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Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Moore, Timothy D. (Historian); Lannér-Cusin, Johanna E.; Schoenleber, Charles H.; Reid, Jonathan M.; Flamingo, Margaret R.; Fields, David P. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Maryland (1)
(2015)

I. The debate over the Constitution in Maryland, 17 September-30 November 1787,   pp. 3-67


Page 3

I.
THE DEBATE OVER THE
CONSTITUTION IN MARYLAND
17 September-30 November 1787
Introduction
The public debate over the Constitution in Maryland began soon after
the adjournment of the Constitutional Convention on 17 September.
Because of Maryland's proximity to Philadelphia, newspapers, broad-
sides, pamphlets, and magazines printed in that city circulated widely
in Maryland and were read by Marylanders. For instance, "Cato" I and
II were originally printed in the Antifederalist New York Journal, 27 Sep-
tember and 11 October 1787 (CC:103, 153), but were never reprinted
in a Maryland newspaper. Yet, the "Cato" essays could have been read
by Marylanders because on 3 and 17 October they were reprinted in
the Antifederalist Philadelphia Freeman's Journal, which circulated in
Maryland.
Maryland newspapers reprinted many items from out-of-state news-
papers-especially from the weekly Federalist Pennsylvania Gazette, the
daily Antifederalist Independent Gazetteer, and the semiweekly neutral Penn-
sylvania Herald. During this early part of the public debate, Federalist
pieces reprinted in Maryland newspapers included "An American Citi-
zen" I-IV (Tench Coxe) (CC:100, 109, 112, 183-A), "Foreign Spec-
tator" (Nicholas Collin) (CC:124), and the 6 October public speech of
James Wilson (CC:134), a former Pennsylvania delegate to the Consti-
tutional Convention. Antifederalist reprintings in Maryland included
"Centinel" I and II (Samuel Bryan) (CC:133, 190), "A Democratic
Federalist's" reply to Wilson (CC:167), and Constitutional Convention
delegate Elbridge Gerry's objections to the Constitution outlined in a
letter to the Massachusetts legislature (CC:227-A). With the exception
of Gerry's objections, all reprinted items were first printed in Phila-
delphia newspapers.
Fifteen letters appear in Part I, twelve in manuscript and three in
newspapers. In Maryland, the letters were written from Annapolis, Bal-
timore, Chestertown, Elkton, Georgetown, and Queen Anne's County.
The out-of-state letters are from New York City, Philadelphia, and Bowl-
ing Green, Va. Two of the newspaper letters have an Antifederalist lean-
ing, while the other thirteen letters are Federalist. The manuscript let-
ters from Maryland are from merchants. A lengthy letter by William
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