Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pennsylvania Charter of Privilege

28 October 1701 WILLIAM PENN, Proprietary and Governor of the Province of Pennsylvania and Territories thereunto belonging, To all to whom these Presents shall come, sends Greeting. WHEREAS King CHARLES the Second, by His Letters Patents, under the Great Seal of England, bearing Date the Fourth Day of March, in the Year One Thousand Six …

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The Body of Liberties

Title: The Body of Liberties Author: Nathaniel Ward Date: 1641 Source: Harvard Classics, Vol.43, pp.70-89 The Massachusetts “Body of Liberties,” the first code of laws established in New England, was compiled by Nathaniel Ward (c. 1578-1652) a leading English Puritan minister, who had been trained as a lawyer. He came to the colony in 1634, …

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Jefferson’s Original Draft of The Declaration

Title: Jefferson’s Original Draft of the Declaration Author: Thomas Jefferson Date: 1776 Source: America, Vol. 3, pp.171-179 The original copy of the Declaration of Independence, signed at Philadelphia, is preserved at the Patent Office in Washington. It is not divided into paragraphs, but dashes are inserted. The arrangement of paragraphs here followed is that adopted …

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Writings of Madison To Mr. William Bradford, Jr.

To Mr. William Bradford, Jr. VIRGINIA, ORANGE COUNTRY, April 3, 1774. Writings of Madison, Volume 1: 1769-1793, p.13 MY WORTHY FRIEND,—I have another favor to acknowledge in the receipt of your kind letter of March the 4th. I did not intend to have written again to you before I obtained a nearer communication with you; …

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AFED85: Concluding Remarks: Evils Under Confederation Exaggerated; Constitution Must Be Drastically Revised Before Adoption

By Melancthon Smith (a “PLEBIAN”) . . . . It is agreed, the plan is defective-that some of the powers granted are dangerous-others not well defined-and amendments are necessary why then not amend it? Why not remove the cause of danger, and, possible, even the apprehension of it? The instrument is yet in the hands …

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AFED84: On The Lack Of A Bill Of Rights

By “BRUTUS” When a building is to be erected which is intended to stand for ages, the foundation should be firmly laid. The Constitution proposed to your acceptance is designed, not for yourselves alone, but for generations yet unborn. The principles, therefore, upon which the social compact is founded, ought to have been clearly and …

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AFED82: The Power Of The Judiciary (Part IV)

Part 1: Part 2 of “Brutus’” 14th essay (from the March 6, 1788, New-York Journal) Part 2: The final segment of the 15th essay (March 20, 1788 New York Journal) It may still be insisted that this clause [on appellate jurisdiction] does not take away the trial by jury on appeals, but that this may …

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AFED78-79: The Power Of The Judiciary (Part I)

Part one is taken from the first part of the “Brutus’s” 15th essay of The New-York Journal on March 20, 1788; Part two is part one of his 16th of the New York Journal of April 10, 1788. The supreme court under this constitution would be exalted above all other power in the government, and …

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AFED81: The Power Of The Judiciary (Part III)

Part 1: from the 12th essay by “Brutus” from the February 7th & 14th (1788) issues of The New-York Journal Part 2: Taken from the first half of the 14th essay February 28, 1788. In my last, I showed, that the judicial power of the United States under the first clause of the second section …

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AFED83: The Federal Judiciary And The Issue Of Trial By Jury

by Luther Martin of Maryland In all those cases, where the general government has jurisdiction in civil questions, the proposed Constitution not only makes no provision for the trial by jury in the first instance, but, by its appellate jurisdiction, absolutely takes away that inestimable privilege, since it expressly declares the Supreme Court shall have …

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AFED80: The Power Of The Judiciary (Part II)

From the 11th essay of “Brutus” taken from The New-York Journal, January 31, 1788. The nature and extent of the judicial power of the United States, proposed to be granted by the constitution, claims our particular attention. Much has been said and written upon the subject of this new system on both sides, but I …

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AFED68: On The Mode Of Electing The President

From a speech by William Grayson given to the Virginia ratifying convention on June 18, 1788. Mr. [William] GRAYSON. Mr. Chairman, one great objection with me is this: If we advert to….. [the] democratical, aristocratical, or executive branch, we shall find their powers are perpetually varying and fluctuating throughout the whole. Perhaps the democratic branch …

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AFED74: The President As Military King

“PHILADELPHIENSIS,” who was influenced by Thomas Paine (in “Common Sense), wrote the following selection. It is taken from 3 essays which appearing February 6 & 20, and April 9 of 1788 in either The Freeman’s Journal or, The North-American Intelligencer. Before martial law is declared to be the supreme law of the land, and your …

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AFED71: The Presidential Term Of Office

Part 1: Luther Martin, The Genuine Information Part 2: An excerpt from the 18th letter of “AGRIPPA” appearing in The Massachusetts Gazette on February 5, 1788. Part 3: From by “A CUSTOMER” in the Maine Cumberland Gazette, March 13, 1788. …. The second article relates to the executive-his mode of election, his powers, and the …

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AFED72: On The Electoral College; On Re-eligibility Of The President

By an anonymous writer “REPUBLICUS,” appearing in The Kentucky Gazette on March 1, 1788. . . I go now to Art. 2, Sec. 1, which vest the supreme continental executive power in a president-in order to the choice of whom, the legislative body of each state is empowered to point out to their constituents some …

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Restore The Intent

Long Live the Republic