Common Sense, British Edition

Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs

Page 27


                    COMMON SENSE.                                       27
If there is any true cause of fear respecting independence,
it is because no plan is yet laid down. Men do not see their
way out-- Wherefore, as an opening into that business, I
offer the following hints ; at the same time modestly affirm-
ing, that I have no other opinion of them myself, than that
they may be the means of giving rife to something better.--
Could the straggling thoughts of individuals be collected,
they would frequently form materials for wise and able men
to improve into useful manner.

LET the assemblies be annual, with a President only.---
The representation more equal. Their business wholly do-
mestic, and subject to the authority of a Continental Con-

Let each colony be divided into six, eight, or ten conve-
nient districts, each district to send a proper number of dele-
gates to Congress, so that each colony send at least thirty.
The whole number in congress will be at least 390. Each
congress to sit                               and to choose a pres-
ident by the following method. When the delegates are
met, let a colony be taken from the whole thirteen colonies
by lot, after which, let the whole Congress choose
(by ballot) a president from out of the delegates of that pro-
vince. In the next congress, let a colony be taken by lot
from twelve only, omitting that colony from which the pre-
sident was taken in the former congress, and so proceeding
on ‘till the whole thirteen shall have had their proper rota-
tion. And in order that nothing may pass into a law but
what is satisfactorily just, not less than three fifths of the
congress to be called a majority.------He that will promote
discord under a government so equally formed as this,
would have joined Lucifer in his revolt.

But as there is a peculiar delicacy, from whom, or in what
manner this business must first arise, and as it seems most a-
greeable and consistent, that it should come from some inter-
mediate body between the governed and the governors, that is,
between the Congress and the people, let a CONTINENTAL
CONFERENCE be held, in the following manner, and for the
following purpose:

A committee of twenty-six members of Congress, viz. two
for each colony. Two members from each House of Assem-
bly, or provincial Convention; and five representatives of
the people at large, to be chosen in the capital city or town



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