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

B. The Carlisle Riot and its aftermath, 26 December 1787-20 March 1788,   pp. 670-708


Page 677

B. CARLISLE RIOT/9 JAN.
prepared, but would advise, that the prosecutions be deferred, until the
new Federal Constitution is adopted, where they may have a trial at
a federal court, without the detestable interference of a jury. He
says again, "that every lover of good order must lament the wound,
the dignity of the state has received, in burning etc. the effigy of
the first magistrate of the commonwealth." This is the first time I
heard of this transaction, I presume it owes its origin to the inventive
genius of the old man; for my part I took His Excellency Doctor
Franklin to be the first magistrate of the commonwealth; and I never
so much as heard a reproachful word spoke of him. But perhaps he
meant the Chief Justice, to whom no indignity was offered in his
judicial character, but his conduct in the late Convention has given
the State a much greater wound, and justly merits the resentment of
the People. The old man observes, "it is remarkable that some of
the most active people in the riot of Wednesday and the mob of
Thursday have come to this country, within these two years, men
perfectly unknown and whose characters were too obscure to attract
the notice of the inhabitants of this place." Some of these characters,
however, are so obvious as to be noticed with an envious eye, even
by the old man himself, and several others of his party, but does the
old man think newcomers are to be deprived of their rights as men?
But in this his spirit is exactly similar to that of their darling Con-
stitution, which has laid newcomers under many legal disabilities and
given all the discourgement that it durst safely do, by empowering
Congress to lay a tax of ten dollars on each immigrant.
The old man talks of some who opposed the rejoicing, that had
but lately stripped off the garb of British soldiers; here he is mistaken
again, but I suppose he means the wheelbarrow garb which Rinn,
their artillery man, had so lately been stripped of.' He again ex-
claims, "proceedings of this kind are really alarming, and directly
tend to the dissolution of all government." Now of all others, the
new Federalists ought to be silent about the dissolution of govern-
ments, for they professedly avow the dissolution of all governments,
and is endeavoring to establish an unheard of monster on their ruins.
He tells us further "that being an old man, he was invited to spend
the evening with the Federalists (or rather incendiaries) at Mr. Joseph
Postlethwait's tavern."
What! has our impartial spectator degenerated into a palpable
partisan, by his own confession at the banquet of wine? However he
might have saved himself the trouble of the declaration, as any person
who reads his narrative would have easily discerned his cloven foot
without the help of spectacles; but it seems he was invited, indeed, it
would have been the basest ingratitude of the new Federalists, if they
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