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Mr. Madison thought it necessary to give the authority, in order to prevent misconstruction. He mentioned the attempt made by the debtors to British subjects, to show that contracts under the old Government were dissolved by the Revolution, which destroyed the political identity of the society.

Mr. Gerry thought it essential that some explicit provision should be made on this subject; so that no pretext might remain for getting rid of the public engagements.

Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS moved, by way of amendment, to substitute, “The Legislature shall discharge the debts, and fulfil the engagements of the United States."

It was moved to vary the amendment, by striking out “discharge the debts,” and to insert “liquidate the claims;" which being negatived, the amendment moved by Mr. GoUVERNEUR MORRIS was agreed to, -all the States being in the affirmative. 927

It was moved and seconded, to strike the following words out of the second clause of the Report: "and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by the United States." Before a question was taken, the House



In Convention,—The Report of the Committee of eleven, made the twenty-first of August, being taken up, and the following clause being under considera

tion, to wit: “To make laws for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia, and for governing such parts of them as may be employed in the service of the United States; reserving to the States, respectively, the appointment of the officers, and authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed,”—

Mr. SHERMAN moved to strike out the last member, “and authority of training,” &c. He thought it unnecessary. The States will have this authority of course, if not given up.

Mr. ELLSWORTH doubted the propriety of striking out the sentence. The reason assigned applies as well to the other reservation of the appointment to offices. He remarked at the same time, that the term discipline was of vast extent, and might be so expounded as to include all power on the subject.

Mr. King, by way of explanation, said that by organizing, the Committee meant, proportioning the officers and men-by arming, specifying the kind, size and calibre of arms—and by disciplining, prescribing the manual exercise, evolutions, &c.

Mr. SHERMAN withdrew his motion.

Mr. GERRY. This power in the United States, as explained, is making the States drill-sergeants. He had as lief let the citizens of Massachusetts be disarmed, as to take the command from the States, and subject them to the General Legislature. It would be regarded as a system of despotism.

Mr. MADISON observed, that “arming," as explained, did not extend to furnishing arms; nor the term disciplining," to penalties, and courts martial for enforcing them.

Mr. King added to his former explanation, that arming meant not only to provide for uniformity of arms, but included the authority to regulate the modes of furnishing, either by the militia themselves, the State Governments, or the National Treasury; that laws for disciplining must involve penalties, and every thing necessary for enforcing penalties.

Mr. Dayton moved to postpone the paragraph, in order to take up the following proposition : “ To establish an uniform and general system of discipline for the militia of these States, and to make laws for organizing, arming, disciplining and governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States; reserving to the States, respectively, the appointment of the officers, and all authority over the militia not herein given to the General Government.

On the question to postpone, in favor of this proposition, it passed in the negative,-New Jersey, Maryland, Georgia, aye—3; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, no—8.

Mr. ELLSWORTH and Mr. SHERMAN moved to postpone the second clause, in favor of the following: “ To establish an uniformity of arms, exercise, and organization for the militia, and to provide for the government of them when called into the service of the United States."

The object of this proposition was to refer the plan for the militia to the General Government, but to leave the execution of it to the State Governments.

Mr. LANGDON said he could not understand the

jealousy expressed by some gentlemen. The General and State Governments were not enemies to each other, but different institutions for the good of the people of America. As one of the people, he could say, the National Government is mine, the State Government is mine. In transferring power from one to the other, I only take out of my left hand what it cannot so well use, and put it into my right hand where it can be better used.

Mr. GERRY thought it was rather taking out of the right hand, and putting it into the left. Will any man say that liberty will be as safe in the hands of eighty or an hundred men taken from the whole continent, as in the hands of two or three hundred taken from a single State ?

Mr. DAYTON was against so absolute a uniformity. In some States there ought to be a greater proportion of cavalry than in others. In some places rifles would be most proper, in others muskets, &c.

General PINCKNEY preferred the clause reported by the Committee, extending the meaning of it to the case of fines, &c

Mr. MADISON. The primary object is to secure an effectual discipline of the militia. This will no more be done, if left to the States separately, than the requisitions have been hitherto paid by them. The States neglect their militia now, and the more they are consolidated into one nation, the less each will rely on its own interior provisions for its safety, and the less prepare its militia for that purpose ; in like manner as the militia of a State would have been still more neglected than it has been, if each county had been independently charged with the care of its

militia. The discipline of the militia is evidently a national concern, and ought to be provided for in the national Constitution.

Mr. L. MARTIN was confident that the States would never give up the power over the militia; and that, if they were to do so, the militia would be less attended to by the General than by the State Governments.

Mr. RANDOLPH asked, what danger there could be, that the militia could be brought into the field, and made to commit suicide on themselves. This is a power that cannot, from its nature, be abused; unless, indeed, the whole mass should be corrupted. He was for trammelling the General Government whenever there was danger, but here there could be none. He urged this as an essential point; observing that the militia were every where neglected by the State Legislatures, the members of which courted popularity too much to enforce a proper discipline. Leaving the appointment of officers to the States protects the people against every apprehension that could produce murmur.

On the question on Mr. ELLSWORTH's motion, Connecticut, aye; the other ten States, no.

A motion was then made to recommit the second clause; which was negatived.

On the question to agree to the first part of the clause, namely, “To make laws for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States,".

New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina,

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