Front Page Titles (by Subject) COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS. In Convention of the Delegates of the People of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1788. - The Debates in the Several State Conventions of the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, vol. 2 (Mass., Conn., NH, NY, Penn, Maryland)
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COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS. In Convention of the Delegates of the People of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1788. - Jonathan Elliot, The Debates in the Several State Conventions of the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, vol. 2 (Mass., Conn., NH, NY, Penn, Maryland) 
The debates in the several state conventions on the adoption of the federal Constitution, as recommended by the general convention at Philadelphia, in 1787. Together with the Journal of the federal convention, Luther Martin’s letter, Yates’s minutes, Congressional opinions, Virginia and Kentucky resolutions of ‘98-‘99, and other illustrations of the Constitution … 2d ed., with considerable additions. Collected and rev. from contemporary publications, by Jonathan Elliot. Pub. under the sanction of Congress. (1836), 5 vols.
Part of: The Debates in the Several State Conventions of the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, 5 vols.
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COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS.
The Convention, having impartially discussed and fully considered the Constitution for the United States of America, reported to Congress by the Convention of delegates from the United States of America, and submitted to us by a resolution of the General Court of the said commonwealth, passed the twenty-fifty day of October last past; and acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Supreme Ruler of the universe in affording the people of the United States, in the course of his providence, an opportunity, deliberately and peaceably, without fraud or surprise, of entering into an explicit and solemn compact with each other, by assenting to and ratifying a new Constitution, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity, DO, in the name and in behalf of the people of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, assent to and ratify the said Constitution for the United States of America.
And, as it is the opinion of this Convention, that certain amendments and alterations in the said Constitution would remove the fears and quiet the apprehensions of many of the good people of the commonwealth, and more effectually guard against an undue administration of the federal government, the Convention do therefore recommend that the following alterations and provisions be introduced into the said Constitution: —
First. That it be explicitly declared, that all powers not expressly delegated by the aforesaid Constitution are reserved to the several states, to be by them exercised.
Secondly. That there shall be one representative to every thirty thousand persons, according to the census mentioned in the Constitution, until the whole number of representatives amounts to two hundred.
Thirdly. That Congress do not exercise the powers vested in them by the 4th section of the 1st article, but in cases where a state shall neglect or refuse to make the regulations therein mentioned, or shall make regulations subversive of the rights of the people to a free and equal representation in Congress, agreeably to the Constitution.
Fourthly. That Congress do not lay direct taxes, but when the moneys arising from the impost and excise are insufficient for the public exigencies, nor then, until Congress shall have first made a requisition upon the states, to assess, levy, and pay their respective proportion of such requisitions, agreeably to the census fixed in the said Constitution, in such way and manner as the legislatures of the states shall think best, and, in such case, if any state shall neglect or refuse to pay its proportion, pursuant to such requisition, then Congress may assess and levy such state’s proportion, together with interest thereon, at the rate of six per cent. per annum, from the time of payment prescribed in such requisitions.
Fifthly. That Congress erect no company with exclusive advantages of commerce.
Sixthly. That no person shall be tried for any crime, by which he may incur an infamous punishment, or loss of life, until he be first indicted by a grand jury, except in such cases as may arise in the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.
Seventhly. The Supreme Judicial Federal Court shall have no jurisdiction of causes between citizens of different states, unless the matter in dispute, whether it concern the realty or personalty, be of the value of three thousand dollars at the least; nor shall the federal judicial powers extend to any action between citizens of different states, where the matter in dispute, whether it concern the realty or personalty, is not of the value of fifteen hundred dollars at the least.
Eighthly. In civil actions between citizens of different states, every issue of fact, arising in actions at common law, shall be tried by a jury, if the parties, or either of them, request it.
Ninthly. Congress shall at no time consent that any person holding an office of trust or profit, under the United States, shall accept of a title of nobility, or any other title or office, from any king, prince, or foreign state.
And the Convention do, 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 5th 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.
And, that the United States, in Congress assembled, may have due notice of the assent and ratification of the said Constitution by this Convention, it is
Resolved, That the assent and ratification aforesaid be engrossed on parchment, together with the recommendation and injunction aforesaid, and with this resolution; and that his excellency, John Hancock, President, and the Hon. William Cushing, Esq., Vice-President of this Convention, transmit the same, countersigned by the Secretary of the Convention, under their hands and seals, to the United States in Congress assembled.
The question was determined by yeas and nays, as follows: —
Total. — Yeas, 187. Nays, 168.
On the motion for ratifying being declared in the affirmative, by a majority of nineteen, the
Hon. Mr. WHITE rose, and said that, notwithstanding he had opposed the adoption of the Constitution, upon the idea that it would endanger the liberties of his country, yet, as a majority had seen fit to adopt it, he should use his utmost exertions to induce his constituents to live in peace under and cheerfully submit to it.
He was followed by Mr. WIDGERY, who said, that he should return to his constituents, and inform them that he had opposed the adoption of this Constitution; but that he had been overruled, and that it had been carried by a majority of wise and understanding men; that he should endeavor to sow the seeds of union and peace among the people he represented; and that he hoped, and believed, that no person would wish for, or suggest, the measure of a protest; for, said he, we must consider that this body is as full a representation of the people as can be convened. — After expressing his thanks for the civility which the inhabitants of this town have shown to the Convention, and declaring, as his opinion, that they had not in the least influenced the decision, he concluded by saying, that he should support, as much as in him lay, the Constitution, and that he believed, as this state had adopted it, that not only nine, but the whole thirteen, would come into the measure.
Mr. WHITNEY said that, though he had been opposed to the Constitution, he should support it as much as if he had voted for it.
Mr. COOLEY (Amherst) said, that he endeavored to govern himself by the principles of reason; that he was directed to vote against the adoption of the Constitution, and that, in so doing, he had not only complied with his directions, but had acted according to the dictates of his own conscience; and that, as it had been agreed to by a majority, he should endeavor to convince his constituents of the propriety of its adoption.
Dr. TAYLOR also said, he had uniformly opposed the Constitution; that he found himself fairly beaten, and expressed his determination to go home and endeavor to infuse a spirit of harmony and love among the people.
Other gentlemen expressed their inclination to speak; but, it growing late, the Convention adjourned to the next morning.
Thursday,February 7, 1788. — The Convention met, when Major NASON, in a short address, intimated his determination to support the Constitution, and to exert himself to influence his constituents to do the same.
Mr. RANDAL said, he had been uniformly opposed to the Constitution. He had, he said, fought like a good soldier; but, as he was beaten, he should sit down contented, hoping the minority may be disappointed in their fears, and that the majority may reap the full fruition of the blessings they anticipate. In the hope that the amendments recommended by his excellency, the president, will take place, I shall, says he, go home and endeavor to satisfy those that have honored me by their choice, so that we may all live in peace.
Major SWAIN declared, that the Constitution had had a fair trial, and that there had not, to his knowledge, been any undue influence exercised to obtain the vote in its favor; that many doubts which lay on his mind had been removed; and that, although he was in the minority, he should support the Constitution as cheerfully and as heartily as though he had voted on the other side of the question.
The Convention then passed the pay-roll, amounting to £4499 2 s.; and, after unanimously passing votes of thanks to his excellency, the president, the honorable the vice-president, and the reverend clergymen of the town of Boston, who officiated as chaplains, for their services, it was voted, That, when the business of the Convention shall be completed, the members will proceed to the state-house to proclaim the ratification, and to take an affectionate leave of each other. An invitation from a number of the inhabitants of Boston, requesting the members of the Convention to take refreshment at the senate-chamber, when the ratification of the Constitution should be declared, was read, and thereon voted, That the thanks of the Convention be given to the inhabitants of Boston for their polite invitation, and that the Convention will attend, as requested.
The business being finished, the Convention proceeded to the statehouse, when the ratification was proclaimed by Joseph Henderson, Esq., high sheriff of the county of Suffolk; after which, the Convention was dissolved