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Jensen, Merrill (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut
(1978)

I. The Constitution to the calling of the state convention on 17 October 1787,   pp. 345-362


Page 345

345
I
THE CONSTITUTION TO THE CALLING OF THE
STATE CONVENTION ON 17 OCTOBER 1787
The Connecticut response to the Constitution was immediate and
overwhelmingly favorable. By 5 October, the Constitution had been
printed in seven state newspapers and as a broadside by Thomas
Collier (Mfm:Conn. 21). By 15 October, six newspapers also re-
printed or reported news of the congressional resolution of 28 Sep-
tember transmitting the Constitution to the states.
The newspapers gave no hint of opposition within the state, al-
though the private letters of Federalists reveal that there was opposi-
tion and that it worried them. On 28 September, two days after the
first publication of the Constitution in Connecticut, David Hum-
phreys wrote George Washington that the "well affected" had been
preparing the "minds of the citizens" for "whatever might be the
result of your proceedings," and that he had "no inconsiderable agen-
cy in the superintendence of two presses."
The preparation of the "minds of the citizens" was essentially a
continuation of the campaign for a stronger central government which
had begun long before the meeting of the Constitutional Convention,
and which had reached a peak during the winter of 1786-87.
Before the calling of the state Convention on 17 October, Connecti-
cut newspapers published few original articles on the Constitution.
The New Haven Gazette published three lengthy essays supporting
ratification ("Observator" V, 20, 27 September; "Social Compact,"
4 October; and "The People," 11 October), while the American Mer-
cury printed one short Federalist essay ("A Traveller," 8 October).
More significant were the items reprinted from out-of-state news-
papers-particularly from Pennsylvania-all of which supported the
Constitution. Three of Connecticut's newspapers reprinted the pro-
ceedings of the Pennsylvania Assembly of 28 September and five
reprinted the Assembly resolutions calling the state Convention (Mfm:
Pa. 74, 80). Other out-of-state articles reprinted included a satire
signed "Daniel Shays" from the Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer,
25 September (CC:94); "A True American" from the Massachusetts
Centinel, 29 September (CC:110); "Curtius" I from the New York
Daily Advertiser, 29 September (CC: 111); and an unsigned essay from


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