New York Ratifying Convention. Fourth Speech of July 191
[Poughkeepsie, New York, July 19, 1788]
Gilbert Livingston MS Notes, MS Division, New York Public Library.
2. H’s remarks concerned the fifteenth proposal of the “Bill of Rights,” which reads as follows: “That any person religiously scrupulous of bearing Arms ought to be exempted therefrom upon payment of an Equivalent” (John McKesson Papers, New-York Historical Society, New York City).
Preceding H’s statement the following debate had taken place on the fifteenth proposal:
“[John] Jay—if it means Quakers—is content—but if it will comprehend every person who in time of War will declare they are concientious about it—he will not.
“[Melancton] Smith—this must be defined by the law—as there are more sects than one which are scrupulous—
“[Samuel] Jones—it may operate ill—those who are scrupulous to bear arms object to pay the fine.” (Gilbert Livingston MS Notes, MS Division, New York Public Library.)
3. According to Gilbert Livingston’s notes, the Convention decided that this proposal “be transposed.” It does not, however, appear in the “Bill of Rights” printed in McKesson, “Journal of the Proceedings,” description begins “Journal of the Proceedings of the Convention of the State of NewYork. Held at the Town of Poughkeepsie County of Dutchess and Commencing on Tuesday the 17th day of June 1788” (MS, New York State Library, Albany). description ends New York State Library, Albany.