The Loss of American Liberty

David Redick to William Irvine
Philadelphia, September 24, 1787

The new plan of government proposed by the convention has made a bustle in the city & its vicinity, all people, almost, are for Swallowing it down at once without examining its tendencies.——

I have thought it unsafe within the wind of hurricane to utter a Sylable about it: but to you Sir I may venture to Say that in my oppinion the day on which we adopt the present proposed plan of government, from that moment we may Justly date the loss of American liberty, perhaps my fears hath contributed principlely to this oppinion. I will change the moment that I See better. My dear Sir why is not the liberty of the press provided for? why will the Congress have power to alter the plan or mode of chusing Representatives? why will they have power to lay direct Taxes? why will they have power to keep Standing Armies in time of peace? why will they have power to make laws in direct contradiction to the forms of government established in the Several States? why will they have power to collect by law ten Dollars for ever German or Irishman which may come to Settle in America? why is the Trial by Jury destroyd in Civil causes before Congress? and above all I cannot imagine why the people in this city are So verry anxious to have it adopted instantly before it can be digested or deliberatly considered. If you were only here to See and hear those people, to observe the means they are useing to effect this purpose, to hear the tories declare they will draw their Sword in its defence, to See the quaquers runing about Signing declarations and Petitions in favor of it befor the have time to examine it, to See Gentlemen runing into the Country and neibouring towns haranguing the Rabble. I Say were you to See and hear these things as I do you would Say, with me that: the verry Soul of confidence itself ought to change into distrust. If this goverment be a good one or even a tollorable one the Necessities and the good Sense of America will lead us to adopt it. if otherwise give us time and it will be amended and then adopted, but I think the measures pursued here is a Strong evidence that these people know it will not bear an examination and therefor wishes to adopt it first and consider it afterward. I hope Congress will be verry deliberate and digest it thoroughly before they Send it recommended to the States. I Sincerely hope that Such Gentlemen as were Members of Convention, and who have Seats in Congress may not be considered as verry proper Judges of their own Works.——

I pray a spirit of Wisdom and a Spirit of integrity prevade Congress, more especially at this time.

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