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« The preamble of the Act is in these words, For preventing and avoiding many great mischiefs, which arise from public Stage-Plays, Interludes, and other Theatrical Entertainments; which not only occasion great and unnecessary expenses, and discourage industry aud frugality ; but likewise tend generally to increase immorality, impiety, and a contempt of religion."
“ The act is now a law of the commonwealth ; the principles upon which it is predicated, have been recognized by, and derive support from the consideration of several legislatures; and surely it ought to claim the respect and obedience of all persons who live or happen to be within the Commonwealth. Yet a number of aliens and foreigners, have lately entered the State, and in the metropolis of the Government, under advertisements insulting to the habits and education of the citizens, have been pleased to invite them to, and to exhibit before such as attended, StagePlays, Interludes, and Theatrical Entertainments, under the stile and appellation of “ Moral Lectures.” This fact is so notorious, that it is in vain to attempt a concealment of its coming to our knowledge.
" Whether the Judicial Departments, whose business it is, have attended to this subject or not, I am unable to determine; but this I am convinced of, that no measures have been taken to punish a most open breach of the Laws, and a most contemptuous insult upon
of the Government. “ You, Gentlemen, are the guardians of the Commonwealth's dignity and honour ; and our fellow-citizens rely upon your vigilance and wisdom, for the support of the sovereignty and importance of the Government. I therefore refer this matter to your determinations; and cannot but hope that your resolutions and measures will give efficacy to the laws, and be the means of bringing to condign punishment those who dare to treat them with contempt or open opposition.
“ Gentlemen of the Senate, and of the
“ House of Representatives, “ BY the Constitution of the United States of America, each State is to appoint, in such manner as the legislature shall direct,
Electors of President and Vice-President. By a late act of Con gress, it is enacted, “ That the Supreme Executive of each State " SHALL cause three lists of the names of the Electors of such * State to be made and certified, and to be delivered to the Electors on or before the first Wednesday in December.”
“ I feel the importance of giving every constitutional support to the General Government: and I also am convinced that the existence and well-being of that Government depends upon preventing a confusion of the authority of it with that of the States separately. But that Government applies itself to the People of the United States in their natural, individual capacity, and cannot
force upon, or by any means controul the officers of the State Governments as such : Therefore, when an act of Congress uses compulsory words with regard to any Act to be done by the Supreme Executive of this Commonwealth, I shall not feel myself obliged to obey them, because I am not, in my official capacity, amenable to that Government.
« My duty as Governor, will most certainly oblige me to see that proper and efficient Certificates are made of the appointment of Electors of President and Vice-President ; and perhaps the mode suggested in the Act above-mentioned, may be found to be the most proper. If you, Gentlemen, have any mode to propose with respect to the conduct of this business, I shall pay every attention to it.
« Gentlemen, “ I do not address you at this time from a disposition to regard the proceedings of the General Government with a jealous eye, nor do I suppose that Congress could intend that clause in their Act as a compulsory provision :. but I wish to prevent any mea. sure to proceed through inattention, which may be drawn into precedents hereafter, to the injury of the people, or to give a constructive power where the Federal Constitution has not expressly given it.”
HARTFORD, JANUARY 14th, 1793.
« Again shall Echo strike the lyre,
GENTLES, of either kind, both small and great,
From central depths disturb’d the Ocean raves,
gave her wings to lift herself on high,
But Gentlemen! a thing unmention'd yet, Enough to throw you in a dog-day sweat ;
A thing, perchance, which you, as well as I,
open insult on my government.
Both for preventing, and avoiding, all Those various evils which would sure befall Our sober people, and their sober ways, From Interludes, and vile Theatric Plays; To wit, all fiddling, fighting, gaming, raking, Swearing profane, high broils, and sabbath breaking;