Article 1, Section 8, Clause 2
[Volume 2, Page 472]
Luther Martin, Genuine Information1788Storing 2.4.57
By our original articles of confederation, the Congress have a power to borrow money and emit bills of credit on the credit of the United States; agreeable to which was the report on this system as made by the committee of detail. When we came to this part of the report, a motion was made to strike out the words "to emit bills of credit;" against the motion we urged, that it would be improper to deprive the Congress of that power; that it would be a novelty unprecedented to establish a government which should not have such authority--That it was impossible to look forward into futurity so far as to decide, that events might not happen that should render the exercise of such a power absolutely necessary--And that we doubted, whether if a war should take place it would be possible for this country to defend itself, without having recourse to paper credit, in which case there would be a necessity of becoming a prey to our enemies, or violating the constitution of our government; and that considering the administration of the government would be principally in the hands of the wealthy, there could be little reason to fear an abuse of the power by an unnecessary or injurious exercise of it--But, Sir, a majority of the convention, being wise beyond every event, and being willing to risque any political evil rather than admit the idea of a paper emission, in any possible case, refused to trust this authority to a government, to which they were lavishing the most unlimited powers of taxation, and to the mercy of which they were willing blindly to trust the liberty and property of the citizens of every State in the union; and they erased that clause from the system.
Storing, Herbert J., ed. The Complete Anti-Federalist. 7 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.
© 1987 by The University of Chicago