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Image 1 of The Kentucke gazette, February 16, 1788

Part of The Kentucke gazette

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I I THE KllME. XXV. T UC (FEBROARf E SATU RDAV, G ZET id, 1788 'J' Y FEBRUARY i5( 1788. '3 Mr. Bradford. Tlcafe to publiih the ancxed hints, perhaps thdy may have a tendency to ronfe the attention of feme judicious perfontodifcufs the fubjeftmoie nt at large. my vein, Take of the crimjon flteam meandering there, id chatechize it will slppl'y your glass. and probe it, is it be not blood Search Congenial with thine own. Cowfer. soon aiter the close of .ibloody and war, which wc have Curtained in dctcncc of the libc ties ind indcreafib!e rights of mankind; during which ihofe lights have been investigated With the utmoll piecision: it may, to fomc, seem a lirt c euaordinary to refumc so trite asubjeft: but as theie is apioheA ofanxranear approaching, h'x wirh events highly, ve.y highly inter efting to these weftein diftricls; and as it fcoms, that some, even of our leading characters, have been too much hurnel to have given those fubects so much of thc:r attention 3s they seem to have merited; or may have forgotten some of the features peculiar to the piftu.e of liberty; I beg leave to "hold up to public vcv, some of the outlines of the iharnrng poitia.t, no'dcr to attach my fellow citizens to the oiiginal foim fiom whence they are taken: and add a sew veiy plain observations on In this 1 shall confine myself civil tovcr-mcn- t. to civil li be cy, andthjt na'ural liberty or freedom f mankind, in an unconne-lestate, (or as some in a fta'c of naaiic ) from whence it arises: and lh i'l iiid enquire what this natural freedom is. it is obvious at first luht, that this is neither Bioienor less than a power of fcif government, a peifjiramce of all our ;honsagreab!cto our own will; or inpl.iinci tei myitis a doing as weplcafe; Under the di eclion of icafon, ihegrcat, primary, and nevei ceifin law of nntuie. As long as any man does lb he has a riiiht to enjoy his pcrfon, life, anipropeity, f.ce f om all molestation what-foccandweie he .ible, even to epel the comof the wo. Id in any arempt to deprive bined him of either; and on this is sounded a right of eiwl'ny: for as one man-- , ireht is limited to- the e ,jo,me i , nd defence of his own prrpcry; other mans rig'U eMends to the same limits, b.it ro furibci." so it - incoiKre'vabl'.' that an in-- 3 vidjal can of right, en 0 any poflible pofleffi-01or happire's any p"it of which ano'her per-i'o- n 01 even commun ty of men can have a right to (iori.vc him os: or that any two 01 more in dividual, can aithc same r:me j ft y claim orpoi-fef- s an cxJufive right to any thing whatfocverf for what I wholy and r.glnfully cla m or enjoy, evev other ma-- ' is wholv and liphtfully excluded of daimuvj, 01 en oyine by th'sg.'eat and primary, law of natuie, and this it is which cftab',' flics a poire& natuial duality among m mkind, and excludes all light 6f one man to govern or contvoul the rightful actions, or p operty of another in anca'e whitfoeverf a.id .01 unkcrf.il, and unerring observation of, and obedience to this law, is what we call rctitudc, or moral virtue: which, where it p evails, neceTaiily ptec'udes all civil d no-.- v SO l fa, r; po-ye- - 11 government; which ison'y fuhftitutc m therocjn afoieTaid natural lav.', wlidc its piinciples aie not duly attcn 'el to, or its f.nflions appear loo did nv or feble, It is evi lent that all men act accoi d ng to, 01 do art from this aV.- of nature on as, on the one ban J Ire r leifon, or on the othci their puifions an appetites piepon-- , dciate: but as universal obfeivation a'd'uics th.'t mankind are m.ue generally aflunted ny their pafions and appetites, than 'by their icafon; so necetTary to iediain,.controui, or at 'cart to counteract those paslions: hence the neceflity of civil government; and on that ncc'Ii'v iu u na'es : the Urfi o) powc, or'of piope tv, would flnii'jlate theftiong, 01 the artful, toe ze tr-- perform, .or properties of the weak, or ihciinvlc, and sppropiiate them to the.r owir use, in contempt of the sacred lawofnatu.e. Hence man.ind fo.irid 3t neccuary to enter into solemn com,) .els of mutual Je'ence. an i lecurity, and in those comoafts, ro cci'ta'n ruies so' ndjdtij on, oi at Ic.ft so, the urme fd ,c.on of mankind, (the corrmon law of natuiej to which they .llioukl all be equa!' sub.'et; as their rightfully, an.d origi-na'l- y were in their unconrecled state, to that or i gin.d law; and this only to fecuie to tljem.elves thot hbeitv. and those rights to which they aj said ;iboe e all naturally, equally, and unalien. ably cn:.t:ed. Th' it apeais ho.y civil govern- - tf the - ihj-ro-o- 1 ment becomes a fubftttute for moral virtue : and that inllead of infringing the rightful liberties of mankind, it tends to. secure them : and by this criterion may every government be tried : thatgo-vcrnmcwhich tends not to secure the lives, liberties and properties of every individual of the community, as far as the law of rafon would have done, is unjust and iniquitious and merits not the name of civil government. I said above that civil government originates in necesfity: I now add i t originates with the people under that neceffity. They form the compact, they ptefcribe the rules and they also enact them or delegate others to do it for them; who are indiscriminately, and in the proper sense of the word their servants and accountable to them and to them only how they execute those trusts: as really so as the irian whom I employ for daily wages is accountable to me and to me only how he performs my business; and arc the efoie to be chosen by them, and that in a way peifeftly confident with the equality of their light; because is they have an equal natural right to lepifiative d executive power in all their diffcen' branches, which takes in all the powers that can exifb in a state; none can have a right to exercise rrv of tho'c powe'is, but by appointment or delcu-tio- n Confcquently those who a'C thus chose by them to thc.exerutivcda- panment are as rc.i iv their rcprelentativcs, as those similarly chorcn to the legi dative : This I think an observation f some conference; all this power they are icfrly authorized to exercise and that in their ioint and nqual right: for is at the time of ending into such compaft, a compleat equality in point of tight subsists; it c vdr ougni to fubnit ii there can be no legitimat e fuerior or even coordinate power, to destroy or d'minilli that cquahtv But it is not government lliould be foimed on principles of equal rigKt : but also that those principles fhouldbe prcci'ely delineated and guarantied by themoft fo'emn fanclions. This is you please wc w.ll call a cOnftitution. There mould alio be' woven into the vcrv textuie of that constitution certain antidotes or pi cfervath cs against corruption or dereneracy, and care lliould be taken by every memler of the cmmun'tv, that those be duly admimftied. Otherwifc thothey may begin their caccr on a ciy fair plain, yet, it may at last terminate ma precipice, which they may never difcoer till it be too late to ici'raft. And first theconllitntion fhou'ld provide for a fair and equal repiefentation. That is that every member of the union 'have a freedom of furTrage and that e ery equal n mber of people have an equal murder of representatives ; for is the preceding fent;ments are jull, no man deprived of suffrage, ought (uh'efs he voluntarily adopr it at least implicitly; to be under the controul or di- reiliou of such constitution, or any law made in confeqi-encof it; it is no' law to him he is in refpeci of is, still in a state of nature : and with-- " out equality of numbers it would be unjust: for-i- t is incontcftiblc, that is cveiy man .has an equal natural right to governing power, he has an equal . risht to every thing that rcpre'ents it.-- and lfwc suppose for instance one diftricl to contain one h u tidied inhabitants, and another 3"thouf,md ;' each entitled to send two reprefiintatives is wc suppose the former to be dniy. duly repisfented,' thon . there w II be nine hundred in ihe laser not at a'l; put this is so plan a case that it is only ftrangC that it ihcmld ever have been ted. But again it ftiould provide against their hold ing those trtifts for long1 .terms. This would call into public fervicc a greater var-'etof cftiir.able character's; would beget an emulation who should feive their country themoft effcntially; and make it perhaps ab faffVonabie a virtue to fcrve the of the public, as.it has been formerly a vice to fcrfre the private interest of some favori e family or worthless dependent. Bcfides, this is a lecurity which the people owe to themfelvcs, for the frdility of their servants; and perhaps the only good security they can have: add to this .tern; intcrva's of inclogibihty, that they may in a private capacity feel all the good and evil effefls resulting fi om their adminiftrtion; arid be p evented from acquiring any influence, dangerous to the' liberty of the community. Whoever doubts the utility of th,s provisionary mcafure let him just recui to the iltc of the Britrlli government under the triennial and fecter.nial parliaments : and he -- a'-- f on onlync-ceTaryth- con-trov- r trill soon be iatisfie'd. But.it should aho provide for its own ft. b;'iiy and permanency; and that no law m y ever a n e into exiflence the foundation of which is not so nd in thore prinfary principles: as the const tuion comes (mtnediately from the pcop'c; so ought the laws to now iri.mc liately from the constitution j it should like a circle circumscribe all lcgiflarc power as the legiflatvc ought to circumfenoe the executive, and both take their form from the pcopltas the great centre of all: it should with all the authority becoming the the majesty of a free people from whence iLproceeJs command; flialt thou come hut no further; for is hcthc-titfuffers itself to be broken in one instance, why not in a thousand j it becomes like a bubble, its cxiftirice is no more and the iffue may be fatal. But lastly, and above all it should provdethat no man or set of men whatfocver from within or without, lliould even poiTefs a power of contio.il, fufpenfiofi, or negation, cither pcrmanen1, Oi temporary, on or over any resolves, afls, proceedings, or laws made by the people themfelvcs, or ther reprefenta-ives- : duly chosen as aboVc: for whencv er this happens, their liberty expires, they areuder the direction of a will difFe cnt fiom, and lupcnor to theii own: and though they may ftdlhaverhc privilege of nominating those who pofte s that power, it is only the poor and dcgisdirg pi of pointing out, among many tyrannical matters, whole lash they will chose to feel. Infhort they arc slaves It has been difputcd whether one house, or cr power of legislature, bemoie eligible, orra- thcr to be chosen than tno. I shall hazard a sew thoughts on that fuajeft. And first, is an inftitutionanfwci sail the ends designed by the in- as wen as any other inltitution. or p'an itituto'-Jcould have dor.e, or can do, theie remains nopof-fibilit- y of its doing more; it is therefore pe fefr, is any thing is added it becomes a redundancy, 1 hope confcquently an imperfection. 'twill noi he denied, that a finglc legifla'ive body, is capai-'of making laws, the perfection of those laws de n'end on the wifdotn, viitue, and integrity of iho legislature, but does it appear, that moic wisdom, irtuc, and integrity, will, or can poffib'y be sound in two hojfes than iri one, provided they consist of the same number, but mo c pairicularlv of the same identical persons ? No man willaffiim this. But it may be said that a second house or feriatc,. being generally sewer in number, dp. by their reparation acqwiie an inflrence vhich wot.lJ have been lost, had the" whole been incorpo ?teJ inofjohonfe. I answer, perhaps r might no1 have been lost; it would no doubt fomet;mrs 10 1 v pen, that thev, in conjunction with the minou'y in the other house would be able to let afi e to re bills, which for want of their afilllance theie, have pafed, this woufdhavc been a ftiorter, ml caficr way; and afended besides, wth m ch let's expence of time and money , and except g in some such instances, all such influence ought to he lost: for in no instance ought the mifiontv to govern the majority. Again, it is mote firm .te : and it is a well known maxim that the fiinp'cr a machine is, it is the more peiscct: thorcalbnon which it is grounded is obvious ; viz. because it is (he less liable to disorder, the ch'i rder mo 0 caflly difcove cd; and whendiicovced, more e fily repared and in no inftafice s this mnx'mmo c applicable than In thcgieatmachh cofgovernmer' But say they the e ought to be two hoi.l'es, he cause the c arc two separate inte efts. I anfv cr denying that any coinmunity en pofiibiy hj-any btit ohe common' public inter est, that is, he gieateft good of the whole and of e) ery ind vidt al as apart of that whole; but is 'it be private interred that is meant, I confess that theie are not only two, but twenty and it may bemore pinatc intcrcds in every go enment, and the same argument would proVe that there ought to be twenty or indeed five hundred houses-o- f legifla ure it each government : and by proving too mucTi f.lls to the ground. But th graiid argument of all, is that by beimz separate they hautfpowcr ofcheck-ir- g fomc bills which would otherwifc pass uvo laws. and might be detrimental to focicty. Had not this argument been produced on the other side, I should ce tainly have prfd icci) it, rn savour of one house: however I aflfc nv nonty in one house, properly enr.tlcdto over riilo amajority in the other? Are they not as r t$ shock 3 good bill as b(J one? snd has itr,o.'? 'Vi-Ic- ra-th- , e .

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