New Jersey will not be
neutral spectators of a contest in Pennsylvania, which involves in it
the safety of a government, which they have unanimously and joy-
fully adopted. They, therefore, pity the poor madmen who sport these
threats and anticipate no other consequence from their being carried
further than the certain ruin of two or three seditious individuals in
the city of Philadelphia.
In . republic, the majority should certainly govern. Now a majority

Go up to Top of Page