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

VII. The aftermath of ratification,   pp. 563-564


Page 563

563
VII
THE AFTERMATH OF RATIFICATION
Every newspaper in Connecticut reported the news of ratification
within two weeks after the Convention adjourned. Some Connecti-
cut newspapers, such as the New Haven Gazette, 24 January, praised
the minority for its willingness to accept the decision of the majority
(VII:C below). But such was not the attitude of Federalist leaders.
They were unwilling to condone any opposition, and they continued
their efforts to destroy the political careers of such men as James Wads-
worth. They attacked him in private letters and in the newspapers.
In the spring of 1788, he was defeated for reelection to the Council
and was replaced as comptroller of the state by Oliver Wolcott, Jr.
He was reelected a judge of the New Haven County Court in 1789,
but he stuck to his principles and refused the judgeship. In January
1789 the legislature had adopted a law requiring all state officials
to take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States.
Wadsworth refused to take the oath (to Governor Samuel Huntington,
15 October 1789, Mfm:Conn. 101). The day after it replaced Wads-
worth with another judge, the legislature repealed the oath law.
Nor did the Federalists forgive men who had raised doubts about
the Constitution, even though in the end they voted to ratify. Wil-
!liam Williams voted for ratification although he objected, accord-
ing to his opponents, because the Constitution did not require a re-
ligious test for officeholding. "Landholder" attacked Williams by
name in the newspapers. Williams replied, denying the charge,
whereupon "Landholder" attacked him again. However, Williams
retained his position as a member' of the Council. judge Eliphalet
Dyer of the Superior Court had also raised objections to the Con-
stitution but had voted to ratify. An attempt was made to defeat
him, but he was reelected judge in 1788, and in 1789 he became
Chief judge of the Superior Court.
The continued Federalist attacks on those who had doubts about
the Constitution or who opposed it evidently had an intimidating
effect. Thus Hugh Ledlie asked that his correspondence not be


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