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Kaminski, John P.; Schoenleber, Charles H.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Leffler, Richard; Reid, Jonathan M.; Flamingo, Margaret R.; Lannér-Cusin, Johanna E.; Fields, David P.; Conley, Patrick T.; Moore, Timothy D. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Rhode Island (3)
(2013)

VI. The debate over the Constitution in Rhode Island, 20 January-29 May 1790,   pp. 711-897


Page 728

VI. DEBATE OVER CONSTITUTION
are, the amendments proposed by Congress, and already ratified by
several States, will remedy those defects.2
At this late period of discussion by this State, we have not only to
consider of the fitness of the Constitution, but the necessity of our
adopting it,-the leading characters in opposition have openly avowed
that the latter principle must sooner or later operate.-Deputy-Governor
Owen, in the preamble to a Bill he presented, (in order to supersede
the appointment of a State Convention, by) referring it again to the
people, declares, that "the Constitution recommended by the General Con-
vention held in Philadelphia, on the 17th day of September A. D. 1787, has
been adopted by twelve of the United States: And that the said twelve States have
proceeded to organize a Federal Government conformable to the principles thereof
and have put the same into actual operation: And that from the operation thereof
the citizens of this State will suffer great and manifold inconveniences and
discouragements in their trade and commerce, and otherwise, while they are
considered and treated as foreigners, wholly disconnected from all the said States:
By reason whereof it has become the interest and policy of this State to take the
most prudent measures for acceding to the Union of the said twelve States, formed
and organized as aforesaid: And that the accession of the State of North-Carolina
to the said Union, and the grievous operation of the Federal Government on the
interests of many of the citizens of this State, since the last measures taken by the
General Assembly on the subject, have presented the same to our view and consid-
eration in a very different attitude from that in which it then appeared,"3-Of
this necessity however, the present opposers are the only cause.-There
was a time when our voice was called for in the General Convention,
to join in forming a Constitution,4 when, from the respectability of the
State, we had a full share of influence in the Union, and could thereby
have effected what had been conformable to our wishes, provided they
were founded on the general good-There was also a time when, if we
had considered the Constitution in a State Convention, and should
have found it inapplicable to our happiness, our objections, if they
comported with reason, would have influenced other States in their
decision; but the policy of the leading opposers to it, hath been to
procrastinate an investigation of it, while the State hath experienced
all the evils consequent to an undecided government.-The adoption
of it now is of moment to us-Questions of revenue, which involve the
most important events to the interest of this State, are now before Con-
gress; should we again delay, we may lose an opportunity of doing es-
sential service to the interest of the State.
From the proceedings of Congress it appears, that in consequence
of an application from this State, agreeably to a Resolve of the last
sessions of Assembly, they have continued a further suspension of the
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