979. Independent Chronicle, 6 August 17891

Mess’rs. ADAMS & NOURSE, It may well be remembered, that the following “Amendments” to the new Constitution for these United States, were introduced to the Convention of this Commonwealth, by its present Lieutenant-Governour, that venerable patriot, SAMUEL ADAMS.—It was his misfortune to have been misconceived, at the time, and the proposition was accordingly withdrawn—lest the business of the Convention, (the session of which was then drawing to a period) might be unexpectedly protracted. His enemies triumphed exceedingly, and affected to represent his proposal as not only an artful attempt to prevent the Constitution being adopted in this State, but as an unnecessary and improper alteration of a system, which did not admit of improvements. To the honour of this gentleman’s penetration, and of his just way of thinking on this important subject, every one of the intended alterations, but one, have been already reported by the Committee of the House of Representatives in Congress, and most probably will be adopted by the Federal Legislature. In justice therefore to that long tried Republican, and his numerous [– – –] you, gentlemen, are requested to re-publish his intended alterations in the same paper, that exhibits to the public, the Amendments which the Committee have adopted,2 in order that they may be compared together.


Propositions submitted to the Convention of this State,

by the Hon. SAMUEL ADAMS, Esq.

“That the report of the Committee made on Monday last, be amended so far as to add the following to the first article therein mentioned, viz.—“And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to arise standing armies, unless when necessary for the defence of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning in a peaceable and orderly manner, the Federal Legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possessions.”

1. Reprinted: New York Daily Gazette, 13 August 1789.

2. On the previous page, the Independent Chronicle printed the amendments reported by the committee of eleven to the U.S. House of Representatives on 28 July, a facsimile of which appears immediately below.