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NEW-YORK, SEPTEMBER. 9, 1789.
LETTER front a gentleman in a neighbouring, town to his friend in
THE newspapers you fentme containing two *letters, wrote by
some members of the House of Representatives to their conftituenu
in Pennsylvania, ujion the fubjett of compensations, andinjuftifi
cation of the fame, as agreed to by t.ie House, have come fafe tc
hand. I have read these letters with attention and surprise ; and
it is difficult for me to suppress my wonder, that gentlemen can
adopt such exceeding weak and inconsistent arguments in juftifica
tion of a measure which they declare themfelvcs to be convinced
of the propriety of. There is scarce any one thing that gives one
a more unfavorable opinion of public measures, and leads more to
a doubt of their utility, than to find weak and flimfy arguments of
fered in support thereof,by their warmest advocates. But these letter
writers do not stop here; for their arguments and reasoning, weak
as they appear to be,are yet fouonded upon misrepresentation, and
a reference to fads which have no real existence. What can be
more distant from truth than to fay, as one of them does, that
fix dpllars a day is less than was given under the articles of con
federation by the States, except New-Jersey ? Thefaft is, New-
Hamplhire, MalTachufetts, Conne&icut, and some others, for
years, gave their delegates no more than five dollars a day ; and
this fuin under circumstances very disadvantageous to the receiver.
He fays further " that Massachusetts gave her delegates a guinea a day
and paid all their expences of board&c. befidesThis is totally falfe.
In r.o period, if I have been rightly informed, did the Common
wealth of Massachusetts allow her delegates, under the old con
federation, a guinea a day, and pay their expences besides; but
on the contrary, for two or three years, that Commonwealth paid
their only dollars a day, out of which they paid
their expences. Surely this writer must have been ignorant of the
fa£ta, or he was difpoled to lead his correspondents, and through
them as a medium ot communication, his constituents, into an
error. Gentlemen who mean to reason, and draw conclusions
from fatts, ought to be careful that their facts are true : But in
the present cafe, it seems not to have been advantageous to the let
ter-writer's object, which was to jujlify to his constituents, the com
penfalions allowed themselves and under officers, to fuffer the truth of
fact to be known ; for had he done this, they would have drawn
conclusions, and justly too, the reverse of what he wished to put
into their mouths. MalTachufetts never gave more than fix dollars
a day ; and but a very tew years, when money was scarce half so
valuable as at this time, did they come up to that sum.—The
fame is fa£t with many other States.
He is equally mistaken when he advances that had a medium
been struck from the guides left by the States, the wages of the
members would have been nearer seven than fix dollars: For if
an accurate enquiry be made, I doubt not but it will appear, that
a majority of the States, for half the time under the confederation
or more, have given a sum under fix dollars, taking into con
sideration the value of money during that and the present piods :
and in general have verged father towards a sum under than over
fix dollars. But these letter-writers drive on with one misrepre
sentation upon the back of another, as though they were deter
mined to confound the understandings of their constituents with
falfehoods, or run themselves out of all credit upon this fubjeft;
and I am suspicious that the latter would be the cafe were the
whole truth to be known. In the rage of juftifyingtheir condu&
to their constituents, one of them hesitates not to declare, " that
" the sums granted by the States to their delegates were paid dur
" whole year; whereas, the sum voted for us (that is the
" present Members of Congress) will be paid only two or three
" months in a year." Is the author of this aflertion an honest man J
If you answer in the affirmative, I must reply, he has undertaken
to write upon a fubjeft of which he is most consummately igno
rant : or so prejudiced in favour of his fix dollars a day, that every
thing entering his mind is immediately converted into an argu
ment to juftify the measure, I think I may fay with truth, that
not more than two States have uniformly allowed their delegates
a salary by the year. Indeed I doubt whether any State has done
this, but South-Carolina. But how does this wonderful logician
know that Congress will set only two or three months in a year?
Admiting, however, that in some future years two or three
months a year will be fufficient for Congress to discharge the duties
required ot them by the citizens of the United States ; artd that fix
dollars a day will be a moderate compensation for their service'
and time then rendered their constituents : I fay admitting this tc
be true, how does it juftify, or even look like a allow
ing that sum to the Members of Congress at this time, since the}
will be employed more than eight months a year during the pre
sent ele&ion. This writer evidently admits, that the pay of the
Members ought to be in some inverse ratio of the sum to the time
they fliall be employed at Congress : That is if they are employ,
ed two or three months in a year fix dollars is a moderatate com
penfation.—lf a longer time a smaller sum will be just. But here
he has forgot the force of his own argument, and fixed a sum,
which would be reafonablc when the members are engaged onl)
two or three months in a year, v for their pay now they are a&ual.
ly employed fix months, and perhaps more in a year. But the
real truth of the matter, I believe is this, those who advocate
hjgh pay want the money.—They are sensible the sums the House
has agreed upon are high,compared with the general sense of theii
constituents, or to the grounds on which compensation is usually
founded, and they are now drove to mifrepiefentation and sophis
try to juftify their conduct.
" Our constituents," continues one of these letters, " in complain
*' 2n gi f or g ct - the facrifice we make of domestic happiness, time, and even
" health to their ferviceTo this I cannot help observing, I am
not acquainted with any scale, by which diuinal pay or compen
sation can be adjusted, as an equivolent, for the facrifice of do
mestic bapppineis; therefore*, till he or some body else shall sup
ply me with one, I am unable to fay that fix dollars a day is ei
ther too much or too little, on this account: I am of opinion,
however, that domestic happiness is a very uncertain rule to ad
just pecuniary compensations by ; and were we to judge from the
apparent willingness that some tarry at the feat of government,
it would be doubtful whether their 'being from home ought to
operate to the increase or diminution of their compensation on
the score of domestic happiness.
As to the facrifice of health, I don't know that a gentleman
riiques his health in attending Congress, where they set not more
than three or four hours in a day, and frequently not more than
five days in a week : That is twenty-five or thirty hours in seven
days ! Very tender and delicate indeed , our Members of Congress
are grown all at once. If I did not apprehend the ladies would
look upon it an usurpation of their department, I would propose
that these extreme delicate temier gentlemen should be recalled
from the laborious, fatiguing employment of walking to the Fe
der.il Hall and setting there three or four hours in a day for five
days in a week, and put to knitting; or if that be too hard for
them to handling the cambric needle. . Not many days since I
fell in company with one of the Members of Congress, whole
countenance was plenary evidence that roast beef and generous
wine were his favorites; and yet he complained most bitterly of
ili health and want of exercise.—l aiked him if he took the air
every morning—for Congress not meeting till eleven,the members
had abundant of time to walk or ride both for health and amufc
ment. Oh dear, replied the ruqdy picture of health andftrcngth, I
cannot rife early enough in the morning for that; my health wont
admit my rising before eight or nine ; and then I have barely time
to dress before breakfaft, which brings eleven o'clock. Poor fee
ble son of Mars, quoth I, I pity you; sleep and delicacy will
hurt you more than the duties of your office. So we parted.
* The letters here refer edto, werefrftpublif.cu in the Ncv-YoYk
Daily Gazette t on the i\lh and %\ft of A u gift.
Canthefe letter writers be serious when they offer such reasons
as are contained in their letters, to their constituents tojuftify their
cbnduft to them in advocating grants of money which they eftecm
prof life ? If these arguments fatisfy their constituents, I am grieved
tor their want of information, and confefs to you that I have mis
taken their charatter. Many circumstances have led me to believe
the great body of the people in Pennfylvama to be a well inform
ed, judicious people ; whence I conclude they will relent, with
just indignation, the attempt these letter writers have made to
fatts, and impose error, instead of truth, upon their
I would here close my letter, for I fear it is already too long,
but there is one argument made use of in these letters, which I
wish to remark upon; also because it is a favorite topic with
those who advocate high compensations : Indeed it has so o fieri
been employed, as appears by the news-papers and the debates
of Congress, that it actually (lips out on all occasions; it seems to
be used like the quack's noflrum, as a remedy for all difcafes. The
argument is couched in the following sentence : 44 If that policy
" (hould govern which you speak of in your letter, you can never
" expett men offmall fortune to accept feats in Congrefs,and many
" such possess eminent talents for public life. On the contrary
" your government will be administered only by a few arifto
•c cratic nabobs, who can afford to live without wages upon the
" income of large estates." I really wish this letter had pointed
out, or laid down some other clue than he has, by which these
rich men, or nabobs might be found, who, he fays, will be willing
to serve in Congress without wages. I declare to you, Sir, I have
found none of this deficription in the course of my acquaintance ;
and I have good evidence to believe there are none in America.
For many years I have been attentive to the conduftof man—l have
watched the rich, or as he expresses the fame character, thenabobs\
and the poor, or men of small fortunes ; and the uniform tenor of
conduct exhibited to the world by these two descriptions of men
has convinced me that the position contained in the quotation
not true : Because I find that mtnoifmallfortvnes, among whom,
tis confefled there are gentlemen of eminent abilities for pub
blie service, arc generally fatisfied with less sums, by way. of com -
penfation for services rendered the public, than those nabobs, into
whose hands he is fearful the administration of government will
fall. Therefore, to avoid what this lettcrfo much fears, and what all
friends to their country miift deprecate as the greatest calamity
that can befall the people, that ij the adminiflretion of our federai
government by nabobs, the fabrics and compensations for public
services mull be moderate. If the just sum could be known, it
would be better for the public that the salaries and compensations
mould fall short than exeeed that sum. Pray look round .you,
my friend, and fee who they are that raise this cry against mode
rate compensations. Are they the men of small fortunes ? No.
They are either the ariflocratic nabobs themselves ; or such as wish
to become nabobs, and will plunder the public rather than not
gain their point.
It is an uncontrovertable truth,that he who pofiefTes much wants
more in proportion to what he has already obtained. So that to
fatisfy these rich men or nabobs t by increasing their pay, is equally
absurd, as it would be to attempt to conquer death by filling the
grave with the carcasses of dead men. Theexpences of rich men
and nabobs are great, consequently it is such only who cry out
against small compensations in favor of great ones. These can
not relide at the feat of government without expending large sums
of money : They, from habits of luxury and diflipation, must
keep up that deportment of the gentleman which peculiarly requires
fix or seven dollars to discharge their daily expenditures. But
nabobs will never fubjeft themselves to such anexpenfive situation,
provided they must draw upon their own fortunes, instead of
compensations from the public, for what they expend.
On the other'hand, men of fmallfortunes, from which class of
citizens we must look for men of eminent talents as well as integri
ty and patriotism, have been educated in a mode of life that natu
rally creates habits of frugality, economy, attention to business,
and ufeful information. The expences of these are small; their
views are regulated more by the rules of private convenience and
public neceflity, than the van parade of a court, or the trifling,
tlio' expensive round of etiquette. The expences of these two
claffci of men are effcntially different, being regulated on differ
ent principles : Those of the former are fubjeft to the whim and
caprice of folly and fafhion—the latter to economy and prudence,
Hence, if you contemplate the nature of man, with the views
and pa (lions of those two classes, that is, the nabobs and men of
small fortunes, you will not hesitate to fay, these letter-writers are
mistaken in their reasonings and conclusions, as well as the facts
they would found their arguments upon.
When this fubjett is duly examined, it appears to me, that A
merica has nothing to fear from Congress fixing the salaries and
compensations small and moderate. This measure will always
secure the attention of men of small fortunes, whom it is an objetl
of importance to bring into the administration*. While high sa
laries and profufe compensation will hold out allurements to
fpendtjji ifts and nabohs, from whose sentiments and manners
Americi has every evil to apprehend.
One principle more is held up in these letters, most pernicious
to a republican government, which I (hall barely mention and bid
you adieu. It is that salaries and compensations (hould be so
high as very few persons dare prefentthemfelves as'candidates.
However thecitizens of Peiinfvlvania may swallow down such
sentiments, because they come from their representatives ; I hope
andtruft, they will be reprobated by every true republican whole
heart beats for his country's good. Good God ! Are the Le
gislators of America advised to affix such compensations as a re
ward for public services, that none but the rich and the nabobs dare
alpire toj —when these sentiments are adopted and pra&ifed upon
in AmeFica—then certainly we may join these despotic letter wri
ters, and fay, fareiuel to the liberties of our country."
EUROPEAN ACCOUNTS, BY LATE ARRIVALS.
CONSTANTINOPLE, APRIL 7.
The second division of the fleet has left the arse
nal, composed of four /hips of the line, from 50
to 60 guns, and fix frigates ; they are waiting for
sailors from the Black-Sea, where orders have
been fentto enlist them. All the maritime forces
are, according to the orders of the late Sultan, to
join at Bujukdere, and be ready to fail by the 22A
inft. but the departure of the grand fleet depends
upon the return of the firft division, and the
designs of Selirn 111, which are not yet known.
April 2J. Among the troops that are filing off
from Constantinople, five companies of Janiflaries,
of 1000 men each, quarrelling among themselves'
on their arrival at Pontepiccoli, a dreadful maf
l'acre took place, insomuch, that of the 5000 very
few arrived at the camp.
BERLIN, MAY 30.
We learn from JafFy, that the defeat of Ibraliam
Rafla, by the Ruffian general Dorfeld, has had
such an effeel upon the Turks, that they have ab
solutely abandoned the strong fortrels of Brahilow
and the Ruffians are marching to take pofleflion
of it. Galacz is strongly garrisoned by the Ruf
iians, who have found a rich booty in that place
the capture of which cuts off all communication
between Wallachia and Siliftria, with Rufchuk
and other places on the Danube.
LONDON, MAT Ij.
A question of pretty general confer* was deci<t
ed on Saturday in the Court of King's Bench
" Whether a person, at an audion, S had
retnft a bidding, previous to the lot beWkno C k
ed down ? It was contended that l, e had
upon the grounds that the conditions ex-nJii
Hated that the last bidder should be the W?
and that a perfpn's firit bidding, .and being s
liberty to retract, might prove injurious to oro
percy , by conveying an idea to the company thai
some defect had been discovered : but tl s J
over-ruled by the court, who observed that tl
make a contract binding the consent of both oar
ties was neceflary ; whereas in this cafe, the bid"
ding was a mere offer on one fide, which was not
accepted by the other until the hammer wasac
tually down ; and therefore the party had certain
ly a right to retract while that was fufjpcnded.
ExtraCl of a letter front Paris, June i.
- De ,a layette continues to ast a fteadv
faithful part in favor of the rights of mankind
" The Comte de Mirabeau, by a series of pro'
ftitute, unprincipled conduct, has loft all the
weight he might have had, and to which his
talents and enlightened mind entitled him on
this glorious occalion.
" M. le Meunier, one of the deputies for Dan
phiny, and mover of the glorious revolution, last
year, in that province, is looked up to with hope
and confidence by the nation.
" The disputes between the Three Mates are
far from being in a train of accommodation. The
Noblefle, at leaftat Paris, liaverefumed that hau.
teur which we imagined they had been inclined
to lay aside. The Clergy began to repent ofthe
concessions which they made to the Tiers Etat,
who, oil their fide are determined to throw down
every barrier between the people and the honors
of the state, and to abolish every odious diftin&ion
between the various clafTes of citizens.—A fracas
happened last week on the Point Neuf, whichwas
attended with the most serious consequence.—The
Count de B lie, riding furioufly, and without
giving notice, in a pha:ton and four, over the
bridge, rail down several pedestrians. One un
fortunate man loft his life, and several had their
limbs desperately crushed. A general cry of
" Arretez, arretcz le foutre," was vociferated
from all fides. In a moment the carriage was
flopped—the mob dragged from his feat the trem
bling patrician, and regardless of his cries and
piteous intreaties threw him headlong from the
bridge, just by the equestrian statue of King Hen
ry the Fourth, i his miserable martyr to intem
perate infolence,wasin an instant dashed to pieces:
in his fall. Not fatisfied with this vengeance,
the populace proceeded to demolish the carriage,
which they broke into a thousand fragments."
Among other privileges now contending for
by the French nation, is that of trial by jury,
which if once established, will for ever secure
their political and personal liberties 011 a basis so
firm as can not be overturned, but by a power
that mult convulse the whole kingdom, and tear
up all remains of civil liberty by the very roots,
July 2. The Romulus of America, General
Wafliington, palled, 011 the 21ft of April last, un
der the Triumphal Arch erecte4 on Trenton
bridge. He was attended by a procession, part
of which confiding of females, drefled in white,
preceded him,ftrewing roses, andfinging an ode.
Sir William Howe, when he left Philadelphia,
carried a Triumphal Arch to be eredted, under
which he walked with his brother, Lord Howe,
both crowned with laurel. We never heard vihj!
CONGRESS of the UNITED STATES.
Begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the Fourth
of March, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-Nine.
An ACT for fettling the Accounts letinicn tht
United States and individual States.
BE it enaClcdby the Senate and House of Reprtftfr
tatives of the United "States of America in Congrcji
assembled, That the President of the United States
be, and he hereby is impoweredto nominate, and
by and with the advice and consent of the Senate
to appoint such person or persons as he may think
proper, for supplying any vacancy that now is,
or may hereafter take place in the Board of Com
miflioners, eftabliflid by an ordinance of the late
Congress, of the seventh of May, one thou fan
seven hundred and eighty-seven, to carry lIItO
effedl the said ordinance and resolutions of Con
gress, for the settlement of accounts between the
United States and individual States. ,
And be it further enaßed, That the said Boar
of Connniffioners be, and they hereby are j®*
powered to appoint a chief clerk, and such ot
clerks as the duties of their office may require,
and that the pay of the said chief clerk be i
hundred dollars per annum, and ofeachot' er
clerk four hundred dollars per annum.
FREDERICK AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERG-
Speaker of the Ho.Je ofß,p"f<f' ''
JOHN ADAMS, Vice-Prcfident of the Uvtled H"' '
and Pre/idevt of the SetM
APPROV ID, AUGUST the sth, 1789. j C#*#/f
GEORGE WASHINGTON, Prrfidcvt of the United 1
Publiflied by JOHN FENNO, No. 9, MaH> ek "
Lani, ncarthe Ofwego-Market, Niw-York. —[3M/ r,al '