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 (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut
3 (1978)

V. Commentaries on the Constitution, 13 November 1787-7 January 1788,   pp. 456-534


Page 509

V. COMMENTARIES
and their conduct more attentively observed, when the expenses of
government shall be paid by their constituents than while paid by us.
The collector of impost can well afford to pay fifty pounds for
pamphlets to be distributed in New England to prevent any derange-
ment in a system, which enables him to receive two thousand pounds
annually of our property. Perhaps he may expect to be reimbursed, for
surely it would not be unreasonable in a state which receives a tribute
of fifty thousand pounds annually from its neighbors to expend so
trifling a sum to convince them that they were thus fleeced to pre-
serve their liberties. But know, sir, the people of New England are
not willing to purchase your books at such a price, nor are they so
ignorant of political science that the collector of impost for New
York and his train of tidewaiters need remit their usual attentions
to business to give them information. The fact is that the presses in
New England are open to all parties, and a greater number of papers
are distributed weekly for the information of the people than the
whole number of persons of all colors in the Ancient Dominion who
are able to read.
As you have without our application undertaken to advise us, we
on our part will repay you with some information which if properly
improved may be useful.
Know then that the people of New England are a bold, hardy, and
intelligent race of men, who are attached from habit and principle
to a republican government. There is not among us, as you suggest,
any party of men who wish to subvert our liberties. If any individuals
with such inclinations exist, their impotence and folly is their protec-
tion from our resentment. We think that we have just reasons to con-
sider that the real strength and energy of the American character
resides with us. We are proud of what we have accomplished during
the late war-when we reflect that the armies of Britain never entered
our borders without being compelled to flee-that they never resided
one day within our confines when they were not protected by the
cannon of their ships-that our hardy citizens have acquired glory
for themselves and country, in every field of danger from the bleak
and inhospitable regions of Canada to the sickly plains of Carolina.
That our toils have reared the fabric of American greatness, and that
our habits of industry and virtue must preserve American liberty; it
is surely not unreasonable for us to wish for such establishments as
may best enable us to grow great by peaceable and regular means and
acquire property by directing the exertions of our industry to the
best advantage.
Our country is more populous than any other in America, and
though we have not any single article of commerce equal to either
509


Go up to Top of Page