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James Madison, Jun.
The following Articles in addition to, and amendment of, the
Constitution of the United States, having been ratified by the Legislatures of nine States, are equally obligatory with the Constitution itself.
I. CONGRESS shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
II. A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
III. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner ; nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
IV. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated ; and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
V. No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service, in time of war, or public danger; nor shall any person be subject, for the same offence, to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled, in any criminal case, to be witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
VI. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury, of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; which district shall have been previously ascertained by law; and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation ; to be confronted with the witnesses against him ; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favour; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.
VII. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved ; and no fact tried by jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States than according to the rules of the common law.
VIII. Excessive bail shall not be required ; nor excessive fines imposed; nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.
IX. The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
X. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
XI. The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity commenced
or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign
XII. The electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-president, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-president; and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-president, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted; the person having the greatest number of votes for President shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But, in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-president shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-president shall be Vicepresident, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed ; and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list the Senate shall choose the Vice-president; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two thirds of the whole number of senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-president of the United States.
D, p. iv.
WILLIAM DUER TO JAMES MADISON.
New-York, June 23d, 1788. DEAR SIR, As it is probable you may not hear by this post from our mutual friend Colonel Hamilton, I take the liberty of giving you a short sketch of our political prospects in this quarter on the great question of the Constitution. My information is from Colonel Lawrence, who left Poughkeepsie on Saturday.
A considerable majority of the Convention are undoubtedly Anti-Federal; or, in other words, wish for amend ments previous to the adoption of the government. A few of the leaders (among which I think I may, without scruple, class the governor) would, if they could find support, go farther, and hazard everything rather than agree to any system which tended to a consolidation of our government. Of this, however, I have at present no apprehensions, many of their party having avowed themselves friends to the Union. With respect to amendments, as far as I can understand the party in opposition, they cannot agree among themselves. It is therefore possible that this circumstance may create a division in favour of the Federalists. As to the rejection of the Constitution, there is not the least probability of it. The great points of discussion will probably be, whether they will adjourn without coming to any decision, or whether they will adopt it conditionally, or follow the example of Massachusetts and South Carolina. “
The conduct of your Convention will influence, in a great degree, ours. If you adjourn without doing anything, we shall do the same; but, if you do not, there is still some hope that we may adopt, with proposed amendments : for. as to the second point, the inconsistency of it will, I think. be too apparent after a decision to command a majority. While I am writing, a gentleman has favoured me with a copy of a letter from an intelligent by-stander,* who has attended the debates of the Convention; I therefore enclose it, as a more faithful history than I can give. I am, with, sentiments of the most profound esteem, Your obedient, humble servant,
WILLIAM DUER. * James Kent, then a student at law with Mr. E. Benson.
JAMES KENT TO ROBERT TROUP.
Poughkeepsie, Friday, June 20th, 1788. Dear Sir, I had the pleasure of receiving your letter by Mr. Har. rison, and in compliance with your desire, I shall shortly state to you the proceedings of the Convention hitherto.
They met on Tuesday in pretty full house, and elected Governor Clinton president, and appointed by ballot Duane, Morris, Lansing, Jones, and Hening, a committee for reporting rules for the regulation of the Convention. On Wednesday, the rules were adopted, the Constitution read, and a motion made by Mr. Lansing, and agreed to, that they would on the next day resolve themselves into a committee of the whole, for the purpose of discussing the Constitution. On Thursday, which was yesterday, the house resolved itself into a committee, Mr. Couthout, of Albany, chairman. Chancellor Livingston rose and called our attention to a fine introductory speech of one hour's length. He mentioned the importance of the occasion, and the peculiar felicity of this country, which had it in its power to originate and establish its government from reason and choice, while on the Eastern Continent, their governments and the reforms of them were the children of force. He then pointed out the necessity of Union, particularly in this state, from its local situation, which rendered it peculiarly vulnerable, not only to foreigners, but to its neighbours. He stated that a Union was to be expected only from the old Confederation, or from the government now under their consideration. He then demonstrated the radical defects of the Confederation ; that its principle was bad, in legislating for states in their political capacity, as its constitutional demands could only be coerced by arms; that it was equal. ly defective in form, as the Congress was a single body, too small and too liable to faction, from its being a single body, to be intrusted with legislative power, and too numerous to be intrusted with executive authority. The chancellor, on this head, only gave a summary of the arguments of Publius* when treating on the defects of the Confederation; but the summary was neither so perfect nor so instructive, by a vast difference, as the original. It was not, however, to be expected in a short address. He concluded that survey by entreating the house to divest themselves of preju
* The signature adopted by the authors of “The Federalist.”