Alexander Hamilton Papers

New York Ratifying Convention. Notes for Second Speech of July 17, [17 July 1788]

New York Ratifying Convention.
Notes for Second Speech of July 171

[Poughkeepsie, New York, July 17, 1788]

I 1 not permitted to be out of union
2 Self preservation—West Point
3 Interest to consolidate
II Discontented minorities
1 Examine story of expediency
2 history of minorities. Rhode Island N Carolina
III Unequal contest
1 Government organized
2 Ruling parties in each state Fœderal
3 Sea Coast source of Wealth Fœderal
4 Property abilities Fœderal2
IV Where to look for aid?
If to G. B. will she afford it unless with views of conquest &c. France &c.
V Suppose contest equal
What result of two great parties marshalled against each other &c
Who will be the leader?
Who are we willing to trust?
VI Why risk all this?
1 Will it not be more expedient to acquiesce
2 What motive Southern district will join? N York
3 What situation of the rest of the State?
VII History of previous measures—
1 Impost begat Convention
2 Rejection of constitution may beget a despotism.
3 Various opinions respecting government
Love of repose would unite all—
VIII Various opinions concerning mode of rectifying present constitution
1 This peaceable expedient adopted
2 What responsibility if frustrated by us?

1 Republics disgraced till revolution—
2 Situation favourable—
3 Objects not yet obtained
4 Cause calls upon us to do nothing—improper—

Most distinguished Patriots in and out of Convention
G Livingston3

Heroes who have died

Sister states


AD, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1According to Gilbert Livingston, H made these notes for his speech in the Ratifying Convention on July 17. For Livingston’s version of the speech, see “New York Ratifying Convention. Second Speech of July 17.”

2A this point, H wrote and crossed out the following: “But why risk,” and “Suppose contest equal What the consequences of two great parties marshalled against.”

3William Livingston, governor of New Jersey.

4John Dickinson, political pamphleteer during the years before the Revolution and president of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania in 1783, had served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention from Delaware.

5John Rutledge, governor of South Carolina from 1779 to 1782, delegate to the Constitutional Convention from South Carolina, and a member of the South Carolina Ratifying Convention.

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