Wishing For Days Of Yore In Connecticut

I enjoy reading historical Connecticut legal documents.  The quotation below appears at the beginning of Book I of the 1808 Connecticut Statutes.  Oh, what a contrast to today’s General Assembly.  I dare say our elected representatives ought to read this to understand why Connecticut once truly warranted the moniker, “The Land of Steady Habits.”

CONNECTICUT, from the establishment of her government, has been politically happy. She has been distinguished, in this respect, from almost every nation on the globe. There is, moreover, a trait of national character, for which she has been equally distinguished. We allude to the unparalleled caution, with which her rulers have proceeded, in the passing of new laws, and the adoption of new measures. That the former has regularly resulted from the latter, is a truth, of which those who form opinions, by examining facts, can have little doubt. Experimental philosophy had been taught, and recommended, by Lord Bacon, before the emigration of our ancestors. Adopting the same mode of reasoning, they applied it steadily, and successfully, to legal polity. They seldom took a step in legislation, till experience had evinced its necessity. They then provided for the immediate exigency, but for nothing more. Hence, our system of jurisprudence has, in a very strict sense, grown with the growth of our country, The caution of our primitive legislators resulted neither from incapacity to devise, nor want of courage to execute. Ludlow, Haynes, Hopkins, and Henry Wolcott were not weak, or timid men.

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