Alexander Hamilton Papers

New York Ratifying Convention. Sixth Speech of July 19, [19 July 1788]

New York Ratifying Convention. Sixth Speech of July 191

[Poughkeepsie, New York, July 19, 1788]

Ham[ilton]—combats the propriety of the word “expresly2 congress one to regulate trade—now they must do a thousand things—not expresly given—Virginia say not given3

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

2H’s remarks were on the proposed explanatory amendment. It reads as follows:

“That no power is to be exerci⟨sed⟩ by Congress but such as is expressly given by the said Constitution & that all other powers not expressly given are reserved to the respective States to be by them exercised.” (John McKesson Papers, New-York Historical Society, New York City.)

3The reference is to a similar amendment proposed by the Virginia Ratifying Convention. It reads as follows:

“That each state in the Union shall respectively retain every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Constitution delegated to the Congress of the United States, or to the departments of the federal government.” (Elliot, Debates description begins Jonathan Elliot, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia, 1836). description ends , III, 659.)

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