Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June 1, 1776: How Few Its Enjoyments

Oliver Wolcott, representing Connecticut, wrote to his wife, Laura Wolcott, "It is now a long time which I have been here, and I do most sincerely Wish to return to the Pleasures of a domestick rural Life, such a Life as Poets and Wise men have always with so much Propriety praised. Here I see but little except human Faces which I know not, and numerous Pyles of Building, which have long since Satiated the Sight, and the street rumble is farr from being musical. But as I was not sent here to please myself, I shall cheerfully yeild to my Duty, convinced of this Truth, that the Noise and Bustle of this World are the best Lessons to teach a man how few are it's Injoyments."

In January 1788, Oliver Wolcott spoke in Connecticut's Ratifying Convention in defense of the proposed Constitution's ban on religious tests, in Clause 3 of Article 6.

Wolcott remarked, "Knowledge and liberty are so prevalent in this country, that I do not believe that the United States would ever be disposed to establish one religious sect, and lay all others under legal disabilities. But as we know not what may take place hereafter, and any such test would be exceedingly injurious to the rights of free citizens, I cannot think it altogether superfluous to have added a clause, which secures us from the possibility of such oppression."
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