The First Federal Congress Project
Documentary History of the First Federal Congress

The Notes of John Adams

 [15 or 16 July 1789] 
Elsworth. The Powers, of this Constitution are all vested. parted from the People, from the States, and vested not in Congress but in the President.
The Word Sovereignty is introduced without determinate Ideas. Power in the last Resort. in this sense the Sovereign Executive is in the president.
The U.S. will be Parties to 1000 Suits— shall Proscess issue in their Name vs. or for themselves.
The President it is Said, may be put to Gaol for Debt.
Lee. U.S. merely figurative meaning the People.
Grayson. The President is not above the Law. an absurdity to admit this Idea into our Government. not improbable that the President may be Sued. Christina Q. of Sweeden1 committed Murder— France excused her. The Jurors of our Lord the President, present that the President committed Murder.
a Monarchy by a Sidewind. you make him Vindex Injuriarum.2 The People will not like, The Jurors of our Lord the President— nor the Peace of our Lord the President, nor his Dignity. his Crown will be left out. do not wish to make the Constitution a more unnatural monstrous Production than it is. The British Constn. a three legged Stool. if one legg is longer than another, the stool will not stand. unpallatable. The removal of Officers not palatable. We should not risk any Thing for nothing. come forward like Men, and reason openly, and the People will hear more quickly than if you attempt side Winds. This Measure will do no good and will disgust.
    1. Christina (1626-89) was queen of Sweden from 1644 until her abdication in 1654. While a resident of France she ordered the execution of a high-ranking attendant and refused to defend the action beyond insisting on her royal authority.
    2. Protected from unlawful conduct.

Recommended citation: Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, ed. Charlene Bickford, et al. (Columbia, S.C.: Model Editions Partnership, 2002). XML version based on the Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, ed. Charlene Bickford, et al. (Baltimore, Md.: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1988) Vol. 9, pp. 104-117; 134-135; 445-449; 465-467; 483-489. http://adh.sc.edu [Accessed (supply date here)]

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