Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"...a nation of freemen . . . who have arms in their hands? ..."

"It was, he said, a chimerical idea to suppose that a country like this could ever be enslaved. How is an army for that purpose to be obtained from the freemen of the United States? They certainly, said he, will know to what object it is to be applied. Is it possible, he asked, that an army could be raised for the purpose of enslaving themselves and their brethren? or, if raised, whether they could subdue a nation of freemen, who know how to prize liberty, and who have arms in their hands?"

-The Hon. Mr. [Theodore] Sedgwick, Thursday January 24, 1788 DEBATES IN THE CONVENTION OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, ON THE ADOPTION OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION. [Elliots Debates Vol. 2] (Theodore Sedgwick, May 9, 1746 – January 24, 1813) was an American attorney, politician and jurist, who served in elected state government and as a Delegate to the Continental Congress, a US Representative, and a United States Senator from Massachusetts. He served as the fifth Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. He was appointed to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 1802 and served there the rest of his life).

"O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone . . . Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all? You read of a riot act in a country which is called one of the freest in the world, where a few neighbors cannot assemble without the risk of being shot by a hired soldiery, the engines of despotism. We may see such an act in America."
- Patrick Henry, Thursday, June 5, 1788. (May 29, 1736 – June 6, 1799, Mr. Henry was an attorney, planter and politician who became known as an orator during the movement for independence in Virginia in the 1770s. A Founding Father, he served as the 1st and 6th post-colonial Governor of Virginia, 1776-1779 and 1784-1786. And as a delegate to the Virginia Convention). DEBATES IN THE CONVENTION OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, ON THE ADOPTION OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION. [Elliot's Debates, Vol 3].

"I beg leave to differ from my honorable friends in answering this objection. They said that, in case of a general rebellion, the jury was to be drawn from some other part of the country. I know that this practice is sanctified by the usages in England. But I always thought that this was one of those instances to which that nation, though alive to liberty, had unguardedly submitted. I hope it will never be so here. If the whole country be in arms, the prosecutor for the commonwealth can get a good jury, by challenging improper jurors. The right of challenging, also, is sufficient security for the person accused. I can see no instance where this can be abused. It will answer every purpose of the government, and individual security."
- Gov. Edmund Jennings Randolph, Saturday, June 21, 1788. (August 10, 1753 – September 12, 1813.Gov, Randolph was an American attorney, the seventh Governor of Virginia, 2nd Secretary of State, Delegate to the Virginia Convention, and the first United States Attorney General). DEBATES IN THE CONVENTION OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, ON THE ADOPTION OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION. [Elliot's Debates, Vol 3, Pg. 574].

"I mean, sir, the county of Bristol; the cloud rose there, and burst upon us, and produced a dreadful effect. It brought on a state of anarchy, and that led to tyranny. 1 say, it brought anarchy. People that used to live peaceably, and were before good neighbors, got distracted, and took up arms against government."
- Mr. William Widgery, Friday, January 25, 1788. (ca. 1753 - July 31, 1822) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts. (Mr. Widgery served in the Revolutionary War as a Lieutenant. Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives 1787-1793 and 1795-1797. Delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1788. He served in the State senate in 1794. And served as member of the executive council in 1806 and 1807. Widgery was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Twelfth Congress (March 4, 1811-March 3, 1813). Served as judge of the court of common pleas 1813-1821).

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