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

VI. The Connecticut Convention, 3-9 January 1788,   pp. 535-562


Page 551

VI. CONVENTION
will give some states an opportunty of oppressing others and destroy
all harmony between them. If we would have the states friendly to
each other, let us take away this bone of contention and place it, as
it ought in justice to be placed, in the hands of the general government.
But says an honorable gentleman [James Wadsworth] near me, the
impost will be a partial tax; the Southern States will pay but little
in comparison with the Northern. I ask, what reason is there for this
assertion? Why, says he, we live in a cold climate and want warm-
ing. Do not they live in a hot climate and want quenching? Until
you get as far south as the Carolinas, there is no material difference
in the quantity of clothing which is worn. In Virginia, they have the
same coarse of clothing that we have. In Carolina, they have a great
deal of cold, raw, chilly weather. Even in Georgia, the river Savannah
has been crossed upon the ice. And if they do not wear quite so great
a quantity of clothing in those states as with us, yet people of rank
wear that which is of a much more expensive kind. In these states, we
manufacture one-half of our clothing and all our tools of husbandry;
in those, they manufacture none, nor ever will. They will not
manufacture because they find it much more profitable to cultivate
their lands which are exceedingly fertile. Hence, they import almost
everything, not excepting the carriages in which they ride, the hoes
with which they till the ground, and the boots which they wear.
If we doubt of the extent of their importations, let us look at their
exports. So exceedingly fertile and profitable are their lands, that
a hundred large ships are every year loaded with rice and indigo from
the single port of Charleston. The rich returns of these cargoes of
immense value will be all subject to the impost. Nothing is omitted;
a duty is to be paid upon the blacks which they import. From Vir-
ginia, their exports are valued at a million sterling per annum; the
single article of tobacco amounts to seven or eight hundred thousand.
How does this come back? Not in money, for the Virginians are
poor to a proverb in money. They anticipate their crops; they spend
faster than they earn; they are ever in debt. Their rich exports return
in eatables, in drinkables, in wearables. All these are subject to the
impost. In Maryland, their exports are as great in proportion as
those in Virginia. The imports and exports of the Southern States
are quite as great in proportion as those of the Northern. Where
then exists this partiality which has been objected? It exists nowhere
but in the uninformed mind.
But there is one objection, Mr. President, which is broad enough
to cover the whole subject. Says the objector [James Wadsworth],
Congress ought not to have power to raise any money at all. Why?
Because they have the power of the sword, and, if we give them the
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