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

V. Commentaries on the Constitution, 13 November 1787-7 January 1788,   pp. 456-534


Page 462

CONNECTICUT/16, 19 NOV.
once or twice in a year, would then be no greater than their neighbors,
as much fewer representatives would be chosen. But would not the
people be as safe governed by their representatives assembled in New
York or Philadelphia as by their representatives assembled in Hart-
ford or New Haven? Many instances can be quoted where people
have been unsafe, poor, and contemptible because they were governed
only in small bodies; but can any instance be found where they were
less safe for uniting? Has not every instance proved somewhat similar
to the much dreaded union between England and Scotland, where
the Scots, instead of becoming a poor, despicable, dependent people,
have become much more secure, happy, and respectable? If then,
the Constitution is a good one, why should we be afraid of uniting,
even if the union was to be much more complete and entire than
is proposed?
Ebenezer Dibblee to Samuel Peters
Stamford, 16 November (excerpt)1
We are upon the eve of another revolution in the system of govern-
ment. Delegates are chosen in every town in this state to meet at
Hartford in January next, to adopt or reject the new form of govern-
ment appointed by the commissioners; which leaves but the shadow
of power in the states; utterly destroys the old ship, and a new one
built in which we must embark or sink. If nine states unite in adopt-
ing it, the [rest?] must be coerced into it. The presses in New York
begin [to?] warm with the controversy pro and con.
1. RC, Peters Papers, The Church Historical Society, Austin, Texas. Dibblee was
pastor of St. John's Episcopal Church in Stamford. Peters, who had been pastor
of the Anglican church in Hebron, was a Loyalist. He fled to Boston in September
1774 and left for England in October. In 1781, he published A General History
of Connecticut in London, a book which people in Connecticut considered libelous.
A Landholder III
Connecticut Courant, 19 November'
To the Holders and Tillers of Land.
Gentlemen, When we rushed to arms for preventing British usur-
pation, liberty was the argument of every tongue. This word would
open all the resources of the country and draw out a brigade of
militia [as] rapidly as the most decisive orders of a despotic govern-
ment. Liberty is a word which, according as it is used, comprehends
the most good and the most evil of any in the world. Justly under-
stood, it is sacred next to those which we appropriate in divine adora-
tion; but in the mouths of some, it means anything which will ener-
vate a necessary government, excite a jealousy of the rulers who are
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