Birth of the Nation: The First Federal Congress, 1789-1791 | Next Page
Creation of the Executive
Rep. Smith of South Carolina to Mr. Rutledge
Rep. William L. Smith of South Carolina to Edward Rutledge, August 9, 1789
(From the William Loughton Smith papers collection of the South Carolina Historical Society)
Full text transcript of Rep. Smith's letter.

Smith, a supporter of the theory that executive officers should be removed only by impeachment, defends his interpretation in this letter to Rutledge, who disagreed with him. He contends that "my desire to guard the Constitution from the dangers of legislative constructions, animated me with a peculiar warmth of opposition," and that giving the removal power to the president alone would promote monarchy. Smith's first concern reflected his fear as a South Carolinian that legislative construction could lead Congress to interfere with the institution of slavery.


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