Gazette of the United-States. (New-York [N.Y.]) 1789-1793, August 15, 1789, Page 143, Image 3

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    • equally as good authority.—lam not however
■yfolicitqus about the mode, so long as the
is fully attended to.
jj r Smith, (S. C.) agreed with Mr. Madison—
1 read that clause in the Constitution which
311 vides that alterations and amendments when
Fa eed to, ihallbecom e part of the Constitution—
Ifoni whence he inferred, that it was evidently
the design of the framers of the system, that they
ihould be incorporated—nor is the house at li
berty ro adopt any other mode. Mr. Smith cited
the instance of South Carolina, who instead of
making a<fts in addition to acts, which had been
found extremely perplexing, repealed their laws
o-enerally, in order to form a more fiinple and
unetubarrafling code.
Mr. Livermore lupported the motion of Mr.
Sherman He adverted to the cuitom and usage
of the Britiih legiilature, and of thefeveral State
Ad'einblies; in forming 1 aws and additional acfts.
\\'e have no right, he observed, to make any al
terations or interlopations in the instrument—it
will be attended with difficulties in some future
Mr. Vining observed, that lie thought the
mode was not efiential—he therefore adverted
to the expediency of the motion—adding amend
ments, Hud he, will be attended with a variety of
inconveniencies —it will distort the system—it
will appear like a letter, which, carelessly wrote
in halte, requires a poftfeript much longer than
the original composition—This motion is found
ed upon the cuitom of amending a<fts by addition
al acts, to explain and amend preceding aifts, a
custom, which involves endless perplexities, and
has nothing in reason to recommend it. I hope
Sir, the motion will not obtain.
Mr. Clvmer advocated the motion : I wish Sir
that the Constitution may forever remain in its
original form, as a monument of thewifdom and
patriotism of those who framed it.
Mr. Stone was in favor of Mr. Sherman's mo
tion. If Sir, said he, the amendments are incor
porated in the instrument, it will allert that which
is not true —for this Constitution has been signed
by the delegates from the fcveral States as a true
inftrument —and therefore in this cafe we mull
go further, and fay, that a constitution made at
i'uch a time was defective, and George Wash
ington, and those other worthy characters who
fi<nied this instrument, cannot be said to have
signed the Constitution.—According to the obser
vation of the gentleman from South-Carolina,
refpe<fting repealing laws to make a complete
act, we must repeal the Constitution in order to
make a new one—but will any gentleman fay that
thislegiflature has authority to do this ? To in
corporate these amendments, the Constitution
must; however be repealed in parr, atleaft—The
moment we prepare ourselves to do this, there is
an end of the Constitution, and to the authority
under which we act. Mr. Stone then replied par
ticularly to the inference drawn by Mr. Smith
from the pailage which he had quoted from the
Coiillitutioii, and observed, that the words could
not imply any thing more than this, that such
amendments, when adopted, agreeably to the
mode pointed out, would be equally binding with
the other parts of the system to which they do not
specially refer.
Mr. Gerry enquired whether the mode could
makeany polfible difference in the validity of the
system, provided the function is the sam
conceived it could not—The constitution in my
opinion, said he, has provided that amendments
Ihould be incorporated—the words are express,
that they ihall becomc "part of this constitution."
The gentleman, (Mr. Stone) fays we fliall lose
the names of the worthy gentlemen who fubferib
ed the constitution—but 1 would alk, whether
the names would be of any consequence, except
the constitution had been ratified by the several
States ? or will the system be of no effect since it
is ratified, if the names were now erased ?—lfwe
adopt the mode proposed, wejhall in all probabi
lity go on to make fupplenients to supplements,
and thus involve the system in a maze of doubts
and perplexities.—lt appears to me, that in order
that the citizens of the United States may know
what the constitution is, it is neceflary that it be
comprized in one uniform, entire fyftem.—lf the
amendments are incorporated, the people will
have 0:1 c constitution ; but if they arc added by
way ot fapplement,they will have more than one:
And if in the original system there ihould any
claui'es be found, which are inconsistent with the
added amendments, the government will be com
pounded of oppoiite principles, both in force at
the fame time.
Upon the idea of gentlemen as to the facred
nefs of the original system, if amendment are
wade upon their plan, they will be considered in
a point of light inferior to the original ; in this
ew > amendments arc of no consequence, and
had better be omitted. —This would tend to de
feat the salutary purposes of amendments altoge
ther, by derogating from their dignity and autho-
Mr. Laurance was in favor of the motion
made lij, Mr, Sherman—he said, it appeared to
impuflible to incorporate the amendments in
' e '- ol iiti:inion without involving very great ab-
Surdities in the supposition—is they should be
engrafted in the body of the constitution, it will
make it fpcak a language different from what it
originally did—What will become of the laws
enacted under the instrument as it originally
stood ?—Will they not be vitiated thereby ? The
ratifications of the several States had refpeCi to
the original fyfteni.—lt is true that a majority of
them have proposed amendments,but this does not
imply a nccelfity of altering the original, Co as
to make it a different system from that which was
ratified.—The mode proposed by the motion is
agreeable to cultom—it is the least liable to ob
jection, and appears to me fafe and proper.
Mr. Benson observed, that this question was
agitated in the seleCt committee, and the result
is contained in the report now under confidera
tion—lt fliould be remembered, that the ratifica
tions of several oftlie States enjoin the alterations
and amendments in this way ; they propose that
some words should be struck out, and the fenteri
ces altered—l do not conceive that incorporating
the amendments can affeCt the validity of the o
riginal constitution—that will remain where it is,
in the archives of Congress unaltered with all
the names of the original fubferibers.—The a
mendments are provided for in that instrument,
and the compleating those amendments is com
pleating the original system—the records of the
legislature will inform how this was done ; —and
for my part, I can fee no difficulty in proceeding
agreeable to the report of the committee.
Mr. Page said that he supposed that the com
mittee of the whole is now aCting upon the con
stitution as upon a bill—and they have a right,
said he, to take up the subjeCt paragraph by pa
1 am oppofedto the amendment of the pream
ble of the constitution as proposed by the com
mittee, as well as to the motion oftlie gentleman
from Connecticut—l could wish therefore that
we may not consume time in fetling the nicer form
of conducting the business—but proceed, after
rejecting the firlt amendment, to conficler those
that are subsequent in the report.
Mr. Livermore replied to Mr. Page —-he said,
that with respect to the constitution, the commit
tee ltood upon quite different grounds from what
they did when discussing a bill, and he contended
that it is not in the power either of the legiilature
of the United States, or of all the legislatures
upou the continent to alter the constitution, unless
they were specially empowered by the people to
do it.
Mr. Jackson advocated the motion of Mr.
Sherman —he said, if we repeal this constitution
we shall perhaps the next year have to make ano
ther —and in that way the people will never be
able to know whether they have a permanent
constitution or not. —The constitution in my opi
nion ought to remain sacred and inviolate—l will
refer to the couftitution of England—Magna
Charta has remained as it was received from king
John to the present day, and the Bill of Rights
the fame; and although the rights of the people
in several respeCts have been more clcarly ascer
tained and defined, those charters remain entire :
A constitutional privilege has lately been esta
blished in the independency of the Judges, but
no alteration in the constitution itfelf was thought
proper. All the amendments are fupplementa; y—
the sacred depolitof English liberty remains un
touched—their great charter remains unaltered,
though defeats have been fapplied and additions
made. The constitution of the United States has
been made by thepeaple ; it is their own aCt, and
they have a right to it.—l hope we shall not do
any thing to violate or mutilate it.
I therefore heartily join in the motion for link
ing out the words and adopting the mode propo
sed by the gentleman from Connecticut.
Several of the gentlemen spoke repeatedly
upon the subjeCt, but time will not admit of our
enlarging further.—The quelhon 011 Mr. Sher
man's motion being taken, it pafled in the ne
A doubt was then raised, whether it wasnecef
fary that the article in the constitution which re
quires that two thirds of the legislature should re
commend amendments, fliould be attended to by
the committee —this oceafioned a debate, —an ap
peal was made to the chairman, who determined
that the business while before the committee,
fliould be transaCted in the usual manner by a
majority—an appeal was made from this judg
ment to the house, and 011 the question, being
put, whether the chairman's clecifion was in or
der, it pafled in the affirmative.
The committee then rose, reported progress, and
had leave tofit again to-morrow. Adjourned.
Hon. Ab iEIFo st f. r,member from New-Hamp
shire, appeared,was qualified, and took his feat in
the house this day.
In committee of the whole on the fubjecft of
Mi'.Trumbull in the chair.
Some progress was made in the difcuflion of
the report of the seleCt committee.—-The question
011 the fir ft paragraph, after a short debate, was
put and carried in the affirmative.
lii the fecolid paragraph which refpetftS the
number of Reprefcutatives, it was moved that the
words " one hundred audfeventy-five" beitruck
out, and two hundred inserted. This motion ob
The third paragraph, wJpec'iing the eompen
fation to the members of the legillature was alk»
agreed to.
The committee then rofe,ancl reported progress
—and the house adjourned till to-morrow, 100'
clock. [,Sketches oj the Debates this day, are una
voidably om':tted.~\
Extratt of a letter from one of th: eastern States,
dated Aug. %.
" I perceive by the the proceedings of Con
gress, that the house are about to take up the
fubjed: of amendments to the constitution—This,
if true, will be considered by the friends to fe
deral measures, as a stretch of complaisance at
the expence of theintereft of the United States.
—I never yet met with a stickler for amendments
who entertained an idea that this business wouid
come upon the carpet, so long as Congrfefs had
any thing to do, that was elfential to the organi
zation of the government. Many persons are se
riously alarmed at this appearance, who have hi
therto repressed eVery repining thought, at the
llownefs with which public business has progrell
ed—fuppofing that nothing would clivers. COll
- from the Heady pursuit of those objects on
which the hopesof every friend to the Union are
founded, till every of government
was established and compleated, and the fyfteni
put in full operation."
A correspondent observes, that the fears of
those who have been anxious on the score of a
mendments, may be entirely done away j for
though a majority of the present Congress are
undoubtedly friendsto the newgovcrnmen. ; and
though the fubjeJl of amendments has lain dor
mant, yea, quite ulleep through the Stages lor
many months ; and though there is confefledly,
very important and neceflary business yet pend
ing in the legislature, and though the time of
adjournment draweth near ; and though the
fubjed: of amendments is a difficult business and
will take time and cx.use tedious debates, yet to
" quiet the alarms," to " dissipate the appre
lienfions" " allay the fears" and " annihilate
tliejealoufies or the people"—the amendments
are to be immediately attended to.
Tliefubje<st of Amendments is now the general
topic of conversation :—The fufpenfionthat is oc
calioned in the organization of the government,
by taking up this mo ft import ant of ail fubjefls at
this moment of leifure —this pause in the general
expectations of tke people, mull be considered in a
pioper point of light—for tlio in two days a cer
tain aflembly have hardly got their hand upon
the knocke 01 the Door, as a certain hon. gen
tleman phraf-d it, yet the whole suit of apart
ments, nineteen in number, may be surveyed,
examined, altered, amended, curtailed,enlarged,
and appropriated, in days, weeks, or
months, at fartheft.
A public Eifpenfavy isagreat bleflrng to a popu
lous city:—Our rival fifte. Philadelphia, is bear
ing the palin from us in tliisand several other ref
peCts—for altho she may pofl?fs a peculiar knack of
turning the bright fide to the day, and fitting off
her various improvements in a very confpicuons
point of view, yetcomparifons apart, much credit
isduetoher pnblic spirit, for her various public
institutions : We are however happy to hear, that
it is in contemplation to eftablilh a Dispensary in
this city.
Progress of ARTS and MANUFACTURES.
" At Albany they have established a glass manu
factory, and at Boston is established another. The
Albany glass is as cheap as that from Europe.
" In New-York the cp.f?or-nut, orpalma ChriJli,
grows well—and one or more mills are
ed, for the making of castor-oil.
" The cotton.manufacftory is established at Phi
ladelphia and Beverly, and will be at Laitcafter
or York in Pennsylvania. Theßofton aflembly
have granted 5001. to the one at Bevei ly, as a gra
t ity for the advancement it has made. It is ca
ried 011 with Arkwriglit's machines.
" C'arding-machines are made as cheap and as
well at Phiadelphia, as in Europe.
To (hew that crowns are of small cnnfcqucnce,
Republicans their value prize in ccnis ;
One hundred and eleven cents paid down,
Will buy the Gallic or the Engli/li crown.
IVedncfday Sloop Col umbia, Infh, Turks-Iflaod, 15 days.
Sloop Little Joftph, Merrydav, Richmond, 3 do.
Ship Bctfy, Wheaton, New-Castle,
Schooner Three-Friends, Marfchalk, Curacoa,
Friday Brig Nelly, Allen, Aux-Cayes, 10 days,
Sioop Sally, Cook, St. Thomas's, 13 days.
Brig Olive Branch, Lawrence, St. Euftatia, 21 do.
Sloop Rambler, Peterfon, Rhode-Island 3 days.
Sloop Lady-Hayley, Tillinghurft, do. 3 days.
Sloop Peggy, Otway, St, Croix, 12 days.