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

B. The Carlisle Riot and its aftermath, 26 December 1787-20 March 1788,   pp. 670-708


Page 672

IV. AFTERMATH OF RATIFICATION
tion to repel, at the risk of their lives any attack which might be made
on them. A bonfire was made, and the ratification of the Constitution
by this state was read, accompanied by the acclamation of all the
people present, repeated volleys of musketry and firing of caLnnon.
I cannot help giving my praise to the good order and coolness and
determined spirit with which the business was conducted, although
the mob made their appearance in several places, armed w:th guns
and bludgeons, and even came close to where the Federalists were
firing the cannon, and used threatening language, which was. treated
with every possible contempt, and no violence offered to them. The
Federalists remained 2 hours on the ground, testified their joy, with
every appearance of harmony and good humor, and returned without
any disturbance to their homes. Immediately after, a drum beat-
the mob gathered-collected barrels, and proceeded to the courthouse
with noise and tumult, when there was brought from an adjacent lot
two effigies with labels on their breasts, THOMAS M'KEAN,'4 Chief
Justice and JAMES WILSON the Caledonian. They formed in order,
had the effigies carried in front, preceded only by a noted captain of
militia [Joseph Frazier], who declared he was inspired from Heaven,
paraded the streets, and with shouts and most dreadful execrations
committed them to the flames. It is remarkable that some of the most
active people in the riot of Wednesday evening, and the mob of
Thursday, have come to this country within these two years-men
perfectly unknown, and whose characters were too obscure to attract
the notice of the inhabitants of this place, and others who but lately
have stripped off the garb of British soldiers. I think it improper
to prejudice the public by naming the persons concerned in these
atrocious riots, as prosecutions are about to be commenced in the
name of the state against them. Every lover of good order must lament
the wound the dignity of the state has received in burning in the
public street, in one of the largest towns in open day, the effigy of
the first magistrate of the commonwealth. Proceedings of this kind
are really alarming, directly tend to the dissolution of all govern-
ments, and must receive the reprobation of every honest citizen.
I was invited, being an old man, to spend the evening with the
Federalists, at Mr. Joseph Postlethwait's tavern, where an elegant sup-
per had been prepared. A number of the respectable inhabitants of
Carlisle convened there and spent the evening with the most perfect
harmony, good humor, and conviviality. After supper, the following
toasts were drank.
1. The Federal Constitution.
2. General Washington, and the Federal Convention.
3. The states who acceded to the Federal Constitution.
672


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