« PreviousContinue »
other State should raise a greater number of men than the quota thereof, such extra number shall be raised, officered, clothed, armed, and equipped in the same manner as the quota of such State, unless the Legislature of such State shall judge that such extra number can not be safely spared out of the same, in which case they shall raise, officer, clothe, arm, and equip as many of such extra number as they judge can be safely spared, and the officers and men so clothed, armed, and equipped shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the United States, in Congress assembled.
The United States, in Congress assembled, shall never engage in a war, nor grant letters of marque and reprisal in time of peace, nor enter into any treaties or alliances, nor coin money, nor regulate the value thereof, nor ascertain the sums and expenses necessary for the defense and welfare of the United States, or any of them, nor emit bills, nor borrow money on the credit of the United States, nor appropriate money, nor agree upon the number of vessels of war to be built or purchased, or the number of land or sea forces to be raised, nor appoint a commander-in-chief of the army or navy, unless nine States assent to the same, nor shall a question on any other point, except for adjourning from day to day, be determined, unless by the votes of a majority of the United States, in Congress assembled.
The Congress of the United States shall have power to adjourn to any time within the year, and to any place within the United States, so that no period of adjournment be for a longer duration than the space of six months, and shall publish the journal of their proceedings munthly, except such parts thereof relating to treaties, alliances, or military operations as in their judgment require secresy; and the yeas and nays of the delegates of each State, on any question, shall be entered on the journal when it is desired by any delegate; and the delegates of a State, or any of them, at his or their request, shall be furnished with a transcript of the said journal except such parts as are above excepted, to lay before the Legislatures of the several States.
ART. X. — The Committee of the States, or any nine of them, shall be authorized to execute, in the recess of Congress, such of the powers of Congress as the United States, in Congress assembled, by the consent of nine States, shall, from time to time, think expedient to vest them with; provided that no power be delegated to the said Committee, for the exercise of which, by the Articles of Confederation, the voice of nine States in the Congress of the United States assembled is requisite.
ART. XI. - Canada, acceding to this Confederation, and joining in the measures of the United States, shall be admitted into, and entitled to all the advantages of this Union; but no other colony shall be admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine States.
Art. XII.- All bills of credit emitted, moneys borrowed, and debts contracted by or under the authority of Congress, before the assembling of the United States, in pursuance of the present Confederation, shall be deemed and considered as a charge against the United States, for payment and satisfaction whereof the said United States and the public faith are hereby solemnly pledged.
ART. XIII.- Every State shall abide by the determinations of the United States, in Congress assembled, on all questions which by this Confederation are submitted to them. And the Articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the Union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them, unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the Legislatures of every State.
AND WHEREAS it hath pleased the great Governor of the world to incline the hearts of the Legislatures we respectively represent in Congress to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify, the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union, know ye, that we, the undersigned delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us given for that purpose, do, by these presents, in the name and in behalf of our respective constituents, fully and entirely ratify and confirm each and every of the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union, and all and singular the matters and things therein contained. And we do further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective constituents, that they shall abide by the determinations of the United States, in Congress assembled, on all questions which by the said Confederation are submitted to them; and that the Articles thereof shall be inviolably observed by the States we respectively represent, and that the Union shall be perpetual.
In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in
Congress. Done at Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania the ninth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-eight, and in the third year of the independence of America.
On the part & behalf of the State of New Hampshire. JOSIAH BARTLETT,
JOHN WENTWORTH, JUNR.
August 8, 1778. On the part and behalf of the State of Massachusetts Bay. JOHN HANCOCK,
FRANCIS DANA, SAMUEL ADAMS,
JAMES LOVELL, ELBRIDGE GERRY,
SAMUEL HOLTEN. On the part and behalf of the State of Rhode Island and Providence
Plantations. WILLIAM ELLERY,
John COLLINS. HENRY MARCHANT,
On the part and behalf of the State of Connecticut. ROGER SHERMAN,
TITUS HOSMER, SAMUEL HUNTINGTON,
ANDREW ADAMS. OLIVER WOLCOTT,
On the part and behalf of the State of New York. JAS. DUANE,
WM. DUER, FRA. LEWIS,
Gouv. MORRIS. On the part and in behalf
of the State of New Jersey, Novr. 26, 1778. JNO. WITHERSPOON,
JOSEPH REED, 220 July, 1778. JONA. BAYARD SMITH,
On the part & behalf of the State of Delaware. THO. MÄKEAN, Feby. 12, 1779. NICHOLAS Van Dyke. JOHN DICKINSON, May 5th, 1779,
On the part and behalf of the State of Maryland.
Mar. 1, 1781.
JNO. HARVIE, JOHN BANISTER,
FRANCIS LIGHTFOOT LEE.
On the part and behalf of the State of No. Carolina.
On the part & behalf of the State of South Carolina. HENRY LAURENS,
Richd. Hutson, WILLIAM HENRY DRAYTON, Thos. HAYWARD, JUNR. JNO. MATHEWS,
On the part & behalf of the State of Georgia. JNO. WALTON, 24th July, 1778. EdwD. LANGWORTHY. Edwd. TELFAIR,
On the 21st of July, 1775, Franklin, the author of the plan of union adopted at Albany twenty-one years before, submitted to the Continental Congress the outline of a federal government for the colonies. This was two days after the reception by Congress of the first report from Washington, who had just assumed command of the undisciplined and unpaid army at Cambridge. Franklin's plan, submitted after consultation with Jefferson and others, defined the powers of the colonies and of the general government, and provided for a Congress of one body, its members, apportioned according to population, to be chosen annually, and the executive power to be wielded by a council of twelve, of whom one third were to be annually renewed, selected by Congress from its own members. But this plan, undoubtedly more efficient than the plan drawn up by Dickinson a year later, was not adopted. On the 11th of June, 1776, Congress resolved that a committee should be appointed to prepare a form of confederation. That committee, consisting of one member from each colony, was appointed the next day, as follows: Josiah Bartlett, Samuel Adams, Stephen Hopkins, Roger Sherman, R. R. Livingston, John Dickinson, Thomas McKean, Thomas Stone, Thomas Nelson, Joseph Hewes, Edward Rutledge, and Bulton Gwinnett. July 12th, eight days after the declaration of independence, the committee, in Dickinson's absence, brought in his draft; July 22d, it was taken into consideration by Congress in committee of the whole; and it was debated, from time to time, until November 15, 1777, when, with a few unimportant amendments, it was agreed to. Congress, at the same time, directed that the art cles should be proposed to the legislatures of all the States; if approved of by them, they were advised to authorize their delegates to ratify the same in Congress. Copies of the articles were accordingly forwarded to the several States, accompanied by a circular letter. A translation of the articles into the French language and an address to the inhabitants of Canada were also prepared. On the 26th of June, 1778, the form of a ratification of the Articles of Confederation was adopted and, it having been engraved on parch. ment, it was signed on the 9th of July, on the part and in behalf of their respective States, by the delegates of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and South Carolina. The delegates of North Carolina signed on the 21st of July, those of Georgia on the 24th of July, and those of New Jersey on the 26th of November following: On the 5th of May, 1779, Mr. Dickinson and Mr. Van Dyke signed in behalf of ihe State of Delaware, Mr. McKean having previously signed in February. Maryland did not ratify until 1781. She had refused her assent in December, 1778, until the public lands northwest of the Ohio should be recognized as the common property of all the States, to be held as a resource for the discharge of the debts contracted by Congress for the expense of the War. But finding that her position was taken advantage of by enemies of the Union for forecasting its dissolution, she passed an act, January 30, 1781, empowering her delegates to ratify the articles, which was accordingly done on the ist of March. Congress assembled on the 2d of March under the new powers.
The circular letter from Congress, which accompanied the Articles or Confederation, when they were transmitted by the president, Henry Lau. rens, to the several legislatures, commends them as a plan “ for securing the freedom, sovereignty and independence of the United States”; as the best that could be adapted to the circumstances of all; as the only one which had any tolerable prospect of ge::eral ratification; as essential to their very existence as a free people,” and without which they might "soon be constrained to bid adieu to independence, to liberty and safety.” “Permit us then,” it continued, “ earnestly to recommend these articles to the immediate and dispassionate attention of the legislatures of the respective States. Let them be candidly reviewed under a sense of the difficulty of combining in one general system the various sentiments and interests of a continent divided into so many sovereign and independent communities, under a conviction of the absolute necessity of uniting all our councils and all our strength to maintain and defend our common liberties; let them be examined with a liberality becoming brethren and fellow-citizens, surrounded by the same imminent dangers, contending for the same illustrious prize, and deeply interested in being for ever bound and connected together by ties the most intimate and indissoluble; and finally let them be adjusted with the temper and magnanimity of wise and patriotic legislators, who, while they are concerned with the prosperity of their own more immediate circle, are capable of rising superior to local attachments when they may be incompatible with the safety and glory of the general confederacy.”
John Dickinson, the author of the Articles of Confederation, was born in Maryland, Nov. 13, 1732. He studied law in Philadelphia, and then went to England, where he remained for three years at the Temple in London. On his return, he established himself in the practice of the law in Philadel. phia, where his abilities and acquirements procured for him eminent success. He entered public life in 1764, as a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly, and immediately took a leading place in legislation and debate. In September, 1765, he was appointed a delegate to the general Congress which assembled at New York in October, and was the author of the resolutions of that body remonstrating against the measures of the government of Great Britain. He afterwards wrote many of the state papers put forth by the Continental Congress. The first production of his pen appears to have been a pamphlet published in 1765, entitled, The Late Regulations respecting the British Colonies on the continent of America, considered in a Letter from a Gentleman in Philadelphia to his Friend in London, in which, with great spirit and force of argument, he exhibited the impolicy of the ministerial measures. But the work which gave him his great reputation was his Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania to the Inhabitunts of the British Col. onies, a series of twelve letters published in the Pennsylvania Chronicle, in 1767. Their object was to arouse his countrymen to the illegality of British taxation and to the necessity of vigorous action. The Farmer's Letters were read everywhere with intense interest and produced a profound impression. Yet Dickinson considered the resolution of independence, in 1776, untimely and unwise, and did not sign the Declaration. He felt a great repugnance to a final separat on from Great Britain. He served faithfully in the army, however, for a time as a private soldier; and in 1777 he was made a brigadier-general of the Pennsylvania militia. He was elected a representative to Congress from Delaware, in 1779, and wrote the Address to the States put forth by Congress in May of that year. He was successively president of the states of Delaware and Pennsylvania (1781-85). He was a member of the convention which framed the national Constitution; and in 1788 he pub