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.; 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)

VI. The debate over the Constitution in Rhode Island, 20 January-29 May 1790,   pp. 711-897

Page 730

vented from purchasing of the country their produce: or should the
town of Newport be driven by distress and apprehension of total ruin,
to apply to Congress to be admitted into the Union separate and dis-
tinct from the State, there would scarcely be found a man among them
so regardless of the honor and interest of their town as to purchase
any articles of those characters, who, by opposing the Constitution,
should have thus forced them    to a dismemberment from the State.)8
These are subjects of serious consideration-they are not the effu-
sions of temper, but the result of dispassionate reason.
Examine then with coolness, what you have opposed from preju-
dice-Consider that you tread on dangerous ground, and that if you
persevere in opposing the adoption of the Constitution, you may entail
misery on yourselves, or cause the annihilation of the government of
the State.
1. The Providence Gazette, 27 February, reprinted this article "By request," along with "A
Friend to the State of Rhode-Island" (immediately above).
2. For the twelve amendments to the Constitution adopted by Congress on 25 Septem-
ber 1789 and sent by President George Washington to the states for ratification on 2
October, see Appendix I (below). By 18 February 1790, New Jersey, Maryland, North
Carolina, South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Delaware had ratified some or all of the
3. See "Daniel Owen's Bill Calling Town Meetings to Give Instructions on the New
Constitution," 17 January 1790 (RCS:R.I., 673-75n).
4. Rhode Island refused to send delegates to the Constitutional Convention. See RCS:R.I.,
Vol. 1, xxxv-xxxvii, 8-23.
5. For the legislature's "application" to Congress, see RCS:R.I., 676-78. For Congress'
suspension, see the Newport Herald, 25 February (RCS:R.I., 736-37).
6. An errata in the Newport Herald, 25 February, indicated that the word in angle
brackets should have been inserted before the word "towns." The Providence Gazette re-
printing included "sea-port."
7. A reference to the island of Rhode Island (i.e., Aquidneck) which contained the
towns of Portsmouth, Middletown, and Newport.
8. The text in angle brackets was reprinted in the New York Daily Advertiser, 15 March
(Mfm:R.I.); Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 19 March; Pennsylvania Packet, 25 March; and
Charleston City Gazette, 12 April.
Newport Herald, 18 February 17901
It is to be hoped, says a Correspondent, that the State of Rhode-Island
is destined to share with her Sister States, the honors, advantages and
felicity resulting from the Federal Government. The great Father of
Nature has chequered her condition with the passing clouds of dejec-
tion, but the force of Federalism will burst her into being-She shall
then look back with regret at the causes which have impeded her pro-
gress to political virtue and happiness, and blush that she procrasti-
nated to so late a period, the adoption of a Constitution which will

Go up to Top of Page