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

IV. The election of convention delegates, 12 November 1787,   pp. 405-455


Page 405

405
IV
THE ELECTION OF CONVENTION DELEGATES
12 November 1787
The records of seventy-nine of the ninety-eight towns entitled to
elect 175 delegates to the state Convention have been obtained and
are printed below. Three towns did not act until 19 November,
when Suffield and Woodstock elected delegates and Colebrook re-
fused to do so. Most of the town clerks merely recorded the fact
that delegates were elected, although Canterbury, Killingworth, Leba-
non, and Stratford debated the Constitution, and in Woodstock
there was a report of illegal voting.
Some towns did more than elect delegates. Of the seven towns that
voted to approve the Constitution, three (Danbury, Greenwich, and
Ridgefield) instructed their delegates to vote to ratify it. Of the
seven towns that voted to disapprove the Constitution, Simsbury, and
possibly Lebanon and Willington, instructed their delegates to vote
against ratification. Preston instructed its delegates to vote either way,
depending on whether or not the state Convention acted on the town's
detailed objections to the Constitution. Windham decided that it was
not proper to "pass any vote" on the Constitution. A Norfolk com-
mittee advised against written instructions and suggested that "the
whole matters" be left to the town's delegates.
Twenty-four of the seventy-nine towns adjourned their 12 No-
vember meetings to a later date. For the most part, such adjourn-
ments permitted them to continue debate, to hear committee reports
on the Constitution, and to accept or reject committee reports on
instructions to delegates. In a few instances, the town clerks did not
make complete entries in the town records, particularly for adjourned
meetings. Some towns also conducted other business. Such material
has usually been deleted from the documents printed below.


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