A CONTEMPORARY, 3-PAGE, MANUSCRIPT COPY OF CONNECTICUT GOVERNOR SAMUEL HUNTINGTON’S SPEECH TO BOTH HOUSES OF THE STATE, MAY 1787, IN WHICH THE FIRST PAGE DISCUSSES THE STATED REASON FOR CONVENING THE LEGISLATURE: “THE CONVENTION OF COMMISSIONERS TO MEET AT PHILADELPHIA, THE PRESENT MONTH, FOR THE PURPOSE OF REVISING THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION; A PLAN FIRST ADOPTED BY THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA & AFTERWARDS RECOMMENDED BY THE UNITED STATES IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED; THE NATURE AND IMPORTANCE OF THIS SUBJECT, INDUCED ME TO CONVENE THE COUNCIL, SOME TIME SINCE, TO ADVISE WHETHER THE ATTENDING CIRCUMSTANCES RENDERED IT NECESSARY TO CALL A SPECIAL ASSEMBLY.” This historic content, Early American document is 3 pages, with docketing information on the 4th page, 7.5 x 12.5, with age toning, some foxing, old fold lines, with some separation, a couple of contemporary pencil notations, otherwise very dark and legible ink and overall very good condition.
The Governor outlines the important topics that the Assembly should consider:
1. Next weeks meeting in
The Articles of Confederation came into force on March 1, 1781, after being ratified by all 13 states. A guiding principle of the Articles was to preserve the independence and sovereignty of the states. The federal government received only those powers which the colonies had recognized as belonging to king and parliament.
Congress attempted to govern the continually growing American
states, delegates discovered that the limitations placed upon the central
government rendered it ineffective at doing so. As the government's weaknesses
became apparent individuals began asking for changes to the Articles. Their
hope was to create a stronger national government. As more states became
interested in meeting to change the Articles, a meeting was set in
2. Consideration of a bill to establish punishment for crimes such as “Forgery, Burglary, Counterfieting, & Horse stealing…subjecting the criminals to servitude.”
3. Consideration of a bill to encourage expansion of manufacturing and agriculture
4. Consideration of the restrictions on trade, especially the maritime restrictions (British Navigation Act of 1783 which admitted only British-built ships and manned ships to the ports of the West Indies and imposed heavy tonnage dues upon American ships in other British ports) which was causing economic hardship in all the states.
5. Consideration of establishing an individual taxing system to pay all debt incurred “from the commencement of the late war (American Revolutionary War) so that public faith may be fully established…to promote the peace, the prosperity & happiness of a free people.”
Samuel Huntington (July
16, 1731 – January 5, 1796) was a jurist, statesman, and Patriot in the
American Revolution from
1788 he presided over the
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