Page:Contemporary Opinion of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, p2.djvu/22

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F. M. Anderson

whole, nor resist the expression of its combined will. This House therefore protests against principles, calculated only to check the spirit of confidence, and overwhelm with dismay the lovers of peace, liberty and order.

That this House consider the laws of the United States, which are the subjects of so much complaint, as just rules of civil conduct, and as component parts of a system of defence against the aggressions of a nation, aiming at the dominion of the world—conducting her attacks more by the arts of intrigue, than by her skill in arms—never striking, until she has deeply wounded or destroyed the confidence of a people in their government—and, in fact, subduing more by the infamous aids of seduction, than by the strength of her numerous legions. The sedition and alien acts this House conceive contain nothing terrifying, but to the ilagitious and designing. Under the former, no criminality can be infered or punishment inflicted, but for writing, printing, uttering, or publishing false, scandalous and malicious aspersions against the government, either House of Congress, or the President of the United States, with an intent to defame and bring them into contempt. Under the latter, the citizens of the United States have not any thing more to fear, inasmuch as its operation will only remove foreigners, whose views and conduct are inimical to a government, instituted only for the protection and benefit of the citizens of the United States, and others, whose quiet and submission give them some claim to the blessing. Yet these laws are subjects of loud complaint. But this House forbears an examination into the cause, and only expresses its surprise that such an opposition to them exists! Our country's dearest interest demands every where unanimity and harmony in her councils, and this House is unable to discover any means more favourable to those important objects, than confidence in the wise and honest labours of those, in whose hands is reposed the sacred charge of preserving her peace and independence. The voice of the greater number the constitution declares shall pronounce the national will; but in the opinion of this House the provision is vain, unless it be followed by the unfeigned and practical acquiescence of the minor part. Loud and concerted appeals to the passions of the community are calculated to produce discussions more boisterous than wise, and effects more violent than useful. Our prayer therefore is, that our country may be saved from foreign war and domestic strife.

That it is the opinion of this House, that it ought not to concur in the design of the resolutions of the Legislature of Kentucky.

On motion of Mr. Kelly, seconded by Mr. Strickler,

Resolved, That the foregoing resolution be signed by the Speaker, and that the Governor be requested to transmit the same to the Governor of Kentucky. (Journal of the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Vol. IX., Philadelphia, 1799, pp. 198–200.)

Resolutions of the Delaware Legislature.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware, That the resolutions from the State of Kentucky are a very unjustifiable interference with the General Government and Constituted Authorities of the United States, and of dangerous tendency, and therefore not a fit subject for the further consideration of this General Assembly.

Resolved That the above resolution be Signed by the Speaker of the Senate, and by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and that the Governor of this State be requested to forward the same to the Governor