Letter: Ridicule won’t shut down 13th Amendment debate
A lesson was taught on March 20 in the New Hampshire House: Freedom of speech is denied if the subject is a “waste of time” according to two representatives who tabled House Bill 638, recognizing the original 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The ridicule displayed, however, will not shut down discussion. Indeed, the Democratically controlled House passed judgment on itself.
On Aug. 4, 1822, James Barry wrote: “A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”
The credit for this bill is wholly attributed to a constituent, who has tried for a long time to have it brought forward. Apparently, in my naiveté, I understood that as an elected representative it was my duty to do so. Wrong again!
The original 13th Amendment (Titles of Nobility Amendment or foreign power influence act I would call it) was thought important enough to pass both the House and Senate in New Hampshire on December 9, 1812, and sent to the U.S. Congress. Of course, we are so much smarter and wiser than they, our ancestors. As more documents are found and submitted, proof mounts that indeed, this amendment was “ratified” and that indeed it “disappeared” without proper venue.
Rep. STELLA TREMBLAY