Time: Tue Jul 01 08:03:48 1997
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Date: Tue, 01 Jul 1997 07:52:05 -0700
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From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Tucker's Blackstone Note D now online

>From: Jon Roland <jon.roland@the-spa.com>
>Date: Tue,  1 Jul 1997 00:59:28 -0800
>Subject: IP: Tucker's Blackstone Note D now online
>Tucker's Blackstone Note D now online
>The classic exposition of English Common Law at the time of the founding
>of the American Republic was Commentaries on the Laws of England, by
>William Blackstone, which was used as a standard reference and law book
>by lawyers, judges, and the Founders, who incorporated the applicable
>provisions of it into the U.S. Constitution, especially for the
>definitions of its terms.
>However, Blackstone's Commentaries were written for a monarchical system
>of government, and needed to be adapted to the needs of the new republic.
>This was first done by St. George Tucker, who taught law and who had
>Blackstone's Commentaries republished together with his lecture notes
>in 1803 in a 5-volume set familiarly known as Tucker's Blackstone.
>We are in the process of converting Tucker's Blackstone to HTML and text
>files for placement on the Constitution Society Web site at
>So far we have put up a preliminary version of Note D of Volume 1, which
>are Tucker's commentaries on the U.S. Constitution, and the most
>important part of the set for constitutional scholars. We have not yet
>finished the footnote links, but we have decided to announce it at this
>time to avoid any delays in people making use of it. The text files are
>finished, and can be immediatly read and used. Note that a couple of the
>footnotes are separate files that you will have to enter manually to
>get the text versions of the HTML files, as the links to these have not
>yet been entered.
>Tucker was originally an anti-federalist, but switched to support for
>the Constitution when it was agreed to add a bill of rights to it. At
>the time he wrote, however, the amendments were still being referred to
>by the numbers assigned to them when they were proposed, not the numbers
>later assigned to them after ten of the twelve were adopted, so in
>reading this you need to substract two from the amendment numbers to
>get the numbers we are familiar with today.
>Tucker's comments provide a number of insights into the consensus for
>interpretation of the Constitution that prevailed shortly after its
>ratification, after the debates had settled down and the Constitution
>was put into practice. It is therefore an important reference for
>argument concerning the original intent of the Founders concerning its
>provisions, alongside such works as the Federalist and Madison's Notes
>on the Debates in the Federal Convention (which were not published until
>1840). It differs from the Federalist in that it is not a polemic
>arguing for ratification, but a balanced exposition that explores the
>remaining defects not corrected by the first amendments, some of which
>remain to this day. It is remarkable to read some of Tucker's warnings
>of the hazards to liberty that the young republic faced, warnings that
>seem especially prescient in the light of recent events.
>We offer this work to you for your enjoyment and enlightenment, and hope
>you will revisit to see how the rest of the conversion of Tucker's
>Blackstone is coming. Also planned are Commentaries on American Law by
>James Kent and Commentaries on the Constitution by Joseph Story. We will
>be converting them piece by piece, beginning with what we consider the
>most important sections to contemporary debate.
>Any errors are mine, and I hope you will inform me of any corrections
>that need to be made.
>Constitution Society, 1731 Howe Av #370, Sacramento, CA 95825
>916/568-1022, 916/450-7941VM         Date: 07/01/97  Time: 00:59:30
>http://www.constitution.org/         mailto:jon.roland@the-spa.com
>* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
>  ``As long as I'm Mayor of this city the great industries of the 
>    city are secure.  We hear about constitutional rights, free 
>    speech and free press.  Every time I hear these words I say to 
>    myself `that man is a Red, that man is a communist.'  You never 
>    heard a real American talk in that manner.''
>     -- Mayor Frank Hague in an address befor the Jersey City 
>        Chamber of Commerce, Jan. 12, 1938.  Joursey Observer 
>        (Hoboken, N.J.), Jan. 13, 1938, p. 1, col. 1.
>* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Paul Andrew Mitchell                 : Counselor at Law, federal witness
B.A., Political Science, UCLA;  M.S., Public Administration, U.C. Irvine

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