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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)
11 (2015)

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


Page 18

I. DEBATE OVER CONSTITUTION
promise made by Mr. C- is obligatory upon him, to use his endeav-
ours to procure a Convention for this purpose.
Another remark, which occurs on this occasion, is, that Mr. C
could not mean that a Convention ought to be called for any other pur-
pose than to assent to and ratify the Constitution; for it is absurd to
suppose he meant the Convention should be authorized by the legis-
lature to propose amendments or alterations, that being contrary to the de-
clared intention of the resolution, and the sense which his friends en-
tertained of his engagement at the time he entered into it: Mr. C-,
therefore, (without presuming him capable of doing the greatest vio-
lence to his promise) cannot be considered as the author of Caution,
who argues strenuously, though indirectly, against adopting the Constitu-
tion.
From this brief view of the nature and intention of the resolve, I
think it is evident that the people ought, without delay, to signify their
approbation of the Constitution by a petition to the legislature, to the end
that the legislature, which is called upon by the Convention, and Con-
gress, to recommend to the people to choose Delegates to ratify it, may
have the authority of the largest and most promising commercial and manu-
facturing Town in the State to countenance so important a recommendation.'
But Caution thinks a petition improper and unnecessary; because says he,
"your Delegates will move for and exert themselves to procure the
calling a Convention." Admitting your Delegates to move to have a
Convention called, does it follow that they will add to their motion
these essential words, to confirm and ratify the Constitution? Does it not
rather appear, from the tenor of this writer's remarks, that your Dele-
gates ought to leave these words out of their motion? But the propriety
and necessity of a petition does not depend on what your Delegates may,
or may not do. It is proper at this time, because the Constitution meets
your approbation.-It is necessary at this time, because wanted as an
inducement to the legislature to call upon the people to appoint a
Convention to carry into effect the object of the resolution. In other
words, as the recommendation for a Convention involves the legislature
in a complete approbation of the Constitution, there is the greatest propriety
and necessity for your telling the legislature that it meets your approbation.
I am sorry to find, by Caution's publication and insinuations, which
I am told are circulated with great industry, that an opposition is opened
against the Constitution. I did not, I confess, expect to see it adopted
without some opposition; but I could not bring myself to believe, that
this opposition could have originated in Baltimore, which is so peculiarly
interested in its speedy adoption. But what I intended to say on this point,
is so well expressed in a late speech of Mr. Wilson, to the people of
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