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Philadelphia, May 25, 1787. On this date Hamilton nominated Major William Jackson as secretary of the Constitutional Convention. Gaillard Hunt and James Brown Scott, eds., The Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 Which Framed the Constitution of the United States of America. Reported by James Madison (New York, 1920), 18. Of the many editions of Madison’s notes of debates in the...
[ Philadelphia, June 2, 1787. The dealer’s catalogue description of this letter reads: “… autograph postscript in which … [Hamilton] suggests that if his correspondent breaks his journey at Elizabethtown he should go to the house either of Mr. Bondinot or Governor Livingstone.” Letter not found. ] ALS , sold at Sotheby’s of London, Ltd., June 11–12, 1973, Lot 602. Elias Boudinot. William...
Philadelphia, June 4, 1787. James Wilson on this date made a motion, which Hamilton seconded, that a motion by Elbridge Gerry stating “that the National Executive shall have a right to negative any Legislative act which shall not be afterwards passed by parts of each branch of the national Legislature” be replaced by a provision “so as to give the Executive an absolute negative on the laws....
Philadelphia, June 4, 1787. To a motion by James Wilson, seconded by James Madison, that “a convenient number of the National Judiciary” act with the executive in vetoing acts of the national legislature, Hamilton made “an objection of order … to the introduction of the last amendment at this time.” Hunt and Scott, Debates Gaillard Hunt and James Brown Scott, eds., The Debates in the Federal...
Col. Hamilton cannot say he is in sentiment with either plan— supposes both might again be considered as federal plans, and by this means they will be fairly in committee, and be contrasted so as to make a comparative estimate of the two. Yates, Secret Proceedings and Debates Robert Yates, Secret Proceedings and Debates of the Convention Assembled at Philadelphia, in the Year 1787, For the...
Introduction I Importance of the occasion II Solid plan without regard to temporary opinion . III If an ineffectual plan be again proposed it will beget despair & no government will grow out of consent IV There seem to be but three lines of conduct I A league offensive and defensive, treaty of commerce, & apportionment of the public debt.
A I   The Supreme Legislative Power of the United States of America to be vested in two distinct bodies of men—the one to be called the Assembly the other the senate; who together shall form the Legislature of the United States, with power to pass all laws whatsoever , subject to the negative hereafter mentioned. B II   The Assembly to consist of persons elected by the People to serve for...
Col. Hamilton coincided with the proposition as it stood in the Report. He had not been understood yesterday. By an abolition of the States, he meant that no boundary could be drawn between the National & State Legislatures; that the former must therefore have indefinite authority. If it were limited at all, the rivalship of the States would gradually subvert it. Even as Corporations the...
Col. Hamilton , assented to the doctrine of Mr. Wilson. He denied the doctrine that the States were thrown into a State of Nature. He was not yet prepared to admit the doctrine that the Confederacy, could be dissolved by partial infractions of it. He admitted that the States met now on an equal footing but could see no inference from that against concerting a change of the system in this...
Col. Hamilton considered the motion as intended manifestly to transfer the election from the people to the State Legislatures, which would essentially vitiate the plan. It would increase that State influence which could not be too watchfully guarded agst. All too must admit the possibility, in case the Genl. Govt. shd. maintain itself, that the State Govts. might gradually dwindle into...
Col. Hamilton urged the necessity of 3 years. There ought to be neither too much nor too little dependence, on the popular sentiments. The checks in the other branches of Governt. would be but feeble, and would need every auxiliary principle that could be interwoven. The British House of Commons were elected septennially, yet the democratic spirit of ye. Constitution had not ceased. Frequency...
Mr. Hamilton apprehended inconveniency from fixing the wages. He was strenuous agst. making the National Council dependent on the Legislative rewards of the States. Those who pay are the masters of those who are paid. Payment by the States would be unequal as the distant States would have to pay for the same term of attendance and more days in travelling to & from the seat of the Govt. He...
Mr. Hamilton renewed his opposition to it. He pressed the distinction between State Govts. & the people. The former wd. be the rivals of the Genl. Govt. The State legislatures ought not therefore to be the paymasters of the latter. Hunt and Scott, Debates Gaillard Hunt and James Brown Scott, eds., The Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 Which Framed the Constitution of the United States...
Mr. Hamilton. In all general questions which become the subjects of discussion, there are always some truths mixed with falsehoods. I confess there is danger where men are capable of holding two offices. Take mankind in general, they are vicious—their passions may be operated upon. We have been taught to reprobate the danger of influence in the British government, without duly reflecting how...
Mr. Hamilton. Evasions cd. not be prevented—as by proxies—by friends holding for a year, & them opening the way &c. Hunt and Scott, Debates Gaillard Hunt and James Brown Scott, eds., The Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 Which Framed the Constitution of the United States of America. Reported by James Madison (New York, 1920). , 155. Robert Yates’s version of H’s speech reads: “The...
[ Notes for June 1, 1787] [Madison] 1— The way to prevent a majority from having an interest to oppress the minority is to enlarge the sphere. Madison 2— Elective Monarchies turbulent and unhappy— Men unwilling to admit so decided a superiority of merit in an individual as to accede to his appointment to so preeminent a station. If several are admitted as there will be many competitors of...
Mr. Hamilton. He did not mean to enter particularly into the subject. He concurred with Mr. Madison in thinking we were now to decide for ever the fate of Republican Government; and that if we did not give to that form due stability and wisdom, it would be disgraced & lost among ourselves, disgraced & lost to mankind for ever. He acknowledged himself not to think favorably of Republican...
Mr. Hamilton observed the individuals forming political Societies modify their rights differently, with regard to suffrage. Examples of it are found in all the States. In all of them some individuals are deprived of the right altogether, not having the requisite qualifications of property. In some of the States the right of suffrage is allowed in some cases and refused in others. To vote for a...
[ New York, June-October, 1787. ] “As I wished the cause of Bayard vs Breese and others to be regularly at issue & as the Chancellor could not readily be come at to procure from him an order to serve subpoenas on the Clerk in Court, I sent you a request some time since to file rejoinders.… I have not, however, received any notice of its having been done. I will thank you particularly to have...
In my passage through the Jerseys and since my arrival here I have taken particular pains to discover the public sentiment and I am more and more convinced that this is the critical opportunity for establishing the prosperity of this country on a solid foundation. I have conversed with men of information not only of this City but from different parts of the state; and they agree that there has...
In my passage through the Jerseys and since my arrival here I have taken particular pains to discover the public sentiment and I am more and more convinced that this is the critical opportunity for establishing the prosperity of this country on a solid foundation—I have conversed with men of information not only of this City but from different parts of the state; and they agree that there has...
[ New York, July 5, 1787. “Received of Phil. Van Cortlandt, Treasurer to the Society of the Cincinnati for the State of New York, Five thousand Dollars in Certificates Issued by John Pierce, commonly called New York finals, being part of the Funds belonging to Said Society, and for which we are to be accountable.” Receipt not found. ] Dossier File, Van Cortlandt-Van Wyck Papers, MS Division,...
Agreeably to what passed between us I have had an interview with Mr. Auldjo, and I flatter myself, if there is (as I doubt not there will be) as much moderation on the part of Major Peirce as there appears to be on that of Mr. Auldjo, that the affair between them may yet be amicably terminated. But Mr. Auldjo observes, I confess in my opinion with propriety, that he ought to know with some...
It is currently reported and believed, that his Excellency Governor CLINTON has, in public company, without reserve, reprobated the appointment of the Convention, and predicted a mischievous issue of that measure. His observations are said to be to this effect:—That the present confederation is, in itself, equal to the purposes of the union: That the appointment of a Convention is calculated...
[ New York ] July 23, 1787 . “The want of Some original papers which Mr. Brailsford was to have Sent me, puts it out of my power to proceed to a trial of his Cause with Wooldridge.… Mr. Wooldridge is willing, if I will let him out on Common bail, to give me a Bond in any Sum … that he will not go out of this State … and that he will not give any impedment or delay to the attachments now...
As the inclosed contains details relating to your private affairs it is judged most delicate to put it under cover to you. Permit me to use the privilege of a friend to say that ⟨whatever⟩ appeared to you offensive in the conduct of Mr. Auldjo seems to have been a verry natural result of disappointments on his side, to which your disappointments gave birth, influenced too, perhaps, in some...
I have delivered the paper you committed to me as it stood altered to Major Peirce from whose conduct I am to conclude the affair between you is at an end. He informs me that he is shortly to set out on a jaunt up the North River. As you intimate a wish to have my sentiments in writing on the transaction I shall with pleasure declare that the steps you have taken in consequence of Mr. Pearces...
New York, August 6, 1787. Introduces “a son of Mr. Israel, who is going to Philadelphia to endeavour to effect the settlement of his fathers demand upon the Administrator of Barnard Levi.” ALS , Charles Roberts Autograph Collection of the Haverford College Library, Haverford, Pennsylvania.
Col. Hamilton was in general agst. embarrassing the Govt. with minute restrictions. There was on one side the possible danger that had been suggested On the other side, the advantage of encouraging foreigners was obvious & admitted. Persons in Europe of moderate fortunes will be fond of coming here where they will be on a level with the first Citizens. He moved that the section be so altered...
Since my arrival here, I have written to my colleagues, informing them, that if either of them would come down I would accompany him to Philadelphia. So much for the sake of propriety and public opinion. In the mean time if any material alteration should happen to be made in the plan now before the Convention, I will be obliged to you for a communication of it. I will also be obliged to you to...