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

II. The General Assembly calls the state convention, 16-17 October 1787,   pp. 363-371


Page 363

363
II
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
CALLS THE STATE CONVENTION
16-17 October 1787
The Connecticut legislature met in New Haven from 11 October
to I November 1787. On the I1th, the House of Representatives
read "public letters" (Mfm:Conn. 26-A), which probably included
the Constitution, the congressional resolution of 28 September for-
warding the Constitution to the states (CDR, 340), and the Sherman-
Ellsworth letter of 26 September reporting on the Constitutional Con-
vention (I above). On 12 October, the House agreed to consider the
Constitution on the 16th (Mfm:Conn. 26-B).
On the morning of the 16th, the House adopted resolutions pro-
viding that town meetings should elect delegates on 12 November
to meet in convention at Hartford on 3 January 1788. Each town
was assigned the same number of delegates that it had in the House
of Representatives. The Council concurred with the House's resolu-
tions.
The provision for the election of Convention delegates by town
meetings was unusual. Normally the towns' representatives in the
legislature were elected by freemen's meetings which were required
to complete the election on the day set by the legislature. There is
no evidence to indicate why the legislature provided for the elec-
tion of delegates in town meetings, but this made it possible for the
towns to hold adjourned meetings at which instructions to the dele-
gates could be considered.
On the morning of the 17th, the House sent the Council an altera-
tion to permit the towns of Barkhamsted and Colebrook (not repre-
sented in the House) to elect delegates to the state Convention. The
Council agreed.
The legislature ordered two hundred copies of the resolutions print-
ed and distributed throughout the state (Mfm:Conn. 29). News of
the passage of the resolutions was published in about fifty news-
papers throughout the United States.


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