In discussing the latter subject, mention was made of the remarks of John Adams
, when he said, in February, 1777:
‘There are certain principles which follow us through life, and none more certainly than love of the first place.
I am sorry to see that it prevails so little in this Assembly, which is disposed to idolize an image which their own hands have made.
I speak here of the superstitious veneration which is sometimes paid to General Washington
Although I honor him for his good qualities, yet, in this House, I feel myself his superior.
In private life, I shall always acknowledge that he is mine.
It becomes us to attend early to the restraining of our army.’
The information that Burke
imparts, Dr. Friedenwald
said, gives us a knowledge of the discussion over the articles of confederation, the first national Constitution, such as has never before been obtained.
took a most active part in framing those articles, and wrote repeated letters to Governor Caswell
, of his State, detailing the course of events.
They are all of one tone, and show a great jealousy of giving to Congress any powers that could possibly be retained by the States.
Early in the history of the framing of the confederation he states that one of its clauses gave to Congress very uncertain jurisdiction.
Fearing that, if it were not checked, and immediately, a union of great strength would be formed, he introduced a motion, providing that all those powers not expressly delegated to Congress should be retained by the States.
This, at first, aroused much opposition, especially from the learned James Wilson
, of Pennsylvania
, and from Richard Henry Lee
, of Virginia
; but, in the end, after much debate, he finally won over every State, except Virginia
and New Hampshire
, to his views, and the article under consideration was adopted, and never changed.
impressed upon Congress all through his career the necessity for guarding against any encroachment upon the power and dignity of the State
, and was an earnest advocate of the instant dismissal of Captain Nicholson
, of the Continental
army, for having disrespectfully treated the Governor
At one time, when standing out for what he thought were the prerogatives of his State, and desiring that a question under discussion be postponed for a day, he threatened to secede unless his views were agreed to. It was a rule of Congress that any State might, before a vote was taken, have the question postponed for one day, and, after the matter was discussed at length, he informs us, ‘insisting that it was a most violent and arbitrary act of power to put ’