Letter from John Langdon to Rufus King (1788)

Image: Rufus King. Gilbert Stuart (1819-1820). National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; this acquisition was made possible by a generous contribution from the James Smithson Society. NPG.88.1

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I am sorry to inform you that our Convention adjourned yesterday (to meet again in June next), without compleating the important business of adopting the Constitution. contrary to the expectation of almost every man of reflection at our first meeting a majority appeared against the plan a great part of whom had positive Instructions to Vote against it. however after spending ten days in the arguments a number of opponents came to me, and said, they were convinced and should be very unhappy to Vote against the Constitution, which they (however absurd) must do, in case the question was called for. I therefore moved for the adjournment which was carried though much opposed by the other side. This question determined a majority in favor of the Constitution had it not been for their Instructions. This shews the fatality of the times.

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