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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 517

V. COMMENTARIES
A Freeman: To the People of Connecticut
Connecticut Courant, 31 December
This is a day, by way of eminence, for political deliberation, and
we are amused with reasons against and reasons for the new Consti-
tution from one part of the continent to the other. Held up to our
view as something magnificent are the reasons of the Honorable Mr.
[Elbridge] Gerry for not subscribing to the Constitution. From Vir-
ginia, we have the objections of the Honorable George Mason, pomp-
ously set forth. In New York, a factious genius pours a flood of
eloquence against the Constitution. And our printers possess so
much candor as to keep their presses open to all parties. Amid all
these publications, a Freeman of Connecticut ventures to make his
remarks and professes to do it in the spirit of candor.
In the course of some late publications, several things have been
discussed relating to the new Constitution that might have a tendency
to prevent prejudices and clear off objections, to give the landholders
and farmers an opportunity to judge for themselves as to the defects
or excellencies of it. And, as the season for the sitting of the state
Convention approaches, so I would call your attention still further to
the interesting subject.
Our country now seems to hang in anxious suspense, not knowing
whether she is to have a good and efficient government or none at
all, or a despotic one imposed upon her by some daring adventurer.
She has fought, her enemies must do her the justice to own, gallantly
with one of the most powerful kingdoms on the globe; a kingdom
which had spread the glory of its arms and the terror of its name
over every quarter of the world. She has bled, we are all mournful
witnesses, at a thousand veins through a bloody and long war. She
has nobly conquered, to the astonishment of the nations of Europe.
On account of her splendid victories and passion for freedom approach-
ing to enthusiasm, her fame has diffused itself far and wide. Her
generals, her soldiers, her perseverance and patience under every
difficulty, her statesmen and her resources are the admiration of
distant nations, and probably will be of [the?] applauding pos-
terity, if she improve aright the present eligible situation for adopting
a good federal system of policy. The grand question is-shall she be
happy in a good or wretched in a bad form of government? Shall all
her blood and treasures expended in the late war be lost? Shall the
advantages which she now possesses, prodigal-like be squandered
away? When peace was established and the horrors of war terminated,
the most of us mistakenly concluded that all was done for us, and
that we had nothing left but to reach out the eager hand and take
hold of happiness. Independence we fondly believed would cost us
517


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