Alexander Hamilton Papers
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New York Ratifying Convention. Second Speech of July 19, [19 July 1788]

New York Ratifying Convention. Second Speech of July 191

[Poughkeepsie, New York, July 19, 1788]

Ham[ilton]—this article2 he thinks includes more than gent intend—in the Admiralty—& Chancery there is no Jury—“to remain” may be intended to qualify this—in some states—the trial by jury in both the Courts above ment[ione]d are in use—On treaties & Laws of nations—the supreme Judicial ought to be the last resort—difficult to remedy this—so as to agree to it—& not clash with other states—

[Robert] Yates—the object to secure the trial by Jury in all cases where they heretofore were of use—this ought to be held inviolate—and was intended to provide ag[ains]t the gen[era]l gov[ernmen]t taking this right away

[John] Jay—the word “accustomed” will not take the object[io]n away—because in admiralty cases an appeal should lay—where the whole matter should go up—

Ham[ilton]—Com[mo]n Law—will not do in Connecticut—neither accustomed3

Gilbert Livingston MS Notes, MS Division, New York Public Library.

2After debate on the third proposal in Lansing’s “Bill of Rights,” the New York Convention accepted without debate the three succeeding proposals providing: 4. for due process of law; 5. that no person be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; and 6. that every person be entitled to a speedy trial (John McKesson Papers, New-York Historical Society, New York City). H’s remarks deal with the seventh article of the proposed “Bill of Rights.” It provided:

“That in all Controversies respect⟨ing⟩ property and in all Suits b⟨etw⟩een Ma⟨n⟩ & Man the antient Trial of Facts by Jury is one of the greatest Securities of the Rights of a free people.” (ibid.)

3After additional debate the article on which H spoke was amended and agreed to by the Convention. The amended article reads as follows:

“That the Trial by Jury, in the extent that it obtains by the common Law of England, is one of the greatest Securities to the rights of a Free People, and ought to remain inviolate.” (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 38, New York State Library, Albany.)

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