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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 713

INTRODUCTION
Newport and Providence Committee's call for a meeting, 1 April). The
Providence Gazette printed two additional Federalist essays ("A Farmer,"
22 May; and "Matthew Mizen," 20 March), Federalist David Howell's
address to the state's freemen (17 April), and three Federalist editorial
commentaries (6 February, 20 March, and 3 April). The United States
Chronicle printed an additional Federalist essay ("A Freeman," 15 April),
three Antifederalist essays ("Alpha," 11 February; "A Countryman," 15
April; and "A. B. C. D. &c. &c.," 15 April), two Federalist editorial com-
mentaries (25 February and 13 May), and one brief anonymous Anti-
federalist item (15 April).
Out-of-state newspapers also printed items on the debate over the
Constitution in Rhode Island. These items appeared in three Boston
newspapers (Boston Gazette, Herald of Freedom, and Massachusetts Centi-
nel), four New York City newspapers (Daily Advertiser, Gazette of the United
States, New York Daily Gazette, and New York Journal), and two Philadelphia
newspapers (Federal Gazette and Pennsylvania Packet). The items consisted
of ten letters (mostly from Rhode Islanders), seven editorial commen-
taries, four essays, and five reports of congressional action on Rhode
Island. Only two items were Antifederalist: "Plutarch," Massachusetts Cen-
tinel, 8 May, and an editorial commentary in the Antifederalist New York
Journal, 18 May. Three Federalist essays were printed in the Philadel-
phia Federal Gazette. They were written by "Prudens" (5 April) and "A
Citizen of United America" to the people of Rhode Island (Tench
Coxe) (6, 12 April).
Private Commentaries on the Constitution
Forty-nine manuscript letters discussing the Constitution and Rhode
Island politics are printed in this part. Ten letters were written from
Providence, thirteen from Newport, twenty from New York City, two
from Philadelphia, and one each from Biddeford, Maine, Boston, Dur-
ham, N.H., and a suburb of London, England. The 20 May letter from
Governor Arthur Fenner to President George Washington is the only
letter written by an Antifederalist. Letters by Federalists include ten
from William Ellery, six from U.S. Vice President John Adams, eight
from U.S. Representatives, three from U.S. Senators, and two from Theo-
dore Foster. Two letters are from French diplomats stationed in New
York City, two are from U.S. Treasury official Tench Coxe, and two are
from the Providence mercantile firm of Brown & Benson. Thirteen
other individuals each wrote a single letter.
Newspapers printed excerpts of letters dealing with Rhode Island
politics and the Constitution. Four letters came from Newport, three
from Rhode Island, two from Providence, one from Philadelphia, and
seven from New York City (six from members of Congress). Rhode
713


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