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[436] following. The above mentioned two acts were the only revenue acts that were passed during the year 1789.

And now the time has arrived, I conceive, for us to enquire why did Congress postpone the operation of the act of July 4th to the 1st of August, and the act of July 20th to the 15th of August. No reason for this postponement is apparent on the face of either of the acts, and, so far as I know, history assigns no cause for it. Readers of American history well know that there was very strong reason for those two laws to have been passed early in May, and to have gone into operation immediately on their passage. The eleven United States of that day were as a Confederacy, utterly impecunious and in very urgent need of immediate revenues, and yet we have before us the strange spectacle of Congress idly waiting, without any visible cause, from April to August before putting into effect any measures for raising much needed revenues.

I have a theory, Mr. Secretary, which explains, I think, this otherwise unaccountable delay of Congress, and furnishes, doubtless, the true reason for it. It is well known that the Congress of the summer of 1789 and all their constituents were exceedingly desirous that North Carolina and Rhode Island should enter the Union. Notwithstanding that each of these two States had already held its own separate convention and had therein refused to ratify the Constitution, yet Congress knew that numerous and able friends of the Union were then, and had been during the prior winter and spring, diligently at work within each of the two States, urging the early assembling of a second convention; and it was known that there was a very fair prospect of such convention being called soon.

[North Carolina did, indeed, call her second convention in November of that year, and ratified the Constitution on the 29th of that month.]

Now if the two States could be induced to ratify the Constitution before any legislation of Congress should be effected of a character bearing on them as countriesforeign to the United States, the friends of the United States could say in Europe as well as in America that there had been no disruption of the Union when Congress assembled in April 1789, and no secession of eleven States from the first union; and that the delay of North Carolina and Rhode Island in ratifying the new Constitution would be spoken of merely as the exceeding caution of those two States, as manifested by their taking ample time to deliberate and decide on a matter of so great importance.

But time wore on, and when the 31st day of July arrived, (one day only, mind you, before the act of 4th July would begin to operate,) and

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