University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Leffler, Richard; Schoenleber, Charles H.; Hogan, Margaret A.; Reid, Jonathan M. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: New York (5)
(2009)

VII-D. New York recommends the calling of a second constitutional convention,   pp. 2501-2530


Page 2513

VII-D. N.Y. CALLS FOR A SECOND CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION  2513
the community from the anxious apprehensions of evils from the un-
defined powers of the new Government." Such powers which were
"much greater than they have ever experienced, or can be appre-
hended from the weaknesses and defects" of the Confederation. Tred-
well's substitute assured the governor "that we shall use our utmost
endeavors to bring about an early revision of the system" so that people
could have confidence in their government. The Senate also defeated
Tredwell's substitute (DHFFE, III, 246-47).
After these substitutes failed, the draft response to the governor as
originally presented was agreed to 11-8 and ordered engrossed. On 26
December the governor received the address. Although the Senate ad-
mitted that the governor was justified in convening the legislature at
an earlier date, it wished that he had called it even earlier so that it
could consider the appointment of Electors for the President and Vice
President of the United States. Clinton replied that it was "impracti-
cable" to have called the legislature earlier. He was persuaded that the
legislature would "perceive the propriety of pursuing your principle,
as far as circumstances will permit, and of adopting such mode of ap-
pointment, as shall appear most nearly to approach an election by the
People." Nor would Clinton comment on "how far the ideas contained
in your answer will tend to facilitate the attainment of the objects so
earnestly recommended by our Convention." He had done his duty by
transmitting "the sentiments and wishes of the Convention" to the leg-
islature (DHFFE, III, 248-51. For Alexander Hamilton's criticism of
Clinton's response and his continued opposition to the Constitution,
see "H.G.," Letter XII, Daily Advertiser, 7 April 1789 [DHFFE, III, 431-
34].).
On 26 December Governor Clinton transmitted to the Senate the 2
December letter of Virginia Governor Beverley Randolph along with its
enclosures concerning Virginia's call for a general convention. The
Senate committed the papers to a committee of the whole. The next
day the Senate transmitted Clinton's message and the accompanying
papers to the Assembly which read them, entered them on its journal,
and committed them to the committee that had been appointed on 22
December. In Clinton's letter of transmittal, he said he was communi-
cating the papers "with the greater pleasure, from the persuasion, that
it will give you satisfaction to find a State, so respectable for wisdom
and patriotism, perfectly concurring in sentiment with our Convention
respecting the necessity of amendments to the new system of General
Government, and the means of obtaining them" (DHFFE, III, 251n).
The Assembly, however, did not renew its consideration of the calling


Go up to Top of Page