Alexander Hamilton Papers

New York Ratifying Convention. Second Speech of July 24, [24 July 1788]

New York Ratifying Convention. Second Speech of July 241

[Poughkeepsie, New York, July 24, 1788]

[Matthew] Adgate—This business has been effected by degrees. This has heretofore been conceived to have been a Mode that would bring us in. Gent[lemen] now say we cannot—but if we May does not doubt we shall—they must violate the old Confedn.

Ham[ilton]—Adg[at]e intimates that they have come down to our Ideas. This is not so—yet we are willing to go as far as we can and be received. The Gent[lemen] will see that we have made an effort to try to come to this—have taken advice—who are of the same opinion which we now hold—has had a great inclination to meet the house on this ground—but is now fully of opinion it will not do.2

[Matthew] Adgate—Would answer that Gent[leman] with respect to the treaties now in force—13 states made them—now possibly only 11. When that Union is broke—what is to become of the treatie with Great Brittan and the fortresses they hold on our frontier?3

Ham[ilton]—Adgate has mentioned an important Idea. What will be the effect of the treatie with great Brittn—if they all unite it will stand, if we do not those who do not come in will perhaps be excluded—this a very important concern.

Acquiescence of a time is a waver of a right. When the liberties of the country are in danger, shall not wait for lone constructions.4

[Matthew] Adg[at]e—in regard to the treatie with G[reat] B[ritain] it would not opperate with a part—if there was a separation—the framers of the Const[itutio]n have been very negligent of a part—as 9 states may here unite—

Ham[ilton]—the Convn knew that every state would have an opportunity to agree—or not agree with respect to the treatie—it is too late now as 10 states have adopted it—

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

1The debate was on John Jay’s suggestion that consideration of a motion offered by John Lansing, Jr., be postponed until the following day. Lansing had moved that New York reserve the right to withdraw from the Union if the other states should refuse to agree to amendments to the Constitution within a certain period of time (see “New York Ratifying Convention. First Speech of July 24,” note 1).

2At this point remarks were made by Lansing, Dirck Wynkoop, Thomas Tredwell, and Richard Morris.

3At this point Robert R. Livingston and Lansing spoke.

4At this point Lansing and Robert R. Livingston spoke.

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