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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 762

VI. DEBATE OVER CONSTITUTION
March. On 5 April the Pennsylvania Packet again reprinted the second paragraph. The
first two paragraphs were reprinted in the Salem Mercury, 16 March; Newburyport, Mass.,
Essex Journal, 17 March; and Connecticut Courant, 22 March. The first paragraph appeared
in the Charleston City Gazette, 14 May. The Boston Independent Chronicle, 18 March, and
Northampton, Mass., Hampshire Gazette, 24 March, reprinted the second paragraph. This
item comes immediately after the Newport Herald's report of the Convention proceedings
for 2-6 March (VII, below).
2. For more on "nocturnal conventions," see "Glossary" (RCS:R.I., 317).
3. For Alexander Hamilton's 14 January 1790 report on public credit, see DHFFC, V,
743-823.
Providence United States Chronicle, 11 March 1790
The Convention of this State, which convened last Week at South-
Kingstown, adjourned on Saturday, to meet at Newport on the 24th
of May next-having previously agreed to a Bill of Rights, and pro-
posed a Number of Amendments to be annexed to the Ratification of
the Constitution, provided they are agreeable to the Inhabitants of the
State.-Copies of which are ordered to be printed and laid before the
Freemen of the State, at the annual Town-Meetings next Month.
"It is highly honorary to the Convention of this State, and to the
Gentlemen who supported the Measure (says a Correspondent) that
they, in so decided a Manner, expressed their Disapprobation of the
infamous African Slave-Trade."'
1. The debate in the Rhode Island Convention on Article I, section 9, of the Consti-
tution, which pertained to the slave trade, took place on 3 and 6 March (RCS:R.I., 923-
30, 955-57).
Louis-Guillaume Otto to Comte de Montmorin
New York, 13 March 1790 (excerpt)'
... The hopes one had concerning the approaching accession of
Rhodeisland, to the new Confederation vanished very suddenly. The
Antifederalists feeling that they had the majority in the convention of
this state, adroitly had a motion passed, that questions of adjournment
and of amendment will always be considered before that of adoption.
Giving themselves neither the time to read the new Constitution nor
to examine any article in it they proposed to adjourn the following day
and to compel the good people to name a new Convention to draw up
amendments to this constitution. This conduct unique in its type since
there have been conventions in America, has angered several Federal-
ists to the point of wanting to persuade the Congress to conquer Rhode
island, others have laughed about it, and she [Rhode Island] inspires
pity in all intelligent men. The tiny state has carried on this extrava-
gence to the point of imagining that it can retain its independence in
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