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Jensen, Merrill (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut
3 (1978)

III. Commentaries on the Constitution, 17 October-12 November 1787,   pp. 372-404


Page 372

372
III
COMMENTARIES ON THE CONSTITUTION
17 October-12 November 1787
Between the calling of the state Convention and the election of
delegates to it, newspapers continued to publish Connecticut articles
supporting the Constitution. These included "A Farmer," 18 Octo-
ber, and Oliver Ellsworth's "Landholder" I and I published on 5
and 12 November. To win agrarian support of the Constitution, both
writers outlined the economic benefits that farmers would derive from
the Constitution. In so doing, each handled the longtime mercantile-
agrarian conflict differently. "A Farmer" ignored the antagonism
between the two groups'. "Landholder" admitted it but argued that
both groups had common interests and that each would benefit
economically from the new Constitution.
A third Connecticut item was the Sherman-Ellsworth letter of 26
September to Governor Samuel Huntington (I above). The letter
was printed in the New Haven Gazette on 25 October and reprinted
in seven other Connecticut newspapers by 16 November. Sherman and
Ellsworth, delegates to the Constitutional Convention, tried to con-
vince the people of Connecticut that the Constitution did not make
any fundamental change in the central government or in its rela-
tionship to the states.
More important during this period were the reprintings of articles
supporting the Constitution from newspapers in Philadelphia, New
York, and Boston. Among these were: Tench Coxe's "An American
Citizen" 1-111 (CC: 100-A, 109, 112); "Foreign Spectator" (CC: 124);
"Federal Constitution" (CC:150-B); "Marcus" (CC: 162); and "Ezek-
iel" (CC:194). James Wilson's State House Yard speech in Philadel-
phia on 6 October (CC:134) was reprinted in four newspapers and
Governor John Hancock's speech to the Massachusetts General Court
on 18 October (CC:177) was reprinted in five. (For other examples
of out-of-state items reprinted, see CC:91, 135, 149, 154, 161, 189,
197-A, 198, 211, 218.)
The newspapers continued to ignore Antifederalist material from
other states. The only exception was the proposal of "M.C." in
Pennsylvania (CC:203) that "a meeting of the citizens be called, and
a proper committee appointed to frame a bill of rights. . .  to] be


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