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Jensen, Merrill; Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Pennsylvania

A. Responses to ratification and to The Dissent of the Minority,   pp. 646-669

Page 654

viction of impeachable offenses-by which the highest criminal court
of the state is centered in the same hands with the supreme executive
6thly. That our constitution cannot be changed without a recom-
mendation of two-thirds of a Council of Censors, a body chosen septen-
nially in such a manner that seven counties (Luzerne, Hun tingdon,
Fayette, Franklin, Dauphin, Bedford, Northumberland) having 13
members and 13,000 electors can prevent any alteration from being
even considered by a convention, though desired by all the rest of the
counties, who have 57 members and 57,000 electors.
That these are serious truths, nobody can deny. Now let the minority
of the Pennsylvania Convention point out to impartial America such
departures from the evident principles of justice and liberty in the
federal government, of which they so roundly complain.
1. This item was reprinted in the Pennsylvania Journal, 12 January, and once
in New York and in Maryland.
Hermenius, Carlisle Gazette, 16 January
The Address to the Minority of the State Convention of Pennsyl-
vania, Explained.'
The next day after the address to the minority of the state Conven-
tion of Pennsylvania appeared in the Carlisle Gazette, I happened to
be in company with a number of respectable and intelligent gentlemen,
at least they are generally esteemed so. The subject of their discourse
was the address. One asserted that "it was the most bombastical and
nonsensical composition he had ever read." Another affirmed "it was
the sublime of nonsense." Another, "that the person who had com-
posed it was undoubtedly a poor, smattering pedant." Another de-
clared, "that though he was opposed to the new Federal Constitution,
yet he detested that address as a foolish, inconsistent jargon."
However, I was so far from agreeing with these gentlemen in ex-
claiming against the address, that I esteemed it an excellent composure
of the kind; to vindicate this opinion of its merit, the following short
remarks are presented to the public, designed principally to explain
the most difficult terms and sentences in that performance, that it
may not be rashly condemned or misunderstood. By an address in
this place, must not be understood an application made by tie party
addressing to the party addressed, desiring to have something done for
them; nor an indication of anything to the party addfessed, which
ought in a particular manner to be taken into their consideration;
though this is the common acceptation of the word. But by this ad-

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