947. Real Farmer
Hampshire Chronicle, 22 October 1788

Mr. PRINTER, Be pleased to insert the following in the Hampshire Chronicle.

The time is now approaching when the New Government is to be organized and put into operation in the United States of America. The Constitution has been adopted by the Conventions of more than nine States. In several of those Conventions, the members have been nearly equally divided. In most of them, a number of amendments have been resolved upon as highly expedient for securing the liberties and welfare of the people, on the one hand, and for preventing the baneful effects of the abuse of power, on the other. In a situation thus critical, it is ardently to be wished, if not confidently expected, that the Legislatures in the several States, and the people at large, may proceed in the organization of this Government with the highest degree of candour, prudence and sagacity. In transacting this all-important business, violent parties and venal measures, would, probably, produce a corrupt and violent administration of government.

A diversity of interests subsists among the citizens in every State. In order that those interests should be equally secured, it is undeniably necessary that they should be equally represented in that government, to the support of which they are equally held to contribute, and on which they equally depend for protection. The mercantile interest may be nominally represented by men who are in the landed interest; and vice versa. But it would be idle to expect, either the one or the other to be really represented by any, unless by those whose interests, whose feelings, and whose views, are the same with those whose nominal representatives they are. “The end to be aimed at,” says an eminent writer, “in the formation of a representative assembly, seems to be the sense of the people, the publick voice: The perfection of the portrait consists in its likeness.” A mere nominal representation is of but little advantage. To be entirely unrepresented, is more eligible, perhaps, than to be represented by those whose interests, feelings and views, are very diverse from those of their constituents.

The landed, is the great, the important interest of this country; and therefore it demands the most careful and particular attention. On the flourishing of this interest, as I conceive, eventually depends, not only the wealth, but the liberties and happiness of the nation. At the same time, this interest, of all others, seems to be the most straitened and distressed. I believe it is found that the liberties of a people have generally evanished, nearly in the same proportion as their landed interest has been depressed. And for this there is a cause, as truly natural, as for any effect whatever. For the sake of the publick at large, it is therefore most ardently to be desired, that in the new government, especially when it first begins to operate, the landed interest may be, not only nominally and fully, but really represented. The importance of this idea is still enhanced from a consideration that the landed interest is exposed to publick burdens vastly beyond any other interest. It is an interest which cannot be concealed, and is legally exposed to a congressional, or national tax, equally with the mercantile interest: It is, at the same time, almost the only permanent resource for paying the debts, or defraying the internal expences of the individual States.

In order that an equal and real representation may, in any measure be secured, it seems to be necessary that the travel to elections should be rendered as short as may be, and that the circles or districts, in which representatives shall be chosen, should be as small as the nature of the case, and the Constitution, will admit of. By this means, the citizens will more generally know, and be known by, their representatives. And this I take to be an object worthy of more attention than at first sight some may imagine.

That the various classes of citizens may be really represented in a government, firm as Mount Zion, gentle and mild; that every department thereof may be filled with men of virtue, moderation and discernment, and the great body of the people feel themselves free, happy and safe, is the ardent wish of a REAL FARMER.