To the People of the State of New York:
IT is not a new observation that the people of any country (if, like the Americans, intelligent and well-informed,) seldom adopt, and steadily persevere for many years in, an erroneous opinion respecting their interests. That consideration naturally tends to create great respect for the high opinion which the people of America have so long and uniformly entertained of the importance of their continuing firmly united under one Fœderal Government, vested with sufficient powers for all general and national purposes.
The more attentively I consider and investigate the reasons which appear to have given birth to this opinion, the more I become convinced that they are cogent and conclusive.
Among the many objects to which a wise and free people find it necessary to direct their attention, that of providing for their safety seems to be the first. The safety of the people doubtless has relation to a great variety of circumstances and considerations, and consequently affords great latitude to those who wish to define it precisely and comprehensively.
At present I mean only to consider it as it respects security for the preservation of peace and tranquillity, as well against dangers from foreign arms and influence, as from dangers of the like kind arising from domestic causes. As the former of these comes first in order, it is proper it should be the first discussed. Let us therefore proceed to examine whether the people are not right in their opinion, that a cordial Union under an