Alexander Hamilton Papers

New York Ratifying Convention. Notes for a Speech, [20 June 1788]

New York Ratifying Convention. Notes for a Speech1

[Poughkeepsie, New York, June 20, 1788]

I Various Interests
Navigating and Non Navigating—
Great and Small—
Struggle for Commercial point two thirds
Struggle for equal power—
Some small states non navigating—
Hence tendency to combination
Necessity of accommodation—

Relate difficulties on this point

As to the ratios of representation
I Character of slaves mixed persons & property
II In many states persons included in census who have no vote in the state—
III Representation & Taxation being upon the same scale will favour impartiality—

As to the number
I Three objects
1 safety
2 knowlege of local circumstances
3 few—above the many

ob: Nothing more difficult than to fix the degree of numbers requisite—constitutions of diff States differ
II Ratio ought not to be the same in a large as in a small nation—
first census 100—
25 years— 200
fifty— 400
Numbers will not be augmented
Large states to increase influence will be for increasing representation2

Knowlege of local circumstances
I Objects to be considered—
These commerce taxation
As to taxation state systems—

Elevation of few
I No qualifications either for electors or elected
II 5000 not less fit to choose than 500—not—so easily corrupted—
III How would Governor &c be chosen—

AD, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1This outline, with the exception indicated in note 2, was made by H for his speech of June 20. See “New York Ratifying Convention. Remarks,” June 20, 1788.

2Although he presumably intended to do so, H did not make this point in his speech of June 20. It was included instead in his first speech of June 21.

Index Entries