And although it appears to us that a standing army, composed of the purgings of the jails of Great Britain, Ireland and Germany, shall be employed in collecting the revenues of this our king and government, yet, we again in the most solemn manner declare, that we will abide by our present determination of non-resistance and passive obedience--so that we shall not dare to molest or disturb those military gentlemen in the service of our royal government. And (which is not improbable) should any one of those soldiers when employed on duty in collecting the taxes, strike off the arm (with his sword) of one of our fellow slaves, we will conceive our case remarkably fortunate if he leaves the other arm on. And moreover, because we are aware that many of our fellow slaves shall be unable to pay their taxes, and this incapacity of theirs is a just cause of impeachment of treason; wherefore in such cases we will use our utmost endeavors, in conjunction with the standing army, to bring such atrocious offenders before our federal judges, who shall have power, without jury or trial, to order the said miscreants for immediate execution; nor will we think their sentence severe unless after being hanged they are also to be both beheaded and quartered. And finally we shall henceforth and forever leave all power, authority and dominion over our persons and properties in the hands of the well born, who were designed by Providence to govern. And in regard to the liberty of the press, we renounce all claim to it forever more, Amen; and we shall in future be perfectly contented if our tongues be left us to lick the feet of our well born masters.
Done on behalf of three millions of low-born American slaves.
JOHN HUMBLE, Secretary
THE USE OF COERCION BY THE NEW GOVERNMENT (PART III)
The Antifederalist articles by "JOHN DE WITT" appeared in the [ Boston] American Herald between October and December, 1787. Samuel B. Harding ( Ratification of the Federal Constitution in Massachusetts, pp. 24-26), has remarked that "the series is constructed with consummate skill," yet "his tone becomes more violent" in the final letters.
Rabid prose and purple rhetoric were earmarks of the period, and one should not dismiss such writings without careful analysis. "John de Witt," for example, summarized the very essence of Antifederalist opposition to federal coercion with his concluding phrase: ". . . it is yet much too early to set it down for a fact, that mankind cannot be governed but by force." American Herald, December 3, 1787. This essay was again reprinted, without any signature, in [ Philadelphia] The Freeman's Journal; Or, The North-American Intelligencer, January 16, 1788.
The Congress under the new Constitution have the power "of organizing, arming and disciplining the militia, and of governing them when in the service of the United States, giving to the separate States the appointment of
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Publication information: Book title: The Antifederalist Papers. Contributors: Morton Borden - Editor. Publisher: Michigan State University Press. Place of publication: East Lansing, MI. Publication year: 1965. Page number: 74.
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