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Stone Collection: Volume 46 - Item 5
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Alfred H. Stone Collection
Volume: 46

5. Gerrit Smith, The True Office of Civil Government. A Speech in the City of Troy (New York: S. W. Benedict, 1851). (30 p.)

Speech delineating the responsibilities and limitations of civil government. The speaker takes a minimalist approach. “The truth is, that Government has got into the sanctuary of the people’s business and interests; and, that, whilst it is suffered to be there, no limits can be set to its meddling and mischief. To-day. It lays its hand upon the school. To-morrow, it lays it on the church. The only safety consists in expelling the intruder from this sanctuary, and in keeping him outside of it, where he may stand sentinel to it, and so fulfill the only office of Civil Government.”