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

Page View

Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Moore, Timothy D. (Historian); Lannér-Cusin, Johanna E.; Schoenleber, Charles H.; Reid, Jonathan M.; Flamingo, Margaret R.; Fields, David P. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Maryland (1)
(2015)

I. The debate over the Constitution in Maryland, 17 September-30 November 1787,   pp. 3-67


Page 66

I. DEBATE OVER CONSTITUTION
a tract of land of ten miles square, ever to erase. The whole United
States will be a jury to inspect the conduct of Congress, and a tribunal
from whom they can have no appeal.
Were we a conquered people, and capitulating with a tyrant, who,
with an army on our borders, could at any moment deprive us of prop-
erty and life, we could not act with a more servile caution than some,
who pretend to be our friends; they would have us stipulate with a
Congress, whose very creation and existence, must forever depend on
the will of the people!-In these states the mode of education must
be changed, and the spirit of the people subdued, before their liberties
can be invaded with impunity.
Though human nature is nearly the same in all countries, yet a dif-
ference of climate,-of education, and of the sense of the people at
large, require laws should be local. To render a man eligible to sit in
Congress, he is not required to be a man of family, fortune, or daubed
with honorary titles; but, to gain him a seat there, he must possess the
confidence of a free and independent people. No man of sense will
pretend, but that the liberty of the press is sufficiently secure. Congress
will have no direction of religion or the clergy,-with the universities,
academies, schools, or any part of education. They will have no direc-
tion with the state judicial courts, or assemblies-with their pleadings,
or manner of proceeding. Beyond the ten miles square,4 few are the
civil officers which they can appoint. If the power of Congress will be
sufficient to answer the purposes intended, no American who will view
the plan with that candour it merits, can suppose they will possess too
much.-If there are any who, out of interested motives, or who being
still enemies to the liberties of these states, under a pretence of friend-
ship, advise contrary to what they know would be for our best good,-
let us hear them with caution. If there are any who, like the elect
tribes, have been led from high-lands and poverty, to a country flowing
with plenty; but who, like the chosen people, rebel against the source
from whence they are supplied, let their clamours have the weight
they merit.
It is in the power of an ignorant coxcomb to find fault with the
Christian system, though it is beyond the abilities of the wisest philos-
opher to improve it.-Shall we have no government, till a Bill of Rights
is formed, from which it shall be acknowledged by every disaffected
person, and HIGH-PRIEST of discord, that no possible abuse or incon-
venience can arise?-This question appears to carry an answer which
is decisive.
Baltimore, November 29, 1787.
66


Go up to Top of Page