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

C. The petition campaign for legislative rejection of ratification, 2 January-29 March 1788,   pp. 709-[726]


Page 710

IV. AFTERMATH OF RATIFICATION
Freeman's Journal, 2 January 17881
A correspondent informs us, that from the general temper of the
farmers and the complexion of the Assembly, it is almost certain that
we will have another convention in a legal constitutional manner
called in this state, for amending the proposed Constitution, and an-
nexing a bill of rights thereto. We may expect a power of petitions
will be laid before the Assembly (at their sitting next month) for
this purpose.2 What a pleasure, adds he, must it give to every friend
to order and good government that we have so easy a method of ac-
commodating such an important business to the satisfaction of all
classes of citizens, and thereby prevent much disorder, confusion, and
anarchy.
1. By 31 January this item was reprinted in eight newspapers in Massachusetts,
Rhode Island, and New York, four of which were Antifederalist.
2. On 4 January, William Shippen, Jr. reported that "There will be ,nuch op-
position in the western part of the state, and numerous petitions to the next As-
sembly to call a new convention to reconsider the Constitution" (to Thomas Lee
Shippen, Philadelphia, Mfm:Pa. 271). See also Mfm:Pa. 304.
Petition Against Confirmation of the
Ratification of the Constitution, January 17881
To the Honorable the Representatives of the Freemen of the Com-
monwealth of Pennsylvania in General Assembly Met.
The petition of the subscribers, freemen and inhabitants of the
county of          , most respectfully showeth, That your petitioners
are desirous that order and good government should prevail, and that
the constitution of this state should not be violated or subverted.
That as the members of your honorable body are all sworn or af-
firmed to do no act or thing prejudicial or injurious to the constitu-
tion or government of this state as established by the convention [of
1776], they look up to you as the guardians of the rights and liberties
therein secured to your petitioners, and pray that they may be pro-
tected therein.
That your petitioners are much alarmed at an instrument called a
Constitution for the United States of America; framed by a Conven-
tion which had been appointed by several of the states, "solely to
revise the Articles of the Confederation, and report such al:erations
and provisions therein as should when agreed to in Congress, And
confirmed by the several states, render the Federal Constitution Ade-
quate to the exigencies of government, and the preservation of the
Union"2 inasmuch as the liberties, lives and property of your peti-
tioners are not secured thereby.
710


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