Gazette of the United-States. (New-York [N.Y.]) 1789-1793, August 22, 1789, Image 1

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    [Mo. XXXVIII.]
i ptoph hazard the loss of their liberties in listening
to men, who flatter and compliment the uninformed
multitude at the expence of trust-worthy individuals.'
POLITICAL watchmen, more than any other,
are apt to imagine they spy out danger,
where none exists. This good reason may be af
fiirned for it ; tliey have more to fear from one
another, than from the reft of mankind. They
ra ise an out-cry to quell dilturbances, which they
themselves inftigatecl ; and hide their own fail
inss, by making those of other people more con
spicuous. The molt careless observer of human
affairs must have leen, that men will trust their
political creeds in the keeping of persons, with
whom they would not trust a /hilling of property.
Nothing is more common than to hear a man con
demned as an hypocritical knave in his private
dealings, who will yet support foine degree of re
putation, in party-disputes, among the very per
sons, who thus reprobate him. If the man, who
handles my property, or gives me private advice,
is a villain, I can deteift him by faifts ; but he, who
directs my public opinions, deals in those un
meaning words which beguile and deceive, while
they preclude the polfibility of detection. Thus
it happens, that alinoftany man, who can clamor
loudly, and catch the magic cant of the day, will
not be without adherents. If the well disposed
part of the community would use a little reflec
tion, they would quiet themselves of many uneasy
apprehensions, and would soon be convinced that
a man, who is'deftitute of knowledge and recti
tude in private life, Ihould not gain any solid in
fluence, merely by his petulance and declamation
against public affairs.
Every man finds liimfelf more or less the dupe
of flattery, but few suspect how often the public
at large are seduced by compliments and intrigue.
I have seen a large crowd of people thrown into
acclamations of joy, at hearing the enchanting
found of majesty of the PEOPLE. Each man
takes a good share of the compliment to liimfelf,
and extols to the Ikies the worthless fellow who
declaims in such fafcinating language. Truth
and fair dealing hav.e no fu-ch captiva .mg effect.
The hierty of speaking and writing is likewise a
popular theme to defcaut upon. It is often a con
venient apology for nonferrfe and falfehood.—
This liberty is supposed to be abridged if it re
quires people to be confined within the rules of
decency and common sense. An ignorant bustler,
who is checked in his rant and -abuse, pretends
kis a fufficient plea, that in a free country, every
man may speak what he thinks. The byltandei s
are flattered with such an idea, and take part with
a boisterous fool who reminds them of so darling
No privilege is oftonermifapplicdthan that of
canvaiiing public affairs. It is of firth a critical
nature, that any general reftriiitions to prevent
the misapplication will, infome measure, destroy
the principle itfelf. The evil admits not of a
conftit'atiorsal remedy. There is but one poflible
cure for it. A race of men may be railed up and
educated with such principles of knowledge and
virtne, as will make them proof against the fe
ducftiorss of those who flatter the popular ignor
ance and caprice. To level undiftingurfhing cen
iure against public proceedings is a very weak,or
ivery wicked a<ft. It only encreafes thedifcon
tent and jealousy of the people, without remov
ing any errors or difficulties. Artful men like
wile find their account in charging the faults or
misfortunes of the times upon the m t fin ana gem en t
of conspicuous individuals. It is a kind of com
pliment to those who are not included in the
charge, and makes them infer that they have no
share in the production of the mifchiefs com
plained of. The magic power of flattery is no
where so fully demonflrated as in the declama
tions, wliifit pretended patriots and politicians
addrefsto the multitude. More States have been
overturned, and more calamitous effects introdu
ced. by pevfuading the people that they should
exalt themselves above their rulers, than have
ever happened through the bold, aspiring attacks
of ambition and tyranny.
for although the rights of the vhile ptcplc may be
"'ore than a balance for the power of tht whole v.a
frllrxey, yet this will not sanction the exaltation of
separate portion of the people over the autho
rity of any Angle magiltrate. This kind of adu
lation therefore, when addrefied to particular dif
tritfts,is not only falfe but unconstitutional.
THE mritfures uf<-H iu the American ft?tfs were introduce
frpm England. A&s of tht alTunsblie* dire# itanaards of
C ?' n° e pt in thc aunties ; which aVe to
,° f nandards in England. Notwithttanding these a£ts, theif
irc m the mcafures used in lomc oi the Hates, and in
SATURDAY, August 23, 1739.
different parts of the fame state, which occasion confufion, dispute,
and litigation ; and therefore claim the public attention lor fixing
measures to one uniform standard, for broftnotirrg certainty and
fair dealings. " Thou /halt not have in thy'bag divers weights, a
u great and. a small. ThouJhalt not have in thy houft divtrs measures,
axjtreat and a small. But thou Jhalt have a perfect awl jufl weighty
" a perfetl and a jufl meafurefkalt'thou have." ' Deut. 15.
Those d eviations are short of what-are in 'England; whert
they have their bufheis of 8 and of 9 gallons, &c. and the peo
ple always have been in much confufion from their various mea
sures. Their ftatutcs refpe&ing measures originating in rude and
ignorant times, laid a foundation for the confufion. Atthistime
their standard of corn measure is according to the statute of the
: 3 - 3ch. 5 28. The laws of the refpe&ive states, so tar as
I ainformed, generally require their Ilandard bushel to be ac
cording to the English standard ; ?nd the statute ena£U, that " e
very bushel 187 inches wide and 8 inches deep, shall be esteem d
a legal Winchester bushel." Such a measure with ftraignt fid. s
nd equal diameter at top and bottom, contains 2150 42-100 (■•-
1 dutches. Noiwlthftanding this regulation, the corn bufhei in
mmon use in London and generally in the seaports of England,
ontain about 2178 inches, or above of a pint more than their
tandard. *
The counties of Maryland have a long while kept brass or bell
metal standards according to the statute of 13 W. 3, as directed
by a Jaw ena& Maryland 1715: And the county courts have
usually appointed officers for keeping the standards of weights
and measures. It was usual for cautious people to pay the of
ficer's for proving and stamping their measures; and the half bufh
•l in common use was agreeable to the llatuteof Maryland At
length wheat became almost the only ftaplc of the upper part of
Maryland. Mills for merchants work in manufacturing flour
were introduced, chiefly by those who had learnt thebufinefs and
had been ufcd«to a different fa larger] half bushel for measuring
wheat in another state. These Wringing in the large measure, con
tended for the use of it. Bickerings often happened ; but the usage
of the millers and merchants in the neighbouring fta e, on whose
purses the Maryland farmers were almost lftlely dependent for
the sale of their wheat, prevailed in introducing a larger measure,
the legal one : and at this day it is moiHy used, by con
sent of thfe buyers and fellers of grain. In one of the counties of
Maryland, millers and their connexions inlmuated themselves in
to notice, and were appointed jufticcs of the county court, who
bv law appoint officers of the standard, and even order new
standards ; which had great weight in quieting oppofitionto the
half bushel measure. This was in a part of Maryland where
wheat was almost the whole staple article of export, and which
was-almoft an unrivalled marked for wheat on Chetapeak, at that
The law of Pennsylvania eftablifhinga standard for corn mea
sure, was the year preceding the enacting of the statute of
the 13 W. 3, and therefore referred to prior statutes. The stand
ard obtained by the direction of their law, is still in Philadelphia,
unequally and aukwaidly made ot copper, and contains near
2188 solid inches. It is from this standard that the halt bufheis
in common use in Maryland are proved and stamped at Phila
Some artifice amongst retailers has introduced measures of a
fhapc that shortens the quantity of grofsand articles, which
custom directs to be heaped in measuring. They dirett their
coopers to make them deep and narrow ; by which, although the
body of the vellel may hold the legal quantity of any thing struck,
yet the bate on that being small, cannot receive a due proportion
in the conic heap of oyfter®, roots, &c r . —ln England the whole
bushel is 8 «nchcs deep, tl»e diameter inches, which admits
of a conic heap one third as much as rhe cylindrical contents.
The Perifylvania half bushel is 9 inches deep ; which narrows the
vessel so as to reduce the conic heap greatly. There ought to be
fomc form and proportion in the parts of the half bushel, fixed
by law, as a rule for coopers, fcn the fkctch below, this is aim
ed «it, tho not in proportion >o the extraordinary diameter of
the Winchester bushel. In this sketch it is also meant to have the
contents nearly what they are in common use at present in the
wheat states ; which happens to accord with the customary bush
el of a great commercial country in Europe. The diameters and
depth give an eafv shape that admits of hoops drawing well—the
less tapering, the more forcibly the hoops draw, on the principle
of the screw and wedge.
In Engkmd, the Winchester statute bushel contains 2150 42-100
inches—Their bushel in mercantile common use 2178 inches.
Tn Maryland and Pennsylvania the commonlv used bushel is
2188 inches, the medium whereof, is 2172 inches.
In place of these is offered, a half bulhel '(a common and
more convenient measure than a bushel) which contains but
5 cubic inches less than the Pennsylvania Urge measure, near
14 inches more than the Winchester half bushel, and is ex
actly the fame with the EogKfh ineafuve used in common, (2178
inches to the bushel) and which being known in the European
markets where we shall deal, will therefore give tafe and conve
nience to those strangers when we deal with them,as well as to our
merchants.—Gallons may be laid aside refpe&ing bushel measure.
The bulhel is to contain so many intkes, and has us parts in pecks,
oufths, and eighths of pecks.
The proposed half bushel, as a common measure for the United
states is In. tenths.
rn diameter at top 13 5
Ditto at bottom 12 5
Depth 8 2
Coopers, by the use of ftoutiron truss-hoops, truly round, can
prcferve the diameters of their vefiels to a pretty near exa&nefs.—
Be it then erv.cred that all half bufheis shall be made,near as may
be, according to the dimensions above exprefTcd ; and that if any
areufed, as a meafurethat are more or It fs than one eighth of thofc
refpeft ve diameters or depth, the cooper shall forfeit 10s. if the
measure is not more than a year old ; and the owner 5!. be the
ape what it may, for every day in which it is used.—The coopei
a small fine(b) way of caution) not large, because of variation
from time and use : The owner a higher fine, because it behoves
him to have true measures. He is to examine and renew his inea
iure as occasion requires, testing it with the standard.
Philosophers, mechanics, &c. have their inch so fixed, so
long time recorded, and so often referred to, that the present siz
ed inch cau scarcely be departed from : nor can the present foot.
These are the two principal measures that make out all others.
The perch to be retained. It is used only in one line of business :
but an alterstion in its length would occasion much arithmetical
calculation :—lt may stand by itfelf. So of the yard ; let it re
main as it now is. Accurate standards are to be procured, and
sacredly kept in public depositories. I wished to have divided
measures to ascend and defcer i in tens as federal monies do : But
there are hindrances The change would be great.; aud the hu
man heart is to be consulted : Nor would there be so great ad
vantages in this applied to measures as to monies and weights.
What is to be the measure for liquors f It maybe confined only
to wine measure may be the usual pots of beer and cycler:
but let the gatlon measure be one only ; containing 231 inches.
Its parts mav still be quarts, pints, gills, &c.—ln the year 1688.
the standard gallon ia England, for wine, was found, on trial
\_PubliJhed on Wedtisffay and Saturday, '[
by the commiiSonerj-ot excif., to conraia but 1424 inch.s.—Vr\
Head of »gi.—lt was however resolved to continue the common
supposed contents of 231 inches.—ln order to know wnetlitr i,ifc
winemeafures imported into America from England, ar-~- oi-a size
agreeable to the real or imaginary ilandard in England, I vwelghai
the contents of a London ilampt pewter quart pot, being-tan
water, and found the pot contained one fourth ol 234 inches. Ttte
• xcefs is imputed to Tome of the weights uf< d on the occafiou, be
in;; of lead much worn : but the trial fuffked to allure me, that
the wine gallon in use, contains not less than 231 inches.
MONDAY, AUGUST 17, 1789.
Further Jketch of the Debate on Amendments to the Con/litution.
In Committee of the whole House.
OIXTH AMENDMENT— a A well regulated militia, compo-
O fed of the body of the people, being the best security wt a
free Hate, the right of the people to keep and bear arms Hull not
be infringed, but no person religiouQy lcrupulous shall be com
pelled to bear arms."
Mr. Benson moved that the words 44 but no person religi
gioufly scrupulous ihall be compelled to bear arms," be ruck,
out. He wished that this humane provision ihould be left to the
benevolence of the government. It was improper to make it a
fundamental in the constitution.
The motion was negatived, and the amendment agreed to.
Mr. Bu RK.E moved to add a clause to the last paragraph to this
effect : That a Jlanding army of regular troops in time oj peace is
dangerous to public liberty, and should not be supported in time oj peu{t y
except by the consent of two thirds cf both houfi.
This amendment was negatived
7th Amendment. 44 No soldier shall in time of peace be quar
tered in any bouse without the consent of the owner, nor in time
of war, but in a manner to beprefcribed bylaw."
Mr. Sumpt e-k moved to (hike out the words 44 in time of
peace" and also the last words of the paragraph from the word
44 owner."
Mr. Sherman said he -thought this was going too far; occasion
might arise in which it would be extremely injurious to put it m
the power of any man to obftruft the public lervice : He adverted
to the Bntiih regulations in this cafe, ofquartering soldiers 111 pub
lic houses. This motion was negatived.
Mr. Gerry said, that he conceived the article might be so al
tered as to relieve the minds of the c.tizcns of the United States.
U is said, government will take care of the rights of the people ;
but these amendments are designed to prevent the arbitrary exer
cise of power. He then moved to insert between the words 44 buL"
and 44 in a manner," the words by a civil magijlrate. Negatived.
The amendment was agreed to.
Bth Amendment. "No person shall be fubjeft, except in
cafe of impeachment, to more than one triaMor the fame oftejice,
nor lhall be compelled to be a witness against himfelf, nor be de
prived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law,
nor ihall private property be Ukca for public use without juifc
Mr. Benson observed, that it was certainly a fa£, thata person
might be tried more than once tor the fame offence : Inllances of
this kiud frequently occur-ed. He therelore moved to strike out
the words 44 one trial or" This was negatived.
Mr. Sherman was in favor of the motion.
Mr. Liver more was opposed to it : Hefaid: The clause ap
pears to me eircntial; if it is struck out, it will hold up the idea that
a person may be tried more than once lor the fame offence. Some
inllances of this kind have taken place ; but they have cauled great
uncafuiefs : It is contrary to the usages of law and pra&ice among
us ; and so it is to those of that country from which we have adopt
ed our laws. I hope the clause will not be struck out.
Mr. Partridge moved to insert after the words 44 fame of
fence," the words by any law oj the United States,** Negatived.
Mr. Laukance moved to insert after the words 44 nor shall"
these words in any criminal cafe. This amendment was agreed to.
9th Amendment. 44 Exceflive bail shall not be required, nor
exceiTivp fines imposed, nor cruel and uuuafual punishments in
Mr. Liver more said, the clause appears to express much hu
manity, as such, he liked it ; but as it appeared to have no mean
ing, he did not like it : As to bail, the term is indefinite, and
must be so from the nature of things ; and so with refpe& to fines ;
and as to punilhments, taking away life is sometimes necessary,
but because it may be thought cruel, will yon therefore never
anybody—the truth is, matters of this kind must be left to the
discretion of those who have the adminiftrationof the laws.
This amendment was adopted.
10th Amendment. 44 The rights of the people to be secure in
their persons, houses, papers and effe&s, (hall not be violated
without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and
not particularly describing the places to be searched, and the per
sons or things to befeized."
Mi. Benson moved to insert after the words 44 and «ffe£h,"
these words 44 againjl unreasonable fcizures, and searches.
This was carried.
Mr. Gerry obje&ed to the words, 44 by warrants ifTuing"—
He said the provision was good, as far as it went ; but he thought
it was not fufficient : He moved that it be altered to and no war
rant fliall ijfue. This was negatived.
Thequeftion was then put on the amendment and carried.
1 ith Amendment. The enumeration in this constitution of
certain rights (hall not be construed to deny or disparage otheis
retained by the people."
This was agreed to without amendment.
12th Amendment. Art. I, Sec. 10, between the \ft and 2d
par. insert, 44 No state shall infringe the equal rights of con
science, nor freedom of fpecch, or of the press, nor of the right of
trial by jury in criminal cases."
Mr. Tucker moved to strike out these words altogether, as they
were an interference with the Constitutions of the several States :
The Constitution of the United States, he said, interfered too much
Mr. Madison said he hoped the clause would be retained. I
think, said he, th-fe abuses are most likely to take place under the
State governments; and if they are to be restrained in any .thing,
this appears to me the most necessary : We fliall do what will be
grateful to the people by retaining the clause.
Mr. Tucker's motion was negatived.
The words on motion of Mr. Liver more were then trans
posed, and the amendment agreed to.
13th Amendment. Art. 3. Sec. 2, add to the 2d par. 14 But
no appeal to such court lhall be allowed, where the value in con
troversy ihall not amount to one thousand dollars ; nor shall any
tntf trinble by jury, according to the course of common law, beo
tiirrwife re-cxaininable than according to the. rules of common law.
Mr. Rem son moved to strike out the firft part of the paragraph,
relpc£ting the limitation of appeals.