[Albany]: By order of the Republican General Committee, . Broadside, 12" x 17". Old folds, spotted, Good+. Signed in bold type at the end by P. Wendell, Chairman, and A. Blanchard, Secretary, of the Albany Republican General Committee.
This broadside is an uninhibited attack on James Kent and his judicial colleague, New York's Chief Justice Ambrose Spencer. They had attempted, at New York's 1821 Constitutional Convention, to restrict the suffrage for white males by imposing a property requirement. The broadside, issued by Martin Van Buren's "Albany Regency," urges citizens to choose Van Buren in the upcoming gubernatorial election. Van Buren was their "champion in the convention, who contended manfully against the combined force of the federalists, and in favor of giving equal privileges to all freemen." The "aristocratic propositions" of Kent and Spencer are exposed in a damning variety of quotes from Convention speeches. Chancellor Kent stated: "The tendency of universal suffrage, is to jeopardise the RIGHTS of PROPERTY, and the principles of Liberty. THERE IS A TENDENCY IN THE POOR TO COVET AND SHARE THE PLUNDER OF THE RICH. It requires a vigilant government, and a firm administration of justice, to counteract the tendency." The broadside summarizes loathsome Federalist doctrine: the job of government is "to PROTECT THE RICH AND KEEP DOWN THE POOR."
Chancellor Kent is universally acclaimed as one of the great jurists of any era. Admitted to the New York Bar in 1785, he was a State Assemblyman, the first professor of law in Columbia College, New York's Chief Justice; and, at this time, Chancellor of New York State and a member of the 1821 State Constitutional Convention, where he unsuccessfully sought to restrict the suffrage for white males. His four-volume COMMENTARIES ON AMERICAN LAW is a foundation of American jurisprudence.
Not in Sabin or American Imprints or the online sites of the New York Public Library, New York Historical Society, Columbia, Harvard. OCLC 80337356 [1- AAS] as of June 2019. Item #36027