[Volume 4, Page 663]
Edmund Randolph, Virginia Ratifying Convention4 June 1788Elliot 3:28
He also objects because nine states are sufficient to put the government in motion. What number of states ought we to have said? Ought we to have required the concurrence of all the thirteen? Rhode Island--in rebellion against integrity--Rhode Island plundered all the world by her paper money; and, notorious for her uniform opposition to every federal duty, would then have it in her power to defeat the Union; and may we not judge with absolute certainty, from her past conduct, that she would do so? Therefore, to have required the ratification of all the thirteen states would have been tantamount to returning without having done any thing. What other number would have been proper? Twelve? The same spirit that has actuated me in the whole progress of the business, would have prevented me from leaving it in the power of any one state to dissolve the Union; for would it not be lamentable that nothing could be done, for the defection of one state? A majority of the whole would have been too few. Nine states therefore seem to be a most proper number.
Elliot, Jonathan, ed. The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution as Recommended by the General Convention at Philadelphia in 1787. . . . 5 vols. 2d ed. 1888. Reprint. New York: Burt Franklin, n.d.
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