1st Remonstrance in N.H. 1786 - Transcribed - Granite Grok

1st Remonstrance in N.H. 1786 – Transcribed

NH Constitution

Here is the First Remonstrance, transcribed from parchment paper, filed after the N.H. Constitution went into effect:


To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives to be convened at Portsmouth in the State of New Hampshire of the first Wednesday in February 1786

Honorable and respected Ladies and Gentleman

When a people, led to freedom by the hand of a patriotic virtue, entrust the Supreme power of Government in the hands of individuals selected and chosen from among the Citizens at large, it becomes the duty of the people to respect, honor, and support their rulers on one hand, while on the other it becomes the duty of the persons so promoted to guard and secure the

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political interest and privileges of the community at large.— and whenever the rulers of a free people, either through design or inattention, do adopt measures that tend to injure the common interest or neglect to pursue those steps that would promote the public good, their constituents have a natural and a constitutional right to remonstrate against such conduct.— although, your memorialist cannot persuade themselves, that their Representatives have ever adopted measures with a desing of injureing the Community.

Yet, the experience & feeling of your memorialist too dearly prove them, that by some fatallty, the most ruinous System of Policy has been lately adopted in New Hampshire, that could have been devised to bring the good people of this State into the deepest distress.— although they wish to remonstrate with decency, your Honor will permit them to speak with the firmness of freemen, When they feel the present Scarcity of cash, and consider that the circulating medium has been drawn away by Importers to advance their own private interest.— That the late Navigation Act puts it completely in the power of the Authors of their present distress, not only to fix the prices which they must give for all the necessaries of life, but to determine the prices of every article which their laborer can produce. – When they consider, the late Acts, respecting commerce, makes no difference in the duties laid on importation of necessaries of life raw materials, and on manufactured Articles, of luxury, no difference in the duties of articles imported by vessels belonging to Subjects of great Britain & those of other foreign power each having an equal right to import Articles paying the same duties, for which those of other Nations, except Britain, may be paid in produce or manufactures of this Country, while even the necessaries of life imported by a British vessels cannot be paid for but in Cash—

When we consider, the material Articles in this State for exportation are Fish & Lumber; and view a rival Colony riseing on the Eastern shore, more happily situated for the Fishery, & equally favored with the advantage of a Lumber trade, encouraged by our Acts to engage in those branches of business and great Britain compelled to take those comities from them— And when they realize, that of consequence the interest of the one & the necessity of the other muster a short time establish in that quarter such a formidable rival in those Articles of trade as will render those important Branches of commerce of little, or no Consequence to the People of this State, they cannot forbear remonstrating against measures so obviously injurious to the Publick interest. — Your memorialist are unwilling to conjecture that private resentment, or the avarice of individuals have had a hand in bringing about these alarming circumstances,

Yet, they humbly conceive, that when your honorable body consider the System of policy of which they complain, in all its parts, & the necessaries and unavailable consequences, which must result from a continuance of it, You will allow that by some strange fatallty we have adopted a System of policy for great Britain, which their greatest & wisest Politicians would have rejoiced to have been the Authors of & which, if persisted in will bring upon us distresses, which the hostile arms of Britain was unable to load us with

Your Memorialists do not conceive it their duty to point out the proper measures for bringing about an alteration; rather, they are compelled by their duty to themselves and their fellow Citizens to point out the evils. The Memorialists doubt not that the wisdom of your Honorable body will be sufficient to provide the mode of redress