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the articles of confederation, and is founded on like considera. tions with the preceding power of regulating coin.
The dissimilarity in the rules of naturalization has long been remarked as a fault in our system, and as laying a foundation for intricate and delicate questions. In the fourth article of the confederation, it is declared," that the free inhabitants of each of theso statos, paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several states; and the people of each state shall, in every other, enjoy all the privileges of trade and commerce," &c. There is a confusion of language here, which is remarkable. Why the terms free inhabitants are used in one part of the article, free citizens in another, and people in another; or what was meant by superadding to "all privileges and immunities of free citizens” -"all the privileges of trade and commerce," cannot easily be determined. It seems to be a construction scarcely avoidable, however, that those who come under the denomination of free inhabitants of a state, although not citizens of such state, are entitled, in every other state, to all the privileges of free citizens of the latter; that is, to greater privileges than they may be entitled to in their own state : 80 that it may be in the power of a particular state, or rather every state is laid under a necessity, not only to confer the rights of citizenship in other states upon any whom it may admit to such rights within itself, but upon any whom it may allow to become inbabitants within its jurisdiction. But were an exposition of the term "inhabitants" to be admitted, which would confine the stipulated privileges to citizens alone, the difficulty is diminished only, not removed. The very improper powor would still be retained by each state, of naturalizing aliens in every other state. In one state, residence for a short term confers all the rights of citizenship: in another, qualifications of greater importance are required. An alien, therefore legally incapacitated for certain rights in the latter, may, by previous residence only in the former, elude his incapacity; and thus the law of one state be preposterously
rendered paramount to tho law of another, within the jurisdic, tion of the other.
Wo wwe it to mere casualty, that very serious embarrassments on this subjeçt have been hitherto escaped. By the laws of several states, certain descriptions of aliens, who had rendered themselves obnoxious, were laid 'under interdicts inconsistent, not only with the rights of citizenship, but with the privileges of residence. What would bave been the consequence, if such persons, by residenco, or otherwise, had acquired the character of citizens under the laws of another state, and then assertod their rights as such, both to residence and citizenship, within tho stato proscribing them? Whatever the legal consequences might have been, other consequences would probably have resulted of too serious a nature, not to be provided against. The new constitution has accordingly, with great proprioty, made provision against them, and all others proceeding from the defect of the confederation on this head, by authorizing the general government to establish an uniform rule of naturalization throughout the United States.
The power of establishing uniform laws of bankruptcy, is so intimately connected with the regulation of commerce, and will prevent so many frauds where the parties or their property may lie, or be removed into different states, that the expediency of it seems not likely to be drawn into question.
The power of prescribing, by general laws, the manner in which the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of each stato, shall be provod, and the effoct thoy shall havo in other states, is an evident and valuable improvement on the clause relating to this subject in the articles of confoderation. The meaning of the lattor is extremely indeterminato; and can be of little importance under any interpretation which it will bear. The power here established, may bo rendered a vory corvenient insirument of justice, and be particularly beneficial on the borders of contiguous states, where the effects liable co justice may be suddenly and secretly translated in any stage of the process, within a foreign jurisdiction.
The power of establishing post-roads must, in every view, bo a harmless power; and may perhaps, by judicious management, become productive of great public conveniency. Nothing which tends to facilitate the intercourse between the states, can bo deemed unworthy of the public care.
NEW YORK, JANUARY 25, 1788.
THE SAME VIEW CONTINUED.
The fourth class comprises the following miscellaneous powers.
1. A power to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for a limited time, to authors and inventors, the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries."
The utility of this power will scarcely be questioned. The copyright of authors has been solemnly adjudged in Great Britain, to be a right at common law. The right to useful inventions, seems with equal reason to belong to the inventors. The public good fully coincides in both cases with the claims of individuals. The states cannot separately make effectual provision for either of the cases, and most of them have anticipated the decision of this point, by laws passed at the instance of congress.
2. “To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such district, (not exceeding ten miles square,) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of congress, become the seat of the government of the United States; and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the states, in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings."
The indispensable necessity of complete authority at the seat of government, carries its own evidence with it. It is a power exercised by every legislature of the union, I might say of the world, by virtue of its general supremacy. Without it, not only the public authority might be insulted and its proceedings be interrupted with impunity, but a dependence of the members of the general government on tho state comprehending the scat of the government, for protection in the exercise of their duty, might bring on the national councils an imputation of awe or influendo, equally dishonourable to the government and dissatisfactory to the other members of the confederacy. This consideration has the more weight, as the gradual accumulation of public improvements at the stationary residence of the government, would be both too great a public pledge to be left in the hands of a single state, and would create so many obstacles to a removal of the government, as still further to abridge its necessary independence. The extent of this federal district is snfficiently circumscribed to satisfy every jealousy of an opposite nature. And as it is to be appropriated to this use with tbo consent of the state coding it; as the state will no doubt provide in the compact for the rights, and the consent of the citizens inhabiting it; as the inhabitants will find sufficient inducoments of interest, to become willing parties to the cession; as they will have had their voice in the election of the government, which is to exerciso authority over them; as a municipal legislature for local purposes, derived from their own suffrages, will of course be allowed them; and as the authority of the legislature of the state, and of the inhabitants of the ceded part of it, to concur in the cession, will be derived from the whole people of the state, in their adoption of the constitution, every imaginable objection seems to be obviated.
The necessity of a like authority over forts, magazines, &c., established by the general government, is not less evident. The public money expendod on such places, and the public property depoeited in them, require, that they should be exempt from the authority of the particular stato. Nor would it be proper for