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Jensen, Merrill (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut
(1978)

VI. The Delaware Convention, 3-7 December 1787,   pp. 105-113


Page 105

105
VI
THE DELAWARE CONVENTION
3-7 December 1787
Since the "proceedings" of the Convention have been lost, what
little is known about the Convention is based on a few meager sources.
Just before or during the meeting of the Convention, it was alleged
that Pennsylvania Antifederalists sent pamphlets and copies of the
"Centinel" essays to President Thomas Collins and the members of
the Convention in an effort to foment opposition to the Constitution
(Pennsylvania Gazette, 19 December, Mfm:Del. 36).
The delegates met at Dover on 3 December, and they elected James
Latimer of New Castle County, President and John White, clerk.
The delegates probably listened to the reading of at least some of the
nine petitions, signed by 369 inhabitants of Sussex County, requesting
the Convention to invalidate the election and to call a new election.
The Convention refused the request and seated the Sussex delegates.
The second day of the Convention, President Thomas Collins sub-
mitted a copy of the Constitution and the legislature's resolutions of
9-10 November calling the state Convention (IV above). Collins
called particular attention to the resolution recommending a cession
of land for the federal capital.
The Convention ratified the Constitution unanimously, and all
thirty delegates signed the Form of Ratification. By "a majority of
five to one," the delegates adopted a resolution recommending a
cession of land for the federal capital. The Convention also resolved
that its "proceedings" be turned over to President Collins. He laid
them before the House of Assembly on 11 January 1788.
President Collins sent the Form of Ratification to James Booth,
the secretary of state, on 22 December. Collins instructed Booth to
give the Form to Nathaniel Mitchell to deliver to Congress. Mitchell,
a delegate to Congress, had been involved in the Sussex election dis-
turbances. On 24 April 1788, President Collins sent Congress the
Convention resolution concerning a cession of land for the federal
capital.
There is some question concerning the date the Convention voted
to ratify. The Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer of 10 December
reported that the Convention voted on 6 December, while the Delaware


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