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The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History - 01559 (Page 1)

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The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History - 01559
Draft of Address to Massachusetts Legislature after Ratification of the Constitution
Boston, circa 1788.
Autograph manuscript, 4 pages.

Gentlemen of the Senate & Gentlemen of the House of Representatives
It would have been very pleasing to me at the opening of the last Session to have
met you, and to have expressed that respect which is due to the Senators and the Representatives
of the people of the Commonwealth, but my ill State of health prevented me the pleasure &
Satisfaction --
Since your Adjournment, I have Received no public Letters, and the recess of
Congress has prevented my having any public communications, perhaps little Business in which
the Union is concerned, excepting that of the organization of the general Government will be
attended to before the Meeting of Congress under it ­
I hope you will find upon Examining the Returns, that the people have Elected
Representatives of tried & known Abilities, who feel themselves sincerely attached to the
Interest of their Country, as well as to the principles upon which our glorious Revolution was
effected, such Men will give the Commonwealth its full weight & proper share of Influence in
the general Government.
There never was a time when the public Interest required more attention or gr eater
Abilities than the present, the first impression of Laws under the Government of the United
States will have a strong and lasting influence, those parts of the Constitution which are now
vague and indefinite will receive an interpretation from those Acts, and great Exertions will be
required to place the Commerce of the Southern & Northern States upon a proper degree of
[illegible] Equality & Reciprocity of advantage --
The Ease and Security of the people depend so much upon the arrangement of the
Judicial Department, that I cannot but conclude you will give your Senators and Representatives
particular instructions upon this point [2]
By the tenth Section of the form of Government, no State is to keep Troops in a time of
Peace without the Consent of Congress, this leads me to remind you that the Garrison on Castle
Island must soon be reduced or licence obtained from Congress to keep Troops there, should the
former be more agreeable to you, it will be necessary to make provision for the Disposal of the

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