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ernments.

I think, is the case presented in the contest now going on in Rhode Island. Our Republic is a confederation of States. Together, they fought the great battle of freedom—together, established their independence—and, upon common principles, instituted their respective gov

These principles assert the natural freedom and equality of man, and the perfect right of self government. Can these principles be subverted and trampled under foot, and that too by military force, in one part

of the Republic, and all other parts of it remain unaffected and indifferent? On the contrary, I hold that in the maintenance of these principles, there is an identity of interests—that, the vindication of them, is a common duty.

Under the exercise of their right “to establish or change their form of government at pleasure,” the people of Rhode Island substituted a written constitution for the Charter of a British King. Under the latter, the inestimable right of suffrage was limited to a small minority ; who, under the forms of law, deprived the majority of many valuable rights and privileges incident to a free government. These rights and privileges, the Constitution restored. But the Constitution thus formed, has been set aside, and the government put in operation under it, resisted and overborne by military force. It is true, that all this has not been done, without a pretence of right. The validity of the Constitution is denied, because the first movement of the people towards its formation was spontaneous, and did not originate in an act of the Legislature. But it is not easy to perceive how the Legislature possess such exclusive power. If they have it, whence is it derived? The people have never conferred it upon them-nor did even the Charter of Charles 2d contain any provision respecting it. Can the servants of the people, with limited powers, do, what the people themselves, with unlimited powers, cannot do? To my mind the proposition involves a great absurdity.

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But I refrain from attempting an elaborate view of the subject. My desire simply has been to call your attention to it, by presenting a few of its most obvious features. Should the occasion present, in your estimation, a favorable opportunity to contribute something, by way of resolutions or otherwise, to advance the great cause of human rights, and to sustain the principles which lie at the foundation of our republican freedom, you will judge whether it is not incumbent on you so to do.

As this will be the last annual communication I shall have the honor to make to the Legislature of this State, I avail myself of the occasion to express my deep sense of obligation and of gratitude to my fellow citizens, for their distinguished favor and confidence, as evinced in repeated elections and otherwise :-and, for the generosity and kindness, with which they have ever regarded the errors, which I am but too sensible of having committed. Nor can I omit to allude to the kindness and courtesy with which I have been treated by those with whom I have been associated in the administration of the government. These recollections, together with a consciousness of having faithfully endeavored, however great or numerous have been my failures, to discharge my official duties with a single aim to the good of the State, and the best interests of the people, will be to me, in retirement, a source of unalloyed satisfaction.

JOHN FAIRFIELD.

COUNCIL CHAMBER,

Jan. 7. 1813.

ERRATUM.-In a part of the copies, the following error is made by the compositor. Page 3, second paragraph, second line--for “$71,00,000,” read $1,700,000.

STATE OF MAINE.

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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

January 7, 1843. Laid upon the table, and 1,000 copies ordered to be printed fo the use of the House.

Wu. T. JOHNSON, Clerk.

OF THE

TREASURER OF MAINE,

ON THE

STATE OF THE TREASURY,

DECEMBER 31, 1842.

AUGUSTA :
WN. R. SMITH & Co., PRINTERS TO THE STATE.

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