Message from The Constitutional Convention of 1787
The State of Jefferson
Greetings to our fellow patriots in the new state of Jefferson! We recognize and understand the challenges that you are facing in your continual struggle for liberty and the creation of a Constitution that will protect the rights of the People, and that will limit the powers of a government that seeks only to grow and expand.
Please know that we did the best we could to look into the future and anticipate what you would need in a world that we could only imagine. It was clear to us that the key to the success of a Constitutional Republic would always be an informed, honorable, and moral People. All of our plans and formulations were predicated on this expectation, as hopeful as it may have seemed, even in 1787. But from the onset of our Constitutional creation, Benjamin Franklin warned that we were being given a Republic, if we could keep it.
Extensive research and study, along with difficult experience has shown us that the most important issue facing a free people is the establishment of a government with limited powers, and a system of checks and balances on those powers. We created a central government of three branches with the most important branch for the representation of the People being the directly elected legislative body. The recognition of the absolute need for representation was evident during the Constitutional ratification process. It became a matter for debate among the various states on the need for a revision that would clearly establish a system that would allow for the increased number of representatives as the population increased. In fact, some states held that as a requirement for their ratification. Even in the early years, that became the primary issue of importance to a People who wished to perpetuate liberty and limit government.
Your situation is no different today. Representation is still the key to a government that is of, by, and for the People. As we look into our future, and your present, we puzzle at how it has gone so wrong. What could we have done, and what can you still do to reclaim the legacy of Liberty?
First: Do what you can with education and information to return to an informed, honorable, and moral people. Do not accept leaders who do not display these attributes. Set examples by your own behavior to encourage others.
Second: Demand that your elected and appointed officials honor their oaths of office. Establish new laws, if necessary that provide penalties for any violations of these oaths.
Third: Require that you are well-represented by a ratio of elected officials to the population that allows close supervision by the People of their elected representatives. We provided this for you in Article the First, but we were not vigilant and did not realize that our efforts were thwarted by our own carelessness and by those who opposed this revision to the Constitution.
Fourth: Do not allow the unequal expansion of the Executive and Judicial branches in relation to the Legislative branch. This removes the power of the People and grants it to officials who are not directly accountable, and responsible, for protecting the rights of the citizens.
Fifth: Accept no deviation from the Constitution that we established for you. Hold as inviolable the precious rights that are delineated in the first ten amendments and all rights that derive from them. Return to a Senate that answers to the protection of the rights of the States, rather than to their own financial interests. Remove from the government the authority to tax you as an individual. Force the government by your voice and actions to honor its obligation to provide you with a republican form of government. Demand that the Senate operates under a simple majority vote, and that all revenue bills originate in the House. Do not let your representatives pay respects to special interest money instead of your rights.
Sixth: You have a particularly unique opportunity to correct many deficiencies in the functioning of government by the creation of your own State of Jefferson and its new laws and Constitution. Hold your officials accountable. Demand that the central government honor the tenets of the Constitution that we created and for which you are now responsible.
When we declared that we were ordaining and establishing this Constitution to ourselves, our posterity, and the United States of America, we did it with a sacred oath in our hearts and souls. We still honor our oath and expect that you will hold that sacred oath for your families, your country, and a future that demands a People who love Liberty. Do not let our efforts, our sacrifices, and our legacy be for naught. On this sacred day of honoring the signing of our shared Constitution, honor the Patriots who made it a reality by taking on the onerous task of shouldering the burden for them all.
Burney, Shasta County
State of Jefferson