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Jensen, Merrill; Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Pennsylvania
(1976)

B. The assembly election, 9 October 1787,   pp. 173-179


Page 173

B. THE ASSEMBLY ELECTION
9 October 1787
Federalists and Antifederalists made the Constitution a major issue
in the election. The Federalists, with their leadership virtually in-
tact, retained control of the Assembly and the Council, although
their majority was somewhat smaller than it had been in the
previous Assembly. In addition to gaining some seats in the As-
sembly, the Antifederalists reelected most of their leaders, some of
whom had been among the seceding members. They returned William
Findley and James M'Calmont to the Assembly. Abraham Smith, who
was not eligible for reelection to the Assembly, was elected to the
Council. Of the eligible seceding members, only Joseph Powell and
Samuel Dale were not reelected; while Robert Whitehill, also a seced-
ing member, but not eligible for reelection, lost his bid for a Council
seat. However, former councillor James McLene's election to the
Assembly was an Antifederalist triumph. The turnover was the
smallest it had been since the Revolution: seventy percent of the
members of the previous Assembly were reelected.
Carlisle Meeting, 3 October1
At a meeting of the inhabitants of the borough of Carlisle, in the
county of Cumberland, convened at the courthouse, Major General
John Armstrong was unanimously chosen chairman.2
The business of the meeting was opened by Colonel [Robert]
Magaw,3 and the Constitution of the United States, formed by the
late Convention, was read, and the following resolutions unanimously
entered into:
Resolved, That the said Constitution is most warmly approved of
by this meeting, and that this meeting entertain the highest sense of
the public virtue and patriotism of the majority of the House of
Assembly in calling immediately a convention of this state, in pur-
suance of the recommendation of the Federal Convention.
Resolved, That it is the opinion of this meeting, that the withdraw-
ing or absenting of a member of Assembly, in order to defeat any
resolution or act of the legislature, is an offense most destructive to
good government and the happiness and true interest of the state. And
that any member who is guilty of such desertion and breach of trust
is unworthy of the confidence of the people and unfit to represent
them.4
173


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