On the Bill for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia of the United States.

House of Representatives, December, 1796.

Mr. RUTHERFORD said, he believed the government of the United States had nothing to do with the militia of the several sovereign states. This was his opinion, and it was the opinion of the people at large -- however, of nine tenths of them. The Constitution is express upon this subject. It says, when the militia is called into actual service, it shall he under the direction of the general government, but not until that takes place; the several states shall have command over their own children -- their own families. If the United States take it up, they will defeat the end in view -- they grasp too much.

With respect to the unconstitutionality, Mr. R. joined in opinion with the gentleman from New Jersey, (Mr. Henderson.) This law would tend to alienate the minds of the people of the Eastern States, whose militia were already well disciplined.

He hoped nothing more would be done, in that house, than to advise {439} those states who had neglected their militia to revise and amend their laws, and make them more effectual. This is all this house can do -- all they have a right to do.