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title:“Melancton Smith's Notes of the New York Ratification Convention Debates”
authors:Melancton Smith
date written:1788-6-20

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:10 a.m. UTC
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Smith, Melancton. "Melancton Smith's Notes of the New York Ratification Convention Debates." The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution. Vol. 22. Ed. John P. Kaminski. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2008. 1734-36. Print.
Melancton Smith, Notes, New York State Library, Albany, New York

Melancton Smith's Notes of the New York Ratification Convention Debates (June 20, 1788)

HAMILTON. The Govt. is to be rejected if bad. Not call reasoning. declamation.
Radical defect of the Constitution is, that it operates upon individuals not on States— This proved from experience. In the war, patriotism operd. in the room of goverment—on record by Resolutions of both the principle admitted. Several States will be delinqt. at the same time, and therefore will not coerce—suppose one State, Massa—they wd. associate with other States—Suppose it could be executed. The [Law?] of executg. by war, is unreasonable & destructive of all govt—will fall on the Innocent & guilty alike No way to remedy it for its but to make the goverment oper. on Individuals instead of _____
Despotism where the powers are concentered, in one body whether or [not] elective— The Convention therefore, found it necessary to divide the powers— The Idea given by us of the ancient Leagues partial—the Amphyctionic council the first, much like ours, but supplanted by reason, of the [dispute?] among their members Holland sometimes, uses force by being the principle one—She is kept together by the force of the pressure of surr[oun]d[in]g Nations— By the influence of the Stadtholder, who is heredy. &commands an Army of 40.000— The Germanic confederacy mistated—it has a diet constantly at war— Lycean confederacy & The Achæan League, carried home their Laws to the individs. the Gentlemen have not accurately considered—It is not said that because they were destroyed, therefore they are bad— The arrangement of the system of the Convt. proper— preliminary observts.
The natural situation of the country divides into navigating the middle & East The nonnavig South— Great States— small States— Two objects pursued— The navigating insisted on no restraints on navig.
The others insisted upon 2/3. The small states, refused to yield equal repre[sentatio]n. The large contended for it so a contest for power— Compromise upon the apportionment of represent—or else relinquished doing any thing— A further reason was Œconomy—Connect. & Newhampshire again[st] it— compromise necessary — Strong reasons for compromise Impropriety of equal Reps. as applied to States not reasoning S. States Never would come on any other principles— It is just
1. They have pecul. advts. of produce would—give some advantages in treaty—Tobacco—Indigo —Rice—being valuable.
Taxation and represent. go together— The best writers say property and persons should be comp[ounde]d why should they not be represented according to their property— A Number of persons are not represented, in your own State Goverments— 1st. The clause by obvious construction, fixes the Represen[tatio]n—there will be 100. in three years—they can never decrease but may increase— It is proper it should be in discretion— Some difficulty to get persons to go—the more numerous the more difficult— What is the number necessary in Mass. 300— in S. Carolina 100— NY 65.
A very numerous inconv[enien]t less numerous more convt.— the number not easily combd.— or corruption— This secure— must increase by N States Vermont must be ind[ependent].
Kentucky Franklin— Western States— the true spirit they shall be increased— 100 members 3 Years— 10 [years]— 130 do— 25 [years]— 250 do.
Experience alone will teach what is proper— The Interest of large States [will?] increase it—Mass. NY. P[ennsylvania] V[irginia] all large and new States—no doubt they will increase their number— Tyrany cannot be immediately estabd. it is visionary— adequate safe at present.

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