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(CONSTITUTION.) Sum Remarks on the Federal Constitution.  manuscript pages. 12mo, stitched, leaves loose; worn with partial separations at center horizontal fold, light soiling. Np,  to 24 [January 1788]
Contemporary manuscript notes from the Massachusetts convention to ratify the Federal Constitution, emphasizing the need for a Bill of Rights and for the sovereignty of the states. The first 7 pages contain musings on the Constitution. The author is adamant that without state sovereignty, the federal government might trample on the individual's liberties unimpeded: "Therefore, without the bill of rights, no person can find himself secured either in person or property, which might be dun by a declaration of soveranity of the states, for two soveran powers unlimited can never subsist in the same state, and therefore it is nesicary to establish the sovranity of the states, which ought to extend to all internal legislation, taxation, and jurisdiction not repugnant to the United States, and then the individual rights would be secured under them. If this is dun, perhaps it is a good constitution. If not, it is a bad one." The following 4 pages contain a brief notes on the convention's proceedings, including a daily count of delegates present from 10 to 17 January, and 2 pages of diary entries for 14 to 24 January. For example, on the opening day of the full deliberations, 14 January, "Red the Constitution and first disaproved by Mr. Turner becaus the divine being was not acknowledged in the begining." On 17 January, when the controversial three-fifths representation for slaves was debated, the journal reads "Representatives and taxation desputed. Judge Dinney says our lands are more valuable than the southern state, answerd by Randal to the contrary." The author snuck out on the afternoon of 19 January to attend the funeral of the young Doctor Samuel Adams, son of the renowned brewer-patriot. The journal ends two weeks before the final vote. The author is unidentified, but was clearly one of the 355 delegates. The author's distinctive handwriting and creative spelling should make an identification possible.
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