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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)

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

Page 765

1. Reprinted: Springfield, Mass., Hampshire Chronicle, 24 March; New Hampshire Gazetteer,
27 March; and New Hampshire Concord Herald, 30 March.
2. For more on "nocturnal conventions," see "Glossary" (RCS:R.I., 317).
Newport Herald, 18 March 17901
And so Mr. Agricola, you are scarcely possessed of penetration enough
to discover whether Greenwichiensis was really serious or not.-What
an excellent judge of composition! If I were to ask you whether you
was in earnest or not, I might run the hazard of being thought a
You are mistaken Sir, I did not accuse the whole race of politicians
of neglect,-the clear-sighted and the long-sighted Anties were the only
characters I taxed with neglect, and to whom I distantly imputed a want
of proper spirit. The advice I gave them was such as, if you knew a little
more than you do, you would acknowledge would be highly advanta-
geous to the State.-After repeating the benefits which I boldly de-
clared would result to it, from a speedy rejection of the Constitution,
you rhapsodically and ironically exclaim-O delightful prospect! 0 hal-
cyon days!-may this golden age, moved on more rapid than the car
of time, soon be with us,-and,-
Thou Dalhousy great God of war,
Lieutenant-Colonel to the Earl of Mar.2-
When will the time, ye Gods, when will the time come, when block-
heads shall be inspired, and Agricolas become politicians!
But you would be serious.-Your serious people sometimes ask very
silly questions.-You want to know, do you?-are you really serious?-
You (want to know what inducements foreign nations can have to cover
our harbors with their ships, or fill our stores with their produce?-I
answer by asking you what has induced foreigners to send their ships
and produce to St. Eustatius?3-The produce and manufactures of
that Island are not so great as the produce and manufactures of this
State:-and I repeat it, if our ports were thrown open to the world all
the States on the continent of America would bring hither their pro-
ductions, their manufactures and their money to exchange for, and to
purchase the foreign articles in which we shall abound;-and we should
soon become the happiest and most envied State in the world.)-And
what have you said in answer to this? why you affect to wonder that I
have not the foresight to discover that the Federal Government would
have authority and inclination to prevent any commercial intercourse
between this State and the States under their jurisdiction, I did, Mr.

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