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

A. Public and private commentaries on the Constitution, 17 September-6 October 1787,   pp. 130-172


Page 131

A. COMMENTARIES/17 SEPT.
Freeman's Journal, 12 December. (For national circulation of "Cen-
tinel" and for its authorship, see CC:138. The eighteen "Centinel"
essays, between 5 October 1787 and 9 April 1788, are printed in
Commentaries on the Constitution.)
For an example of a Pennsylvania Federalist reply to "Centinel" I,
see "A Federalist," 10 October (II:C below). (See also, CC:158, 218;
Mfm:Pa. 152, 156, 161.)
On 6 October James Wilson discussed the Constitution in a speech
to a public meeting called to nominate candidates for the Assembly
election on 9 October. The speech was published in an extra edition
of the Pennsylvania Herald on 9 October. The Herald stated that
the speech "is the first authoritative explanation of the principles of
the NEW FEDERAL CONSTITUTION, and as it may serve to obviate
some objections, which have been raised to that system, we consider
it sufficiently interesting for publication in the present form." Re-
sponding to an "extensive demand," the Herald reprinted the speech
the next day, and within a few weeks the speech was reprinted ten
more times in the state and many times throughout the United States.
(For national circulation, see CC:134.)
For examples of Pennsylvania Antifederalist replies to Wilson's
speech, see "A Democratic Federalist," 17 October (II:A below), and
"An Officer of the Late Continental Army," 6 November (II:C below);
and "Centinel" II (CC:190).
Samuel Hodgdon to Timothy Pickering,
Philadelphia, 17 September (excerpt)'
Today the Convention is dissolved. The enclosed is the result of
their deliberations. Tho I do not know of any opportunity to ad-
dress you, yet I write supposing it possible that I may hear of a
conveyance when unprepared. This morning the new Constitution
was read in our House of Assembly, to a crowded audience, and seems
to be generally approved, indeed we have been in high glee ever since;
bells ringing and congratulations in every street. I think it is a well-
digested paper, and abundantly more equal to our wants than the
Confederation Articles. I wish your opinion after an attentive reading.2
1. RC, Pickering Papers, MHi. The letter is dated 17 September, but evidently
part of it was written on the 18th when the Constitution was read to the Assembly.
2. For Pickering's views on the Constitution, see his letter to Charles Tillinghast,
24 December, CC:288-C.
Thomas Mifflin to Silas Talbot,
Philadelphia, 19 September (excerpt)'
I take the earliest opportunity of enclosing to you the result of
the deliberations of the late Convention. May your state [New York]
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