It appears to me that Dr. Kippis must have been misinformed. I am, with respect, your friend and humble servant,
TO THE LEGISLATURE OF MASSACHUSETTS.
June 3, 1795.
[Independent Chronicle, June4, 1795; a text is in the Massachusetts Archives.]
The honor which the people have again conferred on me, by a majority of their votes for a Governor of this respectable Commonwealth, while it excites the warm feelings of gratitude in my heart, it reminds me of the arduous task I am called to undertake, and the many attentions which are requisite for a performance of the great duties of the station. Having already been qualified agreeable to the Constitution and Laws, next to a dependence upon Him who is the Fountain of all Wisdom, I must rely upon your candor, and that of my Fellow Citizens at large.
The sovereignty of a nation, always of right, resides in the body of the People; and while they have delegated to their freely elected Legislative, the power of exercising that sovereignty in their behalf, the Executive department, as well as the Magistrates who are appointed to render the Constitution efficient by carrying the laws into effect, are no less important to the people. For what avails the making of good and wholesome laws, unless they are duly executed. As the happiness of civil society may in a great measure depend upon a wise and a consistent harmony between the various branches of the Government; a free communication may have a tendency to cultivate and extend the blessings of friendship and good humor. Indeed our constituents, under whose authority and for whose benefit we are to exercise the functions of our different departments, have a right to expect from us, as their public agents, to avow our principles and intentions, and make them acquainted with the true situation of their public affairs.
In the addresses from the Chair, while it was filled by Royal appointment, uniform attempts were made to strengthen the prerogatives of the Crown, and to bring the people obsequiously at the foot of the Throne, for privileges holden by sufferance: Surely it becomes us, in our happy state of Independence, to turn our attentive minds to the great objects of securing the equal rights of the citizens, and rendering those constitutions which they have voluntarily established, respectable and efficacious.
Our ancestors, when under the greatest hardships and perils, they opened to us the wilderness, they took possession of, and left for us an inheritance, one of the best countries under the sun. Amidst their toil, and fatigue they extended their views, and early laid the foundation of Civil Liberty. Although they had in prospect, the instruction of future youth in all literary science, they considered morality and real goodness of heart, as the great basis upon which the best interests of a nation could be safely