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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)
11 (2015)

II. The Maryland General Assembly calls a state convention, 23 November-1 December 1787,   pp. 68-100


Page 87

LEGISLATURE, 29 NOVEMBER 1787
9. McHenry draws on George Washington's sentiments in Washington's 17 September
1787 letter as president of the Constitutional Convention to the president of the Con-
federation Congress (Appendix III, RCS:Md., 806-7).
Luther Martin Addresses the House of Delegates, 29 November 17871
MaryLand Novr. 29th. 1787.-
Mr. Speaker.
When I join'd the Convention I found that Mr. Randolph had laid
before that Body certain propositions for their consideration, and that
Convention had entered into many Resolutions, respecting their manner
of conducting the Business one of which was that seven States might
proceed to Business, and therefore four States composing a Majority
of seven, might eventually give the Law to the whole Union. Different
instructions were given to Members of different States2-the Delegates
from Delaware were instructed not to infringe their Local Constitu-
tion-others were prohibited their assent to any duty in Commerce:
Convention enjoined all to secrecy; so that we had no opportunity of
gaining information by a Correspondence with others; and what was
still more inconvenient extracts from their Journals were prohibited
even for our own information-It must be remembered that in form-
ing the Confederacy the State of Virginia proposed, and obstinately
contended ('tho unsupported by any other) for representation accord-
ing to Numbers: and the second resolve now brought forward by an
Honourable Member from that state was formed in the same spirit that
characteriz'd its representatives in their endeavours to increase its pow-
ers and influence in the Federal Government. These Views in the larger
States, did not escape the observation of the lesser and meetings in
private were formed to counteract them: the subject however was dis-
cuss'd with coolness in Convention, and hopes were formed that inter-
est might in some points be brought to Yield to reason, or if not, that
at all events the lesser states were not precluded from introducing a
different System; and particular Gentlemen were industriously employed
in forming such a System at those periods in which Convention were
not sitting.
At length the Committee of Detail brought forward their Resolu-
tions3 which gave to the larger States the same inequality in the Senate
that they now are proposed to have in the House of Representatives-
Virginia, Pensylvania and Massachusetts would have one half-all the
Officers and even the President were to be chosen by the Legislature:
so that these three States might have usurped the whole power. The
President would always have been from one of the larger States and so
chosen to have an absolute negative, not only on the Laws of Congress,
87


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