Alexander Hamilton Papers

New York Ratifying Convention. Third Speech of July 2 (John McKesson’s Version), [2 July 1788]

New York Ratifying Convention. Third Speech of July 21
(John Mc Kesson’s Version)2

[Poughkeepsie, New York, July 2, 1788]

Mr. Hamilton—I add to enforce the Ideas of the member who spoke last3

The Gent from Dutchess4 says it is less dangerous to grant power to restrain an Act than a power to do

Here the Power to restrain is as dangerous as to do an Act—The Power to restrain here is to restrain you from your defence—

The Gentleman5 contends that there may be corruption in a Majority or the whole—

We contend that there may be corruption in a Small Body only five

If evils are to be submitted to which to be prefered—to trust a majority of your whole Govt. and president to enter into a War of Ambition—or to put it into the power of a minority to prevent your own defence agt. an Ambitious War—

What Interest in a Republic to have a War of Ambition—Some Individuals may obtain a part of the Common Frame—but no men can acquire Territory—

John McKesson MS Notes, New-York Historical Society, New York City.

1This speech is on an amendment, introduced by John Lansing, Jr., which provided “That no money be borrowed on the credit of the United States, without the assent of two thirds of the members of both houses present (Childs, Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York description begins The Debates and Proceedings of the State of New-York, Assembled at Poughkeepsie, on the 17th June, 1788. To deliberate and decide on the Form of Federal Government recommended by the General Convention at Philadelphia, on the 17th September, 1787. Taken in Short Hand (New York: Printed and Sold by Francis Childs, 1788). description ends , 136). For H’s other remarks on this amendment, see the first and second speeches of July 2.

3The gentleman “who spoke last” was Richard Harison.

4Melancton Smith.

5Presumably Melancton Smith. But if any member made such a statement, it was not recorded by McKesson.

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