thirteen States, in pretending that it was designed for their advantage, and gradually obtaining power after power to the general government, which could not but end in their slavery, he compared to the conduct of a number of jockeys who had thirteen young colts to break; they begin with the appearance of kindness, giving them a lock of hay, or a handful of oats, and stroaking them while they eat, until being rendered sufficiently gentle they suffer a halter to be put round their necks; obtaining a further degree of their confidence, the jockeys slip a curb bridle on their heads and the bit into their mouths, after which the saddle follows of course, and well booted and spurred, with good whips in their hands, they mount and ride them at their pleasure, and although they may kick and flounce a little at first, nor being able to get rid of their riders, they soon become as tame and passive as their masters could wish them. In the course of public debate in the convention Mr. Gerry applied to the system of government, as then under discussion, the words of Pope with respect to vice, “that it was a monster of such horrid mien, as to be hated need but to be seen.” And some time before I left Philadelphia, he in the same public manner declared in convention that he should consider himself a traitor to his country if he did not oppose the system there, and also when he left the convention. These, sir, are facts which I do not fear being contradicted by any member of the convention, and will, I apprehend, satisfactorily shew that Mr. Gerry’s opposition proceeded from a conviction in his own mind that the government, if adopted, would terminate in the destruction of the States and in the introduction of a kingly government.
January 18, 1788.
Mr. Strong. This mode of census is not new. Our General Court have considered it, and the General Court have agreed. The southern States have their inconveniences; none but negroes can work there; the buildings are worth nothing. When the delegates were apportioned, forty-thousand was the number. Massachusetts had eight, and a fraction; New Hampshire two, and a large fraction. New Hampshire was allowed three; Georgia three, &c. Representation is large enough, because no private local interests are concerned. Very soon, as the country increases, it will be larger. He considered the increasing expense.
- Debates and Proceedings in Convention of Massachusetts in 1788. Edit. 1856, p. 303.