933. Independent Chronicle, 11 September 17881

A federal correspondent observes, that howsoever a correspondent of the Centinel of Saturday last, may amuse himself with air, “thin air,” the enlightened freemen of the United States of America, are not so destitute of common sense, as not to see and laugh at any suggestions, direct or implied, that convey an idea, that it is treason against themselves, to propose, and endeavour to obtain, in the constitutional way, necessary amendments, to their own Constitution; “treason against the Majesty of the people,” lies on the other hand. The people of this Commonwealth, in particular, by their very respectable Convention, in February last, at the ratification of the Federal Constitution, after stating sundry amendments, then enumerated, did, “In the name and in the behalf of the people of this Commonwealth, enjoin it upon their Representatives in Congress, at all times, until the alterations and provisions aforesaid, have been considered, agreeably to the fifth article of the said Constitution, to exert all their influence, and use all reasonable and legal methods to obtain a ratification of the said alterations and provisions, in such manner, as is provided in the said article.”

Is it then, this correspondent asks, the holding up the propriety and importance, of obtaining, if possible, this enjoined object of the people; or sentiments, advanced in opposition to it, that exhibits most, the complexion of TREASON AGAINST THE MAJESTY OF THE PEOPLE—of this the enlightened people are fully competent to determine for themselves. But not only the Convention of this Commonwealth, but those of several other States, (the whole included, being intitled, as fixed by the Constitution, to a majority of Representatives, of those States which have adopted the system,) have likewise proposed amendments. And it is highly probable, that if the mode of first adopting the Constitution, and then proposing amendments, had been at first thought of, all the ratifying States, would have pursued nearly the same line of conduct. The freemen of these States, have a fore-sight to discern, that their liberties may be in danger, although not attacked, if an avenue is left open, through which they may at some future time, be attacked; they will therefore, naturely be anxious, that any aperture in the barrier between powers delegated and retained, be closed, explicitly defined, and well understood. To leave matters to a full trial of experience, as some are urging, may perhaps, be compared to the loaning a man’s money, untold and without proper security for the payment thereof, in order to ascertain his honor and honesty; or to neglect to repair a breach in the walls of a city liable to be besieged, in order to discover whether the assailants would avail themselves of the advantage offered them: The loss of property however, in the one case, and a lodgment gained behind the breach, in the other, would render after precaution unavailable.

1. Reprinted: New York Journal, 25 September.