Last modified on 12 May 2012, at 13:30

Tench Coxe

Signed portrait of Tench Coxe.

Tench Coxe (May 22, 1755 – July 17, 1824) was an American political economist and a delegate for Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress in 1788-1789, and a key anti-Federalist, writing under the pseudonym "A Pennsylvanian".

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  • The power of the sword, say the minority..., is in the hands of Congress. My friends and countrymen, it is not so, for The powers of the sword are in the hands of the yeomanry of America from sixteen to sixty. The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress has no power to disarm the militia. Their swords and every terrible implement of the soldier are the birthright of Americans. The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments but where, I trust in God, it will always remain, in the hands of the people.
    • The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.
  • Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American... [T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.
    • Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.
  • Whereas civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.
    • "Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution," under the pseudonym "A Pennsylvanian" in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789.

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