University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Jensen, Merrill; Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Pennsylvania
2 (1976)

A. Proceedings and debates of the convention,   pp. 326-616


Page 609

A. CELEBRATION OF RATIFICATION/13 DEC.
militia officers, and citizens did not appear to celebrate this grand
affair which concerns them all, so materially, is wonderful.
And the common people, I observed, were as inattentive as the
others. They did not seem to show any attention to a fine little batteau
(dressed off with colors) that was industriously carried on a cart
through some of the back streets, as an emblem of our future com-
merce; although the sailors, etc. who conducted it, used all their
generous endeavors to excite admiration. They huzzaed at the corners,
had the sweet music of a fiddle, etc. I followed them many squares,
and could not find any but children with them. 0 strange behavior!
the people do not seem to know what grandeur is preparing for them
and their posterity.
But to come to the point; our friends, the majority, after dining
together, enjoyed much happiness, in the pleasures of the social bottle
till late at night, when our worthy Chief J [u]st [i] ce, that great
patron and protector of the press, was a little affected by the working
of small beer, and so retired.9
Some of the toasts that were drank were middling, but most of them
were not to the purpose; for we should now forget our past national
transactions; and it will be ridiculous to give 13 toasts hereafter, as
we are all to be united and bound together into 1. For the same
reason it was wrong to fire 13 guns, one great gun ought only to have
been fired; and we must immediately alter our flags and remove the
13 stripes and stars, and in their places insert the spread eagle, or
some other great monster, emblematical of our future Unison.
I think the conduct of our people in the majority in Convention
was from the beginning a true emblem of our future unanimity and
grandeur. They were from    the first united in and under J [ames]
W [ilso] n, Esquire, without whose direction nothing was done or
said; in short, none of our party attempted to argue except him, and
he deserves much credit for his industry and ingenuity on the occasion;
to be sure, he had the best right to defend it, for it was framed by
him and our worthy friend Mr. G [ouverneu] r M [orri] s in the
Federal Convention. I think, Mr. Oswald, that if we had not put him
in our Convention, the business would have been lost. The yellow
whigs were so arch, and upon the whole, they both deserve great
promotion and the highest offices. I am sure they shall have the vote
of A UNITARIAN. [Independent Gazetteer, 21 December]
1. On 15 December the Pennsylvania Herald reported that "A gentleman
being asked why only twelve guns were discharged on announcing the ratification
of the proposed Constitution gave the following reason: because twelve states
were represented in the late Federal Convention, and their system was adopted
by this state on the twelfth day of the twelfth month, in the twelfth year of the
60


Go up to Top of Page