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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)

VII. The Rhode Island Convention first session, 1-6 March 1790,   pp. 898-983


Page 899

INTRODUCTION
vention adjourn without considering the committee's report, which, he
suggested, should be submitted to the towns for their consideration.
Federalist Henry Marchant of Newport wanted the Convention to con-
sider and approve the bill of rights and then consider the amendments.
The Convention debated the report the rest of the afternoon of Friday,
5 March, and on Saturday until shortly before 1:00 P.M. The delegates
voted to approve the bill of rights and to strike out two amendments.
By a majority of one, the Convention decided to retain the amendment
condemning the Constitution's prohibition of a congressional ban on
the African slave trade before 1808. Federalists then wanted to vote on
ratifying the Constitution, while Antifederalists argued for an adjourn-
ment to consult with their constituents. After a long debate, the dele-
gates voted 41 to 28 to adjourn to a future day. They considered the
end of March, the end of April, and the end of May. If a long adjourn-
ment was approved, Federalist Nathan Miller of Warren threatened that
his constituents would petition Congress to be transferred to Massa-
chusetts from whence Warren came in 1747. The delegates voted that
the Convention's bill of rights and amendments should be submitted
to the regular annual town meetings on 21 April. The delegates voted
38 to 31 against setting the end of March as the time to assemble again.
They then voted 36 to 32 to reconvene on 24 May 1790. A vote of 35
to 34 provided that the Convention should reassemble in Newport, the
seat of Newport County, rather than East Greenwich, the seat of Kent
County.
899


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