A blog collecting every use of the term “corruption” among the records of the Framers. Submitted to the Supreme Court as an appendix to an amicus brief by Lawrence Lessig for the Constitutional Accountability Center.
The general, then, in answer to Mr. Lowndes’s objections, that the powers vested in the general government were too extensive, enumerated all the powers granted, and remarked particularly on each, showing that the general good of the Union required that all the powers specified ought necessarily to be vested where the Constitution had placed them; and that, as all the powers granted sprang from the people, and were to be exercised by persons frequently chosen, mediately or immediately, by the people; and that, as we had as great a share in the government, in proportion to our importance, as any other state had,—the assertion that our representation would he merely virtual, similar to what we possessed under the British government, was altogether unfounded; that there was no danger of the powers granted being abused while the people remained uncorrupt; and that corruption was more effectually guarded against, in the manner this government was constituted, than in any other that had ever been formed. From the number of electors who have a right to vote for a member of the House of Representatives, little danger can be apprehended of corruption or undue influence. If a small district sent a member, there would be frequent opportunities for cabal and intrigue: but if the sphere of election is enlarged, then opportunities must necessarily diminish. The little demagogue of a petty parish or county will find his importance annihilated, and his intrigues useless, When several counties join in an election; he probably would not be known, certainly not regarded, out of his own circle; while the man whose abilities and virtues had extended a fair reputation beyond the limits of his county, would, nine times out of ten, be the person who would be the choice of the people.