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grant any title of nobility: But precedence and rank shall be thus established: The president of *he congress of America—the supreme civil officer of a state while in it--the generalissimo and
admiralissimo, and they according to seniority—
the regular forces by land and sea, in the service
of the United States—the regular forces by land
and sea, in the service of a particular state, ranking
with such forces in the service of any other state
—the militia of a state, ranking with the militia of any other—officers of equal degree, shall cominand
according to the rank hereby laid down for their
respective corps; and officers of the same corps,
being of equal degree, shall command by seniority
The military land quota of each of the United States shall be in proportion to the number of white inhabitants in each—the legislature in the several states shall, from time to time, cause all the white inhabitants therein, to be numbered as nearly as may be—the persons appointed to num ber them, shall be sworn to make the most diligent and accurate enquiry that they can, and to return to the executive power in the state, the true num ber they shall so find—they shall be paid for their trouble, and punished for their neglect, if any there shall be—the executive authority in each state, having received such a return, shall without loss of time send it, or an exact copy of it, to the congress—such a return to the congress shall be made before the first day of January next, and in every seventh year thereafter—the several states shall, in due time, embody the several military quotas required by the congress, and shall raise, clothe, arm and maintain them, at the general expense, rated by the congress—the several states shall appoint all the regimental and deputy staff officers incidental to their quotas, and into as many brig.des as the congress shall brigade their respec. tive quotas, so many brigadier-generals, shall such respective state nominate, the whole to be conmissioned by the congress—all vacancies in a quota shall be supplied by its state—the executive power in each state, except that in which the congress be sitting, shall, under the authority and controul of the congress, direct the land forces, ships and ves. sels of war, and all officers incidental thereto, in the service of the United States, within such state —the proportionate pecuniary quotas of the several states shall be regulated in proportion to the number of inhabitants in each state respectively— whenever such pecuniary quotas for the service of the United States shall be required by congress,
shall then appoint persons to number its whole inhabitants, according to the mode stated to ascertain the nnmber of white inhabitants in each state, such persons being also caused to specify the mumber of white, mustizo, mulatto and negro inhabitants respectively—such a numeration being duly returned, the legislature in each state shall levy the sum of money to arise therefrom, in such mode as they shall deem expedient; and a true copy of the said return shall, without loss of time, be sent to congress—the several states shall duly pay their pecuniary quotas into the treasury office of America, by the time mentioned by the congress for such payment, unless to the contrary directed for the good of the public service; in which case, such state so directed shall, within twelve months, duly account with the said treasury-office for the pecuniary quota, or part thereof so directed to be retained —each state shall, within five years, establish a foundation for a naval seminary, making suitable provision for the constant maintenance, education and fitting for sea, five youths for every thousand white inhabitants within such state: Every such youth shall be admitted upon such establishment, at ten years of age: At the age of fourteen, he shall be bound an apprentice in the sea service for seven years, completely furnished with necessary clothes and bedding: At the expiration of that term, he shall be liable for a term of seven years, in time of war, to do duty, or to find a seaman to do duty in his room, on board the naval force in the service of the United States, or in that of the state in which he was so educated: And he or his substitute, as the case may be, shall for such service be free from every tax; and losing the use of a limb in the public service, shall be maintained ever after at the expense of the United States, or of that state in whose particular service he was so maimed. Each state shall make suitable laws for rendering this naval establishment a public benefit—all general officers, flag officers and commodores, shall be created by election only, nor shall the principle of seniority give any title to such promotion— no state shall exercise any power hereby delegated to the congress: But it is declared, the several states do possess and enjoy all those natural rights and powers of sovereignty, not by this act delegated: And it is also declared, that whenever the congress shall cease to observe these articles of confederation, the several states shall be at liberty to declare themselves absolved from all obedience to that government."
"For, when over a question arises between the society of large and any magistrate vested with powers originally delegated by that *
they shall state the capitation rate—each state
ciety, it unust be decided by the voice of that society itself; there i*
not upon earth any other tribunal to resort to.-i Blackstone, oos
.M. declaration of the capability of admission into the
by the parties interested therein: Nor shall any alteration be made in them, or any of them, unless such alteration shall be agreed to in the congress, and allowed by the legislature of every state in the confederacy.
The rules by which the confederation shall be understood.
...Art. 10. To avoid, as far as may be, the dangers that may arise from an erroneous construction of the articles of this confederation, and to prevent a contrariety of opinion upon them, they shall be understood according to the expression and not otherwise. And all acts of the congress and of the committee of the United States, shall be taken only in the same manner.
In solemn confirmation and testimony whereof, we, the delegates for the states of New Hampshire, | Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New-York. New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, in congress of the United States, being duly authorised there. unto by acts of the legislature of our respective states, for them and on their behalf, do hereunto sign our names and affix our seals at arms.
Done at in the state of
of the sovereignty of America.
You must have observed, Mr. Chairman, that my ideas have been collected but to one point—an endeavor to render the plan before us as little liable to objection as I can—I have not presumed to touch its general scheme. I wish to have the opening of a congress altered from November to February, March or April, for the reasons I have assigned: I have chosen March, a month particularly distinguishing the laudable exertions of this state; a month, remarkable for great events respecting the liberties of America; a month, including the date of the declension of Great Britain, a month, that ever will be famous for the patriotic execu. tion of a Roman tyrant—but I am not obstinate in this choice. I show.ld most readily admit the famous 19th of April—the commencement of the civil war: Or the 4th of July, the illustrioes epocha of the sovereignty of America! A day that ought to be held in everlasting remembrance--a day that naturally points out the time for the annual meeting of the congress of America, to watch for the permanency of its independence.
I have increased the least representation in congress, in crder to procure a more numerous re.
presentation of the states, and to give efficacy to the mode of trial of disputes between the states: for a numerous representation is a guard against corruption; and nothing should be left at hazard that can be avoided—it seems requisite to declare, that a state shall be bound by the act of the congress, or the committee of the United States, although its representation shall not be present; for this will have a tendency to urge the states to preserve their representation. I think it is utterly impolitic to exclude a member of congress from being nominated to an office, under the United States; for many a man, may be capable of performing much more important service in such a station than in congress: But I have already given my opinion fully on that subject. It seems necessary to the despatch of business, that the president of congress should also be the president of the committee of the United States: For this body is to proceed in the business begun by the other—congress ought to have the power of declaring treason: For the power is a great means of guarding against internal machinations; and it naturally appertains to such a body—An admiralissimo is necessary: for the navy should be of right put upon an equal footing with the army, in point of rank: America must be a great naval power; and every encouragment should be given that she should be soon so— I have mentioned a war and admiralty-office: For such establishments do not seem to be regularly comprehended in the clause, “other committees and civil officers;” the copulative creating an idea of civil committees—The restriction upon the con. gress nomination to military offices, is grounded upon the reasons I have assigned upon that head— It does not seem any way expedient that congress should have a power of emitting or borrowing more money than the sum they rate as necessary to be raised: And, therefore, they ought to be limited in that point—courts for the trial of piracies, and receiving appeals in cases of capture, should be erected in each state: Because people should not be obliged to seek justice at a distance, when they can with propriety be allowed to procure it at home: This is a fundamental principle of natural right, sanctioned by common law and usage—The law by which the right between states in controversy is to be determined, ought to be specified; and the rule of right not left to the caprice of judges—we cannot but remember the high authority which says, “..Misera servitus est, ubi jus est, vagum aut incognitum ” The eleven votes seem absolutely
*Woful is that subjection where the law is uncertain or unknown.—4 Just, 246.
necessary, and perfectly equitable: Can it possibly be thought reasonable, that the southern interest should be judged of and determined upon, without the consent of, at least, half the states principally forming that interest?—It appears evident that the free white inhabitants only of each of the states, should be entitled to the privileges and immunities of free citizens in the others; and that according to the law respecting free white inhabitants in such states respectively—the commercial negociations of congress, must ever be dilatory in their progress, and their views often unattainable, while exposed to a power, in any of the United States, to lay duties and impositions contrary to the spirit of negociations manifestly to the general advantages Such a power therefore should not exist—The greatest obstacles should be laid in the way of public officers receiving any douceur from a foreign prince–It seems absolutely necessary, that precedence and rank should be established; for without it jealousies and confusions may arise—The numeration of the white inhabitants ought to be frequently made, and with the utmost accuracy: This being the best means of enabling the congress to wield the strength of America with equal justice to the several states, and with vigor in defence of the confederacy. And the mode in which this numeration shall be made, and the general tax shall be raised, ought to be specified: These things are capable of being regulated in an easy, plain, equit. able and punctual manner—The unanimous vote is highly expedient in the case of treason: For this is a matter of the most serious importance—The eleven voices should be increased as the confederacy is enlarged: For neither the northern nor southern interest should be effected, but by the consent of at least half the states in such interests respectively—The penal article justifies itself...as does that upon the construction of the confederation, and of the acts of congress and of the committee of the United States.
example is before precept. Let the Quakers take shelter under any text in scripture they please--the best they can find, is but a far-fetched implication in their favor. However, had their precept been in more positive terms, I think I have an example at hand capable of driving them from such a cover. We read that “Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers.” Here we see the arm ef the flesh raised up, and a degree of hostile violence exercised, sufficient to the end in view: And shall it be said violence is not justifiable? Did not God command JMoses to number “all that were able to go forth in war in Israel?” Did not JMoses, by the Divine order, send 12,000 men to cut off the JMidianites: And, although “they slew all the males,” were they not reprehended for having “saved all the women alive?” Did not the Almighty command the children of Israel that, when they had passed into Canaan, “then they should drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before them?” Did not JMoses direct that, when the people were “come nigh unto the battle,” the priests should encourage them, declaring that the Lord their God was with them “to fight for them against their enemies?” And yet the Quakers have sagaciously found out a few words which, by implication, they contend” restrain from doing now, what God then commanded as just. The grand principles of moral rectitude are eternal. Dare the Quakers contend that the myriads, who have drawn the sword since the christian aera are damned for having done so? And unless they main
tain this position, they seem to have no reasonable excuse for their creed and conduct. They seem to have forgot that it is written, “how hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God.” Are there any people upon the face of the earth more diligent after riches than Quakers? We, in this time of calamity, know it to our cost. With. out doubt there are many valuable men of that sect: Men of that persuasion are very good citizens in time of peace; but it is their principle in time of war that I condemn. Is there a Quaker who will not bring bis action for trespass? Is not this an opposition to force? Here they forget their principle of meekness and non-resistance. The great lord Lyttleton, in his dialogues of the dead, tells us, “it is blasphemy to say that any folly could come from the fountain of wisdom. Whatever is
"Notwithstanding the precept, “he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.” St. Luke, rarii. 36.
inconsistent with the great laws of nature, and with the necessary state of human society, cannot be inspired by the divinity. Self-defence is as necessary to nations as men. And shall particulars have a right which nations have not? True religion is the perfection of reason. Fanaticism is the disgrace, the destruction of reason.” Than all this nothing can be more just, certain and evident. Can those men reasonably claim an equal participation in civil rights who, under any pretence whatsoever, will not assist in defending them? Shall there be a people maintained in the possession of their riches by the labor and blood of other men? Are not the quakers, some few excepted, the most inveterate enemies to the independence of America? Have they not openly taken part with those in arms against us? I consider them not only as a dead weight upon our hand, but as a dangerous body in our bosom; I would therefore gladly be rid of them. I almost wish to “drive out all such inhabitants of the land from before us.” The Canaanites knew not God. But the Quakers say they know him, and yet, according to the idea of lord Lyttelton, would have gross folly and injustice to proceed from the fountain of wisdom and equity. I entertain these sentiments with a conscience perfectly at ease on this point. If such treatment shall be termed persecution, the conscientious Quakers can never take it amiss, when they recollect that it is said, “blessed are they who are persecuted for Christ's sake.” I do not consider this as such a per. secution: But if they should, can they be displeas. ed at being placed in a situation to be blessed? And I would lay it down as a truth, that whoever of that sect should be offended at such treatment, would deserve to be expelled our society, as the buyers, sellers and money changers were cast out of the temple. I am not afraid of any resentment, when it is my duty to act in behalf of the rights and interests of America: I trust I fully demonstrated this resolution when, on the 25th of April, 1776, I had;the honor, in the supreme seat of justice, to make the first public declaration in America, that my countrymen owed no allegiance to the king of Great Britain.
I would have it a point settled in the confederation, that all general officers shall be elected— eradicating the idea of a promotion to that rank by seniority. The idea is monarchical—I do not recollect that it was admitted in the ancient and wise republics. The great Hannibal, when very young, commanded the Carthagenian army in Spain over the heads of much older officers—and the first 'fricanus theught it no diminution of his honor to
serve under his brother Asiaticus. These are federacy, as by being furnished with those mem
illustrious instances of wise policy and honorable moderation—it is needless to give others to the same point. But, at present, officers expect to rise by seniority to a general command; and although it is declared that a generalissimo shall be elected, yet there is buttoo much reason to apprehend, as this is only a positive exception to the idea of seniority, and therefore scarce sufficient to eradicate the idea of promotion according to seniority, that the next in rank will always expect the election, and will be but too apt to consider himself as ill treated, if passed by. Men, now a days, are fond of being the only judges of their own importance and merit —they generally overrate both. They seem to have forgot that a knowledge of one's self is the greatest and most difficult that can be acquired; and that it scarcely ever was obtained with any degree of precision. Men are not called into pub. lic stations for their own honor or advantage—but merely for the public benefit. The public are there. fore the only proper judges who shall serve them, and in what posts particular men shall be placed: And besides, they have a natural right to the service of every man in the community. It was, I think, a Spartan maxim, that a man was not born for himself, but for his country: Were we but actuated by this just and noble idea, we might be serenely calm and perfectly safe amidst all the venal exertions of Britain—nay, of the rest of the world combined against us! It is upon this prin. ciple the aborigines of America act. They rise to authority and command by merit alone: And shall Americans extirpate a glorious plant, the natural product of their country? Shall the uncultivated and rude Indians, think more justly and act with more dignity than we, with our improved under. standings and boasted civilization? This very ques. tion alone should, I think, recal us to the proper line of action, and force us to abandon notions which at once disgrace our country, and expose it to ruin. A colonel of small abilities can do but little harm, in comparison of a weak general at the head of a division of the army, leading on the prin. cipal attack, or covering a precipitate retreat.— Marshal Sare, and we need no better authority, says, “he has seen very good colonels become very bad generals.” Can we then expect to see bad colonels become able generals! But it is a point admitted by congress, that election is the best means of procuring an able commander in chief. And why should not tiss principle equally hold with respect to general officers? Can the generalissimo be so well enabled to defend the con
who are most capable of executing his designs? It was upon this principle the invincible Roman armies were formed. That government was republic– ours is the same: I would most eagerly adopt a principle, sanctioned as it is by the happy experience of ages. Montesquieu expressly says, “the people are very capable of electing generals.” of right they ought to be permitted to exercise all those powers which they are capable of exercising with propriety. According to the plan before us, the quotas of the respective states, which I would term the Ame. rican forces, are to be directed in their operations by congress.--If it is meant, as I suppose it is, that there shall be a body of troops in a state, entirely independent of the command of the civil power, F shall, with the utmost reluctance, yield my assent to the proposition; which, to me, appears dishonorable to the sovereignty of the state, dangerous to its welfare, and inconsistent with the superiority of the civil power. I well remember the feelings of the general court of Massachusetts Bay, when governor Barnard told them he had no authority to order the king's ships to quit the harbor of Boston. If he, who was but a representative, ought, as the supreme civil officer, to have a power directing the military within his government; a for. tiori, the several states should possess that power —they are sovereign states. I do not desire that they should absolutely direct such troops: But the executive in each state may, for this purpose, be at least the representative of congress. If the people are to be ruined by a blunder, it will be more natural that they should be ruined by the mistake of their confidential men, than by that of an officer, perhaps a stranger. We have seen a day, when the salvation of this capital, under God, depended, in a manner, upon the authority of the civil power over the troops in garrison: I cannot but wish for a continuance of that command which once has saved us; and which is, as it were, inseparable from the civil power.—I cannot bear the idea of surrendering it so totally as the congress seem to re. quire. The establishment of a basis for the American naval force is an object of the first importance, and it ought not to be omitted in the articles of confederation. Congress have endeavored to establish a land force; but this, which is of superior consequence, has been passed over almost in silence. For the first, they have provided even in detail; but for the other, only in five words—"to