930. Massachusetts Centinel, 6 September 17881


A federal correspondent of the Centinel informs the serious correspondent of the Chronicle, that the assertion in the latter paper, previous to the election of Governours, &c. “that a number of the citizens of this town, as well friends to Gen. Lincoln as to Mr. Adams had met; and agreed to give up all exertions for the former, and to unite their interests in favour of the latter, as being the candidate most likely to obtain the greatest number of votes elsewhere”—whatever may be said of it SINCE, was THEN acknowledged to be a falshood—a trick.

The legislature (thank God they chuse the senators) and the freemen of the county of Suffolk, in particular, will undoubtedly fix their eyes upon men of real federalism, consistent, independent characters, who have judgment to discern, and spirit to pursue the best interests of their country. You will not find such men pledging themselves to alter the Constitution.—The proposition is treason against the majesty of the people. It is their own Constitution, by a fairer and better title than any nation under Heaven can boast; having been conceded to in its present form, by a greater proportion of the free citizens, than we can naturally suppose, any alterations ever will—and therefore we may safely repeat, that unconditional promises to support and bring about alterations, previous to a full trial and experience of its competency to the great purposes of the union, is TREASON AGAINST THE MAJESTY OF THE PEOPLE.

If one half of the alterations and additions impertinently suggested by the Conventions of some of the States to the new Constitution, are made, this system of government will, in every respect, be inferiour to the old Confederation—which has so long been justly complained of. Knowing this, the people ought to be on their guard against your alteration-makers, before the Constitution has had a fair trial. It is the opinion of the most exalted and good characters of the United States, that in obtaining the new government, the people have made the happiest acquisition the children of men were ever blessed with—Let us beware then how we mar it. The people may be assured, that under the cloak of previous amendments is hid a dagger, aimed at the existence of our union and peace: But under such a government as this system provides, it is the general sentiment that our union will be cemented, and our peace perpetuated—that dignity and justice will be our characteristicks as a nation—and that the spunge of time will wipe out the many, many stains which individual States have made.

If we divide we are lost—But if, planted in the soil of freedom, and watered with the dews of union, these States will adhere to the great principles of the Constitution, they will multiply and increase like the Indian figtree—so beautifully described by MILTON

“Branching so broad and long, that in the ground

The bending twigs take root—and daughters grow

About the mother tree—a pillar’d shade—

High over-arch’d.”—Bestowing succour—and

Affording safety.

1. Reprinted: American Herald, 11 September (2nd and 3rd paragraphs); New York Daily Advertiser, 15–16 September; New York Independent Journal, 17 September (3rd and 4th paragraphs); Newport Herald, 2 October (3rd and 4th paragraphs).