Henry Livingston, Jr.
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Gilbert Livingston


Family
Gilbert and Catharine


Family
Henry Livingston, Jr.
(17 Dec 1742, Poughkeepsie NY)
(14 Sep 1806, Poughkeepsie NY)
(son of Henry Livingston, Sr. and Susannah Conklin)
+ Sarah Welles (27 Feb 1763, Rumbout NY)
(7 Nov 1752, Stamford CT)
(1 Sep 1783, Stamford CT)
(daughter of )

Children:
    Sarah Livingston[married U.S. Supreme Court Justice Smith Thompson]


Gilbert Livingston and Catharine Crannell
Gilbert Livingston was born 17 Dec 1742, the same year that his parents, Henry Sr. and Susannah, eloped. He was clearly a well-loved child. After Gilbert's birth, Susannah's father sold the house in which the newlyweds were living to Henry.

When Gilbert was old enough to go to school, he was sent south to Fishkill to be educated by Rev. Chauncey Graham, a Congregational minister and Yale graduate, the Congregational church and the Dutch Reformed Church sharing the same Calvinist roots. After all, his grandfather Gilbert had studied with Reverend Solomon Stoddard, a Congregational minister out of Northampton Massachusetts. Gilbert went on with his studies at King's College in 1756 and 1757, but left in '57 because of the smallpox epidemic.

Chauncey Graham School

Back in Poughkeepsie, Gilbert read law with the prominent lawyer in town, Bartholomew Crannell, and commenced his legal career as Crannell's partner and, in 1763, Crannell's son-in-law. Gilbert and Catharine were married by Gilbert's former teacher, the Rev. Chauncey Graham. The problems for Gilbert came with the Revolutionary War. The Livingstons were, for the most part, ardent patriots. The Crannells, on the other hand, were Tories. Crannell and Rev. John Beardsley, the Rector of the Episcopalian Christ Church in Poughkeepsie, and son of Crannell's daughter Gertrude, escaped to New York City. Crannell's house was confiscated during the war as a home for Governor George Clinton when the government was meeting in Poughkeepsie.

After the Revolution, Crannell and Beardsley emigrated to New Brunswick Canada, and Crannell's property was put up for auction and sold to his son-in-laws, Gilbert Livingston and Peter Tappen. Did we mention that Gilbert's brother Henry was Commissioner of Confiscation? Gilbert and his wife went to the city to see off his in-laws.

Notwithstanding his in-law scandal, Gilbert moved rapidly forward in his law profession, and in the associated political world. His Livingston connections would have been invaluable, but it didn't hurt that his wife's sister's husband's sister was married to the Governor. Family was, after all, everything in the old New York small towns.

Gilbert Livingston+ Catharine Crannell..
.   Elizabeth Crannell+ Peter Tappan.
..   Cornelia Tappan+ Governor George Clinton

Gilbert became a member of the NY Assembly in 1777, Surrogate in 1778, Master in Chancery in 1781, member of the New York Constitutional Convention in 1788, and a Presidential Elector for Thomas Jefferson in 1800.

Still practicing law, Gilbert became the law partner of James Kent, who went on to become Chancellor of New York, and Chief Justice of the New York state Supreme Court. Kent was notoriously difficult personally, and when he and Gilbert split up, Gilbert took in Smith Thompson who, following Gilbert's lead, married Gilbert's daughter Sarah. Thompson was Secretary of the Navy in 1810, and thinking of running for President, when President Adams appointed him to the U.S. Supreme Court. After Sarah's death, Thompson married her first cousin, Elizabeth, the daughter of Gilbert's brother Henry.

Gilbert Livingston + Catharine Crannell                          .Henry Livingston + Jane Patterson
   Sarah Livingston + Smith Thompson + Elizabeth Livingston

Deeply religious, a Deacon and Elder of the Dutch Reformed Church, Gilbert also early recognized the essential evil of slavery, and joined the Poughkeepsie branch of the Anti-slavery Society in 1787.

Gilbert and Catharine were religious sponsors for a Negro child and for Gilbert's own sister Helena in 1767, for Catharine's sister's son, Peter Montgomery Tappan, in 1775, and for Gilbert's sister Alida's son, Melancthon Taylor Woolsey, in 1780.

Gilbert lived long enough to see his four grandchildren born. Brother Henry recorded Gilbert's death in the family bible. "My dear brother Gilbert died at his house in this town on Sunday the 14th September 1806 at one oclock p.m. after an illness of near a year, very similar to the last one of my late brother Robert."


Gilbert Livingston to Henry Livingston20 Mar 1770
Gilbert Livingston to Henry Livingston2 Aug 1775


Henry Livingston's Day Book
Mar 2 '72
"Gilbert Livingston fetch'd away 7 load of hay out of John's meadow- One fag let me have for wintering his bull"

Mar 6 '72
"Gilbert fetch'd away 2 beehives with the bees"

Mar 25 '72
"Gilbert fetch'd 2 empty hogsheads away"

Apr 3 '72
"Gilbert fetch'd 11 bottles of his cherry wine away being all he had"

Apr 7 '72
"paid Joshua Owen 3 Dollars being the remainder of what Dady owed him for a pair of breeches and gloves Got 16s3 of Gilbert to make the sum up"

Jun 19 '72
"Bought of John Freer the Bull that was Gilberts 5-3-0"

Sep 11 '72
"Gilbert Livingston Credt by 32s6 which he paid me 29th August now past 1-12-6"

Sep 22 '72
"Gave Gilbert a couple shoats"

Aug 2 '73
"Brother Gilbert Cret 1s6d. He paid for me at Evrite?? 0-1-6"

Sep 8 '73
"Gilbert Livingston Crdt by L2..12..3 which with what he has paid before clears of the Interest of his bond till the 6th of June last 2-12-3"

Aug 10 '75
"Gilbert Livingston Crdt by 11s10 for stock stuff paid him"

Jan 15 '76
"Gilbert Livingston Credt by 4sh"

Mar 23 '76
"Gilbert Livingston crdt by a riding chair 3-4-0"

Apr 19 '77
"Gilbert Livingston Crdt by 0-7-6 for 1 lb of Tea & a shad"

Dec 20 '84
"This day Thomas W. Jacock gave me in the presence of my brother Gilbert Livingston a full certificate that he was satisfied with my conduct as his late guardian & allowed me L12 for all my trouble on his behalf."

Dates in Gilbert Livingston's Life

Mar 20 '70
Letter from Gilbert to Henry spending winter in NYC at Col. Beekman's

'74
Gilbert Dutch Reformed Church Elder for first time

Aug 2 '75
Gilbert tells Henry he won him a commission as Major over several of their cousins and Henry had better take it

Mar '77
Granduncle Pierre Van Cortlandt becomes first Lt Governor of New York (1778-1795), acting as Governor when Governor and General Clinton takes on military responsibilities. (Clinton moves into the house of Brother Gilbert's father-in-law, Tory Bartholomew Crannell, a house now known as Clinton House and housing the Dutchess County Historical Society)

'77
Gilbert elected to NY Assembly (1777-1778)

Jun 16 '78
Gilbert appointed Surrogate - was Peter Tappen's brother-in-law; Peter was brother-in-law of Governor Clinton

Jun 28 '81
Gilbert, Master in Chancery

May 30 '87
Gilbert joins anti-slavery society.

'87
a private minute-book kept by Gilbert Livingston of Poughkeepsie as Surrogate of Dutchess 1787-1804: NYHS

Jun 17 '88
Gilbert and first cousin Philip Van Cortlandt become members of the New York Convention, held in Poughkeepsie, that ratified the U.S. Constitution.

Jun 24 '88
Gilbert's speech.

Jul 2 '88
Gilbert's speech.

Jul 4 '88
Gilbert's speech.

Jul 26 '88
Gilbert's vote.

Feb 3 '92
NYPL: Survey for Law. Van Kleeck land, Gilbert Livingston present

Feb 22 '92
NYPL: Statement of Cornelia Billings, signed before Smith Thompson and Gilbert Livingston, delivered in the presence of Smith Thompson and James Kent; Survey map with lots of little houses, showing land conveyed from Andrew Billings to Henry Livingston

Mar 3 '92
NYPL: Andrew Billings appeared before Gilbert Livingston, as recorded by R.H. Livingston, Clerk

'93
Gilbert Livingston and Matthew Patterson support the same political candidate.

'00
Gilbert becomes an elector, casting his vote for Thomas Jefferson.

Sep 14 '06
Gilbert dies


Livingston Genealogy, by Reuben Hyde Walworth, p. 46
Gilbert Livingston was a distinguished lawyer of Dutchess County. He was a member of the state convention of New York that in 1788, ratified the constitution of the United States. He, with his colleague Melancthon Smith, and some others of the republican members of the convention voted in favor of adoption, (in opposition to most of their political friends) after it had been ratified by a sufficient number of States to put it in Operation in relation to those States. He was one of the Masters of the Court of Chancery; and was one of the Presidential electors, in 1800, who cited for Thomas Jefferson. Catherine Crannell was the daughter of Bartholomew Crannell, a lawyer of Poughkeepsie.



Antifederalist No. 65
Even after the New York government moved out of town, the town was still a draw for other political events, such as the 1788 Constitutional Convention, where New York would decide whether or not to ratify the new U.S. Constitution. Brother Gilbert and Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, Jr. were both members. As Governor, Clinton had managed to stack the deck so that the attendees were 46-19 on his side, which was against ratification, and he was elected President of the Convention. The Governor's fear was that there weren't enough protections for the rights of individuals and of states. The camp opposing Clinton was led by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, who pushed public opinion towards ratification in a series of pamphlets known as the Federalist Papers. Clinton countered with his own articles under the pseudonym "Cato," while brother Gilbert and John Lansing (later Chancellor Lansing) wrote Anti-Federalist Paper No. 65, "On the Organization and Powers of the Senate (Part 4)." In the end, New York ratified the Constitution by just one vote, with Gilbert voting to ratify.

In a book on the "What Ifs" of history, the question is put, " "[What] If Gilbert Livingston Had Not Voted New York Into the Union." The answer Chamberlin gives is that Rhode Island and North Carolina would have not ratified the constitution, and the country would never have been joined into a truly United States.


ON THE ORGANIZATION AND POWERS OF THE SENATE (PART 4)
(by Gilbert Livingston and John Lansing delivered on June 24, 1788 to the New York ratifying convention)

Tuesday, June 24th, 1788.--Convention assembled; and being resolved into a committee, the 1st paragraph of the 3d section of the 1st article was read; when Mr. G. LIVINGSTON rose, and addressed the chair.

He, in the first place, considered the importance of the Senate as a branch of the legislature, in three points of view:--

First, they would possess legislative powers coŽxtensive with those of the House of Representatives except with respect to originating revenue laws; which, however, they would have power to reject or amend, as in the case of other bills. Secondly, they would have an importance, even exceeding that of the representative house, as they would be composed of a smaller number, and possess more firmness and system. Thirdly, their consequence and dignity would still further transcend those of the other branch, from their longer continuance in office. These powers, Mr. Livingston contended, rendered the Senate a dangerous body.

He went on, in the second place, to enumerate and animadvert on the powers with which they were clothed in their judicial capacity, and in their capacity of council to the President, and in the forming of treaties. In the last place, as if too much power could not be given to this body, they were made, he said, a council of appointment, by whom ambassadors and other officers of state were to be appointed. These are the powers, continued he, which are vested in this small body of twenty-six men; in some cases, to be exercised by a bare quorum, which is fourteen; a majority of which number, again, is eight. What are the checks provided to balance this great mass of power? Our present Congress cannot serve longer than three years in six: they are at any time subject to recall. These and other cheeks were considered as necessary at a period which I choose to honor with the name of virtuous. Sir, I venerate the spirit with which every thing was done at the trying time in which the Confederation was formed. America had then a sufficiency of this virtue to resolve to resist perhaps the first nation in the universe, even unto bloodshed. What was her aim? Equal liberty and safety. What ideas had she of this equal liberty? Read them in her Articles of Confederation. True it is, sir, there are some powers wanted to make this glorious compact complete. But, sir, let us be cautions that we do not err more on the other hand, by giving power too profusely, when, perhaps, it will be too late to recall it. Consider, sir, the great influence which this body, armed at all points, will have. What will be the effect of this? Probably a security of their reŽlection, as long as they please. Indeed, in my view, it will amount nearly to an appointment for life. What will be their situation in a federal town? Hallowed ground! Nothing so unclean as state laws to enter there, surrounded, as they will be, by an impenetrable wall of adamant and gold, the wealth of the whale country flowing into it. [Here a member, who did not fully understand, called out to know what WALL the gentleman meant; on which he turned, and replied, "A wall of gold--of adamant, which will flow in from all parts of the continent." At which flowing metaphor, a great laugh in the house.] The gentleman continued: Their attention to their various business will probably require their constant attendance. In this Eden will they reside with their families, distant from the observation of the people. In such a situation, men are apt to forget their dependence, lose their sympathy, and contract selfish habits. Factions are apt to be formed, if the body becomes permanent. The senators will associate only with men of their own class, and thus become strangers to the condition of the common people. They should not only return, and be obliged to live with the people, but return to their former rank of citizenship, both to revive their sense of dependence, and to gain a knowledge of the country. This will afford opportunity to bring forward the genius and information of the states, and will be a stimulus to acquire political abilities. It will be the means of diffusing a more general knowledge of the measures and spirit of the administration. These things will confirm the people's confidence in government. When they see those who have been high in office residing among them as private citizens, they will feel more forcibly that the government is of their own choice. The members of this branch having the idea impressed on their minds, that they are soon to return to the level whence the suffrages of the people raised them,--this good effect will follow: they will consider their interests as the same with those of their constituents, and that they legislate for themselves as well as others. They will not conceive themselves made to receive, enjoy, and rule, nor the people solely to earn, pay, and submit.

Mr. Chairman, I have endeavored, with as much perspicuity and candor as I am master of, shortly to state my objections to this clause. I would wish the committee to believe that they are not raised for the sake of opposition, but that I am very sincere in my sentiments in this important investigation. The Senate, as they are now constituted, have little or no check on them. Indeed, sir, too much is put into their hands. When we come to that part of the system which points out their powers, it will be the proper time to consider this subject more particularly.

I think, sir, we must relinquish the idea of safety under this government, if the time for services is not further limited, and the power of recall given to the state legislatures. I am strengthened in my opinion by an observation made yesterday, by an honorable member from New York, to this effect--"that there should be no fear of corruption of the members in the House of Representatives; especially as they are, in two years, to return to the body of the people." I therefore move that the committee adopt the following resolution, as an amendment to this clause:--

"Resolved, That no person shall be eligible as a senator for more than six years in any term of twelve years, and that it shall be in the power of the legislatures of the several states to recall their senators, or either of them, and to elect others in their stead, to serve for the remainder of the time for which such senator or senators, so recalled, were appointed."


Speech, July 2, 1788
NY's Constitutional Convention
July 2, 1788
Wednesday, July 2, 1788.--Mr. G. LIVINGSTON.

Sir, I perfectly agree, with every gentleman that has spoken on this clause, that it is most important; and I like wise agree with those of the honorable members who think that, if this section is not amended, there will not the shadow of liberty be left to the states, as states. The honorable member from New York, (Mr. Hamilton,) on Saturday, went largely into the jurisdiction of the section as it stands; asserted that the government was truly republican--good and safe; that it would never be the interest of the general government to dissolve the states; that there was a concurrent jurisdiction, independent as to every thing but imports; that the states had a supreme, uncontrolled, and uncontrollable power, in common with the general government, to every branch of revenue, except as to imposts, post-office, and the restraint with respect to exports; that, with respect to any productive source of revenue left, whichever (the general government or particular state) applied first would obtain it. As to the safety in the general government, considered as a complete republican government, several honorable members, as well as my worthy colleague, have fully considered, and in my humble opinion clearly shown, that it cannot be fully depended on as safe, on the score of representation. Therefore I conceive the state governments are necessary as the barrier between the people's liberties and any invasion which may be attempted on them by the general government. The honorable gentleman from New York has given us a new kind of power, or rather endeavored to show that power can be equally exercised in a way I believe never before thought of; that is, two bodies, which have, or at least may have, separate and indeed contrary interests, to have at the same time uncontrollable power to derive support from, and have complete direction of, the same branch of revenue.

It seems, sir, to be agreed that state governments are necessary. The state governments will undoubtedly endeavor to support themselves. It also seems to be agreed that the general government will want all the money they can raise: it is in my mind as true (if they possibly can) that they will raise all they want. Now, sir, what will be the consequence, the probable consequence, in this taxing, collecting squabble? I think, sir, we may conclude, with great certainty, that the people will, between them, be pretty well taxed. An honorable member from New York, (chancellor,) on Friday last, endeavored to prove, and yesterday again tauntingly mentioned it, that, because taxes are annually collected in our counties, for state and county purposes, by the same collector, authorized by the same legislature, appointed by the same assessors, and to support the Same government,--that, therefore, the same sources of revenue may safely be applied to, without any danger of clashing interference, for different purposes and by different powers--nay, by powers between whom, it seems to be agreed, there will be a struggle for supremacy; and one of the gentlemen (Mr. Hamilton) declares his apprehensions to be that, in the issue, the state governments will get the victory, and totally supplant the general government. Others, I believe with great probability of truth, think the states will cut but a scurvy figure in the unequal contest. This, sir, however, seems certain, that a contention there must be between them. Is this wise, Mr. Chairman,--now, when we are deliberating on a form of government which we suppose will affect our posterity to many ages,--to adopt a system in which we see, clearly see, the seeds of feud, contest, jealousy, and confusion? Further, sir, it is agreed that the support of the general government is of the utmost importance on the great scale; it is contended by some, as before mentioned, that, if both powers--the supreme, coŽxisting, coŽual powers--should tax the same objects, the state taxes would be best paid. What, sir, would be the consequence? Why, the others Would be badly paid, or not paid at all. What, then, is to become of your government? In this case, it must be annihilated indeed Will this do? This bantling, sir, ought to be better provided for. For my part, I like it too well--if a little amended--to agree to a provision which is manifestly not sufficient for its support; for, if the gentleman's arguments have weight in them, (and that I would not wish to contest,) this government must fail; the states will be too many for it My opinion is, sir, that a line be drawn. Certain and sufficient resources ought to be left solely to the states, as states, which the amendment does. And as the general government has some particular ones altogether at its command, so also ought there to be a right of requisition for what the specific funds may be deficient in. Sir, this requisition will have, in my opinion, directly a contrary effect to what some gentlemen suppose. It will serve to impress both the general government, as well as the particular state governments, with this important idea--that they conjointly are the guardians of the rights of the whole American family, different parts of the administration of the concerns of which being intrusted to them respectively. In the one case, Congress, as the head, will take care of the general concerns of the whole: in the other, the particular legislatures, as the stewards of the people, will attend to the more minute affairs. Thus, sir, I wish to see the whole transacted in amity and peace, and no other contest than what may arise in the strife which may best answer the general end proposed,--to wit, peace, happiness, and safety.

Further, sir. It has been frequently remarked, from one side of the house, that most of the amendments proposed go on the supposition that corruption may possibly creep into the general government, and seem to discard the idea, as totally improbable. Of what kind of beings, sir, is the general government to be composed? If of men, I think it probable, at least, they may be corrupt. Indeed, if it were not for the depravity of human nature, we should stand in no need of human government at all.

Sir, I should not have added, but I am led to do it,--thus publicly to hold up my testimony to the world against the illiberal treatment we met with yesterday, and that from a quarter I little expected. Had I not been present, I should hardly have believed it possible that the honorable member from New York, who harangued the committee yesterday with such a torrent of illiberality, was the same man who, at the opening of the debates of this Convention, could wish that we should investigate with candor.

Will men, sir, by being called children, be convinced there is no reason in their arguments, or that there is strength in those of their opponents? I confess, sir, in the case before us, they will see strength in the gentleman's argument, (if what was said might be called an argument;) it was strong; and (to use one of the member's own similes) it consisted wholly of brass, without any mixture of clay; and by a luxuriancy of fancy which that member is famous for, and I suppose for the sake of variety, he has taken it from the feet and toes, where, on another occasion, he had emphatically placed it, and now has displayed it wholly in front.

The honorable member, sir, wrought himself up into such a strain of ridicule, that, after exhausting his admirable talents in this sublime and gentlemanlike science on his opponents, he finds another subject to display them on, in the emblem of liberty, the pillar and cap, which the friend and assertor of the rights of his fellow-citizens, John Holt, late printer of the New York Journal, in perilous times dared to use, as expressive of his own whiggish sentiments; who must be hauled from his grave for the purpose--but whose memory, maugre all the invectives which disdain may wish to throw upon it, will be dear to this country as long as the friends of liberty will dare to show their heads in it. Indeed, sir, this is not the first time that this emblem of liberty has been endeavored to be held up in a ridiculous point of light. And let me tell you, Mr. Chairman, it has the same effect on me now it had the first time. It roused every spark of whiggish resentment about my heart. In or about the year 1775, this cap of liberty was the subject of the tory wit of Vardel, or some of his associates about King's College, (as was supposed.) The member, who now exactly follows their track, (if they were the authors of it,) at that time found it not to his purpose openly to avow the sentiment.

But, sir, from the light in which he appears to hold the wavering conduct of up, up, up--and down, down, down--and round, round, round,--we are led to suppose, that his real sentiments are not subject to vary, but have been uniform throughout. I will leave the gentleman himself to reflect, what are the consequences which will naturally follow from these premises. If he does not like them, I cannot help it; he must be more careful, in future, in laying down propositions from which such consequences will follow.

I repeat, sir, that the member, in the first place, endeavors to ridicule the gentlemen opposed to him in sentiment. That was not enough; he must next attack the memory of the distinguished emblem of that good old whig, Mr. Holt. But, sir, as he laughed at a worthy member for making what he termed an anti-climax, he appears to be determined to make his own complete; and, for want of a third part more to his purpose, he finishes by an indirect though fashionable attempt to ridicule the sacred gospel itself, and the faith necessary for a sinner to partake of the benefits contained in it.

Before I sit down, sir, I must lament the occasion of the remarks I have last made. When gentlemen will, for the sake of displaying their own parts, or perhaps for worse purposes, depart from the line of propriety, then they are fair game. I cannot suppose, however, that it is disagreeable to the member himself, as he appears to delight to dabble in dirty water.


Speech, July 4, 1788
NY's Constitutional Convention
July 4, 1788
Friday, July 4, 1788. Committee proceeded to article 2.

Sec. 1. Clause respecting the office of President,--

"Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, that the President of the United States should hold his office during the term of seven years, and that he should not be eligible a second time."

Moved by Mr. SMITH.

Sec. 2. Clause 1, respecting the powers of the President, --

"Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, that the President of the United States should never command the army, militia, or navy of the United States, in person, without the consent of the Congress; and that he should not have the power to grant pardons for treason, without the consent of the Congress; but that, in cases where persons are convicted of treason, he should have authority to grant reprieves, until their cases can be laid before the Congress."

Moved by Mr. G. LIVINGSTON.


Gilbert Livingston's Vote
On NY Approval of the U.S. Constitution
July 26, 1788
Saturday, July 26, 1788. The Convention having met, the bill of rights, and form of the ratification of the Constitution, with the amendments, were read, when the question being put, whether the same should pass, as agreed to and ratified by the Convention, it was carried in the affirmative, as follows:--

    For the Negative.
  • Mr. R. Yates,
  • Mr. Lansing,
  • Mr. Outhoudt,
  • Mr. J. Thompson,
  • Mr. Tredwell,
  • Mr. Cantine,
  • Mr. Schoonmaker,
  • Mr. Clark,
  • Mr. J. Clinton, [Gov Clinton's brother, and Henry's military commander]
  • Mr. Wynkoop,
  • Mr. Haring,
  • Mr. Wisner,
  • Mr. Wood,
  • Mr. Swartwout,
  • Mr. Akins,
  • Mr. Harper,
  • Mr. Frey,
  • Mr. Winn,
  • Mr. Veeder,
  • Mr. Staring,
  • Mr. Parker,
  • Mr. Williams,
  • Mr. Baker,
  • Mr. Hopkins,
  • Mr. Van Ness,
  • Mr. Bay,
  • Mr. Adgate.

Convention adjourned without day.

THE CIRCULAR LETTER,
from the Convention of the State of New York to the governors of the several states in the Union.

Poughkeepsie, July 28, 1788.

Sir:

We, the members of the Convention of this state, have deliberately and maturely considered the Constitution proposed for the United States. Several articles in it appear so exceptionable to a majority of us, that nothing but the fullest confidence of obtaining a revision of them by a general convention, and an invincible reluctance to separating from our sister states, could have prevailed upon a sufficient number to ratify it, without stipulating for previous amendments. We all unite in opinion, that such a revision will be necessary to recommend it to the approbation and support of a numerous body of our constituents.

We observe that amendments have been proposed, and are anxiously desired, by several of the states, as well as by this; and we think it of great importance that effectual measures be immediately taken for calling a convention, to meet at a period not far remote; for we are convinced that the apprehensions and discontents, which those articles occasion, cannot be removed or allayed, unless an act to provide for it be among the first that shall be passed by the new Congress.

As it is essential that an application for the purpose should be made to them by two thirds of the states, we earnestly exhort and request the legislature of your state to take the earliest opportunity of making it. We are persuaded that a similar one will be made by our legislature, at their next session; and we ardently wish and desire that the other states may concur in adopting and promoting the measure.

It cannot be necessary to observe, that no government, however constructed, can operate well, unless it possesses the confidence and goodwill of the body of the people; and as we desire nothing more than that the amendments proposed by this or other states be submitted to the consideration and decision of a general convention, we flatter ourselves that motives of mutual affection and conciliation will conspire with the obvious dictates of sound policy to induce even such of the states as may be content with every article in the Constitution to gratify the reasonable desires of that numerous class of American citizens who are anxious to obtain amendments of some of them.

Our amendments will manifest that none of them originated in local views, as they are such as, if acceded to, must equally affect every state in the Union. Our attachment to our sister states, and the confidence we repose in them, cannot be more forcibly demonstrated than by acceding to a government which many of us think very imperfect, and devolving the power of determining whether that government shall be rendered perpetual in its present form, or altered agreeably to our wishes, and a minority of the states with whom we unite.

We request the favor of your excellency to lay this letter before the legislature of your state; and we are persuaded that your regard for our national harmony and good government will induce you to promote a measure which we are unanimous in thinking very conducive to those interesting objects.

We have the honor to be, with the highest respect, your excellency's most obedient servants.

By the unanimous order of the Convention,

GEORGE CLINTON,
President.










        
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