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)

III. The debate over the Constitution in Maryland, 4 December 1787-29 April 1788,   pp. 101-428 ff.

Page 106

by patriotic motives, as he acts diametrically contrary to his own imme-
diate interest-No Assemblyman, in Pennsylvania, who is a friend to the
Federal Constitution, would consent to serve in the Convention be-
cause it was agreed upon before the late general election, therefore
they considered it extremely indelicate and improper (though not criminally
so) to assist personally, in a responsible situation, to abridge the powers
of the State Government, after having recently sworn to support, main-
tain and defend it to the utmost of their power-Three or four Assem-
blymen only, of that State, are deputed to the Convention, but every
one of them is vehemently opposed to the Federal Government,4 or to
any alteration of their own Constitution, though the worst in the union,
except that of Georgia5-Pennsylvania now acts with more propriety
than in 1776, when a majority of the counties laid down a rule and
strictly adhered to it, to chuse no man of fortune or book learning in
the Convention, from a fear, of their framing a Government unfavour-
able to the liberties of the poor people, as if some knowledge of ancient
and modern Governments, and the causes of their prosperity and de-
cline ought to keep any man out of a public station.6
As the happiness or misery of future generations will sensibly depend
upon the conduct of the different State Conventions, I hope they will
generally be composed of men, capable of digesting the proposed Fed-
eral Constitution, and whose temper and situation in life may enable
them to do it with coolness, candor and impartiality, not stimulate them
blindly and passionately to adopt or reject it, as may happen to accord
with their private interest-The people of Maryland in particular, it is
to be hoped, will concur with Pennsylvania in endeavouring to procure
an impartial Convention by the exclusion of salary officers, Senators, As-
semblymen, and considerable holders of certificates from seats in it, in
order that a majority of the members may not hereafter be reproached
with having consulted their pecuniary interest, or the preservation of
personal influence in their respective counties, more than the public
good-Many liberal patriots regret, that Senators and Delegates are
not expressly precluded from being electors of the Senate, because, in
consequence of recent prejudices, and the frailty of human nature, old
stagers in politicks are rather apt to chuse those most likely to accom-
plish some favourite party purposes, than men whose ability and integ-
rity would best enable them, for the term of five years, to promote the
general good of the State.7-It is admitted by dispassionate persons,
that we have now a good Senate, yet it is evident, the strenuous advo-
cates for paper-money frequently declaim against Senators being elec-
tors, and declare that our present Senate, through the influence of two
or three of that description with a majority of the electors, was picked

Go up to Top of Page