The Geographical Distribution of the Vote of the Thirteen States on the Federal Constitution, 1787-8 by Orin Grant Libby
The Geographical Distribution of the Vote of the Thirteen States on the Federal Constitution, 1787-8
by Orin Grant Libby
Bulletin of the University of Wisconsin
Economics, Political Science, and History Series
Vol. 1, No. 1. pp. 1-116
Published by Authority of Law and with the Approval of the Regents of the University
Published by the University
Map showing the Distribution of the Vote on the Federal Constitution.
Map showing the Distribution of Population in 1790.
Chapter I. State Areas of Opposition and Support of the Federal Constitution. (New Hampshire. Massachusetts. Connecticut. Rhode Island. New York. Pennsylvania. Delaware. New Jersey. Maryland. Virginia. North Carolina. South Carolina. Georgia.)
Chapter II. Interstate Groupings of the Opposition and Support of the Federal Constitution.
Chapter III. Relation of the Paper Money and Debt Factions to the Ratification of the Constitution. (New Hampshire. Massachusetts. Connecticut. Rhode Island. New York. New Jersey. Delaware. Pennsylvania. Maryland. Virginia. North Carolina. South Carolina. Georgia.)
Chapter IV. Instructions to Delegates. (New Hampshire. Massachusetts. Connecticut. Rhode Island. New York. Pennsylvania. New Jersey. Delaware. Maryland. Virginia. North Carolina. South Carolina.)
Appendix A. Sources for the Mapping of the Local Units.
Appendix B. Corrections to the Vote of Massachusetts, as given in Volume II. of Elliot’s Debates.
Appendix C. Votes of the Delegates in the Respective State Conventions.
The following paper is one of a series of studies carried on in my seminary in American history, with the design of contributing to an understanding of the relations between the political history of the United States, and the physiographic, social, and economic conditions underlying this history. A preliminary paper by the editor, indicating some aspects of the proposed work, has already been published under the title, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History.” (Proceedings of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, December 14, 1893; and Annual Re-port of the American Historical Association for 1893, Senate Misc. Doc. No. 104, 53d Cong., 2d Sess., in press).
It is believed that many phases of our political history have been obscured by the attention paid to state boundaries, and to the sectional lines of North and South. At the same time the economic interpretation of our history has been neglected. In the study of the persistence of the struggle for state particularism in American constitutional history, it was inevitable that writers should make prominent the state as a political factor. But, from the point of view of the rise and growth of sectionalism and of nationalism, it is much more important to note the existence of great social and economic areas, independent of state lines, which have acted as units in political history, and which have changed their political attitude as they changed their economic organization, and divided into new groups.
American growth has exhibited not only the evolution of the Atlantic coast from sparse settlement to concentrated city life, with all the changes in political sentiments involved in these economic and social transformations; it has also exhibited the spread of population steadily west-ward, with areas of sparse settlement on the borders of this advancing society, contemporaneous with the complex and concentrated settlements of the older regions. Thus the United States has been at once a developed country and a primitive one. The same political questions have been put to a society, advanced in some regions, and undeveloped in others. More than this, each area of settlement has been undergoing continual modifications. Physiographic conditions have facilitated the rapid evolution of some areas and have retarded others, so that the complexity of this grouping has been increased. We have also the peculiar transformation of the South and the slave system – the changes involved in the substitution of cotton culture for rice and tobacco culture, the changes resulting from the Civil War, emancipation, and the gradual development of diversified industry in the South similar to that in the North.
Within the United States there have been exhibited contemporaneously all the stages of social progress, from the hunting to the manufacturing stage. Each of these social conditions has been exhibited on a determinable geographical area. Each of these areas has been evolving into a higher stage of social advance; the grain raising region becomes a region with diversified farming; the region with diversified farming becomes the region of manufacture; the hunting or pastoral region of the arid tracts, is turned by irrigation into a varied agricultural region, with corresponding social transformations. On specific political questions each economic area has reflected its peculiar interests. At a subsequent period, when the geographical area occupied by this stage of economic developement has evolved into a higher economic stage, the change is made apparent in changed views on similar political questions. Thus Wisconsin, once a “Granger state,” has now little sympathy with the western Populists.
The effects of these differences in organic areas upon specific political questions has been noted with more or less insight into the real economic territorial divisions, by occasional writers. But no writer has as yet brought out the importance of these groups and their transformations as continuous factors in our history. Since the present paper was completed, I have noted, in Mr. Hildreth’s History of the United States, an important example of the use of economic divisions to explain political action, in a limited period. It seen will be that the statement is dogmatic and from the point of view of a Federalist, but the opinion of Mr. Hildreth is of weight, and as it goes to confirm the correctness of the results embodied in the present paper, I quote the passage.
“The Federal party with Washington and Hamilton at its head, represented the experience, the prudence, the practical wisdom, the discipline, the conservative reason and instincts of the country. The opposition headed by Jefferson, expressed its hopes, wishes, theories, many of them enthusiastic and impracticable, more especially its passions, its sympathies and antipathies, its impatience of restraint. The Federalists had their strength in those narrow districts where a concentrated population had produced and contributed to maintain that complexity of institutions and that reverence for social order, which, in proportion as men are brought into contiguity, become more absolutely necessaries of existence. The ultra-democratical ideas of the opposition prevailed in all that more extensive region in which the dispersion of population, and the despotic authority vested in individuals over families of slaves, kept society in a state of immaturity, and made legal re restraints the more irksome in proportion as their necessity was the less felt. Massachusetts and Connecticut stood at the head of the one party, supported, though not always without some wavering by the rest of New England. The other party was led by Virginia, by whose finger all the states south and west of the Potomac might be considered to be guided. The only exception was South Carolina, in the tide water district of which state a certain number of the wealthier and more intelligent planters, led by a few men of talents and probity, who had received their education in England, were inclined to support the Federal policy, so ably upheld in Congress by Smith, Harper, Pinckney and Rutledge. But even in South Carolina the mass of the voting population felt and thought otherwise; nor could the influence of a few individuals long resist a numerical preponderancy so decided. As for the states of Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky, and except for a brief moment, North Carolina, they followed without doubt or hesitation in the wake of Virginia; and the rapidly increasing backwoods settlements of all these states constantly added new strength to the opposition The decision between Federalism and the so-called Republican party, depended on the two great and growing states of Pennsylvania and New York; and from the very fact that they were growing, that both of them had an extensive backwoods frontier, and that both were constantly receiving accessions of political enthusiasts from Europe, they both inclined more and more to the Republican side.0
In addition to the light cast by the paper upon the antipathy felt by the interior agricultural settlements to strong government, it is interesting to note the influence of frontier conditions and sparse settlement in permitting lax business honor, inflated paper currency and wild-cat banking. Mr. Libby shows that the colonial and revolutionary interior was the region whence emanated many of the worst forms of an evil currency. The West in the War of 1812 repeated the phenomenon on the frontier of that day, while the speculation and wild-cat banking of the period of the, crisis of 1837 occurred on the new frontier belt; and the present Populistic agitation finds its stronghold in those western and southern regions whose social and economic conditions are in many respects strikingly like those existing in 1787 in the areas that opposed the ratification of the Constitution. A phase of social transformation has passed westward, and carried with it, in successive areas, similar agitations over questions of debt and taxation. Between paper money agitations in the colonial days, and the present Western unrest and remedial proposals, there is a historical continuity. Like social conditions have wrought like effects. Thus each one of the periods of lax financial integrity coincides with periods when a new set of frontier communities has arisen, and, for the most part, coincides in area with these successive frontiers. A primitive society can hardly be expected to show intelligent appreciation of the complexity of business interests in a developed society. The continual recurrence of these areas of paper-money agitation is another evidence that the similar social and economic areas can be isolated and studied as factors of the highest importance in American history.
It is believed, therefore, that a series of studies upon natural economic groupings in American history will be of service to the investigator who desires to understand political history in the light of economic and social forces. To such a historical geography of organic social and economic areas, Mr. Libby’s paper is designed to contribute.
FREDERICK J. TURNER.
The history of the period of the ratification of the Constitution of the United States has been studied from various points of view. Some writers have discussed the purely legal aspects of the Constitution. Others have approached it from the side of political science. The de-bates in the Federal and state conventions have long been text books for the student of the Constitution, while a whole mass of pamphlet discussion bearing on the question has been carefully collected. The evolution of the various political institutions provided for in the Constitution has been studiously worked out, and it may be safely assumed that recent writers have corrected the misconception that the instrument was a product of abstract reasoning.
But there is another misconception as firmly rooted, perhaps, in popular opinion as the former; namely, that the fate of the Constitution was determined exclusively, or at least predominantly, by discussions in convention on the various provisions of that instrument, from the point of view of the political scientist, or of the statesman. Doubtless questions of liberty, and of checks to power, had a prominent position in the thought of this generation of Americans. But every student of the antecedents of the movement for a Constitutional convention cannot but be impressed with the fact, that the debates in the conventions called to ratify the action of the Constitutional convention only inadequately present the opinions and prejudices of the voters themselves, as revealed in the struggles of the Confederation period. This period was one of paper money agitation, of efforts to evade the payment of debt, of resistance to taxation, and of counter efforts to give security to interstate commerce and strength to national credit. The state system under the Articles of Confederation served as a shield for the debtor classes. Many of the motives be-hind the arguments for state sovereignty were not of a character to be urged in the debates on the ratification of the Constitution. Thus questions of the sovereignty of the state, and questions of the dangers to liberty from the power over the purse given to the Federal government, were put prominently forward. Writers have interpreted these discussions rather as evidences of the continuity of the English struggle over the control of the purse, than in the light of the struggles of the debtor factions in the various states in the period which just preceded the convention.1 The undertow of public opinion, deeper and stronger then the surface indications, seen in the formal speeches, tracts, and convention arguments,. has been neglected. Inaccurate and sweeping generalizations respecting the location of the friends and the enemies of the Constitution have been made; but no detailed investigation has yet been published to show the distribution of the contending forces. For example, it has been asserted that a line drawn fifty miles from the coast would pretty accurately divide the Federalists from the Anti-Federalists.2 The truth is that were this a correct statement of the matter, the Constitution would have been rejected in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Georgia!
The plan of this paper is briefly as follows: A map has been prepared to show the location of the Federal and the Anti-Federal areas. This has been done, as shown on the map, by indicating as Federal all those towns, counties, or parishes, whose delegates to the ratification convention of the state voted for the Constitution; and as Anti-Federal, those towns, counties, or parishes, whose delegates voted against ratification. Those local units whose delegates divided have also been indicated, with symbols to show on which side the majority lay. To this method exceptions have been made as follows: When it has been found that the delegate did not correctly represent his constituents the map has been corrected to show the real sentiment of the voters; corrections have also been made where the town, county, or parish was not represented in the convention, and the sentiment of its people could be ascertained from some other source. The full details of these corrections for each state are to be found in Appendix A. The map3 showing the density of population in 1790 enables the reader to see in what portion of the large western counties the population was chiefly located,4and thus serves to correct misapprehensions arising from the size of these counties.5
Having mapped the local distribution of the friends and the enemies of the Constitution, the sectional groupings revealed within each state are considered. The significance of the position of these areas of opposition and support within the separate states is taken up, and their correspondence to natural physiographic, social, and economic areas is pointed out. The historical foundation of these groups is also discussed, and the explanation of their attitude upon the Constitution is attempted in some detail. The inquiry next turns to the interstate groupings re-vealed by the map, which are treated in the same manner as those of each state. A general presentation of the relation of the anti-taxation, debt, and paper money agitation to ratification completes the view.
At the outset of the investigation we are confronted with the question, how far may the votes of the delegates in the state conventions be accepted as representative of the sentiments of their constituents? It is believed that the reader can approach the detailed discussion of this ques-tion better after a consideration of the results revealed upon the presumption that the delegate did not misrepresent his constituents, in cases where no evidence to the contrary appears. The fuller treatment of the question is therefore postponed to a later chapter. The following are the general grounds for accepting the vote of the delegate in convention as, on the whole, a fair index of public sentiment in his locality.
First, in the period under discussion, especially in New England, the representative was bound by a more intimate tie of responsibility to his constituents than obtained in later times. The common use of instructions to representatives in state legislatures, and later to congressmen, shows this very clearly. The fact that the country has now passed away from this attitude with respect to the responsibility of the representative, should not mislead us regarding the practice in the period under consideration.
Second, the presumption is strong that on such a vital question as the ratification of the Constitution, the representative would not incur the odium of misrepresenting his friends and neighbors. Moreover, it is safe to say that, as a rule, the same interest that actuated the constituency would be likely to be shared by the delegate, even in the absence of instructions.
Third, an examination of the map reveals the fact that the sectional groupings do not harmonize with a theory of chance arrangement. The coherence of the various areas is explainable only on the ground of common economic and social interests. Delegations from towns or counties were rarely divided in their vote, except where the town or county itself lay in the transitional belt between Federal and Anti-Federal areas. These facts can be satisfactorily explained only on the hypothesis that, as a rule, delegates acted on the Constitution with the prejudices and interests, of their locality, and with the sentiments of their constituents keenly before their minds. To this rule exceptions might be expected, and did actually occur.
Fourth, in a later chapter, it will be shown that very many delegates went instructed to the conventions, and voted according to their instructions; and that in many other cases there was a correspondence between the vote of the delegate and the ascertained attitude of the constituency; only three exceptions have been discovered. When the difficulty of recovering such instructions from scattered town records, newspapers, etc., is considered, the number of them existing is quite remarkable.
The map represents the town and county divisions as they existed at the time of ratification. I cannot hope to have accomplished entirely without error the task of reconstructing the local geography of the period from the scattered sources in which it must be studied. But I have diligently endeavored to make the map correct. In Appendix A are given the sources which I have used for the various states, together with such explanations of the mapping as will enable the work to be checked by local antiquarians having more adequate resources for the task. It is confidently believed that such errors in mapping towns, counties, etc., as may be found, will not modify the conclusions with respect to the map as a whole.
A short criticism of the vote of Massachusetts, as given in Elliot’s Debates, ii., and a detailed statement of the vote of the delegates in the state conventions by towns, counties, parishes, etc., are given in appendices B and C.
Proceeding to take up each state in detail, I shall next point out the Federal and Anti-Federal areas in each, discuss the significance of the vote, and offer evidence to show the natural coherence, and the economic and social basis, of the distribution revealed in the map.New Hampshire.
The opposition area in New Hampshire may be roughly described as an irregular quadrilateral with its north-east corner resting at the middle of the west side of Lake Winnipiseogee, its north-west corner touching the Connecticut river, the south east corner lying a trifle east of the Merrimac river where it enters the state, and the south-west corner’ resting on the southern boundary line, about half way between the Merrimac and the Connecticut rivers.
The Federal area of the state lay in the south-east along the coast, in a broad belt through Grafton County north of the above mentioned opposition area, and along the Connecticut river to the farthest limit of settlement.
From the foregoing statement of the boundaries of the Federal and Anti-Federal areas, it will be seen that they very naturally fall into three divisions, the sea-coast, the interior or middle, and the Connecticut valley and border districts. The first two of these are so familiar as to require no more than a passing notice. The former, the coast area, represented the commercial and urban interests; here were to be found most of the professional men, leaders of thought, men of wealth and influence. The second section, the interior, was composed of those representing the small farmers; a population cut off from the outside world by lack of good roads, and which raised little for market except to exchange for the few things that could not be produced at home. The former class, progressive and liberal, and familiar with the practical details of government, as a rule voted for the Constitution. The latter, conservative by environment and having little knowledge of what went on outside the narrow bounds of the home village or township, quite as generally voted against the Constitution. 6
One factor in the New Hampshire opposition is worth especial mention. There was a large Scotch-Irish element in the region west of the Merrimac river, lying within the opposition area. The towns settled by this nationality, or those which had large accessions after settlement, are: Bedford, Merrimac, Peterborough, Antrim, Deering, Hen-nicker, Ackworth, Windham, New Boston, Litchfield, Hudson, Amherst, Dunstable, Chester, and Londonderry.7 Of these fifteen towns only three voted in favor of the Consti-tution.
But there was a third district in New Hampshire, the votes of which were cast for the Constitution and were decisive factors in the contest. This was the Connecticut valley or border district a section as distinct in its economic and social features as if it had been a separate state. Its communication with the outside world was chiefly by the Connecticut river, which united it with Massachusetts and Connecticut. In interests and settlement it belonged rather to Vermont or Massachusetts than to New Hampshire. Its inhabitants, therefore, in so important an event as the adoption of the Federal Constitution would be likely to act as a unit, distinct from the rest of the state and moved by motives peculiarly their own. As early as 1776, sixteen of the border towns sent a delegate to a convention held at Dracut, Massachusetts, to petition the states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts to relieve the financial distress of the period. The particular grievance of these towns, however, was unfair representation.8 At the same time, town meetings were held in Hanover, Lyme, Lebanon, Plainfield, Acworth, Marlow, Alstead, and Chesterfield in which the people voted not to elect representatives to the legislature.9 Among the reasons were the lack of a fair system of legislative representation, and the property qualification required of those elected as counselors. In 1778 the “sixteen towns” joined Vermont, a union which came to an end in a year.10 In 1781, a new union was formed between Vermont and thirty-seven New Hampshire towns, east of the Connecticut river. This union like the other continued only one year.11 The condition of these towns is well expressed in the following: “From the time of the dissolution of the union between Vermont and the sixteen towns to the east of the Connecticut river, notwithstanding the exciting circumstances under which that union was dissolved, a large number of the inhabitants of the western part of New Hampshire had continued to be solicitous for annexation to that state. Others had a project in their minds for a new state formed out of the eastern part of Vermont and the western part of New Hampshire; others, still, were desirous that New Hampshire should ex-ercise jurisdiction over the whole of the grants. While thus there was no well-considered plan on which all the inhabitants had settled down, there still seemed to be a general desire for change.”12 Charlestown was a fair type of the lower river towns, not connected with this early border discontent but strongly in favor of union with Vermont in 1781. The following presents the case of this town: “Charlestown undoubtedly exerted its share of influence in bringing about the union of the New Hampshire towns with Vermont. If we review the early history of the town, from its settlement to 1760, we shall find little in the course pursued by New Hampshire which would be adapted to attach the inhabitants to her jurisdiction. The township was not originally chartered by New Hampshire, and its settlers were disappointed on ascertaining that they were within its limits; and petitioned the King to be set back again to Massachusetts, to which state they had always supposed they belonged. The Old Bay State had been their main source of reliance. It was from thence that had come their defence in every time of trouble. Every important military detatchment that had come to their aid, for sixteen years, was from that state.” 13 The leader in the movement for Vermont union was Col. Elisha Payne of Lebanon. Says Batchellor in the New Hampshire State Papers (App., p. 848.) “He was educated to the law in Connecticut and came into Grafton county thoroughly imbued with Connecticut ideas as to the rights of towns as independent units of government, and as to what should be the relations of towns to the state. The temporary New Hampshire constitution of 1776 was drawn in conformity to theories that were widely at variance with his conceptions of the methods and province of government. Notwithstanding he was named for important offices under the new state government he held aloof and became a chief mover in the enterprise of establishing a state to be constituted of towns on both sides of the Connecticut river, or failing in that, to join the disaffected towns on the east side of the river to the prospective state of Vermont or a sufficient number of Vermont towns to New Hampshire to carry the balance of power to the Connecticut river.”
The Connecticut valley in New Hampshire, or more properly the valley and the inland portion of Grafton county, was, therefore, a section having its own history, its own interests and its own leaders. When the question came up as to the adoption of the Federal Constitution, its vote was consistent throughout. Of those towns in union with Vermont in 1781, two-thirds voted for the Constitution. The “Letter of a Landholder” to the “Citizens of New Hamp-shire” is peculiarly applicable to these Connecticut river towns, and those of the interior of Grafton county. “New York, the trading towns on the Connecticut river, and Boston, are the sources from which a great part of your foreign supplies will be obtained, and where your produce will be exposed for market. In all these places an import is collected, of which, as consumers, you pay a share without deriving any public benefit. You can not expect any alteration in the private systems of these states unless effected by the proposed government..”14
But leadership in this section was an important element. Says Batchellor: “Judge Livermore was the acknowledged leader of the party which sought the acceptance of the pro-posed Constitution. The fact that the delegation from the Grafton county towns was practically unanimous in sup-port of Mr. Livermore, gives us the right to assume that he received timely and valuable assistance, not only from those with whom he exercised a large influence through his own personality, but also from those who had long regarded Colonel Payne as their political mentor.” 15
The conjunction of these two elements at this critical period produced the section which I have called the Connecticut river section. In it were united the town democracy of the valley, led by Payne, and the Grafton county following of Judge Livermore, alike in being on the frontier and separated from eastern New Hampshire. Their united support proved decisive in carrying the Constitution.Massachusetts.
Turning to the map for the Massachusetts vote we can see that the state may be divided into three sections, the east-ern, the middle, and the western. The middle section has for its eastern boundary an irregular line extending from about the northeast corner of Rhode Island to the point in t he northern boundary of Massachusetts where the Merrimac river enters the state, and for its western boundary the tier of towns along the eastern side of the Connecticut river. The other sections lie respectively to the east and west of it. The vote of these sections on the ratification of the Constitution is as follows:
|Eastern section.||Yeas, 73 per cent.||Nays, 27 per cent.|
|Middle section.||Yeas, 14 per cent.||Nays, 86 per cent.|
|Western section.||Yeas, 42 per cent.||Nays, 58 per cent.|
Such striking differences as these indicate clearly that there is something fundamental lying back of the vote. Each of these sections is an economic and social unit, the first representing the coast region, the second the interior, and the third the Connecticut valley and border districts of the state. In the eastern section the interests were commercial; there was the wealth, the influence, the urban population of the state. This section had been longest settled and was consequently the most thickly populated. Within this section lay two areas of opposition, the interior regions of the eastern section, one in Essex and Middlesex counties, south of the Merrimac river, the other in Bristol, Suffolk, and Plymouth counties, adjoining Rhode Island. The middle section of Massachusetts represented the interior agricultural interests of the state the small farmers. From this section came a large part of the Shays faction in 1786.16
The Connecticut valley or western district may be sub-divided into the northern, most interior and predominantly Anti-Federal section, and the southern section, nearest the coast and predominantly Federal, with the trading towns of the Connecticut river in its southeastern part.
A few quotations from contemporary correspondence will show the drift of the parties in Massachusetts.
Extract of a letter of Henry Knox to Washington, Feb. 10, 1788:
“It is a singular circumstance that in Massachusetts the property, the ability, and the virtue of the state are almost solely in favor of the Constitution. Opposed to it are the late insurgents and all those who abetted their designs, constituting four-fifths of the opposition.”17
Extract of a letter from Madison to Washington, Feb. 3, 1788, quoting a letter received from Boston from a member of the convention there :
“Never was there an assembly in this state in possession of greater ability and information than the present convention, yet I am in doubt whether they will approve the constitution. There are, unhappily, three parties opposed to it. First: All men who are in favor of paper money and tender laws. Those are more or less in every part of the state. Second: All the late insurgents and their abettors. In the three great western counties they are very numerous. We have in the convention eighteen or twenty who were actually in Shays’ army.”18
An extract of a letter of Henry Knox to Washington. Jan. 14, 1788, gives the following classification of parties in the state: “The first is the commercial part of the state to which are added all the men of considerable property, the clergy, the lawyers, including the judges of all the courts, and all the neighborhood of all the great towns The third party are the insurgents, or their favorers, the great majority of whom are for an annihilation of debts, public and private, and therefore they will not approve of the constitution.”19
In the province of Maine the larger part of the Anti-Federal vote was inland, while the Federal towns were mostly along the coast. The vote of Maine was complicated by the new issue of separation from Massachusetts, which had begun to agitate the people of this province. Many votes were cast against the Federal Constitution on account of its being favored by the ruling classes of Massachusetts who were supposed to be opposed to separation from Maine.20Connecticut.
In Connecticut the sentiment was overwhelming in favor of the Constitution. The opposition was scattered and unimportant. Its two chief centers were in New Haven county on. the coast and in five or six towns on each side of the Connecticut river at the northern boundary, connecting with a group of opposition towns in Massachusetts. The following statement of the opposition in Connecticut is from “Letters of a Landholder” (Oliver Ellsworth): “The first to oppose a federal government will be the old friends of Great Britain, who in their hearts cursed the prosperity of your councils. Many of these men are still among us and for several years their hopes of a reunion with Great Britain have been high. They rightly judge that nothing will so soon effect their wishes as the deranged state we are now in, if it should continue. They see that the merchant is weary of the government which cannot protect his property and that the farmer, finding no benefit from the Revolution, begins to dread much evil; and they hope the people will soon supplicate the protection of their old masters Debtors in desperate circumstances who have not resolution to be either honest or industrious, will be the next men to take the alarm Paper money and tender acts is the only atmosphere in which they can breathe and live There is another kind of people will be found in the opposition. Men of much self-importance and supposed skill in politics who are not of sufficient consequence to obtain public employment, but can spread jealousies in the little districts of country where they are placed But in the present case, men who have lucrative and influential state offices, if they act from principles of self interest, will be tempted to oppose an alteration.”21 The same writer in a later number says: “In Connecticut our wrongheads are few in number and feeble in their influence. The opposition here is not one half so great to the federal government as it was three years ago to the federal impost, and the faction, such as it is, is from the same blindfold party.”22
The following account of the opposition is taken from the New Haven Gazette: “Extract of a letter from a gentleman in Hartford to his friend in this city, dated January 6th ‘The opposition, headed by General Wadsworth, supported by Colonel W. Williams, Messrs. Joseph Hopkins, Carpenter, Hall and H. Humphreys, is dwindling to nothing The arguments urged by General Wadsworth have exceedingly injured the cause of the opposition. They have been weak and in some in-stances urged with great spleen.”23
From the journal of the convention: “The paragraph which respects taxes, imports and excises was largely de-bated by several gentlemen. General Wadsworth objected against it because it gave the power of the purse to the general legislature, another paragraph gave the power of the sword; and that authority which has the power of the sword and purse is despotic. He objected against impost and excises because their operation would be partial and in favor of the southern states.”24
From its strong federal vote Connecticut clearly belongs to the coast area pointed out in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, but its great unanimity must have been based on other grounds than this alone, for the interior as well as the coast districts, were overwhelmingly in favor of ratification. From what has already been said it is seen that both merchant and farmer had reason to lose faith in the Confederation and to desire a stronger Federal government. In a speech of Oliver Ellsworth in the state convention we find the following: “Our being tributaries to our sister states is a consequence of the want of a federal system. The state of New York raises £60,000 or £80,000 a year by impost. Connecticut consumes about one third of the goods upon which this impost is, laid and consequently pays one third of this sum to New York. If we import by the medium of Massachusetts she has an impost and to her we pay a tribute. If this is done while we have the shadow of a national government, what shall we not suffer when even that shadow is gone?”25 Melancthon Smith, in an address to the people of New York said: “It cannot be controverted that Connecticut and New Jersey were very much influenced in their determinations on the question by local considerations. The duty of impost laid by this state has been a subject of complaint by those states. The new constitution transfers the power of imposing these duties from the state to the general government and carries the proceeds to the use of the union instead of that of the state. This is a popular matter with the people of those states, and at the same time is not advanced by the sensible opposers to the new system in this state as an objection to it.”26
Thus it is seen that in Connecticut the opposition was unimportant but of the same character as that in Massachusetts, and that the pressure of the New York impost united all classes in favoring the new government, which would protect them from the commercial exactions of that state.Rhode Island.
In Rhode Island the party of opposition was able to prevent ratification till 1790. From the lack of records, it is not now possible to trace very accurately the development of a Federal party in Rhode Island previous to 1790. The following extract from resolutions adopted by the town of Portsmouth, August 27, 1789, is significant of the conditions during the long struggle for ratification: “And as we hope the formal accession of this state to the constitution is not far distant, and as our separation can by no means be imputed to the seaport towns, the inhabitants whereof are, almost unanimously, zealous advocates for the new constitution; and as a continuance of the above mentioned restrictions on the inhabitants of this state will accumulate unmerited distress upon that part of the community which has been most firmly attached to the union, and as we can not but hope that the benign disposition of congress to-wards the agricultural part of the state, manifested in the admission of their produce and manufactures free, will also be extended to the seaport towns “27
The paper money party in the state was in general opposed to the new constitution.28
Thus as in Massachusetts, the wealthy and commercial classes united to favor the Constitution, as opposed to the interior agricultural class who believed, among other things, in paper money issues.New York.
New York presents the problem in its simplest form. The entire mass of interior counties, Ulster, Orange, Albany, Montgomery, Clinton, and Columbia, were solidly Anti-Federal, comprising the agricultural portion of the state, the last settled and the most thinly populated. There were. however, in this region two Federal cities (not represented in the convention), Albany29 in Albany county and Hudson30 in Columbia county, with a population respectively of 3,50631 and 2,584.
The Federal area centered about New York city and county; to the southwest lay Richmond county (Staten Island), to the southeast Kings county and to the northeast Westchester county ; while still further extending this area at the northeast lay the divided county of Dutchess, with a vote in the convention of 4 to 2 in favor of the Constitution, and at the southeast were the divided counties of Queens and Suffolk, with a convention vote respectively of 4 to 0 and 3 to 1 in favor of the Constitution. These radiating strips of territory, with New York city as a center form a unit, in general favorable to the new Constitution; and it is significant of this unity that Dutchess, Queens, and Suffolk counties broke away from the Anti-Federal phalanx and joined the Federalists, securing thereby the adoption of the Constitution. The pressure of a badly divided or wavering constituency is very evident in this change. It is also significant that neither in the counties west of the Hudson river nor in those north of Dutchess county was there any wavering in the opposition, at least but a single Federal vote from Orange county shows signs of any. The classification of the three divided counties with the Federal, therefore, is justified by these facts. The unity of this section also appears from the following: “To the Honorable the Convention of the State of New York, The consequences to your state, which may follow the rejection of the proposed constitution should certainly engage a great share of your deliberations. In the event of nine states adopting, Jersey and Connecticut will no longer receive their supplies through you, nor send their produce to your market for sale, for you will be on the footing of foreigners These things will be most seriously felt throughout your whole commonwealth, but to the islands of New York, Long Island and Staten Island, they will be almost ruinous. These three districts must act together, they are peculiarly placed by nature. Should they fear the ruin of their commerce and manufactures, and the foreign duty on such of their produce as they may send to the ports of the new union, should these considerations induce the honest opponents of the constitution among them to adhere to the new confederacy, what can prevent their secession? If Staten Island were to associate herself with New Jersey and the islands of New York and Long Island with Connecticut, these two respectable states and the new union would be bound to defend them Suppose for a moment the city and county of New York to have separated themselves from your government. Both banks of the Hudson would then belong to the new confederacy. The destruction of your foreign trade must be the inevitable consequence.”33 To the same effect is the following: “We hear that in event of the rejection of the constitution by Now York, the six most southern counties34 of that state will declare their readiness to secede from the state of New York and form a distinct state.”35
One of the important reasons at work among the Anti-Federalists may be seen from the following- extract of a letter from New York, July 20, 1788: “He (George Clinton) tells them that if they ratify the constitution, they must by heavy taxes support their government, which is now wholly done by the impost, etc. This with the Mynheers is a weighty argument.”36
Oliver Ellsworth said of the Anti-Federalists: “In New York the opposition is not to this constitution in particular, but to the federal impost; it is confined wholly to salary men and their connections, men whose salary is paid by the state impost. This class of citizens are endeavoring to convince the ignorant part of the community that an annual income of £ 50,000 extorted from the citizens of Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey is a great blessing to New York. And although the regulation of trade and other advantages of a federal government would secure more than five times that sum to the people of that state, yet, as this would not come through the same hands, these men find fault with the constitution.”37
The Federalists on the other hand were strengthened by the addition of the tories to their side, as may be seen from the following: “The Tories, to a man, sided with Hamilton and his party, and it was the successful efforts of that gentleman to overcome the public animosities that enabled him to obtain his election to the Assembly of 1787, and to carry out his favorite measure-the repeal of the laws of exclusion under which the Loyalists were disfranchised. There he had the address and influence to pro-cure the abrogation of the most important part of those laws, and, by the accession of the great body of the en-franchised Tories to his party to frustrate at once his opponents in the city, and to secure his election to the general convention of 1787, and afterwards that of his friends from the city in the convention of the state, assembled in 1788.”38
But after all this statement of evidence for the parties in New York, what has been given seems insufficient to adequately explain why the state should have been so strongly Anti-Federal north of New York county, with such a river as the Hudson and its tributary, the Mohawk, opening up the whole region to settlement and to commercial relations with New York city. We have seen how decisive a factor in New England the Connecticut river valley was, and the question naturally arises why was not the Hudson valley equally a Federal section? To answer this question it will be necessary to take a brief survey of the land grants previous to the Revolution and the effect of the system in vogue in. New York upon the settlement and improvement of its lands. As early as 1698 the Earl of Bellomont writes to the Lords of Trade concerning the evil effects of the large grants (made by Colonel Fletcher, former governor) upon the settlement of the province.39 The following occurs in his letter, in 1700, to the Lords of Trade: “If it were not for Colonel Fletcher’s intolerable, corrupt selling away the lands of this province, it would outthrive the Massachusetts province and quickly outdo them in people and trade. The people are so cramped here for want of land that several families within my own knowledge and observation are removed to the new country (New Jersey and Pennsylvania) for, to use Mr. Graham’s expression to me, and that often repeated, too, ‘What man will be such a fool to become a base tenant to Mr. Dellius, Colonel Schuyler, Mr. Livingston (and so he ran through the whole role of our mighty landgraves), when for crossing the Hudson’s river that man can for a song purchase a good freehold in the Jersies?’ If I am rightly informed, here will be a world of corruption and fraud discovered in most of these extravagant grants, not only in respect of their vastness, but because they have swallowed up the lands of abundance of private families, who are thereby ruined.”40 The records of the next sixty years are full of such reports and of the ineffectual attempts on the part of the Crown to break up some of the largest grants.41 The abuse, however, continued almost unchecked throughout the entire period. The following extract of the report of Lieut. Gov. Colden to the Lords of Trade, September 20, 1764, gives the condition of the land grants at that time: “Your lordships have been informed of several extravagant grants of lands in this province; three of them contain, as the proprietors claim, above a million of acres each, several others above 200,000. All these were made without any previous survey, as usual in other cases, and without mentioning any quantity of land intended to be granted. Though these grants contain a great part of the province, they are made on trifling acknowledgments. The far greater part of them still remain uncultivated, without any benefit to the community, and are likewise a discouragement to the settling and improving the lands in the neighborhood of them, for, from the uncertainty of their boundaries, the patentees of these great tracts are daily enlarging their pretensions, and by tedious and most expensive law-suits, distress and ruin poor families who have taken out grants near them Three of these great tracts have in their grants privilege each of sending a representative in general assembly, so that the proprietors are become hereditary members of that house. The owners of the other great patents, being men of the greatest opulence in the several counties where these tracts are, have sufficient influence to be perpetually elected for those counties.
“The general assembly then, of this province, consists of the owners of these extravagant grants, the merchants of New York, the principal of them strongly connected with the owners of these great tracts of family interest, and of common farmers, which last are men easily deluded and led away with popular arguments of liberty and privileges. The proprietors of the great tracts are not only freed from the quit-rents, which the other landholders in the province pay, but by their influence in the assembly are freed from every other public tax on their lands. While every owner of improved lands has every horse, cow, ox, hog, etc., and every acre of his land rated, millions of acres, the property of private persons, contribute nothing to the public necessary expense.”42
In Mr. Colden’s account of the state of the province of New York in 1767, is the following: “The people of New York are properly distinguished into different ranks.
“1. The proprietors of the large tracts who include within their claims from 100,000 to above one million of acres under one grant. Some of these remain in one single family, others are by devises and purchases claimed in common by considerable numbers of persons.
“2. The gentlemen of law make the second class in which properly are included both the bench and the bar.
“3. The merchants make the third class; many of them have suddenly rose from the lowest rank of the people to considerable fortunes, and chiefly in the last war, by illicit trade. They abhor every limitation of trade and duties on it, and therefore gladly go into every measure whereby they hope to have trade free.
“4. In the last rank may be placed the farmers and mechanics. Though the farmers hold their lands in fee simple, they are as to condition of life, in no manner superior to the common farmers in England, and the mechanics such only as are necessary in domestic life. This last rank comprehends the bulk of the people and in them consists the strength of the province. They are the most useful and the most moral, but alwise made the dupes of the former, and often are ignorantly made their tools for the worst purposes The great tracts of land mentioned in the first class were not as usual in other cases surveyed before the grants; the contents of them cannot be known from the description in the grant All of them are granted in trifling quit-rents in comparison to the rents reserved generally on other lands granted at the same time or in earlier times The uncertainty of the grant, both as to quantity of the land and boundaries of the tract granted, which in law invalidates the grants of the crown, turns greatly to the advantage of the owners of these great tracts by the artifices they make use of to enlarge their claims perpetually. Thereby they are in continual contention with the farmers contiguous to them, who have purchased bona fide and improved their lands; and by the expense of law suits many of the most industrious farmers are ruined. The gentlemen of law, both the judges and the principal practioners at the bar, are either owners, heirs or strongly connected in family interest with the proprietors. In general, all the lawyers unite in promoting contention, prolonging suits and increasing the expense of obtaining justice, every artifice and chicanery in the law has been so much connived at or rather encouraged, that the honest men who are not of affluent fortunes are deterred from defending their rights or seeking justice”43
Governor Tryon, writing in 1773, makes the following comment on the land policy of New York: “Men of property in a country where the soil is of little value, must have it in their power to purchase large tracts, if they choose this method to raise their families For my part I should think it a good policy rather to encourage than to check such a spirit. The subordination which arises from a distinction in rank and fortune, I have found from experience to be friendly to government and conducive to the strengthening the bonds of the crown, and perhaps it will prove the only counterpoise against a leveling and republican spirit which the popular constitutions of some colonies and the temper of their inhabitants, who are spreading themselves throughout the continent so naturally excite.44
Winterbotham, writing in 1796 says: “New York is considerably behind her neighbors in New England, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in point of improvements in agriculture and manufactures. Among other reasons for this deficiency, that of want of enterprise in the inhabitants is not the least. Another cause which has heretofore operated in preventing agricultural improvements in this state has been their government, which, in the manner it was con-ducted until the Revolution was extremely unfavorable to improvements of almost every kind, and particularly in agriculture. The governors were many of them land jobbers, bent on making their fortunes, and being invested with power to do this, they either engrossed for themselves or patented away to their particular favorites a very great proportion of the whole province. This, as has been before observed, proved an effective bar to population The genius of the government of this state, however, still favors large monopolies of lands, which have for some years back been granted without regard either to quantity or settlement.”45
To sum up, it has been shown that during the 18th century, when the rest of the thirteen colonies were bidding for European immigrants, when Pennsylvania was receiving the Scotch-Irish and German elements of her population, and the Shenandoah Valley was leading others of the same class to the southern and western states, New York alone, by her policy of aristocratic land holding was opposing the general current of settlement and interposing obstacles to the increase of her free landholders; that the growth of the great estates continued unchecked in spite of royal instructions and interference of the provincial governors, and the landed aristocracy came to control not only the assembly, but the judiciary as well, and that finally by controlling the administration of justice and the law making power, this aristocracy succeeded in supplanting the freeholder by the semi-servile tenant, wholly dependent on his landlord.46
The bearing of this state of things upon the question of adoption of the Federal Constitution, is at once apparent. A landed aristocracy is essentially conservative. That aristocracy which had grown up in New York with full control of the state administration, and for the most part free from taxation, would of course oppose any change like the one proposed, which would subordinate their importance among the states, and which, by taking away the impost, would make a land tax necessary. And the significant fact of it is that in the Federal and divided counties of New York the holdings of the small farmers predominated over those of the large landholders, while in the Anti-Federal counties the reverse was true.Pennsylvania.
In Pennsylvania the opposition to the Constitution came from those counties belonging to the great interior highland of the state, extending from the head waters of the Schuylkill to the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers, with only Huntingdon county (one vote Federal) interrupting the continuity from east to west. This section was quite distinct from any other in the state and felt itself to be so, as may be seen from an extract of an address made by Hugh Henry Breckenridge to the inhabitants of the western country: “But I distinguish between the old and new counties. Doubtless, because they are distinct in several great points of interest. Every county in the state is distinct in some local interest and the representatives speak and act on this principle. The western counties are distinct from the eastern in many great local interests. The course of trade is different. The rivers on the one side fall through the territories of the commonwealth, or of a state under the confederacy. On this side they fall through that of the Spanish monarch. The people east of the mountains enjoy the advantage of commerce when we do not. Like the antipodes and the horizon, it is dark to us while it is light to them.”47 This highland region, united by physical features and by a population pre-dominantly Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, very naturally fell into the opposition. As McMaster says: “The reason is plain. The constitution proposed for the United States was in many ways the direct opposite of the constitution of Pennsylvania But the Pennsylvania constitution of 1776 was the work of the patriot party; of this party a very considerable number were Presbyterians; and the great Presbyterian counties were Cumberland, Westmoreland, Bedford, Dauphin and Fayette. In opposing the new plan these men simply opposed a system of government which, if adopted, would force them to undo a piece of work done with great labor and beheld with great pride and satisfaction. Every man, therefore, who gave his vote for the ratification of the national constitution, pronounced his state constitution to be bad in form, and this its supporters were not prepared to do. By these men the refusal of the convention to accept the amendments they offered was not regarded as ending the matter. They went back to the counties that sent them more determined than ever, but failed to gain to their side the great body of Presbyterians.”48 To this class Wilson in his speech in the state convention adds the following: “Placemen, tax collectors and excisemen, who, should the new plan go into effect, would be turned out of office by the abolition or transfer to the Federal government of the places they held under the state.”49
The Federal area contained a predominating German element, with English, among whom were Quakers, forming a large proportion of the remainder.50 Its counties were York, Lancaster, Chester, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Bucks, Luzerne, and Northampton, and contained the largest population, most of the men of wealth and influence and the commercial classes of the state. Pittsburg, with 400 inhabitants, was Federal in an Anti-Federal county, Westmoreland.51 Its location at the head of navigation on the Ohio indicates sufficiently its commercial tendencies and accounts for its Federal attitude. Luzerne county (including the old Wyoming valley), peopled from Connecticut, and led by a staunch Connecticut Federalist, Timothy Pickering, very naturally fell into line for the Constitutions.52 Huntingdon county seems to be rather an exception to the general grouping, as it clearly belongs to the great interior highland. But it is to be distinguished from the rest as being “the center of Tory strength and activity”53 for Western Pennsylvania during the Revolution. Washington, one of the divided counties, lay at the head of the Ohio and like Pittsburg, was not doubt influenced in its attitude by local environment sufficiently to be partly Federal.
We see, therefore, that in this state physical geography dominated the division of parties and that the previous state quarrels over the constitution of 1776 furnished the basis of the new division into parties; and that among the Federalists were enrolled all the commercial and wealthy classes, while on the other side the small farmers of the interior towns largely predominated.Delaware.
“The first state that ratified the Constitution, although its convention was not the first to assemble, was Delaware. It was a small, compact community, with the northerly portion of its territory lying near the city of Philadelphia, with which its people had constant and extensive intercourse. Its public men were intelligent and patriotic. In the national convention it had contended with great spirit for the interests of the smaller states, and its people now had the sagacity and good sense to perceive that they had gained every reasonable security for their peculiar rights. The public press of Philadelphia, friendly to the Constitution, furnished the means of understanding its merits, and the discussions in the convention of Pennsylvania, which assembled before that of Delaware, threw a flood of light over the whole subject, which the people of Delaware did not fail to regard.”54 The following extract from a letter written by George Read to John Dickinson indicates the attitude of the state: “Finding that Virginia hath again taken the lead in the proposed convention at Philadelphia in May it occurred to me, as a prudent measure on the part of our state, that its legislature should, in the act of appointment, so far restrain the powers of the commissioners, whom they shall name on this service, as that they may not extend to any alteration in that part of the fifth article of the present confederation, which gives each state one vote in determining questions in congress, and the latter part of the thirteenth article, as to future alterations that is, that such clause shall be preserved or inserted for the like purpose, in any revision that shall be made and agreed to in the proposed convention. I conceive our existence as a state will depend upon our preserving such rights, for I consider the acts of congress hitherto, as to the ungranted lands in most of the larger states as sacrificing the just claims of the smaller and- bounded states to a proportional share therein, for the purpose of discharging the national debt incurred during the war ; and such is my jealousy of most of the larger states that I would trust nothing to their candor, generosity or ideas of public justice in behalf of this state Persuaded I am, from what I have seen occasionally in the public prints and heard in private conversations, that the voice of the states will be one of the subjects of revision, and in a meeting where there will be so great an interested majority, I suspect the argument or oratory of the smaller state commissioners will avail little. In such circumstances I conceive it will relieve the commissioners of the state from disagreeable argumentation, as well as prevent the downfall of the state, which (without an equal vote) would at once become a cypher in the union, and have no chance of an accession of district, or even citizens; for, as we presently stand, our quota is increased upon us, in the requisition of this year, more than thirteen-eightieths since 1775, without any other reason that I can suggest than a promptness in the legislature of this state to comply with all the congress requisitions from time to time. This increase alone, without addition would, in the course of a few years, banish many of its citizens and impoverish the remainder; therefore, clear I am that every guard that can be devised for this state’s protection against future encroachment should be preserved or made “55 Again he wrote to Dickinson urging his attendance at the Philadelphia convention. He says: “I suspect it to be of importance to the small states that their deputies should keep a strict watch upon the movements and propositions from the larger states, who will probably combine to swallow up the smaller ones by addition, division or impoverishment.”56 June 15, 1787, John Dickinson made the following remark to Madison in the Federal convention: “Some of the members from the small states wish for two branches in the general legislature, and are friends to a good national government, but we would sooner submit to foreign power than submit to be deprived, in both branches of the legislature, of an equality of suffrage, and thereby be thrown under the domination of the larger states.”57
The state followed Read’s suggestion and gave their delegates to the Federal Convention at Philadelphia the instructions to alter the Articles of Confederation “provided that such alterations or further provisions, or any of them, do not extend to that part of the fifth article of the confederation of the said states, finally ratified on the first day of March, in the year 1781, which declares that in determining questions in the United States in Congress assembled, each state shall have one vote.“58
Thus it is to be seen that in Delaware the small state idea of equal representation in one of the law making bodies under the new government, was the leading reason for its ready and unanimous acquiescence to the new Constitution.New Jersey.
New Jersey, voting unanimously for the constitution, was like Delaware, a small state, and had much the same fears of large state domination. But besides this, the pressure of the imposts levied by New York and Pennsylvania upon her citizens, made her all the more willing to accede to a government which provided for national regulation of trade. The following well expresses the attitude of New Jersey upon ratification: “But the people of New Jersey had, in truth, fairly considered the whole matter and had found what their own interests required. They alone, of all the states, when the national convention was instituted, had expressly declared that the regulation of commerce ought to be vested in the general government. They had learned that to submit longer to the diverse commercial and revenue systems in force in New York on the one side of them and in Pennsylvania on the other side, would be like remaining between the upper and nether millstone. Their delegates in the national convention had, it is true, acted with those of New York in the long contest concerning the representative system, resisting at every step each departure from the principle of the confederation, until the compromise was made which admitted the states to an equal representation in the Senate. Content with the security which this arrangement afforded, the people of New Jersey had the sagacity to perceive that their interests were no longer to be promoted by following in the lead of the Anti-Federalists of New York “59Maryland.
It is well known that the question of ratification in Maryland was to a considerable extent a matter of personal leadership. Luther Martin led the Anti-Federalists, and Washington practically stood at the head of the Federal party in the state.60 But with all due allowance to this factor, the constitution was carried by an appeal to economic interests that lay deeper than mere political leadership. In Chapter III will be found a discussion of the part played by the paper money and debt faction. The following con-temporary evidence gives some hint at the other elements in the struggle for ratification. Extract of a letter from Baltimore, Dec. 12, 1787: “The mercantile interest in this town and the majority of the inhabitants of the state are in favor of the new federal plan; yet, like the state of New York, it will be strongly opposed by some men of great influence and very leading characters in the state. For which opposition, ’tis said, they are actuated by a dread of the loss of their own popularity.”61
“The opposition to the new constitution in Maryland,” says a correspondent, “labored under many disadvantages and the little exertion they made early evinced that the others had stolen to the windward of them In the next place, the aristocratic party in that state is considerable and devoted to the nod of its leaders. And the very idea of Mr. Martin’s being connected with the opposition was sufficient to prejudice the Tories (who are another considerable part of the state) in favor of the system. Mr. Martin being very unpopular among that class of citizens, owing to the office he holds.”62
“To the working people of Maryland, Feb. 27, 1788. We common people are more properly citizens of America than of any particular state. Very many of our sort die in different parts from where they were born, and the constitution ordains that wheresoever we may find land for our children, there we shall also find exactly the same general liberty we left. Taxes, too, are to be everywhere equal. I allow that men, seeking power and profit, may wish to keep opportunities of that sort, in the state governments where they live; but I must think the general government, so far as it goes, better for the majority of the people who want land for their children. The interest of money here is said to be 25 per cent. No man can afford to borrow at that rate, to pay debts contracted at 6 per cent. To save bread for his children he had better go to jail. Were the land, which maintains children, now seized and sold, the few monied men here would get it all, for a little indeed; because in Europe, where money is so plenty that the highest interest is 5 per cent., the people there say that we make bad laws and too many of them, and they cannot trust themselves or their money among us, though they are pinched for land there. I think the Constitution will heal this grievous sore, and enable us to borrow money in other countries on reasonable terms to pay workmen for improving our lands and houses that we may make better crops. Taxes on imported goods, which congress will lay can distress none but the rich We shall be freed from tax gatherers.”63
Such testimony as this reveals something more than political strife of state factions; it affords us a glimpse of the underlying economic factors that were at work among the majority of the voters in Maryland.Virginia.
In Virginia four well-marked sections are to be noted on the map. The first, the eastern, comprised all the counties in tidewater Virginia. Its vote on the Constitution stood 80 per cent. for and 20 per cent. against ratification. This was the region of the large towns, and where commercial interests were predominant. The middle district, lying farther west to the Blue Ridge mountains, represented the interior farming interests of the state; the class of small farmers made up the principal part of its population. Its vote on the Constitution stood 26 per cent. for and 74 per cent. against adoption. The third, the West Virginia district, is really double, composed of the Shenandoah valley, in which lay the bulk of the population, and the sparsely settled Trans-Alleghany region. This, also, was an agricultural section, with a population chiefly Scotch-Irish and Germans from Pennsylvania.64 Its vote stood 97 per cent. for and 3 per cent. against the Constitution.65 No section in any other state displayed greater unanimity and it is this peculiar solidarity that stamps it as important in the period under consideration.
The fourth, or Kentucky, district comprised all that territory west of the Great Kanawha to the Cumberland river. Its vote stood 10 per cent. for and 90 per cent. against the Constitution. The two votes for ratification came from Jefferson county, which included a considerable part of the most thickly settled portion of Kentucky.
The question of the opening of the Mississippi river was the decisive one in determining the vote of this section.66
A further complication was added by the attitude of the extreme wing of the opposition party who argued for nothing less than complete separation from the future Union; it was this faction that leaned toward alliance with Spain; and the treacherous behavior of Wilkinson and his coadjutors in attempting a complete separation of Kentucky from the Union made the matter for the time very serious. A recent historian of Kentucky puts the case thus: “The greater part of the political leaders of Kentucky were incensed at the refusal of the federal government to receive them. They desired that the constitution should not be adopted so that they might by the breaking up of the confederation, be left free to deal with their problems in their own way “67 The following extract from the letter of Wilkinson to Governor Miro of Louisiana, dated February 12, 1789, illustrates the drift of affairs during the preceding year: “The question of separation from the United States, although discussed with vehemence among the most distinguished inhabitants of this section of the country, had never been mentioned in a formal manner to the people at large, but now was the time for making this important and interesting experiment, and it became my indispensable mission to do so I can give you the solemn assurance that I found all the men belonging to the first class of society in the district, with the exception of Colonel Marshall,68 our surveyor, and Colonel Muter, one of our judges, decidedly in favor of separation from the United States and of alliance with Spain I deem it useless to mention to a gentleman well versed in political history, that the great spring and prime mover in all negotiations is money. Although not being authorized by you to do so, yet I found it necessary to use this lever, in order to confirm some of our most eminent citizens in their attachment to our cause, and to supply others with the means of operating with vigor. For these objects I have advanced five thousand dollars out of my own funds, and half of this sum, applied opportunely, would attract Marshall and Muter on our side, but it is now impossible for me to disburse it.”69
The following extract from the objection to the Federal Constitution by George Mason well expresses the ideas of the Anti-Federal party in Virginia: “By requiring only a majority to make all commercial and navigation laws, the five southern states (whose produce and circumstances are totally different from those of the eight northern and eastern states) will be ruined, for such rigid and premature regulations may be made as will enable the merchants of the northern and eastern states, not only to demand an exorbitant freight, but to monopolize the purchase of commodities at their own price for many years, to the great injury of the landed interest, and the impoverishment of the people ; and the danger is greater as the gain on one side will be in proportion to the loss of the other. Whereas requiring two thirds of the members present in both houses would have produced mutual moderation, promoted the general interest and removed an insuperable objection to the adoption of the government.”70
While the commercial interests of the tide-water and West Virginia sections were the chief factors in unifying the Federalists, a previous division of the people of the state on the assessment bill of 1784-571 tended to draw the dissenting sects, especially the Presbyterians and the Baptists, into alliance with Madison, and no doubt strength-ened his hold upon those sections where they predominated when the question of ratification came up in 1788. This bill came before the House of Delegates December 23, 1784. “It proposed a small tax on all taxable property for the support of teachers of the Christain religion, each tax-payer to name the society to which he wished his tax dedicated, and in case of refusal to do so, the tax to be applied to the maintenance of a school in the county.72 The occasion was dexterously used by Madison to effect a complete separation of church and state and to turn popular sentiment (especially in the back counties) against his rival, Patrick Henry. North Carolina.
For a fair comparison of sentiment we should, perhaps, present in the main body of the map the vote of 1789, when the Constitution was adopted, rather than that of 1788, in order to show fairly the separation of the people into parties upon issues clearly defined, because thoroughly discussed and well understood by the majority. As it was, in 1788, so little disposed were the large opposition majority in the convention, even to spend time in discussing the merits of the Constitution, that Willie Jones, the Anti-Federalist leader, was for taking a vote at once and saving time and expense by a speedy adjournment.73 This is significant of the general sentiment in the great mass of interior counties in the state. The intense political activity of her sister states, South Carolina and Virginia, both during the elections and in the convention debates, stands out in marked contrast with this prevailing apathy in North Carolina.74 In fact, North Carolina seems only to have reached in 1789 the political stage of the other states in 1787 or 1788. In the arrangement of the vote upon the main map we have, therefore, only the germ of sectional divisions the first faint lines of social and economic stratification. The counties around Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds constituted the bulk of the Federal area, only one of these counties being any considerable distance from the coast. This region was the earliest settled, the most densely populated, and represented most of the mercantile and commercial interests of the state.
The divided region75 of the state is associated with one Federal county and is cut off from the rest of the Federal counties by a belt of opposition at the east. This divided region, however, seems to have been somewhat peculiar. I am informed that it was settled by Scotch who fought for the Pretender at Culloden and who were banished to North Carolina upon condition of never again bearing arms against the King. These counties during the Revolution were full of Tories.76
Some of the elements that contributed to the adverse decision of North Carolina in 1788 upon the question of ratification may be indicated by the following extracts: “Mr. Lamb, as chairman of a committee in New York, which he styles the ‘Federal Committee,’ has written to Mr. Jones, T. Person and Tim Bloodworth, recommending them to be steadfast in opposition and inclosing a large packet of Anti-federal pamphlets to each of them.”79[tah-anchor name="79r"]
“The great deference this state has been accustomed to pay to the political opinions of the Old Dominion will, I believe, have a very bad effect on the determination of this great question.”80
On Nov. 15, 1788, Patrick Henry wrote to Colonel Lee: “I mean not to take any part in deliberations held out of this state, unless in Carolina from which I am not very distant, and to whose politics I wish to be attentive. If congress do not give us substantial amendments, I will turn my eyes to that country, a connection with which may become necessary for me as an individual. I am in-deed happy where I now live81 in the unanimity which prevails on this subject; for in near twenty adjoining counties, I think at least nineteen twentieths are Anti-federal, and this great extent of country in Virginia lies adjoining to North Carolina, and with her forms a mass of opposition not easy to surmount.”82
Among the Anti-federal leaders, Willie Jones easily stood first, as is indicated by the following: “Willie Jones, of Halifax, was the most influential politician in the state A patriot in the Revolution, he was now the acknowledged head of a great party. He was jealous of his authority, and prompt to meet any attempt to undermine his power. His knowledge of human nature was consummate, and in the arts of insinuation he was unrivaled. He had the powers of forecast and combination in an eminent degree He seldom shared in the discussions. His time of action was chiefly during the hours of adjournment; then it was that he stimulated the passions, aroused the suspicions or moderated the ardor of his followers; then it was that, smoking his pipe, and chatting of crops, ploughs, stock, dogs, etc., he stole his way into the hearts of honest farmers and erected there thrones for himself.”83 The case of North Carolina in 1788 was well stated by Mr. Jones himself in the course of the debate in the first convention. He said: “We run no risk of being excluded from the Union when we think proper to come in. Virginia, our next neighbor, will not oppose our admission. We have a common cause with her. She wishes the same alterations. We are of the greatest importance to her. She will have great weight in congress, and there is no doubt but she will do everything she can to bring us into the Union. South Carolina and Georgia are deeply interested in our being admitted. The Creek nation would overturn these two states without our aid. They cannot exist without North Carolina. There is no doubt we shall obtain our amendments and come into the Union when we please.”84
There were other prominent opposition leaders such as David Caldwell of Guilford county and Timothy Bloodworth of New Hanover county, whose influence was also important in their section;85 but no other one man possessed such control of the Anti-Federal delegates as Mr. Jones.
Six towns86 were represented in the convention of 1788 and the delegates of all but Hillsboro’, Orange county, were Federal. It is of no little significance that these centers of population so uniformily belonged to this party, especially as three87 of them belonged to counties otherwise Anti-Federal. The conditions in Wilmington are fairly typical, and are thus described: “Soon after the war, commenced a feud between the town of Wilmington and the county of New Hanover. The leading men ‘upon change’ were either Tories or those whose lukewarmness had provoked suspicion: the agrestic population could but illy brook their prosperity. From that day to the present, the politics of the burgess have been antagonistical to those of the farmer. The merchants have ever been the predominant class in the borough: daily intercourse has enabled them with facility to form combinations that have given them the control of the moneyed institutions; while their patronage has added a potent influence with the press. A majority of the merchants have, generally, as now, been from the North.”88
From the separate map of the vote of North Carolina in 1789 it will be seen that the Federal area had extended itself so as to include the divided region above mentioned with only the counties of New Hanover and Sampson still remaining Anti-Federal. This, then, is the first of the sections into which the state may be divided. Its population was mixed, Germans, English and French; its interests were commercial and it contained the great navigable streams of the state.
The opposition, as revealed in the map of North Carolina for 1789, was strongest in the center of the state, a region lying between the section just described and the Catawba river. Here, upon both sides of the Yadkin were settled the Pennsylvania Germans. Their interests were wholly agricultural, they had few towns and, being a German speaking community, were almost wholly isolated from the outside world.89 It was a section peculiarly conservative, as may be seen from its vote in 1789, when but two of its counties were Federal, one of which was divided.
Crossing the Catawba we come upon a section almost entirely Federal, but which in 1788 had but one Federal county (Lincoln).
In Tennessee the change from the condition of 1788 is still more marked. Every vote was cast for the Constitution except in one county (Sullivan), which was evenly divided (2-2).
Besides the Tennessee district, then, in 1789, three sections are to be noted in North Carolina, each with its own vote, its distinct characteristics and its separate interests. And while these sections were but faintly indicated in 1788, it is important to note that in 1789 they formed along the lines previously laid down by the first vote on ratification.South Carolina.
The key to the vote of South Carolina on the Constitution lies in the antagonism of sections, similar to that pointed out in Pennsylvania. The rival sections were the coast or lower district, and the upper, or more properly, the middle and upper country. The coast region was the first settled and contained a larger portion of the wealth of the state; its mercantile and commercial interests were important; its church was the Episcopal, supported by the state; its inhabitants were English or French. The upper district was widely different. It was a frontier section, the last to receive settlement; its lands were fertile and its mixed population were largely small farmers; many of them were Irish and Germans settled on bounty lands from the king; there was also a large number of settlers from other states, notably Scotch-Irish from Virginia.90 There was no established church, each community supported its own church and there was a great variety in the district.
With such differences as these, conflict might be expected. The coast region, and particularly the city of Charleston, held the balance of power and kept it long after it had been outnumbered in population by the upper country. This trouble began before the Revolution and when the lower district joined in the resistance to England, the upper country held aloof, not only from a feeling of sectional rivalry, but from loyalty to the king among many of the inhabitants, and from lack of a special grievance. Hence this region was, all during the war, full of tories and not to be relied upon.
After the war the old strife was renewed still more bitterly, and when the country took sides on the new Federal Constitution, it was a fresh occasion for the sections in South Carolina, to divide in conflict as they had so often done before. The violence of party strife admitted of but two factions, but between the two lay a belt of divided territory in general all that portion of the state between the junction of the Broad and Saluda rivers and the northern boundary of the parishes of the lower or coast district, some forty or fifty miles from the coast. The vote of these three districts is respectively: lower, 88 per cent. for, and 12 per cent. against the Constitution; middle, 49 per cent. for and 51 per cent. against it91 upper, 20 per cent. for and 80 per cent. against it.
As a rule the tories voted for the Constitution, for after the Revolution the victorious whigs showed no mercy to their old enemies, and the tories were quite helpless. When the Constitution was up for adoption, it was welcomed and favored by the tories as a refuge from the lawlessness of whig domination. The two Federal and one divided district in the upper valley of the Broad and Saluda rivers are due, no doubt, to their strong tory element, for it was there alone in South Carolina, that they outnumbered the patriot party.92 A more detailed study of the local history of the state would doubtless reveal much else of interest in this connection.
In South Carolina, then, we have the two sections, representing respectively the agricultural and the commercial interests, the former opposed and the latter in favor of the new constitution. The conflict is complicated by previous sectional strife and by the presence of a foreign element which gave rise to a tory-whig strife within the up-per section itself, thus breaking up the unity of the sectional opposition to the Constitution. In no other state was there greater division on both sides than in South Carolina; and it argues for the strength of the political hostility between the lower and the upper country that it was able to keep the ranks as they appear in the vote among so many diverse nationalities and clashing interests.Georgia.
The reasons that prompted the speedy and unanimous ratification of the Constitution by Georgia, may be seen from the following extract from an address by the general assembly of that state to President Washington soon after his inauguration: “In the course of the war, which established our independence, our citizens made proportionate exertions with those of any part of the whole, and in point of property they suffered most. The peace found the country a waste; with many natural advantages, we flattered ourselves with a speedy recovery, when we were attacked by the Indians.
“On this subject we wish to be delicate; much has already been said; we have asserted and it has been contradicted. Removed at a distance from the centre, our actions have been liable to misrepresentation, but we trust that, by this time, they are better explained. In the meantime, while our population has been checked, and our agriculture diminished, the blood of our citizens has been spilled, our public resources greatly exhausted, and our frontier still open to fresh ravages. The failure of the late negotiations for a peace with the Creek nation, and the circumstances which attended the same, are the best evidence of the necessity of our measures, and a proof of the late hostile dispositions of these people; but under the influence of the government and power of the union, it is to be hoped and expected that a different conduct will on their part prevail. On our part nothing shall be wanting to promote so desirable an estab-lishment. Another circumstance of additional calamity, attendant on our being the south frontier of the union, is the facility of our black people crossing the Spanish line, from whence we have never been able to reclaim them. This has already been productive of much injury to private persons, and, if not speedily restrained, may grow into an evil of national magnitude. We take this occasion of bringing this business into view, with a perfect reliance that you will cause such discussions to be made as shall be necessary to bring about a remedy.”93
It appears, therefore, that the exposed frontier position of Georgia strongly impressed her with the importance of the Federal government.
Turning now from the economic and social groupings within the state to the interstate groupings, we find that they not only cross state lines but are arranged with reference to physical geography into great social and economic units. In New England the eastern belt of the Federal area extends along the coast with hardly a break from Maine to New York, Rhode Island being the only considerable interruption in its continuity. The Connecticut valley was another Federal region and was the decisive one for the Constitution in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and was very important in Connecticut. This coast area and this river valley were the oldest and consequently the richest and most commercial regions of New England, and their combined influence was able to secure the adoption of the Constitution there.
The grouping of the opposition areas in New England is also very significant. It will be seen that from about Lake Winnipiseogee southward through New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the Anti-Federal area extends with hardly a break, and it also reaches into northern Connecticut, and west of the Connecticut river and south of the Merrimac in Massachusetts, forming the great interior region of New England, the part most remote from commercial centers, with interests consequently predominantly agricultural. This was the debtor and paper money region and one peculiarly sensitive to taxation. It included factious Rhode Island, the Shays region in Massachusetts and the center of a similar movement in New Hampshire. The coincidence of opposition areas will be noted also in eastern New Hampshire and southwestern Maine, and in northwestern Connecticut and southwestern Massachusetts. In the same way the Federal area of Connecticut will be seen to be coincident with Federal and divided regions in New York, and also that of New Jersey with the same state. From New Jersey southward along the coast the Federal area runs in a belt, widest at the north including all of New Jersey and Del-aware, that part of Pennsylvania along the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers which may be called tide-water Penn-sylvania, all that part of Maryland east of the Susquehanna and Chesapeake Bay, including Baltimore and Annapolis, tide-water Virginia and the adjoining portion of Maryland, northeastern North Carolina with Wilmington and Newbern, southeastern South Carolina and all of Georgia. This region, it will be noted, includes all the best harbors, all the great sea coast shipping ports, and the most densely populated and wealthiest portions of the middle and southern states and represents, therefore, a predominantly commercial interest. That portion of it in Virginia; and North and South Carolina corresponds roughly with the region east of the fall line and geologically with the Tertiary area of the South. Parallel to this larger area lay two other Federal areas, the first including the Shenandoah Valley and adjoining counties, the second the valley of the Ohio river and its great tributaries. The first comprised York county, Pennsylvania, the western part of Maryland, and the valley between the Alleghany and Blue Ridge Mountains still farther to the southwest. This valley was the most fertile in that section of the country. It was the line of the great Scotch-Irish and German migration into the South, and was the interstate highway for the produce of this whole interior region. Its population, largely Scotch-Irish and Germans from Pennsylvania, showed a peculiar independence and clear sightedness in their decision regarding the new constitution, voting not like the isolated land owners farther east, but as members of the commercial class whose interests were bound up in securing an efficient and centralized national government. The second of these western Federal areas lay along the Ohio river. It is less strongly marked and more broken than the other, because it lay on the frontier where peculiar and often conflicting interests tended rather to separate than to unite it to the east. This region extended from Pittsburg to Louisville and is represented by west Northumberland county and Washington county in Pennsylvania, the western part of the West Virginia District of Virginia, and Jefferson county in the Kentucky district, and perhaps by Sumner county in Tennesse, on the Cumberland river.
We must not omit the city of Albany, at the head of the Hudson river navigation, a fur trade center of long standing and a point of distribution for produce to the south and of supplies to the west along the Mohawk, as well as a starting point for emigration into central New York. In North Carolina there were the interior towns of Halifax and Salisbury which were Federal in a large Anti-Federal district.
The opposition areas in New England have already been referred to. In New York this area seems for the most part isolated except on the southeast where it touches that of Massachusetts. In Pennsylvania the Anti-Federal area lies entirely surrounded, in the great interior highland of the state. In Virginia we come upon an opposition area that is broadly connected with that of North Carolina, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Tennessee. It is the great Anti-Federal area of the country, touching the sea only at scattered points in Virginia, and in North Carolina for nearly one half its coast line where harbors are almost lacking. It contained few harbors, it was less thickly settled and more interior in its ideas and interests. It was an economic and social unit, without reference to state lines, moved by common impulses, sharing common prejudices, alarmed by the same fears. One of the best illustrations of the effect of this sort of environment on a people is seen in the case of the Germans who settled in North Carolina from Pennsylvania. In the latter state the Germans supported the Constitution, in Maryland likewise, and when settled along the Shenandoah valley their votes were unitedly for the Constitution. But those who came into the interior of North Carolina, cut off from all outside interest, on no great commercial highway like the Susquehanna, the Delaware, or the Shenandoah Valley, became conservative, suspicious of new ideas, and were readily led by politicians into opposing what was really for their best interests. While those in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia were the strongest supporters of the new constitution, those in North Carolina were its most obstinate enemies, and even in 1789, the only united opposition came from these German counties in central North Carolina.
To sum up, the Constitution was carried in the original thirteen states by the influence of those classes, along the great highways of commerce, the sea-coast, the Connecticut river, the Shenandoah valley and the Ohio river; and in proportion as the material interests along these arteries of intercourse were advanced and strengthened, the Constitution was most readily received and most heartily supported. In other words, the areas of intercourse and wealth carried the constitution. It was these sections that Hamilton rallied to support his far-seeing financial policy for continued national development. And it was in the interior and agricultural sections of the country that Jefferson found material for a party to oppose his great rival.
As these commercial lines multiplied in number and importance the national idea became more and more dominant. But the initial conflict was fought out in the period of ratification.
One of the fundamental reasons for calling the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was a desire to provide for the public necessities a revenue adequate to the exigencies of the Union. Various attempts of the old congress to secure amendments to the Articles of Confederation having this end in view had been fruitless, on account of what Madison mentions as a reason for the refusal of Rhode Island to attend the convention at Philadelphia, namely: “An obdurate adherence to an advantage which her position gave her of taxing her neighbors through their consumption of imported supplies.”95 Obviously, a relinquishment of this source of state revenue and a diversion of it to the uses of the Union meant for these states the imposition of internal taxes to make good the resulting deficiency. Such a proposition would be opposed by those regions which were averse to taxation in general. The deeply-rooted antipathy to systematic taxation felt by interior agricultural regions has been well shown by Professor Sumner in his biography of Alexander Hamilton. In his introduction to the debates in the convention, Madison says: “In the internal administration of the states, a violation of contracts had become familiar, in the form of depreciated paper made a legal tender, of property substituted for money, of installment laws,. and of the occlusions of the courts of justice, although evident that all such interferences affected the rights of other states, relative to creditors, as well as citizens within the state. Among the defects which had been severely felt, was want of a uniformity in cases requiring it, as laws of naturalization and bankruptcy, a coercive authority operating on individuals, and a guaranty of the internal tranquility of the states.”96
In a letter of Madison to Edmund Randolph of Virginia, April 8, 1787, occurs the following: “Let it (the Federal government) have a negative, in all cases whatsoever, on the legislative acts of the states, as the king of Great Britain heretofore had. This I conceive to be essential, and the least possible abridgment of the state sovereignties. Without such a defensive power, every positive power that can be given on paper will he unavailing. It will also give internal stability to the states. There has been no moment, since the peace, at which the Federal assent would have been given to paper money.”97
At the outset of the Convention, Governor Randolph is reported as follows: “In speaking of the defects of the Confederation, he professed a high respect for its authors, and considered them as having done all that patriots could do, in the then infancy of the science of constitutions and of confederacies; when the inefficiency of requisitions was unknown no commercial discord had arisen among any states no rebellion had appeared in Massachusetts foreign debts had not become urgent the havoc of paper money had not been foreseen treaties had not been violated; and perhaps nothing better could be obtained, from the jealousy of the states with regard to their sovereignty.”98
Such statements as these reveal the presence of a debtor party, whose opposition to the new constitution was to be expected, a party favoring paper money and stay and tender laws, and opposing added taxation. If the commercial classes were in favor of a constitution that promoted national credit, commercial intercourse, and the rights of the creditor, it is just as certain that one of the most important factors with which the historian of the period has to reckon was the existence of an opposition party which found its interests endangered by such constitutional provisions, as the clause forbidding the states to issue bills of credit or to make anything but gold and silver a tender for debts, and the clause forbidding the violation of the obligation of contracts. On the surface of the debates in the Constitutional Convention and in the ratification conventions of the various states, these issues do not appear so clearly as do controversies concerning the danger of the extension of the taxing power and respecting general abstract principles of liberty and state sovereignty. Nevertheless they were issues up for settlement, and the people felt themselves vitally concerned in the matter Seven of the states had issued paper money between 1785 and 1786, and there was a paper money party in every one of the thirteen states at the time of the ratification of the Constitution. This party demanded not only paper money, but also stay and tender and debt laws of such a character as would, if enacted, defraud the creditor of his dues. The same spirit made itself felt in the resistance encountered in many of the state legislatures to passing the necessary legislation to give effect to the British treaty of 1783, especially as relates to the securing of British debts. And it was to be expected, that, wherever this party was found, there would be a center of opposition to the Constitution; since its ratification meant an end to paper-money issues and a strict enforcement of debts.
It is proposed, in. this chapter, to examine the evidence in each of the states as to the character and location of this paper money party and to ascertain whether or not it corresponds to the party of opposition to the Federal Constitution.New Hampshire.
The demands of the paper money party in this state in. 1786 may be clearly seen in the following extract: “There are perhaps (if it could be impartially known), three quarters at least, and more likely seven eighths of the people so factious and discontented as to wish paper money on loan may be made by government to give a spring to commerce and agriculture extreme disorders require extreme medicines as their remedies. Paper money, or even leather buttons, when stamped by authority and funded with realities, will answer for internal commerce as well as silver and gold The legislatures of those very opulent states, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island have absolutely made a paper currency, and the people in the state of Delaware are now violently calling on the legislature to do the same If you would wish the like blessings of seven and perhaps now eight states in the union, who have made paper money on loans, summon resolution to speak out your minds and be no longer kept in a state of insensibility to your own sufferings, while your relief is so near at hand.”99
The state legislature was finally induced in 1786 to form a plan for the emission of £50,000 in bills of credit on land security, to be a tender for state taxes and for fees and salaries of state officers. The vote on this bill stood 53 to 12.100 Of the affirmative vote, 24 were from towns Federal in 1788, and 27 were from those Anti-Federal. Of the 12 votes against the emission, 11 were from Federal towns and 1 from Anti-Federal towns.101 When the plan was submitted to the towns for their consideration, three Federal towns, Mason,102 Salisbury,103 and Portsmouth104 declared against paper money on any plan. The Anti-Federal towns of Atkinson and Plaistow, from which came the single vote in the legislature against the plan, voted subsequently for paper money on a more radical plan,105 while Concord, an Anti-Federal town voted against paper money on any plan.106
Altogether the opposition to paper money came from 16 towns or districts, 15 of which were Federal in 1788, and 1 Anti-Federal. Moreover, 13 of these towns or districts were in Rockingham and Grafton counties, the counties which furnished one half the Federal vote in 1788. In the act of the state legislature to give effect to the British treaty of 1783, the following vote appears:107 In favor, 38, opposed 31. Of the 38 votes, 25 came from towns or districts Federal in 1788, and 13 from those Anti-Federal. Of the 31 votes against the measure, 18 came from towns or districts Anti-Federal in 1788, and 13 from those Federal. These majorities show on which side lay the preponderance of Federal or Anti-Federal sentiment in 1788; and it may safely be concluded that in the party of opposition to the Constitution were arrayed most of the advocates of paper money legislation in New Hampshire.Massachusetts.
In 1785 Massachusetts had voted not to issue paper money, but the distress among the farmers of Western Massachusetts, and the debtors generally in the state, kept the matter constantly before the people. The outcome was the well known Shays’ rebellion. The relation of this insurrection to the adoption of the new constitution and the attitude of the followers of Shays on the question of ratification is well shown in the following extract of a letter from Henry Knox to Washington, February 10, 1783: “The Constitution has labored in Massachusetts exceedingly more than was expected. The opposition has not arisen from a consideration of the merits or demerits of the thing itself, as a political machine, but from a deadly principle levelled at the existence of all government whatever. The principle of insurgency expanded, deriving fresh strength and life from the impunity with which the rebellion of last year was suffered to escape. It is a singular circumstance that in Massachusetts, the property, the ability and the virtue of the state are almost solely in favor of the Constitution. Opposed to it are the late insurgents and all those who abetted their designs, constituting four fifths of the opposition.”108 Again, Oliver Ellsworth, of Connecticut, addressing himself to Gerry said : “In Massachusetts the opposition began with you, and from motives most pitifully selfish and despicable, you addressed yourself to the feelings of the Shays’ faction, and that faction will be your only support.”109
Among the most characteristic features of the agitation in Western Massachusetts were the county conventions of Middlesex, Worcester, and Hampshire counties. In Middle-sex county (containing 41 towns in 1790) a convention was held at Concord, August 23, 1786; there were present delegates from a majority of the towns.110 In Worcester county (containing 50 towns in 1790) a convention was held at Paxton, October 6, 1786, in which 41 towns were represented.111 In Hampshire county (containing 61 towns in 1790) a convention was held at Hatfield, August 22-25, 1786, in which 50 towns were represented.112
In these three counties there were, then, (out of a total of 152 towns in 1790), in county conventions in 1786 delegates from over 112 of these towns. In 1788 the total vote of the delegates from these counties in the state convention upon the question of ratification was 44 for, and 101 against it.
The character of the resolutions adopted by these county conventions is significant. They may be classed as follows: First, those aimed at the Constitution, asking for amendment; second, those expressing dissatisfaction with the administration of the state, the salaries paid, etc. ; third, those asking that the government issue paper money. The following from the resolutions of the Hampshire county convention is typical for this last class: “Voted, That this convention recommend to the several towns in this county that they instruct their representatives to use their influence in the next general court to have emitted a bank of paper money, subject to a depreciation, making it a tender in all payments, equal to silver and gold, to be issued in order to call in the commonwealth’s securities.”113
The following extract from the charge given to the grand jury of the county of Middlesex, sums up the whole effect of the county conventions in Massachusetts: “These conventions have done more than the supreme legislature have a right to do more than they dare do.. The whole legislature dare not attack a single article of the constitution. And that man who attempts it does the greatest injury in his power to his fellow citizens Emboldened by all this, and under full countenance of county conventions, as they imagined, being actually encouraged by some of their members, a lawless set of men involved in debt, began the treasonable insurrection in the upper part of Hampshire, in arms, to oppose and pull down all courts of justice. For you find it a fact that in every county which has been visited with county conventions, open rebellion and outrages have actually taken place, and in no other.”114
From the foregoing it may be safely concluded that in Massachusetts the Shays movement was favored by the paper money party; and, in fact, they were but phases of the same difficulty. Upon this supposition I have made a comparison of results obtained by placing in one class all towns that favored paper money or supported the Shays movement, and in the other those towns opposed to the issue of paper money or that did not support Shays.115 Of the towns favoring paper money or supporting Shays in 1786, 2 were Federal and 21 Anti Federal in 1788. Of those opposing paper money and not supporting Shays in 1786, 20 were in 1788 Federal and 8 Anti-Federal.
One more fact is worth noting. On the third reading of the bill before the general court, giving effect to the British treaty of 1783, there were 18 votes cast in the negative.116 Of these, 13 came from towns Anti-Federal in 1788, and 4 from Federal towns.
This evidence is certainly conclusive proof that in Massachusetts the Anti-Federal stronghold in 1788 was the Shays stronghold in 1786, as well as the center of the paper money and debt agitation and the rallying ground for the county conventions. With all these facts in mind, the estimate of Knox that four-fifths of the Anti-Federal party were connected directly or indirectly with the Shays movement, seems not very far from the truth.Connecticut.
Connecticut was so overwhelmingly Federal that difference of sentiment respecting the fundamental provisions of the Constitution was not so marked as in the rest of the New England states. Nevertheless, we find here a paper money party, though insignificant in its numbers and influence. A bill providing for a tender act and one for the issue of paper money were summarily disposed of by the assembly, the former by a vote of 124 to 22.117 The town of Sharon, Anti-Federal in 1788, allowed a Shays leader to raise and equip a body of men for service under Shays.”118 The same town also voted in town meeting that the state should emit paper money, and their delegate tried at two successive sessions to introduce a bill for that purpose.119
The following extract of a letter written from Sharon, March 8, 1787, well expresses the sentiments of the paper money party of this state: “Letter to the printers: I desire to see you manifest your impartiality by printing equally for both sides for my part, I acknowledge boldly I am one of what they call the Anti-Federal party or faction Friends and fellow citizens: I will conclude with one word of advice to you concerning making choice of proper persons to do your business for you at the General Assembly Don’t be influ-enced by anybody’s talking and nonsense. Choose for yourself. Choose then without favor or affection men of simplicity, not men of shrewdness and learning; choose men that are somewhat in debt themselves that they may not be too strenuous in having laws made or executed for collection of debts, nothing puts a poor, honest man so much out of ready money as being sued, and sheriffs after him. Choose such men as will make a bank of paper money, big enough to pay all our debts, which will sink itself (that will be so much clear gain to the state)”120Rhode Island.
It is hardly necessary to enter into a detailed discussion as to whether, in the state whose paper money proclivities were only equaled by its opposition to the Federal Constitution, there was any correspondence between these two factions. I offer the following contemporary evidence upon the question, as illustrating the general state of the case. On May 11, 1786, the towns of Providence, New-port, Portsmouth and Westerly appear on record as op-posed to paper money.121 These four towns furnished fourteen out of the thirty-four Federal votes in the convention of 1790, when Rhode Island finally ratified the Constitution. Madison wrote to Washington October 14, 1787: “Rhode Island will be divided on this subject [Federal Constitution] in the same manner that it has been on the subject of paper money.”122New York.
New York passed a bill issuing £200,000 (tender in suits only) March 6, 1786.123 The analysis of the vote shows the following facts: No vote was cast against the bill by members of counties north of the county of New York. In the city and county of New York, and in Long Island and Staten Island the combined vote was 9 to 5 against the measure. Comparing this vote with the vote on ratification in 1788, it will be seen that of the Federal counties 3 voted against paper money and 1 for it; of the divided counties, 1 (Suffolk) voted against paper money and 2 (Queens and Dutchess) voted for it. Of the Anti-Federal counties, none had members voting against paper money.
The merchants as a body were opposed to the issue of paper money and the Chamber of Commerce adopted a memorial against the issue.124
The following extract of a letter written from New York City, March 4, 1787, throws further light upon conditions in this state: “This morning the Governor, the Attorney General, Adjutant, etc., etc., set out for Albany to take measures to quell any insurrections that may happen in that quarter. The legislature of this state are decided in preventing any adherents from joining Shays, but there are a great pro-portion of people who are ripe for confusion and war. This is not because they are discontented under their own government, but because they are so embarrassed in their affairs that they believe no disturbances can make them worse “125
Thus it is seen why New York issued paper money, and the location of the party of discontent and financial distress in 1 786 is found to correspond with that of Anti-Federalism in 1788.New Jersey.
The issue of paper money in this state was provided by a bill passed March 9, 1786, by a vote of 20 to 17.126
The following comment upon the measure is significant:
“A law passed by the legislature in 1786, creating an issue of £100,000 in bills of credit was rejected by the governor and council, who were afraid of again having recourse to this desperate venture, but the people grew violent and their tumults became so alarming for the relief which they suppose& would be afforded them by the measure that a special session of the legislature was forced to be convened in May, in order to pass the law which, then, to appease the populace, the governor was obliged to sign.”127
An analysis of the above vote reveals the following facts: The vote against the measure came from members of counties128 in the most thickly populated portion of the state and those nearest the great cities of Philadelphia and New York, and consequently those whose interests were predominantly commercial and urban as opposed to the interior agricultural portions of the state. Furthermore, the counties129 furnishing the bulk of the vote in favor of paper money lay in. the northern half of the state, a portion most remote from the great commercial centers and possessing little or no means of communication with the outside world,130 partly from distance and partly from the inaccessibility of the region itself, it being broken and mountainous in the northwestern part.
From a letter in the Massachusetts Gazette of Nov. 13, 1787, dated from Salem county, we find that the Federal Constitution was opposed only by those who had not yet paid their debts, and who wished the states to retain the power to issue paper money. The writer adds, however, that these objections do not gain ground in his section.Delaware.
Delaware did not commit herself to paper money though the lower house voted to issue it, 12 to 6. The council, however, refused to agree to the measure and it was pushed no farther.131 But the excitement in the state over the question ran high. In one instance, a petition was presented to the legislature asking for an act suspending all executions in cases of debt for the term of five years.132 This request bears a familiar appearance, it is so similar, indeed, to the usual county convention resolution of Massachusetts that it might have been written by the same hand. The significant thing about the agitation on this question in Delaware and New Jersey is that it gives us a means of ascertaining the presence of a faction hostile by the stress of other considerations,133 but which is still to be reckoned with in locating popular sentiment upon ratification.Pennsylvania.
In Pennsylvania the issue of paper money was secured by incorporating it in a general funding measure passed March 16, 1785.134 The character of the measure is well indicated in the following: “Germantown, February 14, 1785: At a meeting of the delegates from a majority of the townships of the county of Philadelphia Resolved, That the funding bill is unjust and oppressive First, because it bears too hard upon the landed property instead of taxing the luxuries of life Second, because it abrogates a former law, in ordering the interest of depreciation certificates to be paid in paper money and commits, in so doing, a breach of public faith of the most dishonorable kind. Third, because paper money is a necessary consequence for the establishment of the fund, which experience has sufficiently shown can not be supported equal to gold and silver.”135
Of the same character is the following: “Philadelphia, February 24. On Monday evening last, agreeable to notice given, a large number of the merchants and traders met at the city tavern, to take into consideration the proposed emission of paper money After a pretty full investigation of the subject, the company divided on the question, when not one fiftieth part appeared in favor of paper money “136
On the passage of the funding bill, 17 members dissented from the action of the legislature and published their reasons in full in the next week’s paper137 Of this number, 13 were from counties Federal in 1788,138 3 from Anti-Federal counties139 and 1 from a divided county.140
The following contemporary evidence is valuable as showing still further the connection between the advocates of paper money in 1785-6, and the Anti-Federalists of the ratification period:
“In the list of the signers of the protest of the minority of the convention against the Federal Constitution, we find six whose names are upon record as the friends of paper money In the minutes of the second session of the ninth general assembly of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania we find in the 212th page the following persons among the yeas who voted for the emission of paper money, which by its depreciation so much injured the trade and manufactures of the state, and, which, by impairing its funds has weakened the strength of our government and thereby destroyed the hopes and support of the public creditors. The persons are Wm. Findley, John Smith, Robt. Whitehill, Adam Orth, Nicholas Lutz and Abraham Lincoln. I wish the public creditors to look to themselves. The funding system of Pennsylvania is on its last legs. It cannot exist another year without convulsing our state. It is only by adopting the Federal government that this enormous, unequal and oppressive burthen can be taken off our shoulders, and the state rescued out of the hands of speculators, sharpers and public defaulters. It is, moreover, only from a Federal treasury that the public creditors of all descriptions can expect substantial and permanent justice. ;A Citizen of Philadelphia.”141
“We are informed from good authority that petitions are circulating in the vicinity of Carlisle, in Cumberland county, praying for a further emission of paper money to be made a legal tender. We cannot but remark that the depraved or unwise measure is adopted in a county wherein the new constitution of Federal government is more opposed than in any other part of Pennsylvania.”142
It may thus be concluded that in Pennsylvania the paper money and debt factions of 1786 quite largely joined the Anti-Federalists of 1788, and that a leading reason for opposing the Constitution was its prohibition of state issues of bills of credit.Maryland.
In Maryland the firmness of the state senate alone pre-vented an issue of paper money.143 The following is typical of the sentiment in the state during the period of 1785-7:
“Baltimore, July 9. From the universal complaint respecting the scarcity of money, it is justly concluded that the quantity in circulation is not sufficient for a medium of domestic trade;. A paper medium is our dernier resort; we have no other. Thousands are suffering the ninety-nine plagues of an empty purse Paper money, like other good things, is subject to abuses; but it must not therefore be laid aside; a paper medium has been useful, and it may again become a blessing to the community if we are not wanting to ourselves.144
The condition of public sentiment on this question in 1786 reminds one of that in Massachusetts during Shays’ rebellion. The following extract of a letter from Baltimore gives the condition of affairs at this time:
“Charles county court has lately been compelled to adjourn all civil causes by a tumultuary assemblage of the people, and it is to be apprehended that other counties are disposed to follow the baneful precedent. No person in Harford county is, by the inhabitants, permitted to bid for property seized upon execution for debt and disposed of at public auction.”145 Says Bancroft: “In Maryland the impassioned struggle was renewed within five months of the opening of the constitutional convention. Luther Martin led the partisans o f paper emissions in the house of delegates to victory and a secession was threatened if it should be rejected by the other branch.”146
The above quotations are seen to be still more significant when we remember that Harford county sent Luther Martin as one of its delegates to the state convention and that he was the great opponent in Maryland of the Federal Constitution.
The following extract of a letter dated at Baltimore, April 24, 1788, adds further evidence as to the party divisions in the Anti-Federal counties of the period: “We had our election a fortnight ago, and sixty-four Federalists are chosen out of seventy-six, if all keep the promises made at the hustings. Baltimore and Harford counties alone are clearly Anti-Federal, in which are many powerful and popular men who have speculated deeply in British confiscated property and for that reason are alarmed at shutting the door against state paper money. The same men, their relations and particular friends are more violently Anti-Federal because they paid considerable sums into the treasury in depreciated continental currency and are scared at the sweeping clause which may bring about a due execution of the treaty between Great Britain and America, to their loss. All these men are unanimous against the Federal government; they are here called the Black List, by way of emphatical distinction. Anne Arundel county, though naturally Federal, have elected four Anti-Federalists, owing to the popular electioneering talents of Mr. Chase, who has represented them for twenty years. Mr. Chase is an Anti Federal, both from ambition, because he cannot expect to be so powerful in the general government as he is in the state and because his shattered circumstances render him interested in discord and civil war.”147
In Maryland, then, we find a correspondence between the friends of paper money and debt laws and the Anti-Federal party of 1788, both as to leaders and to the rank and file of the respective parties.Virginia.
The paper money question and the question as to the passage of legislation necessary to give effect to the British treaty of 1783, caused great divisions in Virginia, and very important results have yet to be worked out by a more detailed study than was possible from the sources at my command. The evidence here given is important, however, in that it is in full agreement with the results arrived at in the preceding investigations. On January 22, 1786, Madison wrote to Jefferson concerning the session of the House of Delegates just closed: “A considerable itch for paper money discovered itself, though no overt attempt was made. The partisans of the measure, among whom Mr. M. Smith may be considered as the most zealous, flatter themselves, and I fear upon too good ground, that it will be among the measures of the next session.”148
It will be remembered in this connection that Meriwether Smith was a delegate to the state convention in 1788 from the Anti-Federal county of Essex.
On November 1, 1786, the House of Delegates of Virginia voted, 85 to 17, that an emission of paper money would be “unjust, impolitic and destructive of public and private confidence, and of that virtue which is the basis of republican government.”149 The occasion of the vote was a petition for an emission of paper money sent in by the counties of Campbell and Brunswick, Anti-Federal counties in 1788. Of the 17 votes cast in the negative, 12 were from counties Anti-Federal in 1788, and 3 were from counties Federal at that time; all of these votes came from counties of the interior. It is also worth noting that the great opponent of the Constitution in Virginia, Patrick Henry, is charged with favoring an issue of paper money by both Washington150 and Madison.151 The latter is especially explicit in his statement of the matter. He says : “I learn from Virginia that the appetite for paper money grows stronger every day. Mr. Henry is an avowed patron of the scheme, and will not fail, I think, to carry it through, unless the county (Prince Edward) which he is to represent shall bind him hand and foot by instructions. I am told that this is in contemplation.” In a letter writ-ten from Richmond, Feb. 24, 1788, is the following description of the enemies of the Constitution: “Most of those now opposed to it are persons whose estates are much involved by owing large British debts, which they think must be paid when we have a Federal head.”152
Such facts serve to identify the believers in paper money and tender laws in Virginia with the later party of Anti-Federalists.North Carolina.
In North Carolina little material is available upon the question. After the rejection of the Federal Constitution in 1788, and until its final ratification in the following year, there appear to have been repeated efforts to secure ‘ an emission of paper money. This was successfully combatted by the great Federal leaders of 1788, Iredell, Davie, Johnston and Maclaine.153
In the state convention of 1788, the counties of Tennessee were with a single exception154 Anti-Federal. The following incident in Jackson’s early career gives a view of the conditions of 1789. “When General Jackson first visited the settlements upon the Cumberland, there was but one licensed lawyer in West Tennessee. The debtors who. at important points in new settlements often compose a powerful class of the population, had conspired to set their creditors at defiance, and, as a means of effecting their object, had retained this gentleman in their service. On Jackson’s arrival the creditors flocked around him and he immediately instituted a multitude of suits. To maintain the impunity they had hitherto enjoyed, the debtors signified to Jackson their displeasure at his interference, and some of them threatened him with personal violence if he did not desist.155South Carolina.
The relation of the Anti-Federalists and the paper money party in South Carolina is indicated by the following ex-. tract of a letter dated from Charleston, April 21, 1786:
“This day three weeks our convention meets to deliberate on the Constitution. I am pretty confident that it will be ratified. Some opposition is expected from the framers of the installment, pine barren valuation and legal tender laws. Excepting from this quarter our convention has
little, to apprehend.”156Georgia.
In August, 1786, Georgia issued paper money to the amount of £30,000. The issue was opposed by the members of the assembly from the lower or coast regions157 and favored by those from the back country, who were in the majority.158
Thus in each of the original thirteen states that ratified the Constitution the testimony is of the same general character, confirming the original thesis stated at the beginning of the chapter. And it is not the least significant fact revealed in the evidence that in the three states ratifying unanimously in 1788, there was found to be a faction in favor of paper money corresponding in location and character to similar factions in the remainder of the states. Hamilton, in giving an enumeration of the factors in opposition to the new constitution mentions “the disinclination of the people to taxes, and of course to a strong government; the opposition of all men much in debt, who will not wish to see a government established, one object of which is to restrain the means of cheating creditors.”159
It has been shown in previous chapters that the opposition to the Constitution was confined to those interior or sparsely settled districts that were the last to receive population, and whose interests were agricultural as opposed to commercial; rural as opposed to urban. It has been shown in this chapter that the factions in favor of paper money issues, and tender laws and opposed to the enforcement of the British treaty of 1783, were to be found in the great interior agricultural sections of the country, where the debtor class outnumbered the creditor, where taxes were unpopular and capital scarce.. And finally the conclusion has been reached that these factions of 1785-6 were closely related to the Anti-Federalist party of 1788.
It is proposed in this chapter to offer evidence as to how close the feeling of responsibility actually came to the delegates of the state conventions of 1787-8, as well as how completely the passions, prejudices, and grievances of each section found expression in the voice of its delegates, or in their votes.
Especially in New England was the responsibility of the delegate to his constituents most demonstrable. Here, no doubt, it was a result of the numerous and clearly-marked local units, each with its own problems of self government, and its representation in the state legislature. The smaller number of voters, and the ease with which the town meeting could be called, brought the constituents and representative so close that responsibility for action was easily developed, and became one of the best understood and most frequently used methods of securing local interests on any or all questions.
In the following evidence it will be shown, not that instruction of delegates was complete for any state or section, but that there is sufficient proof of a general correspondence between the sentiment of the constituency and the vote of the delegate at the state convention to warrant the conclusion, that the votes of these representatives registered the public sentiment in each state on the question of ratifying the Federal Constitution.New Hampshire.
The state convention to ratify the Federal Constitution met first on February 13, 1788, and adjourned after a ten days’ session to meet again in June. The second session began June 18, 1788; and on June 21 the Constitution was ratified by a vote of 57 to 47.
In discussing the question of instructions of towns to the delegates of the convention of this state, four classes may be distinguished, as follows:
I. Those towns in which there is record of a direct vote of the town on. the question of ratification, fifteen towns or classes:160 Dunstable;161 Eaton, Burton, Conway, and Loca-tions; Francestown, Hollis, Keene, Lyme and Orford, Lyndeborough, Marlborough, Newmarket, New Hampton and Meredith, Peterborough, Rindge, Sharon, Walpole, Warner.162
II. Those cases in which biographies, local histories, newspapers, etc., state the political complexion of the delegate or of the town in connection with the election for delegates, five towns: Amherst (History of Amherst, p. 860); Boscawen (History of Boscawen and Webster, p.. 134; Goodwin Collection of Town Records) ; Epping (Life of Wm. Plumer, p. 97); New Ipswich (History of New Ipswich, p. 116); Newbury (Pennsylvania, Packet, Jan. 18, 1788).
III. Those towns of which there is record of committees on instructions being appointed at the town meeting, but nothing is given of the tenor of the instructions; and in but one case (Windham) is it stated whether the committee reported, thirteen towns:163 Atkinson, Chichester, Claremont, Dublin, Fitzwilliam, Goffstown, Kensington, Lebanon, Litchfield, Londonderry, Loudon, Merrimac, and Windham.
IV. Those towns that changed their instructions of opposition after the first session of the convention and allowed their delegates to vote as they wished, two towns: Hopkinton (History of Hopkinton, p. 94; Goodwin Collection of Town Records) ; Salisbury (History of Salisbury, p. 115; Walker, The New Hampshire Federal Convention, 1788, p. 7, note 1).
The total number of towns is thus thirty-five, in which there is to be seen : first, a correspondence between the attitude of the town as to the Federal Constitution and the vote of the delegate in the state convention; second, evidence of instructions or the assertion of the right to instruct the delegates to the ratifying convention. Taking the whole number of possible delegates as 112,164 this makes nearly one third (31 per cent. exactly) of the representation in convention. Moreover, the delegates of those towns given in I. and II., twenty in all, voted in every case, as was indicated by the vote of the town or was stated by the other authority cited.
The general evidence consists chiefly of contemporary newspaper material. The chief fact brought out by it is, that the adjournment of the convention from February 22 to June 18, 1788, was owing to the lack of a Federal majority, and the desire of a number of members to return to their constituents and have their instructions of opposition removed.
“Extract from a letter dated Exeter, New Hampshire, February 22, 1788: ’ So confident were we of the prevailing voice in favor of the constitution that no pains were taken to counteract the intrigues of a few notoriously vile characters, who were too successful in the dark and dirty business of seducing a great number of the interior towns by false representation to fetter their delegates with positive instructions to vote in all events against the constitution. After discussing the subject seven or eight days, and finding many of the members, who were instructed to the contrary, convinced of the expediency and necessity of adopting the plan, and desirous to consult their constituents, the convention agreed to adjourn to June, next, when, I have no doubt, the ratification will take place.’”165
” Extract of a letter from Boston, Feb. 24: ‘The convention of New Hampshire have adjourned to June next. This measure was proposed by the Federalists, rather than to attempt to adopt the constitution by a small majority. Upwards of forty towns have absurdly fettered their delegates with instructions against the constitution.’”166
” March 7. Further particulars of the New Hampshire Convention from the Massachusetts Centinel: ‘No one circumstance attending the discussion of the proposed federal constitution has demonstrated its superior excellence and perfection more than the measure of adjournment adopted by the convention of New Hampshire on Friday the 22d ult., if we consider the situation of affairs then respecting it. Almost the whole of that state is inland, and a great part of it remote from the regular channels of information by far the greater part of the people had not seen it, and received their information from factious demagogues and popularity seekers, who had rode through the back part of the state, inflaming and prejudicing the people’s minds against it. While under this infatuation, they chose delegates to meet in convention and bound them by instructions to vote against it, and no delegate would have consented to have acted under such instructions unless his sentiments on the subject were in unison with those of his constituents. This being the case, on the meeting of the convention, a majority, all of whom were from remote parts of the state, were found to be opposed to the adoption of the constitution. It was, however, discussed for several days, and such lights thrown on the subject and so many objections obviated, as induced many thus instructed, and who had considered the constitution as dangerous, to change their sentiments. But these, considering their instructions sacred, could not on conviction vote for it; and their consciences forbade their voting against it. What was now the alternative? Either to reject the constitution (which they certainly would have done had their opinions of it continued the same) or for those thus convinced (who, with those originally in favor of it, made a considerable majority) to return home to their constituents, acquaint them of the conviction that had arisen in their minds, and of the arguments which produced it and to prevail on them to annul the instructions, which bound them to act contrary to their opinions. The latter was thought the most proper, and therefore the convention adjourned to a distant day to give time for the circulation in every part of the state of the information and arguments which had thus proved so convincing to the members of the convention.’”167
Letter to Timothy Pickering from Paine Wingate (New Hampshire delegate to Congress) : ” New York, March 29, 1788 In New Hampshire, when the convention met, there was a majority prejudiced against the plan. They were chiefly from the interior parts of the state and many of the delegates were instructed to vote against it. The most distinguished characters were in favor of it; and, after debating it for some time, there were a few converts made, who did not think themselves at liberty to go against their instructions, and therefore obtained an adjournment.”168
Much more might be quoted to the same effect. Making all allowance for partisanship on the part of these authorities just quoted, it is quite evident that both the voters and their representatives understood the binding force of town instructions, and that at the particular period under consideration there was a very general effort put forth to make the decisions of the town meetings felt in the counsels of the state convention of 1788 and in the final vote on the ratification of the new constitution. And in view of the fragmentary condition of the town records, the meagreness of newspaper material, and the poverty of the local histories on this period, the evidence thus far presented, both general and particular, certainly warrants the conclusion that in New Hampshire we may consider those towns Anti-Federal in sentiment whose delegates in the state convention voted against the ratification of the Federal Constitution.Massachusetts.
The case of New Hampshire is evidently typical for the rest of New England, for the central institution, the town meeting, is common to all; and the proof adduced in the case of this state strengthens and supports whatever proof is to be found for the other states along this line.
Upon the question of instructions in Massachusetts, four classes of towns may be distinguished:
I. Those towns in which there is found to have been a direct vote on the question of ratification: Andover, Essex county (History of Andover, pp. 68-69); Newbury, Essex county (History of Newbury, p. 261); Sandwich, Barnstable county (History of Cape Cod, ii., Annals of Sandwich, p. 135; New York Journal and Register, January 25, 1788).
II. Those towns in which there is found to have been a direct vote on giving the delegates instructions: Amherst, Hampshire county (History of Hadley, p. 426; Connecticut Gazette, February 25, 1788); Fitchburg, Worcester county (History of Fitchburg, p. 90); Lancaster, Worcester county (History of Lancaster, p. 322) ; Milford, Worcester county History of Milford, p. 92); Sutton, Worcester county (History of Sutton, 1704-1876, p. 128; Massachusetts Centinel, May 24, 1788).
III. Those towns whose attitude upon the Federal Constitution is given by some contemporary authority or by local histories: Belcherton, Hampshire county (Massachusetts Centinel, May 24, 1788); Cambridge, Middlesex county (Pennsylvania Packet, January 8, 1788); Douglass, Worcester county (Connecticut Gazette, February 25, 1788); Easton, Bristol county (History of Easton, p. 624); Gloucester, Es-sex county (History of Gloucester, Cape Ann, pp. 471-2); Great Barrington, Berkshire county (History of Great Bar-rington, pp. 317-8) ; Hardwick, Worcester county (History of Hardwick, p. 118) ; Hopkinton, Middlesex county (Massachusetts Centinel, May 24, 1788) ; Lancaster, Worcester county (History of Lancaster, p. 322) ; Norton, Bristol county (Connecticut Gazette, February 25, 1788); Petersham, Worcester county (Massachusetts Centinel, May 24, 1788); Sterling, Worcester county (Worcester Magazine and Historical Journal, ii., p. 45); Stockbridge, Berkshire county (Pennsylvania Packet, December 24, 1787); Woburn, Middlesex county (History of Woburn, p. 384); Worcester, Worcester county (Massachusetts Centinel, May 24, 1788).
IV. Those towns in which evidence is found of the assertion by the town of the right of instruction or of an intention of instructing the delegates to the state convention : Braintree, Suffolk county (Braintree Town Records, 1640-1793, p. 577); Dunstable, Middlesex county (Elliot’s Debates, ii., p. 96); Great Barrington, Berkshire county (History of Great Barrington, pp. 317-8) ; Northampton, Hampshire county (Pennsylvania Packet, December 10, 1787); Sharon, Suffolk county (Elliot’s Debates, ii., p. 40); Stoughton, Suffolk county (History of Canton, p. 433).
Summing up the results, we see that in 18 towns there are records that show the attitude of the town on the question of ratification, and in each one the vote of the delegate corresponds to it; also, that in 11 towns there is evidence either of direct instructions or of the assertion of the right or intention of instructing the delegates. It is to be further noted that every county of importance but Ply-mouth is represented in these lists. In Andover, Essex county, the vote of the town on the question of ratification was 115 for and 124 against it. In the convention, one of the three delegates voted for the Constitution, thus representing the Federal part of this closely-divided town.
The general conclusions above stated are further strengthened by the following: “Extract of a letter from a gentleman in Boston, dated. January 30, to his friends in this city [New York]: ‘Some of the delegates, who were instructed by the towns they represented to vote against it at all events, have returned home and informed their constituents that so much light had been thrown upon the subject that they could not, as honest men, hold up their hands in opposition to the Constitution. The towns have sent them back and directed them to vote as they thought best “‘”169
“This direct interference of the people with the state legislature, by means of instructions to their representatives having been long discontinued, it is rather a subject of curiosity, in reading them now, to see how many of the general topics that would be likely to come under the notice of the legislature, were embraced within their scope. If representatives held themselves bound by their instructions, there was hardly a subject of interest that could arise, upon which they were not ready to act at once. This was literally the government of the people. The town was as prompt in acting upon subjects affecting the whole nation as upon those of local interest alone.”170
In the province of Maine, the evidence on the instruction of delegates is as follows:
I. Those towns voting directly on the Constitution were Brunswick, Cumberland county
II. 171 (History of Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell, p. 132); Topsham, Lincoln county (Ibid., p. 187).
III. Those towns either instructing their delegates or asserting the right of instructing them by town vote were: Harpswell, Cumberland county (History of Brunswick, Topsham and Harpswell, p. 171) ; Fryeburg, York county (Centennial Celebration of the Settlement of Fryeburg, p. 32) ; Wells, York county (History of Wells and Kennebunk, p. 540),
IV. Those towns in which evidence was found as to the attitude of the town on the Constitution were: New Gloucester, Cumberland county (Connecticut Gazette, February 25, 1788); Wells, York county (History of Wells and Kennebunk, p. 540).
In all of the cases just cited where the opinion of the town is clearly known, the vote of the delegate in the convention corresponds with it. In but a single case, the only instance which I can find in New England, does the delegate violate the express wishes of his constituents. This is in the case of Barrell of York, York county.172 Such instances are sufficiently rare to be treated as exceptions among the mass of evidence of an opposite nature. Yet full credit must be given to all such conflicting testimony, as it has its place in the makeup of a complete view of the conditions of the time.
The following quotation from a contemporary newspaper illustrates the general fact of instructions in Maine: “Several Anti-Federalist characters from the eastern parts of Massachusetts passed through this town yesterday on their way to join the convention to be holden at Boston this week for the purpose of ratifying or rejecting the new constitution; they appeared to be ‘heavy laden’ with their instructions of opposition: but we hope our federal brethren will be prepared for them.”173
In Connecticut, the evidence is not abundant; but none of it is conflicting.
I. The following towns voted directly upon the question of ratification: Durham (Fowler, History of. Durham, p. 148); Greenwich (History of Greenwich, pp. 188-9); Sims-bury (personal letter from Town Clerk, Aaron Chapman).
II. The following towns voted directly to give their representatives instructions : Greenwich (History of Greenwich, pp. 188-9), Hampton (History of Windham county, ii., p. 212) ; Mansfield (New York Advertiser, February 9, 1788) ; Simsbury (see above).
III. In the following list are given towns whose attitude is revealed by newspapers, local histories, etc.: Derby, asked for a convention (Connecticut Gazette, October 19, 1787) ; New Haven (Connecticut Courant, October 3, 1787, New Haven Gazette, November 15, 1787, p. 6); Sharon (History of Sharon, p. 58); Stratford (History of Stratford, pp. 423-4); Woodstock (History of Windham county, p. 869).
The following general evidence on instructions in Connecticut is also significant: “Hartford, November 26, 1787: A correspondent remarks that all good men must be pleased with the prospect that this state will adopt Federal Government The principal towns acted at the election with uncommon unanimity in favor of the Constitution. In many of them there was scarcely a dissenting voice; particularly in those where the people have the best information. In other towns, it is expected that positive instructions in favor of the Constitution will be given to the delegates at the annual December meeting.”174
“In the late Convention in Connecticut, the members from New London and Fairfield counties were unanimously for the proposed Constitution; and the Hon. Mr. Williams, from Lebanon and Mr. Hopkins from Waterbury, who were the leaders of the opposition, came over and voted for the Constitution, being fully convinced it was for the interest of that State and United States to adopt it. Many others who were in the opposition and of the minority declared, after the vote was taken, their intention to use their influence with their friends to give it all the force in their power.”175
The course of Rhode Island regarding the Federal Constitution was exceptional, on account of the length of time that elapsed before ratification. This in itself would tend to sharpen and intensify factional feeling on the matter, as the discussion continued, and would make it quite certain that the delegates correctly represented their constituencies. This view is held by Staples in his Rhode Island in the Continental Congress, pp. 634-5. He says: “Generally the delegates came to the convention without any definite instructions from their constituents to control their acts. Such instructions were not, in fact, requisite. The opinions of each delegate and of his constituents on the great question to come before them were as definite and as well known as instructions could make them. Several towns, however, gave instructions, among which were Richmond176 and Portsmouth.”177
Passing on to New York we come to a section where the county takes the place of the town as the local political unit; and in endeavoring to ascertain the sentiment of the people we encounter difficulties not experienced in New England. The greater extent of the country, its scattered population, the absence of anything corresponding to the annual town meeting, the varied interests and often differing nationalities in the same county, make it difficult to ascertain whether a given expression of popular sentiment represents a majority or only a vigorous and organized minority. This is true for all the middle states, and the southern states as well. For the latter section,, moreover, its intense political activity and the almost undisputed preponderance of influential leaders in such states as Virginia, Maryland; and South Carolina, differentiates it sharply from the middle section.
For New York no definite instructions have been found. It will be shown, therefore, what the attitude of the counties was, and that it corresponded to the vote of the delegate in the state convention.
In Hammond’s Political History of New York, occurs the following, upon the general question of instructions. He says: “The election of delegates took place in the spring of 1788. The sole question which appears to have governed the electors in the choice of delegates was whether the candidates were for or against the adoption of the new constitution.”178
There seems to be no doubt as to the sentiments of the great majority in the counties west of the Hudson and also in those east of that river and north of Dutchess county. But one vote came from all this region in favor of the Constitution. Two contemporary newspapers give these counties as Anti-Federal in the election returns for the convention.179 Hammond, as quoted above, gives these counties as Anti-Federal and states as his authority the Albany Gazette of July, 1788, which, in its turn, copied its report from a Poughkeepsie journal, containing the proceeding of the convention.180 In Ulster county a convention was called to select Anti-Federal delegates.181
It is stated for Columbia county, that its delegates obtained their election by a very large Anti-Federal majority.182 A delegate from Albany county (Lansing) said: “I stand here the representative of others; and, as far as I can ascertain the views of my constituents, it is my duty to promote them with the utmost assiduity “183
It seems equally undisputed that Kings, New York, Richmond and Westchester counties elected Federal delegates who voted for the Constitution in the convention. The authorities just quoted above are explicit on this point. In the remaining counties, Suffolk, Queens, and Dutchess, the sentiment of the people seems to have been divided. The evidence on this point is conflicting, however; and the proof is not so clear as for the other counties of the state. The convention vote of these counties is as follows:
Dutchess, yeas, 4, nays, 2 ; Queens, yeas, 4, nays, 0 ; Suffolk, yeas, 3, nays, 1.
The New York Journal and Register184 gives these counties in the election returns as Anti-Federal. In Hammond’s Political History of New York,185 Dutchess county is given as electing Anti-Federalists, and Queens and Suffolk as divided. A letter from Poughkeepsie of June 3, 1788, quoted in the Pennsylvania Packet,186 states that at least one-third of the votes cast in Dutchess county were for the Constitution. This evidence, coupled with the fact that these counties furnished the votes that turned the scale in the convention in favor of ratification, seems to warrant the conclusion that they were divided counties, as shown on the map; but on which side the majority lay, it is not now possible to state.
In Pennsylvania the evidence as to instructions is incomplete, and some of it is conflicting. For the counties whose delegates voted for ratification, only Huntingdon seems doubtful. The delegates of all the Federal counties but this one clearly represented the sentiments of their con-stituents in their vote in the convention. The evidence in detail is as follows: “Philadelphia county, the delegates were pledged to support the Constitution;187 the same was true for Northampton county;188 Northumberland county, the delegates were elected in opposition to the usually domi-nant Anti-Federal party of the county.189 In the Reasons of Dissent of the Minority, occurs the following: “In the city of Philadelphia and some of the eastern counties, the junto that took the lead in the business agreed to vote for none but such as would solemnly promise to adopt the system in toto, without exercising their judgment.”190
The Independent Gazetteer of December 19, 1787, contains the following: “I believe the leaders of the majority in our convention did not publish their address and reasons of assent on two accounts : first, because nearly one-half of their number were obliged to vote according to their solemn engagements and promises (by which they were tied down before their election) and not according to their judgments.”191
The counties of Franklin and Washington sent delegates whose votes were divided on the question of ratification. The evidence is conflicting and is as follows : In Franklin county the delegates are said to be favorable to the Constitution;192 a petition is presented to the legislature from Franklin county asking that the Constitution be not ratified;193 the “Centinel,” Letter 18,194 states that the Anti-Federalists are in an overwhelming majority in Franklin and Cumberland counties. McMaster gives the following for Thos. Scott, the Federal delegate from Washington county : “He was a delegate to the Pennsylvania convention to ratify the Federal Constitution in 1787, and in 1788 elected a member of the First Congress under that instrument which he so zealously supported against the protests of his constituents and the contrary action of his colleagues.”195 The “Centinel,” Letter 18, just referred to, gives Washington county as Anti Federal; but the value of this authority is questionable, since it gives as Anti-Federal the two Federal counties of Huntingdon and Northumberland. And the Federal attitude of Thos. Scott must have been well known at the time of his election, and not something suddenly sprung upon his constituents after arriving at the convention; otherwise there would have been some evidence of his desertion of the trust reposed in him by his constituency. Until such evidence is forthcoming, it is safest to consider the county as simply divided in sentiment.
The opposition section of Pennsylvania, as indicated by the votes of the delegates in convention, seems to have very generally coincided with the avowed sentiments of the majority of the people of the section. Berks, Dauphin, Cumberland, Fayette, Westmoreland and Bedford counties are given in the “Centinel,” Letter 18 (above quoted), as overwhelmingly Anti-Federal; and, in absence of any conflicting evidence, we may assume that to have been true. Some little confirmatory evidence can be added. In Fayette county the delegate is said to have opposed the Constitution out of deference to the wishes of his constituents.196 Cumberland county is declared by a contemporary newspaper to be Anti-Federal in sentiment.197
The state of New Jersey ratified the Federal Constitution unanimously. Public opinion on the matter is well shown by the extract of a letter from Salem county, West Jersey, dated October 22, 1787: ” Nothing is talked of here, either public or private, but the new constitution. All read, and almost all approve it. Indeed it requires only to be read with attention and without prejudice to be approved of There are several petitions in this and the neighboring counties, ready to be transmitted to our assembly. In this, the numerous subscribers pray the assembly, earnestly as they ever did to God Almighty for the forgiveness of their sins, immediately to call a convention for the ratification of the proposed constitution. One of these petitions has the following strong and expressive sentence in it : ‘ We are convinced, after the most serious and unprejudiced examination of the different articles and sections of articles of this constitution, that nothing but the immediate adoption of it can save the United States in general and the state in particular from absolute ruin.’ ” 198Delaware.
Delaware, like New Jersey, ratified unanimously; and its action seems to have been in accordance with the desire of the people. The following quotation sufficiently indicates the conditions in that state : ” The legislature of Delaware met on the 24th of October, and, following ‘ the sense and desires of great numbers of the people of the state, signified in petitions to their general assembly,’ adopted speedy measures to call together a convention.’ ” 199Maryland.
In Maryland the delegates from Baltimore and Annapolis and from most of the Federal counties declared themselves in the convention as instructed to ratify the Constitution and do nothing else.200
A contemporary newspaper states, that, if the members elect carry out the pledges made at the hustings, sixty-four Federalists are elected out of a total of seventy-six. 201
The pledge to oppose ratification seems to have been given openly by the delegates elected to represent the three Anti-Federal counties, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and Harford. 202
The pledges of the delegates were kept with but a single exception, that of Mr. Paca of Harford. And he declared in convention that without amendments he should be opposed to the Constitution and that he voted for it only with the understanding that it would be amended. 203Virginia.
The vote of ratification in Virginia was the decisive victory in the contest for the Federal Constitution. It is particularly difficult, therefore, to arrive at correct conclusions in regard to the constituency in a state where the two parties were so evenly balanced and so sharply separated, and in a section where politics was the occupation of the upper classes, and political leadership quite often counted for more than majority votes.
The divided counties will be considered first, as it is to them, and not to the great mass of Federal or Anti-Federal counties, that we must look for the decisive votes in the contest. The divided counties were Monongalia, Loudon, Louisa, King and Queen, Powhatan, Chesterfield, Warwick, Accomac, and Charlotte. In Scott’s Lost Principle204 the whole question of these divided counties is discussed at length. He considers the delegates of these counties who voted with the Federalists as having deserted their trust and betrayed their constituents. He is followed by Wm. Wirt Henry in his life of Patrick Henry, as fol-lows: “As it was, the result [adoption of the Constitution] was obtained by inducing several of the delegates to vote against the wishes of their constituents. Among these may be mentioned Humphrey Marshall, of Fayette county, Kentucky; Andrew Moore and William M’Kee, of Rockbridge; George Parker, of Accomac; Paul Carrington, of Charlotte; Levin Powell, of Loudon; William Overton Callis, of Louisa; and William M’Clerry, of Monongalia. Had these voted the sentiments of their constituents as indicated by instructions, or by the votes of their associated delegates, the result would have been against ratification without previous amendments.” 205
Grigsby, in his Virginia Convention, 1788, 206 is more conservative. After stating that Moore and M’Kee of Rock-bridge county did not obey the instructions of their constituents, he says : “That some of the delegates voted in opposition to the wishes of their constituents was well known at the time.” He mentions the case of Paul Carrington of Charlotte, but does not say he was a converted Anti-Federalist. Neither of these authorities quoted offer any evidence to sustain their contention. It is necessary, therefore, to go back to Scott, the earliest author to elaborate this theory, and see on what grounds he bases his conclusions. In his Lost Principle, pp. 161-3, is given the argument, which depends primarily upon the effect of Randolph’s defection from the Anti-Federalists. This, he claims, was sufficient to turn enough’ votes to secure ratification. It is significant, however, that Randolph’s sentiments regarding ratification were well known in Virginia as early as the time for election of delegates to the convention. He himself speaks of his Federalist leanings as being an obstacle to his election in Henrico county. 207 In a letter written from Fairfax county, Virginia, March 24, 1788, occurs the following. “Gov. Randolph is elected a member of convention for Henrico county. This is pleasing to the Federalists; for, although he did not sign the constitution in the convention, yet even in his objections stated to the assembly, as well as in private conversation, he has uniformly declared that he is for adopting as it now stands rather than to reject it altogether,-which he has declared, in his opinion, would endanger the existence of the union. Possessing these sentiments and having good abilities and great influence, I think his being a member of the convention will be serviceable to the union.” 208 This evidence somewhat breaks the force of Scott’s argument concerning the suddenness and decisive character of Randolph’s change. Whatever influence his attitude had was not con-fined to the one session of the convention, but must have been at work long before that time. But, assuming for the moment, that the defection of Randolph had the weight ascribed to it in the convention, let us see how the argument proceeds as to the divided counties. Scott rests his entire case upon three assumptions : first, that the original majority in the convention was opposed to the Constitution; second, that the waverers were all Anti-Federalists and the “conversions” all came from their side: third, that there were no wavering constituencies. In point of fact, however, none of these assumptions are sustained by a particle of evidence, nor does he offer any, but rests his case wholly upon inference. Positive evidence upon the other side, therefore, renders his position untenable.
1. As to the original majority in the convention, Mr. Henry, in his Life of Patrick Henry, seems to admit it to be Federal. 209 He says: “When the result of the elections was made public, the people of the State, a majority of whom were decidedly opposed to immediate ratification, as appeared in the legislature elected about the same time, were astonished to find that the Federalists claimed a majority. This had been the more easily obtained by the manner of constituting the body.”
Patrick Henry admitted that numbers appeared equal on both sides. 210 Col. Grayson wrote June 9, 1788:”Our affairs in the convention are suspended by a hair.” 211 These admissions by leading Anti-Federalists confirm the evidence already given, and make it probable that the majority was not with the Anti-Federalists.
2. Were the waverers all Anti-Federalists? Colonel Grayson wrote June 9, 1788. “there are seven or eight dubious characters, whose opinions are not known and on whose decisions the fate of this important question will ultimately depend.” 212 Patrick Henry made good use of the Spanish claim to the Mississippi river in winning over the delegates from Kentucky, 213 who would, it was thought, give at least a few Federal votes. 214 A letter from New York, April 27, 1788. giving returns of the election in. Virginia, states the “neutrals” as three, all of whom, it is affirmed, would vote for the Constitution. 215 Among them were Carrington and his colleague of Charlotte county; and it will be remembered that Carrington’s colleague voted against the Constitution.
3. Were there no wavering constituencies? Marshall and Randolph were elected to the convention from Henrico county, which Scott counts as Anti-Federalist. The choice was made wholly from considerations of personal popularity, and against a strong Anti-Federalist candidate, Randolph’s opinion being, as I have shown, well known at this time.216 Paul Carrington, an avowed Federalist, was elected delegate from Charlotte county. The statement of his attitude on the Constitution is to be found in a letter of Madison to Jefferson, Oct. 24, 1787. 217 Ralph Wormley, of Middlesex county, wrote before the convention assembled: “The minds of the people of this county are greatly divided.” 218 Andrew Moore, of Rockbridge county, refused in the convention to obey his instructions of opposition to the Constitution. and at the next election he was vindicated by an overwhelming majority. 219 The influence of Stuart of Augusta county at the Botetourt election was sufficient to change the complexion of the delegates from Anti-Federal to Federal and bind them by instructions. 220
These instances reveal no compact and thoroughly organized constituency, but rather a doubting, wavering one, easily turned one way or the other as a leader may determine for them. The important thing in such counties would be not what the majority might vote, but what was the opinion of its leaders one of the characteristic political aspects of the South, as has already been pointed out.
It is thus seen that Scott’s contention has nothing to rest on and is contradicted by much undisputed evidence. On the other hand, if viewed in the light of the proof just cited, the existence of divided counties becomes not only explicable, but extremely probable. It is hardly to be sup-posed that, in all the sharp divisions among the people of the state, county lines should always coincide with party lines. Bitter political contests within the same county would result quite as often in a tie between contestants as that one party would be completely victorious : and in spite of the best calculations, personal popularity, as in Henrico county, might be more than enough to balance political antagonisms. and Federal delegates, in whole or in part, would be returned from otherwise Anti-Federal constituencies, or vice versa. But in giving so much prominence to the effect of Randolph’s change of opinion regarding the Constitution. the author of The Lost Principle has neglected to make allowance for an influence equally potent on the side of Anti-Federalism. This was the wonderful eloquence and persuasive powers of that idol of the common people, Patrick Henry. The position of Virginia is unique in possessing a speaker of such ability, whose presence in the convention and whose personal magnetism as a debater carried such decisive weight as did his. Even his political opponents have left striking tributes to his powers. One of the best known of them is that of John Marshall: 221 “If I were called upon to say who of all men I have known had the greatest power to convince, I should perhaps say Mr. Madison; while Mr. Henry had without doubt the greatest power to persuade.”
To the wavering constituencies of Virginia or the neutral delegates in the convention the speeches of this great Anti-Federalist would appeal with telling effect. And certainly the Federal leaders in Virginia dreaded, more than all else, the persuasive eloquence of Patrick Henry.
Regarding the remaining counties, the evidence is as follows :
I. Counties voting direct instructions to their delegates: Botetourt (Virginia Historical Collections, ix., p. 346, note); Fairfax (American Museum, ii., p. 392); Frederic (Ibid., ii., p. 510;) Rockbridge (Virginia Historical Collections. x., p. 34).
II. Counties in which either the views of the majority or the attitude of the delegates is given: Amherst (Pennsylvania Packet, March 21, 1788) ; Charlotte (Madison’s Works, i., p. 357) ; Fayette, 222 Kentucky (Marshall, History of Kentucky, i., pp. 287-88) ; Henrico (Conway’s Randolph, pp. 100-101) ; Isle of Wight (Virginia Historical Collections, x.. p. 376;) Western counties (Madison’s Works, i., p. 388).
III. General statement of instructions in Virginia: Mr. Mason calls the minority, party together after ratification to “prepare an address to reconcile the minds of their constituents to the new form of government.” 223 Extract of a letter from Richmond, Virginia, April 4, 1788: ” I am in-formed that some counties are so convinced of the necessity of the adoption of the Constitution that they are about to instruct their members so to do.” 3224Washington, in a letter to James Wilson, April 4, 1788, said: “It is impossible to say, with any degree of certainty, what will be the determination of the convention in this State upon the proposed plan of government Some judgment may be formed when the members chosen by the several counties to serve in convention are known, as their sentiments will be decided and their choice determined by their attachment or opposition to the proposed system.” 225 We have already seen how certain counties were not thus explicit for their delegates; but the statement, nevertheless, holds true for the great bulk of the counties of Virginia, as, no doubt, Washington intended it.
It has been thus shown that for Virginia there was a very well understood relation of responsibility of representative to constituency in the period of 1787-8, and that, with very trifling exception, it dominated the action of the delegates in their votes in the convention.North Carolina.
In North Carolina positive instructions seem to have been given in but two counties, Wilkes226 and Northampton. 227 But very few delegates came to the convention without a pretty clear understanding of the wishes of their constituents and a determination to carry them out. The attitude of the following counties concerning ratification was well known : Beaufort (Address of Grand Jury, New York Advertiser, May 14, 1788) ; Chowan (American Museum, iii., p 71) ; Davidson (History of Nashville, p. 90) ; Edenton, town, (Address of Grand Jury, American Museum, iii., p. 72; Speech of Iredell, Elliot’s Debates, iv., p. 5); Franklin (Elliot’s Debates, iv., p. 215); Halifax (Ibid., p. 4).
Willie Jones of Halifax county made the following statement concerning instructions : “He said that the Constitution had so long been the subject of the deliberations of every man in this county, and that the members of the Convention had had such ample opportunity to consider it, that he believed every one of them was prepared to give his vote then upon the question. ” 228 The western part of the state was stated to be decidedly Anti-Federal by Wm. Harper in a letter to Iredell, April 15, 1788. 229South Carolina.
In South Carolina the question of instructions comes up in the case of but a single locality, Prince Frederick’s Parish. Alexander Tweed of this parish declared in convention, that, though he knew that the sentiment of his constituents was clearly Anti-Federal, he did not feel bound to vote against the Constitution on that account. 230 His colleague expressed the opposite opinion and declared himself as pledged to vote as the majority of his constituents desired. 231
An attempt was made in the convention, after the discussion had proceeded for some time, to procure an adjournment. One of the reasons given was as follows:
“That many delegates from the country had come down, biased themselves and instructed by their constituents against the constitution that since they had heard the debates, their sentiments had greatly changed; in consequence of this they wished to have time to return to their constituents and bring them over also.” 232
In summing up the evidence offered in this chapter, it may safely be concluded that, on the whole, the delegates of the ratification conventions knew the wishes of their constituents and voted in accordance with them. The evidence given furnishes a large number of specific cases of this, and, what is still more important, it reveals a habit of instructing representatives, firmly fixed in the political ideas of the time. The instances of delegates violating the instructions of their constituents are shown to have been but three in number233 (omitting the doubtful case of Mr. Paca, of Harford county, Maryland). So small a percentage of error in the general statement of the problem is remark-able. It shows conclusively, that however much new evidence may change details, the conclusions of this chapter will be abundantly confirmed.
SOURCES FOR THE LOCAL GEOGRAPHY, 1787-8.
Materials for accurately mapping the local units of the states in 1787-8-are not abundant. I publish this map with the hope that those whose local knowledge is more accurate than mine, and whose resources are more adequate for such a task, will criticise any defects in particular sections. It is believed that the general conclusions reached will not be materially modified by detailed criticism.
The method pursued to secure a working map for the period, was to make use of as early a map as was available for each state, and then by study and comparison of maps, town and county histories, statutes relating to boundaries, etc., to reconstruct the conditions of 1787 or 1788. In some cases this was a comparatively simple task, but in others not so easy. The following statement of sources used for the various states, and the results arrived at in each case are given in detail in order that the correctness of the mapping may be tested.
The map used was one published by A. J. Coolidge in 1859, to be found in the History and Description of New England by Coolidge and Mans-field, 1860. (Maine, New Hamphire, and Vermont.)
I. The alterations necessary to make this map correspond to the conditions of 1788, are as follows:
- Alton. Originally called New Durham Gore, p. 409.234
- Auburn. ‘ Till 1845 the west parish of Chester, p. 415.
- Bridgewater. A part of New Chester (Hill) until February 3, 1788, p. 428. (New Hampshire Town Papers, xi., p. 238.)
- Bristol. In 1819 set off from New Chester and Bridgewater, p. 429.
- Brookfield. A part of Middletown till 1794, p. 430.
- Centre Harbor. A part of New Hampton till 1797, p. 436. (New Hampshire Town Papers, xi., p. 276.)
- Danbury. A part of Alexandria till 1795. (New Hampshire Town Papers, xi., p. 477.)
- Derry. A part of Londonderry till 1828, p., 466. (History of Rockingham County, p. 168.)
- Derryfield. Became Manchester in 1810; that part of the town east of Merrimac river was called Derryfield, p. 564.
- Dunstable., Called Nashua in 1836. (New Hampshire Town Papers, xii., p.. 622; History of the Old Township of Dunstable, p. 188.)
- Farmington. A part of Rochester till 1798, p. 493
- Franklin. Taken from Salisbury, Andover, Sanbornton, and North-field, and incorporated in 1828, p. 497.
- Freedom. The north part of Effingham till 1831. (New Hampshire Town Papers, xi.., p. 605.)
- Gilford. A part of Gilman till 1812, p. 500.
- Gorham. A part of Shelburne till 1836, p. 504. (New Hampshire Town Papers, xiii., p. 424.)
- Goshen. Taken from Newport, Sunapee, Newbury, Washington, Lempster, and Unity, and incorporated in 1791, p. 505. (New Hampshire Town Papers, xii., p. 47.)
- Greenfield. Taken from Society Land, Peterborough, Lyndeborough, and Lyndeborough Gore, and incorporated in 1791. (New Hampshire Town Papers, xii., p. 61; History of Peterborough, p. 359 and map on p. 356.)
- Hebron. Taken from Groton and Plymouth, and incorporated in 1792, p. 521.
- Hooksett. Taken from Chester, Dumbarton and Goffstown. (New Hampshire Town Papers, xii., p. 252.) That part of Hooksett east of the Merrimac river was taken from Chester. (History of Town of Chester, p. 133 and map in same.)
- Laconia. A part of Meredith till 1855, p. 546.
- Locations. Not given on the map of the state in the History and Description of New England before referred to. It probably included the towns of Jackson and Bartlett, as well as a strip of territory called Halle’s Location. (New Hampshire Town Papers, xi., p. 160 (2-25); xii., p. 289 (5-174.)
- Madison. A part of Eaton and Effingham, and incorporated 1852, p. 564.
- Milford. Composed chiefly of parts from Amherst and Hollis. (New Hampshire Town Papers, xii., p. 603.)
- Milton. A part of Rochester till 1802, p. 582.
- Monroe. A part of Lyman till 1854, p. 582.
- Mount Vernon. A part of Amherst till 1803, p. 583. (History of Hillsborough County, p. 731.)
- Rollinsford. A part of Somersworth till 1849, p. 636. (History of Rockingham and Strafford Counties, p. 660.)
- Roxbury. The greater part taken from Keene and Nelson (Packers-field). Two ranges of lots and a certain gore of land at the north end of Marlborough completed the territory. (New Hampshire Town Papers, xii., p. 566, and xiii., p. 352; History of Marlborough, pp. 77-78 and map on p. 20.)
- Sharon (Peterborough Slip), incorporated in 1791. (Hurd, History of Hillsborough County, p. 670; New Hampshire Town Papers, xiii., p. 505.)
- Society Land. A small portion of territory north of the north line of Peterborough and west of the west line of Francestown. (New Hampshire Town Papers, xii., pp. 61, 152, and 516.)
- South Newmarket. A part of Newmarket till 1849, p. 652; (History of Rockingham and Strafford Counties, p. 525.)
- Strafford. A part of Barrington till 1820, p. 655. (Ibid., p. 701.)
- Troy. Composed chiefly of territory from Fitzwilliam, Richmond, and Marlborough; incorporated in 1815, p. 566. (History of Marlborough, map on p. 20.) The territory taken from Swanzey was insignificant. (History of Swanzey, p. 76.)
- Webster. A part of Salisbury till 1860. (History of Boscawen and Webster, p. 217.)
- Wilmot. Taken from New London and Kearsarge Gore and incorporated in 1807. The “Gore” given in the town vote on page 17 of Walker’s The New Hampshire Federal Convention, 1788, is Kearsarge Gore.]
II. The following additions and corrections are made to the usual list of delegates235given for the state convention and the record of their votes.
- Piermont and Warren were represented by Captain Isaac Patterson, who voted in favor of the Constitution. Haverhill and Coventry were represented by Colonel Joseph Hutchins, who voted against the Constitution. Lincoln and Franconia were not represented in convention. (New Hampshire State Papers, xx; p. 844; New Hampshire Town Papers, xi., pp. 685-96; Granite Monthly, xii. (old series), pp. 39, 59, and 60.)
- Salisbury. Its delegate cast no vote, but the action of the town shows it to have been Federal in sentiment. (Dearborn; History Of Salisbury, p. 115.)
- Hancock, Antrim, and Deering. The delegate cast no vote, but he is stated to have voted against the Constitution. (Cochrane, History of Antrim, p. 78; Hayward, History of Hancock, p. 104.)
- Epping. An Anti-Federal town. (Life of Wm. Plumer, p. 97.)
- Peterborough. Direct vote of the town against ratification of the Federal Constitution. (Copied from Capt. W. F. Goodwin’s Collection of Copies of Town Records in the state library at Concord, New Hampshire)
- Meredith and New Hampton. Direct vote of town against ratification. (See above for reference.)
III. In the following lists are given the names of those towns for which no record can be found respecting their attitude on the adoption of the Federal Constitution.
- Towns represented in the convention, but whose delegates did not vote: Hinsdale, Lee, Pembroke, Surry and Gilsum.
- Towns on the list, but not represented in the convention: New London, Andover, and Gore; Protectworth (Springfield).
- Those not mentioned in the list of delegates to the convention: Bennington, Langdon, Lisbon (Concord, alias Gunthwaite) , Sullivan.
The map used for this state is one to be found in Bradford’s History of Massachusetts, 1620-1820 (Boston, 1835.) It was made by James G. Carter and published by Hilliard, Gray & Co., Boston, 1835.
The first alteration of this map to make it correspond with that of 1788, concerns the names and boundaries of the counties. The original county of Hampshire had been divided into three,Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden. Old Suffolk had become Norfolk, and a few minor changes also took place which need not concern us at present. In the following list of towns, the nomenclature of the counties is that of 1788, and any changes are indicated in parentheses at the right.
I. Changes in town names and boundaries since 1788 up to the time the map was published.
- Barnstable county.
- Brewster. A part of Yarmouth till 1793. (Massachusetts Census, 1885. Population and Statistics, part i., p. 83; Nason, Gazetteer of Massachusetts, p. 179.)
- Dennis. A part of Harwich till 1803. (Massachusetts Census, 1885, part i., p. 83; Freeman, History of Cape Cod, ii., p. 744.)
- Berkshire county.
- Cheshire. Taken from Adams, Lanesborough, New Ashford, and Windsor, and incorporated in 1793. (History of Berk-shire County, i., p. 617.)
- Berkshire county-continued.
- Hinsdale. A part of Peru (Partridgefield) till 1804.. (Nason, Gazetteer of Massachusetts, p. 406; Holland, History of Western Massachusetts, ii., p. 501.)
- New Ashford. Incorporated in 1836. United with Lanes-borough in choice of representatives. (History of Berkshire County, ii., p. 249; Nason, Gazetteer of Massachusetts, p. 360.)
- Otis. Original name, Loudon, changed in 1810. (Holland , History of Western Massachusetts, ii.., p. 540.)
- Peru. Original name, Partridgefield, changed in 1806. (Nason, Gazetteer of Massachusetts, p. 406; History of Berkshire County, ii., p. 266.)
- Bristol county.
- Fairhaven. A part of New Bedford till 1812. (Nason, Gazetteer of Massachusetts, p. 201.)
- Pawtucket. A part of Seekonk till 1828. (Ibid., p. 399.)
- Seekonk. A part of Rehoboth till 1812. (Ibid.,, p. 455.)
- Somerset. A part of Swanzey till 1790. (Ibid., p. 465.)
- Troy (Fall River). A part of Freetown till 1803.. (Ibid., p. 203.)
- Essex county.
- Essex. A part of Ipswich till 1819. (History of Essex County, ii., p. 1190; History of Essex, p. 278.)
- Hamilton. A part of Ipswich till 1793. (History of Essex County, ii,., pp. 1210-17.)
- Saugus. A part of Lynn till 1815. (History of Essex County, i.,, p. 391)
- West Newbury. A part of Newbury till 1819. (History of Essex County, ii., p. 1863.)
- Hampshire county.
- Enfield. Taken from Greenwich, Belcherton, and Ware, and incorporated in 1816. (Holland, History of Western Massachusetts, ii., p. 201.)
- Gill (Franklin county). Taken from Greenfield and incorporated in 1793. (Ibid., p. 363.)
- Holland (Hampden county). A part of Brimfield till 1836. (History of Brimfield, 1701-1876, pp. 8-9.)
- Leyden (Franklin county.) A part of Bernardston till 1809. (Holland, History of Western Massachusetts, ii., p. 389.)
- Norwich (Northwick?). Incorporated in 1786. (Hampshire County Gazetteer, 1654, p.316.)
- Prescott. Taken from Pelham and New Salem and incorporated in 1822. (Holland, History of Western Massachusetts, ii., p. 268.)
- Russell (Hampden county). A part of Westfield till 1792. (Ibid., p. 110.)
- Tolland (Hampden county). A part of Granville till 1810. (Ibid., p. 138.)
- Middlesex county.
- Boxborough.236 Taken from Stow, Harvard, and Littleton, and incorporated in 1836. United with Stow in choosing representatives till 1836. (Drake, History of Middlesex County, i., p. 273; History of Boxborough, p. 12; Centennial Celebration, Boxborough, Massachusetts (1883), p. 20.)
- Brighton. A part of Cambridge till 1837. (Paige, History of Cambridge, 1630-1877, p. 5.)
- Burlington. A part of Woburn till 1799. (Drake, History of Middlesex County, i., p. 298.)
- Lowell. Taken mostly from Chelmsford and incorporated in 1826. (Ibid., ii., p. 53.)
- South Reading. A part of Reading till 1812. (Eaton, History of Reading, p. 409).
- Tyngsborough. A part of Dunstable till 1809. (Drake, History of Middlesex County, ii., p. 391.)
- West Cambridge. A part of Cambridge till 1807. (Paige, History of Cambridge, p. 5.)
- 7. Plymouth county.
- Carver. A part of Plympton till 1790. (Nason, Gazetteer of Massachusetts, p. 145; History of Plymouth County, p. 444.)
- East Bridgewater. A part of Bridgewater till 1823. (History of Plymouth County, p. 869.)
- Hanson. A part of Pembroke till 1820. (Ibid., p. 341.)
- North Bridgewater. A part of Bridgewater till 1821. (Ibid., p. 555.)
- West Bridgewater. A part of Bridgewater till 1822. (Nason, Gazetteer of Massachusetts, p. 538.)
- Suffolk county.
- Canton. A part of Stoughton till 1797. (Massachusetts Census,1885. Population and Statistics, part i., p. 95).
- Dover. A part of Dedham till 1836. (Ibid., p. 95).
- Quincy. A part of Braintree till 1792. (History of Quincy, p. 270.)
- Randolph. A part of Braintree till 1793. (History of Brain-tree and Quincy, p. 13.)
- Worcester county.
- Berlin. A part of Bolton till 1812 and uniting with that town in choice of representatives. (History of Worcester County, i., p. 272).
- Dana. Taken from Hardwick, Petersham, and Greenwich, and incorporated in 1801. (Ibid., p. 408.)
- Milbury. A part of Sutton till 1813. (Ibid., ii., p. 100.)
- North Brookfield. A part of Brookfield till 1812. (History of Worcester County, i., pp. 348-50.)
- Southbridge. Taken from Sturbridge,. Charlton, and Dudley in 1816. (Sturbridge and Southbridge, p. 189.)
- West Boylston. Taken from Boylston, Holden, and Sterling in 1808. (History of West Boylston, p. 8.)
II. Additions and corrections to the roll of delegates to be found in Elliot’s Debates, ii., pp. 178-81. For full discussion of these corrections of Elliot, see Appendix B.
- Bernardston, Hampshire county (Franklin county). Delegate voted nay (Agrippa Wells).
- Haverhill, Essex county. Delegate voted yea (Nathaniel Marsh).
- Hopkinton, Middlesex county. Delegate voted nay (Gilbert Dench).
- Lanesborough, Berkshire county. Delegate voted yea (Jonathan Smith).
- Pittsfield, Berkshire county. Delegate did not vote at all (David Bush).
- Raynham, Bristol county. Delegate voted year (Israel Washburn).
III. In the following list are given the names of those towns for which no record was found of their being represented at the state convention, or of their attitude regarding ratification of the Federal Constitution:237 Chatham, Barnstable county; Chilmark, Dukes county; Clarksburg, Berkshire county; Cohasset, Suffolk county; Dalton, Berkshire county Eastham, Barnstable county; Florida, Berkshire county; Gardiner, Worcester county; Goshen, Hampshire county; Hawley, Franklin county; Heath, Franklin county; Middlefield, Hampshire county; Middleton, Essex county; Monroe, Berkshire county; Montgomery, Hampshire county (Hampden county); Orleans, Barnstable county; Phillips-ton, Worcester county; Province Town, Barnstable county; Rowe, Hampshire county (Franklin county); Savoy, Berkshire county; Truro, Barn-stable county; Wellfleet, Barnstable county; Wendell, Hampshire county (Franklin county); Zoar, Berkshire county.
IV. The following list of towns is taken from pages 31-43 of Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1856). It contains those towns whose full delegation did not appear as voting. The names of the missing delegates are given in parentheses. Barnstable, Barnstable county (Nymphas Marston); Berkeley, Bristol county (Samuel Tobey); Brookfield, Worcester county (James Nichols); Danvers, Essex county (Samuel Holten); Freetown, Bristol county (Richard Bordon); Westfield, Hampshire county (John Phelps); Woburn, Middlesex county (James Fowle); Worcester, Worcester county (Samuel Curtis).
For the province of Maine the map used was copied from one to be found opposite page 9 of History and Description of New England Coolidge and Mansfield (Boston, 1860).
The corrections and additions are as follows:
- Alfred. A part of Sanford till 1794, p. 27.238
- Bremen. A part of Bristol till 1828. (Johnston, History of Bristol, Bremen and Pemaquid, 1873, p. 79.)
- Cornish. A part of Parsonsfield till 1811, p. 96,.
- Damariscotta. A part of Bristol till Nov. 20, 1788, pp. 100 and 230.
- Dayton. A part of Hollis till 1854, p. 101.
- Freeport. A part of North Yarmouth till 1789, p. 131.
- Kennebunk. A part of Wells till 1820. (Bourne, History of Wells and Kennebunk (1875), p. 703.)
- Limington. A part of Parsonsfield till 1792, p. 192.
- Newfield. A part of Parsonsfield till 1794, p. 225.
- Nobleborough. A part of Bristol till Nov. 20, 1788, p. 230.
- Pepperellborough (Saco), p. 289.
- Phipsburg. A part of Georgetown till 1814, pp. 259-60.
- Westbrook. A part of Falmouth till 1814, p. 353.
The town of Parsonsfield is said to have been an Anti-Federal town. (Dearborn, History of Parsonsfield (1888), p. 190.) Three counties were represented in the convention of 1788Cumberland, Lincoln, and York. In the list of delegates, 31 towns are given as sending no delegates; their na as are omitted as not of enough importance to need detailed notice. Besides the above references, use was made of the map in Sullivan’s History of the District of Maine, (Boston, 1795).
The map used for Connecticut is to be found in. Carey’s American Atlas (Philadelphia, 1800).
It gives the towns as they were in 1788,’ so that no correction of names or boundaries is necessary.
The towns of Colebrook, Litchfield county, and Hampton, Windham county, were not represented in the convention.
The following correction is to be made in the vote on the Federal Constitution in the state convention, as given in Hollister’s Connecticut, p. 611: The town of Hamden voted to reject the Constitution 73 to 5 and a delegate was elected to attend the convention at Hartford. (Blake, History of Hamden, 1786-1886, p. 211.)
The map used for Rhode Island is to be found in the Gazetteer of Connecticut and Rhode Island, Pease and Niles (Hartford, ]819.) It contains the boundaries and nomenclature of 1788, and no correction has been found necessary.
For New York the map used is one to be found in Documentary History of New York, vol. i. (1779.)
The following corrections were made:
- Columbia county was created out of Albany county in 1786. (See the above map for northern boundary as given in Laws of New York, ch. 28, see. 1, April 4,1786.)
- The name of Tryon county was changed to Montgomery. (Laws of New York, ch. 17, April 2, 1784.)
- The name of Charlotte county was changed to Washington. (Laws of New York, ch. 17, April 2, 1784.)
- Clinton county was set off from Washington county in 1788. (History of Clinton and Franklin Counties, Philadelphia, 1880, p. 118.)
The western boundary of Montgomery county is left indefinite, as the population there was scattered along an irregular frontier line.
The map for Pennsylvania is one taken from Carey’s American Atlas, (Philadelphia 1800), Reading Howell’s map by Samuel Lewis. The following corrections were made:
- Mifflin county. Taken from parts of Cumberland and Northumberland counties. (Laws of Pennsylvania, ch. 1425, September 19, 1789).
- Alleghany county. Taken from parts of Washington and Westmoreland counties. (History of Alleghany County (1889), p. 120; map opposite page 222 in History of Washington County (1882) ).
For Maryland the map used was taken from one in Carey’s American Atlas made by Samuel Lewis (Philadelphia, 1800).
The map of this state is one to be found in Jefferson’s Notes on Virginia (1853). No county boundaries are indicated on any early map of this state; and, as it was quite impossible to work out such a county map from Hening’s Statutes of Virginia, from lack of sufficient local knowledge, the state has been mapped into counties in only an approximately accurate manner.
For the counties of Kentucky the map was copied from one made by Joseph Purcell: Map of the states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, engraved for Morse’s Geography, published by John Stockdale, 1792. On this map the boundaries of Virginia and Kentucky end at the Cumberland river.
The map used for North Carolina was taken from Carey’s American Atlas (Philadelphia, 1814). The necessary corrections are found in a monograph’ by Kemp P. Battle, formerly president of Trinity college, North Carolina.
For that part of North Carolina now embraced in the present state of Tennessee, the map was copied from Joseph Purcell’s map of the states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. referred to above. On this map the territory of North Carolina is made to extend to the Mississippi river. The additions and corrections to this map are all indicated on page 740 of Ramsay’s Annals of Tennessee (Philadelphia, 1853).
The map used for South Carolina was copied from one to be found in Carroll’s Historical Collections of South Carolina, vol. i. (New York, 1836). For the location and boundaries of the parishes in the state the chief authority was Dalchos, Historical Account of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South Carolina (Charleston, 1820). Additional references are Mill, Statistics of South Carolina; Ramsay, History of South Carolina; Carey, American Atlas (Philadelphia, 1800), map of South Carolina, 1795, by Samuel Lewis.
The map of Georgia was taken from Carey’s American Atlas (Philadelphia, 1800). ii., pp. 178-
The chief source of authority for studying the ratification of the Federal Constitution is the work familiarly known as Elliot’s Debates. In making use of this work for the details of the Massachusetts convention I discovered several errors in the roll of delegates and also in the yeas and nays. And, as it was necessary to have an accurate list of delegates, in order to make the map correct, other authorities were consulted, with the following results:
- Elliot’s Debates, ii. The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution. Jonathan Elliot (Washington, 1854).
- Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, 1788. Debates, Resolutions, and other Proceedings of the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Oliver and Munroe (Boston, 1808).
- Federal Convention of Massachusetts. Debates, Resolutions, and other Proceedings of the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Adams and Nourse (Boston, 1788).
- Massachusetts Convention, 1788. Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachnsetts,1788. Printed by Authority of Resolves of the Legislature, 1856.
- Contemporary newspapers: Massachusetts Centinel, Feb. 9, 1788; Connecticut Courant, Feb. 11, 1788; Massachusetts Gazette, Feb. 8,1788; New York Journal and Register, Feb. 15, 1788.
The last three of these authorities agree, in the main, with each other; the first two agree neither with each other nor with the last three. Two of these three are contemporary sources; and the other is compiled by a committee of the legislature of Massachusetts. They form a consistent body of evidence that ought to have great weight in settling disputed points. The last authority, the newspapers, gives only the yeas and nays, the others give besides this the roll of delegates by towns and counties.
The following tables show the correspondence and disagreement in the authorities cited; the footings of the county votes for Berkshire, Essex, Middlesex, Plymouth, and Worcester appear to show the greatest variation.
I.Analysis of vote as given by Elliot’s Debates (Washington, 1854), ii., pp. 178-181.
Figures as given in totals.
By actual count of delegates.
Figures as given in totals.
By actual count of delegates.
1. Barnstable 7 7 2 2 2. Berkshire 6 6 16 16 3. Bristol 10 10 12 12 4. Dukes 2 2 0 0 5. Essex 38 37 6 7 6. Hampshire 33 19 19 32 7. Middlesex 17 18 25 24 8. Plymouth 22 21 6 6 9. Suffolk 34 34 5 5 10. Worchester 8 7 43 43 Totals 202 186 155 168 Actual vote of Massachusetts 187 yeas, 168 nays Total vote of Massachusetts 355 Total vote by figures as given in totals 357 Total vote by actual count of delegates 354
II.Analysis of vote as given by Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, 1788. Oliver and Munroe (Boston, 1808), pp. 225-229.
Figures as given in totals.
By actual count of delegates.
Figures as given in totals.
By actual count of delegates.
1. Barnstable 7 2 7 2 2. Berkshire 7 6 15 16 3. Bristol 10 10 12 12 4. Dukes 2 2 0 0 5. Essex 38 38 6 6 6. Hampshire 33 19 19 33 7. Middlesex 17 17 25 25 8. Plymouth 22 21 6 6 9. Suffolk 34 34 5 5 10. Worchester 7 7 43 43 Totals 202 186 159 169 Actual vote of Massachusetts 187 yeas, 168 nays Total vote of Massachusetts 355 Total vote by figures as given in totals 361 Total vote by actual count of delegates 355
III.Analysis of vote as given by Federal Convention of Massachusetts. Adams and Nourse (Boston, 1788), pp. 213-216.
Figures as given in totals.
By actual count of delegates.
Figures as given in totals.
By actual count of delegates.
1. Barnstable 7 7 2 2 2. Berkshire 7 7 15 15 3. Bristol 10 10 12 12 4. Dukes 2 2 0 0 5. Essex 38 38 6 6 6. Hampshire 33 19 19 33 7. Middlesex 17 17 25 23 8. Plymouth 21 21 6 6 9. Suffolk 34 34 5 5 10. Worchester 7 7 43 43 Totals 201 187 154 168 Actual vote of Massachusetts 187 yeas, 168 nays Total vote of Massachusetts 355 Total vote by figures as given in totals 355 Total vote by actual count of delegates 355
A comparison of the tables I., II., and III. will reveal that they are quite unlike, both in sum totals and in details. The works from which their evidence is taken were published respectively in 1854, 1808, and 1788. So that only one of them could be called a contemporary authority, and the fact that the evidence in table III. is taken from this work, gives it a special value. It will be seen from this table (III.) that the sum totals correspond with those of the actual vote of the state, and that by actual count the yeas and nays are also accurate. Only the figures from the county totals foot up wrong. The error consists simply in transposing the figures for the total yeas and nays in Hampshire county, making them read 33 to 19 instead of the reverse. With this change, both the figures and the count of delegates correspond exactly.
Comparing table II. with III., it is seen that the former contains the same transposition of yeas and nays for Hampshire county that we had noticed for the latter; also that there is a discrepancy between the figures and the count for Berkshire and Plymouth counties. The seas and nays are wrong, and the total vote seems to be right only for the count of the delegates. In table I. there is a still wider departure from the showing of table III. The same error of transposition appears in the yeas and nays of Hampshire county, with a still further error (32 for 33), and the total vote is not right. The yeas are wrong, and the nays right for the actual count of delegates only. Besides this, in the counties of Berkshire, Essex, Middlesex, Plymouth, and Worcester there are dis-crepancies between the actual count and the figures for the county totals. Thus far we may conclude that, of the tables, III. is the most accurate and I. the most in error; but they all seem to be connected by the same error of transposing the yeas and nays of Hampshire county, which persists through all three of the editions.
It has been pointed out above that the error of table III. is merely one of transposing the figures in the yeas and nays of Hampshire county. The source of the discrepancies in the other tables will be seen from the following table:
IV. Elliot’s Debates, ii. (Washington. 1854). Massachusetts Constitutional Convention 1788. Oliver and Munroe (Boston, 1808). Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1788 (Boston, 1856). Federal Convention of Massachusetts. Adams and Nourse (Boston, 1788). Contemporary Newspapers.239 1. Gilbert Dench
(Hopkinton, Middlesex Co.)
Yea. Nay. Nay. Nay. Nay. 2. Nathaniel Marsh
(Haverhill, Essex Co.)
Nay. Yea. Yea. Yea. Yea. 3. Jonathan Smith
(Lanesborough, Berkshire Co.)
Nay. Nay. Yea. Yea. Yea. 4. Agrippa Wells
(Bernarston, Hampshire Co., (Franklin Co.)
Nay. Nay. Nay. Nay.
It is seen from table IV. that the contemporary newspapers, an edition of the debates for 1788, and the legislative edition of 1856 agree in every particular, while the Elliot edition and that of Oliver and Munroe are in agreement in only one of the cases. It is quite evident that these two latter editions are in error, and in just those respects indicated in the table. If the votes of those four delegates are changed so as to correspond with those of the three authorities in agreement, the totals of the Elliot and the Oliver and Munroe editions will then be correct in every particular.
There are also several other corrections to be made to the list of yeas and nays, which, while not affecting the totals, are important as bearing on the question of how each town voted in the convention.
1. Raynham (Bristol county) (Israel Washburn) voted yea. The legislative edition, 1856, of the Debates in the Massachusetts Convention, before referred to, gives Washburn as the delegate from Raynham; but all the other editions give him as a delegate from Freetown. In the History of Raynham (Sanford), p. 7, it is stated that Israel Washburn was sent as a delegate to the convention from that town. I have mapped Raynham as voting yea.
2. Pittsfield (Berkshire county). In all the editions but that of the legislative edition of 1856, Valentine Rathbun is given as a delegate of Pittsfield, In the latter authority, however, he is given as representing Richmond, with Comstock Betts as a colleague. But according to the census of 1790140 the town of Richmond contained but 1,255 inhabitants, while Pittsfield contained 1,992, so that if either were entitled to two delegates, the latter would have the best right. Moreover, in the History of Pittsfield, 1800-1876, p. 91, note 1, the names of both Rathbun and Bush are given, as delegates from that town to the Federal convention. This seems evidence enough to convict the edition of the debates (1856), of an error in its roll of delegates.
A few minor corrections may further be made:
The delegate from Berwick, York county, Maine, is given variously as Elijah Hays, Hayes, Thayr and Thayer; the last seems to be the most accurate.
The delegate from Adams, Berkshire county, is given in Elliot as J. Pleroe, but is given (correctly) in the other authorities as Jeremiah Pierce.
The delegate from Rehoboth, Bristol county, appears in Elliot as Frederick Brown, and in the other authorities it is Frederick Drown.
It is not assumed that this completes the list of corrections to the Elliot and other editions; but it suggests a fruitful field for local historians and one as yet little worked.
VOTE OF THE LOCAL UNITS UPON THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION, 1787-8.241
The principal authorities for the following statement of the local vote on the Federal Constitution are given in the notes under each of the states. These authorities have been supplemented and corrected as seen in Chapter IV. and Appendices A. and B., ante.
NEW HAMPSHIRE242 Cheshire County
FEDERAL: Alstead, Charlestown, Cornish, Dublin, Keene, Langdon, Packersfield, Plainfield, Swanzey, Walpole, Westmoreland, Winchester. ANTI-FEDERAL: Acworth, Chesterfield, Claremont, Croyden, Fitzwilliam, Jaffrey, Lempster, Marlborough, Marlow, Newport, Richmond, Rindge, Springfield (Protectworth), Stoddard, Unity, Washington, Wendell.
FEDERAL: Alexandria, Bath, Bridgewater, Campton, Canaan, Cockburne, Colebroke, Concord (Gunthwaite), Dalton, Dorchester, Enfield, Littleton, Lyman, Lyme, New Chester, New Holderness (Holderness), Northumberland, Orange (Cardigan), Orford, Piercy, Plymouth, Rumney, Stratford, Thornton, Wentworth.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Bartlett, Burton, Coventry, Hayerhill, Piermont, Warren.
FEDERAL: Boscawen, Derryfield, Henniker, Hillsborough, Hopkinton, Mason, Raby, Salisbury, Wilton.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Amherst, Antrim, Bedford, Bradford, Deering, Dumbarton, Dunstable, Fishersfield, Francestown, Goffstown, Hancock, Hollis, Litchfield, Lyndeborough, Merrimack, Milford, New Boston, New Ipswich, Nottingham West, Peterborough, Sharon, Society Land, Sutton, Temple, Warner, Weare.
FEDERAL: Alton, Barnstead, Barrington, Dover, Durham, Moultonboro,’ New Durham, Ossipee, Sandwich, Somersworth, Tamworth, Tuftonborough, Wolfeborough.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Conway, Eaton, Effingham, Gilmanton, Madbury, Meredith, Middleton, New Hampton, Rochester, Sanbornton, Wakefield.
FEDERAL: Allenstown, Brentwood, Chester, Deerfield, Epsom, Exeter, Greenland, Hampstead, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Kensington, Kingstown, Newcastle, Newington, Newmarket, Nothfield, North Hampton, Northwood, Nottingham, Pelham, Portsmouth, Rye, Seabrook, Stratham, Windham.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Atkinson, Bow, Candia, Canterbury, Chichester, Concord, East Kingstown, Epping, Hawke, Londonderry, Loudon, Newtown, Pittsfield, Plaistow, Poplin, Raymond, Salem, Sandown, South Hampton.
FEDERAL: Becket, Great Barrington, Mt. Washington, New Ashford, New Marlborough, Lanesborough, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Williamstown.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Adams, Alford, Egremont, Hancock, Lee, Lenox, Loundon (Otis), Partridgefield (Peru), Pittsfield, Richmond, Sandisfield, Tyringham, Washington, West Stockbridge, Windsor.
FEDERAL: Attleborough, Dighton, Freetown, New Bedford, Raynham, Westport.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Dartmouth, Easton, Mansfield, Norton, Rehoboth, Somerset, Swanzey.
FEDERAL: Edgarton, Tisbury.
FEDERAL: Amesbury, Beverly, Bradford, Gloucester, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lynn, Lynnfield, Manchester, Marblehead, Newbury, Newburyport, Salem, Salisbury, Topsfield, Wenham.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Boxford, Danvers, Methuen, Rowley.
DIVIDED: Andover (1-2).
FEDERAL: Brimfield, Buckland, Charlemont, Chester, Chesterfield, Cummington, Easthampton, Hadley, Hatfield, Huntingdon, Long Meadows, Northfield, Northampton, Northwick (Norwich?), Plainfield, South Hadley, Southampton, Springfield, Westfield, West Hampton, Worthington.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Amherst, Ashfield, Belcherton, Bernardston, Blandford, Coleraine, Conway, Deerfield, Granby, Granville, Greenfield, Greenwich, Leverett, Leyden, Ludlow, Monson, Montague, New Salem, Orange, Palmer, Pelham, Shelburne, Shutesbury, South Brimfield (Holland), Southwick, Sunderland, Ware, Warwick, West Springfield, Whately, Wilbraham, Williamsburg.
FEDERAL: Boxborough, Cambridge, Charlestown, Concord, Dracut, Dunstable, Framingham, Lexington, Lincoln, Malden, Medford, Newtown, Sherburne, Stow, Sudbury, Tyngsboro, Waltham, Weston.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Acton, Ashby, Bedford, Billerica, Carlisle, Chelmsborough, Natick, Pepperell, Reading, Shirley, Stoneham, Tewksbury, Townsend, Watertown, Westford, Wilmington, Woburn.
FEDERAL: Abington, Bridgewater, Duxbury, Halifax, Hanover, Kingston, Marshfield, Pembroke, Plymouth, Wareham, Sctituate.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Rochester, Plympton.
DIVIDED: Middleboro’ (2-2).
FEDERAL: Boston, Braintree, Brookline, Chelsea, Dedham, Dorchester, Dover, Foxboro, Franklin, Hingham, Hull, Medfield, Milton, Needham, Roxbury, Walpole, Weymouth.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Bellingham, Medway, Sharon.
DIVIDED: Stoughton (1-1), Wrentham (1-1).
FEDERAL: Athol, Bolton, Lancaster, Leominister, Princeton, Southboro,’ Sterling, Western.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Ashburnham, Barre, Boylston, Brookfield, Charlton, Douglass, Dudley, Fitchburg, Grafton, Hardwick, Harvard, Holden, Hubbardston, Leicester, Lunenburg, Mendon, Milford, New Braintree, Northboro’, Northbridge, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Petersham, Royalston, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Spencer, Sturbridge, Sutton, Templeton, Upton, Uxbridge, Ward, Westboro’, Westminster, Winchendon, Worcester.
Province of Maine.Cumberland County.
FEDERAL: Brunswick, Cape Elizabeth, Gray, Harpswell, North Yarmouth, Portland, Scarboro’.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Gorham, New Gloucester.
DIVIDED: Falmouth (1-1).
FEDERAL: Bath, Boothbay, Edgecombe, Georgetown, Pownalborough (Wiscasset), Thomaston, Vassalboro’, Woolwich.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Berwick, Fryeburg, Kittery, Lebanon, Parsonsfield, Sanford, Shapleigh, Waterboro’, York.
CONNECTICUT243 Fairfield County
FEDERAL: Danbury, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Fairfield, Newton, Norwalk, Reading, Ridgefield, Stamford, Stratford.
FEDERAL: Berlin, Bristol, East Hartford, East Windsor, Farmington, Glastenbury, Hartford, Southington, Wethersfield, Windsor.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Enfield, Granby, Simsbury, Suffield.
FEDERAL: Behlem, Canaan, Goshen, Hartland, Kent, Litchfield, New Milford, Salisbury, Southbury, Warren, Washington, Watertown, Winchester, Woodbury.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Barkhamstead, Cornwall, Norfolk, Sharon.
DIVIDED:244 Harwinton, New Hartford, Torrington.
FEDERAL: Chatham, East Haddam, Haddam, Killingworth, Middleton, Saybrook.
New Haven County
FEDERAL: Derby, Milford, New Haven, Waterbury.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Branford, Durham, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, North Haven, Wallingford, Woodbridge.
FEDERAL: Bolton, Coventry, Tolland, Stafford, Union, Willington.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Ellington, Hebron, Somers.
FEDERAL: Ashford, Brooklyn, Canterbury, Killingly, Painfield, Thompson, Voluntown, Windham.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Mansfield, Pomfret, Woodstock.
FEDERAL: Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk (3-1), Westchester.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Albany, Clinton, Collumbia, Montgomery, Orange (3-1), Ulster, Washington.
DIVIDED: Dutchess (4-2)
FEDERAL: Bucks, Chester, Huntingdon, Lancaster (5-1), Luzerne, Montgomery, Northampton, Northumberland, Philadelphia (city and county), York
ANTI-FEDERAL: Bedford, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Fayette, Westmoreland.
DIVIDED: Franklin (2-2), Washington (2-2)
FEDERAL: Annapolis (city), Baltimore (city), Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, Somerset, Talbot, Washington, Worcester.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford (3-1)
FEDERAL: Albermarle, Augusta, Berkeley, Botetourt, Caroline, Elizabeth City, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, Gloucester, Greenbrier, Greenville, Hampshire, Hardy, Harrison, Henrico, Isle of Wight, James City, King George, Lancaster, Middlesex, Nansemond, New Kent, Norfolk, Northampton, Northumberland, Ohio, Orange, Princess Anne, Randolph, Richmond, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah, Southampton, Surry, Westmoreland, York, Norfolk (borough), Richmond (borough).
ANTI-FEDERAL: Amelia, Amherst, Bedford, Brunswick, Buckingham, Campbell, Charles City, Culpeper, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Essex, Fluvana, Franklin, Goochland, Halifax, Hanover, Henry, King William Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward, Prince George, Prince William, Russell, Spottsylvania, Stafford, Sussex, Washington.
DIVIDED: 249 Accomac, Charlotte, Chesterfield, King and Queen, Loudon, Louisa, Monongalia, Powhatan, Warwick.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Bourbon, Fayette, Lincoln, Madison, Mercer, Nelson
North Carolina. 250
FEDERAL: Beaufort (3-1), Bertie, Camden, Cartaret, Chowan, Currituck, Gates, Hyde, Martin (4-1), Pasquotank, Perquimons, Robeson (4-1), Tyrrell. Towns: Salisbury, Halifax, Edenton, Newbern, Wilmington.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Anson, Brunswick (4-1), Burke (4-1), Caswell, Chatham (4-1), Duplin, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Guilford, Halifax, Johnson (4-1), Jones, Mecklenburg (4-1), Montgomery, Moore, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Orange, Pitt (4-1), Randolph, Richmond, Rockingham, Rowan, Rutherford, Sampson, Surry, Warren, Wayne, Wilkes, Hillsboro’ (town).
DIVIDED: Bladen (2-3), Craven (3-2), Cumberland (3-2), Hertford (3-2), Lincoln (3-2), Wake (2-3).
ANTI-FEDERAL: Davidson, Green, Hawkins, Sullivan, Washington.
South Carolina. 251
FEDERAL: All Saints’; Christ Church; District between Savannah River and the North Folk of Edisto; North Side of the Saluda; Orange; Prince George’s Winyaw; Prince William’; St. Andrew’s; St. David’s; St. George’s; Dorchester; St. Helena’s; St. James’, Goose Creek; St. James’, Santee; St. John’s, Colleton County; St.Paul’s Parish (5-2); St. Philip and St. Michael; St. Stephen’s; St. Thomas and St. Dennis; South Side of the Saluda.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Chester County; District between Broad and Catawba Rivers; Richland County; District called the New Acquisition (10-1); District Eastward of the Wateree (9-1); District of Ninety Six (8-1); District of Saxe-Gotha (6-1); Fairfield County; Lower District, between Broad and Saluda Rivers; St. Bartholomew’s (5-2); Upper or Saluda District.
DIVIDED: Little River District (2-2); Prince Frederick’s; St. John’s, Berkeley County (3-3); St. Matthew’s (2-1); St. Peter’s (4-2).
North Carolina Vote for 1789.252
FEDERAL: Beaufort, Bertie, Brunswick (4-1), Camden, Cartaret, Chowan, Cumberland (4-1), Burke (4-1), Currituck, Dobbs, Edgecombe, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Iredell, Lincoln (4-1), Martin, Montgomery, Nash, Onslow, Pasquotank, Perquimons, Pitt, Randolph (3-1), Robeson, Rutherford, Tyrrell, Wake, Washington. Towns: Salibury, Edenton, Hillsboro’, Newbern, Halifax, Wilmington.
ANTI-FEDERAL: Duplin, Granville (4-1), Guilford, Mecklenburg (4-1), Moore, New Hanover, Orange (4-1), Richmond (4-1), Rockingham, Sampson (4-1), Wilkes.
DIVIDED: Anson (2-2), Bladen (2-3), Caswell (2-3), Chatham (2-1), Craven (2-1), Franklin (2-1), Northampton (3-2), Rowan (3-2), Surry (3-2), Warren (3-2), Wayne (3-2).
FEDERAL: Davidson, Greene, Hawkins, Sumner, Tennessee.
DIVIDED: Sullivan (2-2).
0. Hildreth, History of United States, v., 415, 416.Return to text.
1. Sumner’ss chapter on ratification in his Alexander Hamilton gives the juster viewReturn to text.
2. Jameson’ss Essays in the Constitutional History of the United States, the chapter by Professor E.P. Smith, p. 67.Return to text.
3. Published with the permission of Henry Holt & Co., New York City.Return to text.
4. A comparison of these two maps will show that the area indicated on the population map as having less than two inhabitants to the square mile is shown on the other map by an irregular line extending from Maine to Georgia.Return to text.
5. It is unfortunate that the local unit of the South and the Middle States was so large that a detailed view of their attitude, such as is furnished in the New England region, with its small town organization, was impossible.Return to text.
6. It is worth adding here that of the towns with abandoned farms in New Hampshire (excluding Grafton county as exceptional from its leadership and history), 51 Anti-Federal towns show an acreage of 11,203, as against 36 Federal towns with an acreage of 6,923 in abandoned farms. See, Secure a Home in New Hampshire (Concord, 1892).Return to text.
7. Parker, History of Londonderry, pp. 97 and 99; History of Bedford, p. 112; Life of Zachariah Chandler, pp.23-4.Return to text.
8. New Hampshire Historical Collections, ii., pp. 61 ff.Return to text.
9. New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers, Boston, X., pp. 236 ff.Return to text.
10. Saunderson, History of Charlestown, p. 122.Return to text.
11. Ibid., pp. 154-9.Return to text.
12. Ibid., pp. 140.Return to text.
13. History of Charlestown, p. 159.Return to text.
14. Connecticut Courant, March 10, 1788, p. 2 (Letters of a Landholder, xi.). Also, Ford, Essays on the Constitution, p. 192.Return to text.
15. New Hampshire State Papers, App., pp. 848-9 (Batchellor); The Granite monthly (New Hampshire Magazine), ii., p. 97 (xii., old series), 1889; Grafton and Coos Bar Association, 1882-9, i., p. 498; Magazine of American History, viii, pp. 1-23.Return to text.
16. The report of the abandoned farms in Massachusetts shows that 56 Anti-Federal towns have had, or now have, such farms with an aggregate acreage of 30,318, and that 30 Federal towns have an aggregate acreage of 8,556. See, Descriptive Catalogue of Farms in Massachusetts (Boston, 1893).Return to text.
17. Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1788 (Boston, 1856), p. 409.Return to text.
18. Ibed., p. 406.Return to text.
19. Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1788, p. 309.Return to text.
20. Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, p. 406 (Letter of Madison to Washington, Feb. 3, 1788).Return to text.
21. Ford, Essays on the Constitution, 1787-8 (Letters of a Landholder, ii), pp. 143 ff.Return to text.
22. Ford, Essays on the Constitution, 1787-8 (Letters of a Landholder, viii.), p. 177.Return to text.
23. Jan. 9, 1788, vol. iii., No. 1, p. 5..Return to text.
24. New Haven Gazette, Jan. 17, 1788, p. 2.Return to text.
25. Ibid., Jan. 9, 1788, p. 4.Return to text.
26. Ford, Pamphlets on the Constitution, 1787-8., pp. 104-5.Return to text.
27. Staples, Rhode Island in the Continental Congress, pp. 626-7.Return to text.
28. Madison to Washington, Oct. 14, 1787, Works i., p. 342; Madison to Jefferson, Oct. 24, 1787, ibid., p. 355; Staples, Rhode Island, p. 621.Return to text.
29. Leake, Life of Lamb, p. 332; Pennsylvania Gazette, June 18, 1788.Return to text.
30. Pennsylvania Gazette, June 18, 1788.Return to text.
31. Weise, History of the City of Albany, p. 514.Return to text.
32. History of Columbia County, p. 207.Return to text.
33. Pennsylvania Gazette, June 11, 1788, p. 2; also, May 14, 1788, p. 2.Return to text.
34. Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, and Westchester.Return to text.
35. New Haven Gazette, July 24, 1788, p. 7; also, Jay to Washington, May 29, 1788, Correspondence, iii., p. 334.Return to text.
36. Massachusetts Centinel, July 26, 1788, p. 3.Return to text.
37. Ford, Essays on the Constitution, p. 176. (Letters of a Landholder, viii.).Return to text.
38. Leake, Life of Lamb, App., p. 389.Return to text.
39. New York Colonial Documents, iv., p. 397.Return to text.
40. New York Colonial Documents, iv., p. 791.Return to text.
41. New York Colonial Documents, iv., p. 874; v., pp. 459, 651, 805; vii., pp. 486, 549, 743, 876, 950; Documentary History of New York, i., p. 384.Return to text.
42. New York Colonial Documents, vii., pp. 654-5 (Lieut. Gov. Coledn to Lords of Trade, Sept. 20, 1764.Return to text.
43. New York Colonial Documents, vii., p. 795 (Mr. Colden’ss account of the State of the Province of New York, Dec. 6, 1767.Return to text.
44. New York Colonial Documents, viii., p. 374 (Gov. Tryon to Earl of Dartmouth, June 2, 1773).Return to text.
45. Winterbotham’s America, ii., p. 337 (New York, 1796).Return to text.
46. This fact has a special significance in the elections for the state convention of 1788. Unlike most of the states, New York required manhood suffrage alone in this election to render one eligible to vote or to be elected as delegate. (New York Journal and Register, April 30, 1788.).Return to text.
47. Pittsburg Gazette, April 28, 1787, p. 1.
While it is true that the above remarks are only meant for that portion of Pennsylvania drained by the Ohio and its tributaries, a good physical map of the state will show that they apply equally well to the interior highland region farther east, the stronghold of Anti-Federalism.Return to text.
48. McMaster and Stone, Pennsylvania and the Federal Constitution, 1787-8, p. 21.Return to text.
49. Ibid., p. 10.Return to text.
50. Madison’s Works, i., p. 356. (Letter of Madison to Jefferson, October 24, 1787.)Return to text.
51. American Museum, ii., p. 585. Population given for 1788 in History of Alleghany County. P. 621.Return to text.
52. Life of Timothy Pickering, pp. 296 ff.Return to text.
53. Lytle, History of Huntingdon County, p. 75.Return to text.
54. Curtis, History of the Constitution of the United States, ii., pp. 5, 18-19.Return to text.
55. George Read to John Dickinson, January 17, 1787, Life and Correspondence of George Read (W.T. Read.), p. 438.Return to text.
56. Ibid., May 21, 1787, p. 444.Return to text.
57. Madison Papers, ii., p. 862 (note).Return to text.
58. February 3, 1787, Laws of Delaware, ii., ch. 148. B., pp. 892, 893; Life of Geo. Read, p. 492, App. A. to ch. vi.Return to text.
59. Curtis, History of the Constitution of the United States, ii., pp. 525-6.Return to text.
60. Scharf, History of Maryland, ii., p. 547.Return to text.
61. Massachusetts Gazette, Jan. 4, 1788.Return to text.
62. New York Journal and Register, May 14, 1788.Return to text.
63. Pennsylvania Gazette,April 2, 1788.Return to text.
64. The Scotch-Irish Settlers in the Valley of Virginia. (Richmond, 1860.) Alumni address at Washington College, Lexington, Virginia, by Bolivar Christain; Kowloon, History of Virginia, ii.., p.. 171; Campbell, History of Virginia, p. 431. Return to text.
65. The one Anti-Federal vote was cast for the divided (1-1) county of Monongalia, lying adjacent to the divided county of Washington in Pennsylvania. Return to text.
66. Life and Correspondence of George Mason, ii., p. 242; Wm. Wirt Henry, Life of Patrick Henry, II, pp. 360.-1; Madison’s Works, I., p.. 399, Letter of Madison to Washington, June 18,1788; Pennsylvania Packet, June 20, 1788, p.. 8; New Haven Gazette, July 10, 1788, p. 5; Rives’ Madison, ii., p. 544, (note 2); Green’s Spanish Conspiracy, p. 189.Return to text.
67. Shaler, History of Kentucky, p. 103.Return to text.
68. Humphrey Marshall of the Virginia state convention of 1788.Return to text.
69. Gayarre, History of LouisianaSpanish Domination, pp. 224-5 and 239-40.Return to text.
70. Ford, Pamphlets on the Constitution of United States, p. 331. Objections of Hon. Geo. Mason to the proposed Federal Constitution. Addressed to the citizens of Virginia.Return to text.
71. Life and Correspondence of George Mason, ii., pp. 87 and 90; Henry’ss Life of Patrick Henry, ii., pp. 207-11.Return to text.
72. Life of Patrick Henry, ii., p. 207.Return to text.
73. Elliot’ss Debates, iv., p. 4.Return to text.
74. Life and Correspondence of James Iredell, ii., p. 266; Massachusetts Centinel, Nov. 5 nad Nov. 29, 1788; Pennsylvania Packet, June 20, 1788.Return to text.
75. Bladen, Cumberland, Robeson (Federal) and Wake.Return to text.
76. My informant is Prof. Stephen B. Weeks, formerly of Trinity College, North Carolina.Return to text.
77. Lincoln county.Return to text.
78. Jefferson county.Return to text.
79. Life and Correspondence of James Iredell, iil, p. 230.Return to text.
80. Ibid., p. 217.Return to text.
81. Prince Edward county.Return to text.
82. Henry’ss Life of Patrick Henry, ii., p. 429.Return to text.
83. Life and Correspondence of James Iredell, ii., p. 232.Return to text.
84. Elliot’ss Debates, iv., p. 226.Return to text.
85. Life and Correspondence of James Iredell, ii., p. 232.Return to text.
86. Edenton, Chowan county; Halifax, Halifax county; Newbern, Craven county; Salisbury, Rowan county; Wilmington, New Hanover county.Return to text.
87. Halifax, Salisbury and Wilmington.Return to text.
88. Life and Correspondence of James Iredell, ii., p. 164 (note.)Return to text.
89. Bernheim, German Settlements and the Lutheran Church in the Carolinas, pp. 148-153.Return to text.
90. Bernheim, German Settlements and the Lutheran Church in the Carolinas, pp. 167-171; also, pp. 175-181. Ramsay, History of South Carolina, ii., pp. 1 (note), 24. Mill, Statistics of South Carolina, pp. 173-176. Cyclopaedia of Representative Men of the Carolinas, i., pp. 46 ff.; Calhoun’ss Works, i., pp. 401-405.Return to text.
91. Comprised as follows: District of Edisto and Savannah, District east of the Wateree. Orangeburg, Saxe Gotha, Parish of St. Matthews, Parish of St. David’ss and Fairfield county.Return to text.
92. Mill, Statistics of South Carolina. p. 189.Return to text.
93. Sparks, Life and Writings of Washington, xii., p. 180. (note).Return to text.
94. See the quotations from Hildreth in Editor’s Note, ante.Return to text.
95. Elliot’s Debates, (1854), v., p. 118.Return to text.
96. Elliot’s Debates, v., p. 120.Return to text.
97. Ibid., v., p. 108.Return to text.
98. Ibid., v., pp. 126-7.Return to text.
99. New Hampshire Gazette, July 20, 1786; also, the same, May 25 and Sept. 28, 1786, and May 20, Oct. 7, and Oct. 14, 1785.Return to text.
100. New Hampshire State Papers, xx., p. 696, Journal of the Hous of Representatives, September 14, 1786.Return to text.
101. Atkinson and Plaistow.Return to text.
102. New Hampshire Town Papers, xi., p. 580.Return to text.
103. History of Salisbury, p. 79.Return to text.
104. Annals of Portsmouth, p. 286.Return to text.
105. New Hampshire Town Papers, xi., pp. 122 and 220.Return to text.
106. Bouton, History of Concord, p. 298.Return to text.
107. New Hampshire State Papers, xx., p. 699, Journal of the House of Representatives, September 15, 1786.Return to text.
108. Massachusetts Convention, 1788. (Boston, 1856), p. 409.Return to text.
109. Ford, Essays on the Constitution, 1787-8, p. 176.Return to text.
110. Massachusetts Gazette, September 5, 1786.Return to text.
111. Ibid., October 6, 1786.Return to text.
112. Ibid., September 8, 1786.Return to text.
113. Massachusetts Gazette, Sept. 8, 1786.Return to text.
114. New Hampshire Spy. Dec. 1, 1786.Return to text.
115. This information was obtained chiefly from local histories and contemporary newspapers. The lists are incomplete but the ratios they reveal are decisive.Return to text.
116. Massachusetts Gazette, Dec. 26, 1785.Return to text.
117. New Haven Gazette, June 21, 1787, p. 141; also, June 22, 1786.Return to text.
118. Sedgwick, History of Sharon, p. 56.Return to text.
119. Connecticut Courant, June 18, 1787.Return to text.
120. New Haven Gazette, March 22, 1787, p. 8.Return to text.
121. Pennsylvania Packet, May 25, 1786.Return to text.
122. Madison’s Works, i., p. 342.Return to text.
123. Journal of the House, March 6, 1786.Return to text.
124. History of the Bank of New York, 1784-1884, p. 31.Return to text.
125. Massachusetts Gazette, March 13, 1787.Return to text.
126. Journal of the House.Return to text.
127. Phillips, American Currency, i., pp. 84-5.Return to text.
128. Bergen, Burlington, Gloucester, Salem, Cape May, and Cumberland. With the exception of Bergen and Cape May the population of these counties was confined quite largely to their western portions, along the Delaware river.Return to text.
129. Essex, Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset, Hunterdon, Morris, and Sussex.Return to text.
130. Not true for Essex and Middlesex counties. (The latter county gave one vote against paper money.)Return to text.
131. Pennsylvania Packet, July 11, 1786.Return to text.
132. New Hampshire Gazette, June 29, 1786.Return to text.
133. New Jersey, “the cask tapped at both ends,” desired efficient protection against her powerful neighbors. Return to text.
134. Minutes of Assembly of Pennsylvania, 1784-1787. Return to text.
135. Pennsylvania Packet, February 17, 1785. Return to text.
136. Pennsylvania Packet, February 24, 1785. Return to text.
137. Pennsylvania Gazette, March 23, 1785. Return to text.
138. Chester and York. Return to text.
139. Bedford and Westmoreland. Return to text.
140. Washington. Return to text.
141. Pennsylvania Gazette, January 23, 1788. Return to text.
142. Pennsylvania Gazette, April 2, 1788. Return to text.
143. Connecticut Courant, March 5, 1787. Return to text.
144. New Hampshire Gazette, August 5, 1785. To the same effectIbid., September 14, 1786; Pennsylvania Packet, October 21, 1786 and February 2, 1787.Return to text.
145. New Hampshire Gazette, July 13, 1786.Return to text.
146. Bancroft, Plea for Constitution of the U.S. of America (N.Y., 1886), p. 37.Return to text.
147. Pennsylvania Gazette, April 30, 1788.Return to text.
148. Madison’s Works, i., p. 218.Return to text.
149. Journal of the Virginia House of Delegates.Return to text.
150. Sparks, Life and Writings of Washington, ix., p. 368, Letter to Madison, Oct. 10, 1787.Return to text.
151. Madison’s Works, i., p. 332, Letter to Jefferson, June 6, 1787.Return to text.
152. New Haven Gazette, April 10, 1788.Return to text.
153. Life and Correspondence of James Iredell, ii., pp. 132, 216, 240, 246-7, 266.Return to text.
154. Sumner county.Return to text.
155. Kendall, Life of Jackson, p. 89.Return to text.
156. Pennsylvania Gazette, May 7, 1788.Return to text.
157. New Hampshire Gazette, Sept. 7, 1786.Return to text.
158. Ibid, Sept. 21, 1786.Return to text.
159. Works, i., 401. (Lodge, 1885.)Return to text.
160. The references for most of these towns are still unpublished. They consist of a collection of copies of town records made by Capt. W. F. Goodwin, 1868-69, and now in the state library at Concord, New Hampshire. My copy of them was obtained through the kindness of O.G. Hammond of Concord, and A.S. Batchellor of Littleton, editor of the New Hampshire State Papers.Return to text.
161. History of Dunstable, p. 168Return to text.
162. History of Warner, p. 263.Return to text.
163. The reference for these towns is the Goodwin Collection of Town Records, above referred to.Return to text.
164. Walker, The New Hampshire Federal Convention, 1788.Return to text.
165. New York Journal and Register, March 3, 1788, p. 3.Return to text.
166. Pennsylvania Packet, March 5, 1788, p. 3; New York Advertiser, March 3, 1788, p. 3.Return to text.
167. Pennsylvania Packet, March 7, 1788, p. 3.Return to text.
168. Life of Timothy Pickering, ii., p. 378; also, Connecticut Gazette, March 7, 1788, p. 3.Return to text.
169. New York Advertiser, February 8, 1788, p. 2.Return to text.
170. Worchester Magazine ii., p. 117. This was written in 1826.Return to text.
171. The county names for Massachusetts and Main are those used in Elliot’s Debates, ii.Return to text.
172. Massachusetts Centinel, March 5, 1788, pp. 2 and 3.Return to text.
173. New York Journal and Register, January 25, 1788, p. 3.Return to text.
174. Connecticut Courant, November 26,1787, p. 3.Return to text.
175. New York Advertiser, February 9, 1788, p. 3.Return to text.
176. RichmondInstructions of opposition. The delegates voted nay. Staples, Rhode Island in the Continental Congress, pp. 635-673.Return to text.
177. PortsmouthInstructions favoring ratification. The delegates voted yea. Ibid. pp. 636-9 and 672.Return to text.
178. Vol., i., p. 19.Return to text.
179. New York Journal and Register, June 5, 1788, p. 2; Pennsylvania Gazette, June 18, 1788.Return to text.
180. Hammond, Political History of New York, i., p. 21.Return to text.
181. Pennsylvania Gazette, March 12, 1788.Return to text.
182. New York Journal and Register, July 21, 1768, p. 3.Return to text.
183. Elliot’s Debates (1854), ii., p. 220.Return to text.
184. New York Journal and Register, June 5, 1788, p. 2.Return to text.
185. Vol. i., p. 21.Return to text.
186. Pennsylvania Packet, June 9, 1788, p. 3.Return to text.
187. Massachusetts Gazette, Nov. 27, 1787, p. 4.Return to text.
188. Pennsylvania Packet, Oct. 27, 1787.Return to text.
189. McMaster and Stone, Pennsylvania and the Federal Constitution, 1787-1788, p. 759.Return to text.
190. Ibid., p. 460.Return to text.
191. Ibid., p. 503.Return to text.
192. Pennsylvania Packet, Nov. 29, 1787.Return to text.
193. New York Journal and Register, March 3, 1788.Return to text.
194. Pennsylvania and the Federal Constitution, p. 23.Return to text.
195. Pennsylvania and the Federal Constitution, p. 751.Return to text.
196. Ibid., p. 721.Return to text.
197. New York Journal and Register, Feb. 22, 1788 and April 8, 1788; American Museum, 1787,ii., p. 393. It will be seen from these references that the inhabitants of the borough of Carlisle, Cumberland county, were divided on the subject of the adoption of the Constitution. The rest of the county was clearly Anti-federal.Return to text.
198. Massachusetts Gazette, Nov. 13, 1787, p. 3.Return to text.
199. Scharf, History of Delaware, i, p. 269 Return to text.
200. Elliot’ss Debates, ii., p. 548; New Journal and Register, May 1, 1788; Pennslyvan Packet, April 15, 1788; New York Daily Advertiser, April 26, 1788. Return to text.
201. Pennsylvanian Gazette, April 30, 1788. Return to text.
202. New York Journal and Register, April 24, 1788, p. 2. And May 1, 1788; New York Advertiser, April 26, 1788.Return to text.
203. Elliot’ss Debates, ii., p. 519. Return to text.
204. The Lost Principle by “Barbarossa” [Scott], pp. 161-3; App. Ii., pp. 159-164. Return to text.
205. Wm. Writ Henry, Life of Patrick Henry, ii., p. 377. Return to text.
206. History of the Virginia Federal Convention of 1788, i., p. 346. (Va. Hist. Coll., ix. and x.) Return to text.
207. Conway, Edmund Randolph, p. 101, Letter to Madison, February 29, 1788. Return to text.
208. Pennsylvania Packet, May 27, 1788. Return to text.
209. Vol. ii., pp. 339-40. Return to text.
210. Henry, Life of Patrick Henry, ii., p. 342. Return to text.
211. Ibid., ii., p. 344; Leake, Life of John Lamb, p. 311. Return to text.
212. Henry, Life of Patrick Henry, ii., p. 344; Leake, Life of John Lamb, p. 311. Return to text.
213. Life of Henry, ii., p. 360. Return to text.
214. Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, iii., pp. 337-8; Pennsylvania Packet, June 20, 1788. Return to text.
215. Massachusetts Centinel, May 7, 1788. Return to text.
216. Conway’ss Randolph, p. 101. Return to text.
217. Madison, Works, i., p. 357. Return to text.
218. Pennsylvanian Packet, Jan. 8, 1788, p. 3 Return to text.
219. Virginia Historical Selections, x. p. 34. Return to text.
220. Ibid., ix., p. 346, note. Return to text.
221. Henry, Life of Patrick Henry; ii., p. 376. Return to text.
222. Humphrey Marshall of this county violated the instructions of his constituency. Return to text.
223. Pennsylvania Packet, July 17, 1788. Return to text.
224. Connecticut Gazette, May 2, 1788. Return to text.
225. Works (1891), xi., p.243. Return to text.
226. Elliot’ss Debates, iv., p. 202. Return to text.
227. Life and Correspondence of James Iredell, ii., p. 96.Return to text.
228. Elliot’ss Debates, iv., p. 4. Return to text.
229. Life and Correspondence of James Iredell, ii., p. 222; to the same effect, Massachusetts Centinel, October 25, 1788. Return to text.
230. Elliot’ss Debates, iv., p. 332.Return to text.
231. Elliot’ss Debates, iv., p. 337.Return to text.
232. Pennsylvania Packet, May 31, 1788, p. 3.Return to text.
233. Nathaniel Barrell, York, York county, Maine; Humphrey Marshall, Fayette county Kentucky; Alexander Tweed, Prince Frederick, South Carolina. Return to text.
234. The number of the page refers to the History and Description of New England by Coolidge and Mansfield, unless specific reference is given to some other work. Return to text.
235. Walker, The New Hampshire Federal Convention, 1788, pp. 7-21. Return to text.
236. On p. 34 of Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1788, Boxborough is given in the roll of towns, but no delegate is named.Return to text.
237. These towns are given in the roll of delegates on pp. 31-43 of Debates and proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1856). They seem to have sent no delegates.Return to text.
238. Unless otherwise stated, the page references will refer to History and Description of New England, as above.Return to text.
239. Massachusetts Centinel, February 9, 1788; Massachusetts Gazette, February 8, 1788; Connecticut Courant, February 11, 1788; New York Journal and Register, February 15, 1788.Return to text.
240. Massachusetts Census, 1885. Population and Statistics, part i., p. 64.Return to text.
241. The following lists include many towns who sent no delegates to their state convention but whose attitude in the Federal Constitution was ascertained in some other way.Return to text.
242. Walker, The New Hampshire Federal Convention, 1788, pp. 7-21.Return to text.
243. Hollister, History of Connecticut, ii., Appendix, pp. 611-14.Return to text.
244. The divided towns of Connecticut all stood (1-1).Return to text.
245. Elliot’s Debates, ii., pp. 206, 207, and 413.Return to text.
246. McMaster and Stone, Pennsylvania, and the Federal Constitution, 1878-1788, pp. 212-13 and 425-6.Return to text.
247. New York Advertiser, May 7, 1788; New York Journal and Register, May 12, 1788; Scharf, History of Maryland, ii., pp. 543 and 546.Return to text.
248. Grisby, History of the Virginia Federal Convention, i., pp. 363-6. (Virginia Historical Collections, ix., new series.)Return to text.
249. The counties were divided evenly (2-2).Return to text.
250. Journal of the Convention of 1788. (By kindness of Jos. Blount Cheshire, Jr., Charlotte, North Carolina.)(1-1).Return to text.
251. Elliot’s Debates, iv., p. 340.Return to text.
252. From the Journal of the Convention of 1789 as reprinted in the Raleigh State Chronicle, November 15, 1889. (By kindness of Jos. Blount Cheshire, Jr., Charlotte, North Carolina.)Return to text.