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it either collectively or by representation. This Constitution declares this principle in its terms and in its consequences, which is evident from the manner in which it is announced, “We, the People of the United States.” After all the examination which I am able to give the subject, I view this as the only sufficient and most honorable basis, both for the People and the Government, on which our Constitution can possibly rest. What are all the contrivances of States, Kingdoms, and Empires? What are they all intended for 8 They are all intended for man. * * * I am astonished to hear the ill-founded doctrine that States alone ought to be represented in the Federal Government: these must possess sovereign authority, forsooth, and the people be forgot. No. Let us re-ascend to first principles.”—Elliot’s Debates, Vol. II, p. 478.


. James Madison.

James Madison, of Virginia, said: “The question whether “We, the People,’ means the people in their aggregate capacity, acting by a numerical majority of the whole, or by a majority in each of all the States, the authority being equally valid and binding, the question is interesting but as an historical fact of speculative curiosity.” — Writings of James Madison, Vol. IV, p. 423.

Mr. Wicholas, of Virginia.

In the Virginia Convention, June 6, 1788, Mr. Nicholas said: “The Confederation being found utterly defective, will he deny our right to alter or abolish it ! But he objects to the expression, “We, the People,’ and



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demands the reason why they had not said “We, the United States of America 7' In my opinion the expression is highly proper—it is submitted to the people, because on them it is to operate—till adopted, it is but a dead letter, and not binding on any one—when adopted, it becomes binding on the people who adopt it. It is proper on another account. We are under great obligations to the Federal Convention for recurring to the people, the source of all power.”—Debates of the Convention of Virginia, 1788, p. 79.

Mr. Bayard.

Bayard’s Brief Eagosition of the Constitution of the United States (p. 42), says: “The origin of the General Government, the source of all its power, was a matter too important to be left in doubt, and it is therefore declared to be ordained and established by “the People of the United States.’”


Virginia House of Burgesses in 1774.

In 1774, when the people of the colony of Massachusetts were protesting against the arbitrary colonial policy of the British Government, the Virginia House of Burgesses passed some resolutions in which they implored the Divine power “to give them one heart and one mind, firmly to oppose, by all just and proper means, every injury to American rights.” On the publication of these resolutions, the royal governor of Virginia, John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, dissolved the House of Burgesses; but |before the separation of the members, eighty-nine of them formed an Association, and signed an agreement, in which they declared “that an attack made on one of our sister colonies” (alluding to Massachusetts) “to compel submission to arbitrary taxes, is an attack made on all British America, and threatens ruin to the rights of all, unless the united wisdom of the whole be applied.”— Jefferson's Comp. Works, Vol. I, pp. 7–123.

General Congress Proposed by Virginia.

The Association, thus formed in Virginia, instructed its Committee of Correspondence to propose to the Correspondence Committees of the other British Colonies in America, to appoint deputies to meet annually in a general Congress, in such place as should be convenient, to direct, from time to time, the measures required by the general interest.—Jefferson's Comp. Works, Wol. I, p. 123.


The proposal to organize a general Congress having been made, about the same time, by the Massachusetts House of Representatives, was favored by nearly all of the colonial committees; and it was agreed that the first Congress should meet at the city of Philadelphia, on the fifth day of September, 1774.—Holmes’ Annals, Wol. II, p. 187.

Meeting of Continental Congress.

On that day the Continental Congress met at Carpenters' Hall, in Philadelphia, to deliberate upon the “state of British America,” and to take measures “to effect the purpose of describing with certainty the rights of Americans, repairing the breach made in those rights, and guarding for the future from any such violations done under the sanction of public authority.”—Wewburn, IV. C., Resolutions.—Journals of Congress, September 14, 1774.

Object of the Revolutionary Movement in 1774.

The object of the revolutionary movement in 1774 was, according to the declarations of Congress, designed, by “the united efforts of North America,” to adopt measures “for the preservation of the liberties of America.” —Jours. Of Cong.

Congress in 1774.

On the 6th of September, 1774, Congress resolved “That, in determining questions in this Congress, each Colony or Province shall have one vote—The Congress not being possessed of, or at present able to procure, proper materials for ascertaining the importance of each Colony.”—Jours. Qf Cong.

Association formed in 1774.

In Congress, October 20, 1774, an “Association” was formed and signed by fifty-three Delegates “of the several colonies of New Hampshire, Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the three lower counties of New-Castle, Kent and Sussex, on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, deputed to represent them in a Continental Congress.” The object of the “Association” was to obtain redress of grievances which threatened “destruction to the lives, liberty, and property of his [Britannic] majesty’s subjects in North America.”—Journals of Congress.


Resolution adopted by Officers of Dunmore’s Eagedition in 1774.

On the 5th of November, 1774, the officers of an expedition that marched, under the command of Governor Dunmore, of Virginia, against the Indian tribes of the

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