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Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Leffler, Richard; Schoenleber, Charles H.; Hogan, Margaret A.; Reid, Jonathan M. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: New York (5)
23 (2009)

V. The New York Convention, 17 June-26 July 1788 (continued),   pp. 2169-2340


Page 2175

PRIVATE COMMENTARIES ON THE CONVENTION, 14 JULY 1788
Next day, Mr. Hamilton brought forward a plan for ratification,
nearly similar to that of Virginia,2 only containing more declarations.
On this a considerable debate took place, and much of the old ground
gone over, and the decision again postponed till the next day.
1. Reprinted in the New York Packet, 18 July; the Impartial Gazetteer, 19 July; and in
fourteen newspapers outside New York by 6 August: N.H. (1), Mass. (3), Conn. (3), Pa.
(4), Va. (2), S.C. (1).
2. By this time, Hamilton had undoubtedly seen the Virginia Form of Ratification
which had appeared in broadsides printed in both New York City and Poughkeepsie on
2 July and in nine New York newspapers between 3 and 8 July. The Virginia Convention's
recommendations-consisting of twenty structural amendments and twenty additional
amendments contained in a declaration of rights-were also available to Hamilton, hav-
ing been reprinted in the Daily Advertiser, 9 July, and the New York Journal, 10 July. On 15
and 22 July these amendments also appeared in the Poughkeepsie Country Journal. (See
"The Arrival in New York of the News of Virginia's Ratification of the Constitution," 2
July, above.)
Private Commentaries on the Convention, 14 July 1788
David S. Bogart to Samuel Blachley Webb
Poughkeepsie, 14 July 17881
The important decisive question would have been put this morning,
had not the eloquent Hamilton and Mr. Jay pleaded the postponement
(at least till tomorrow), of a question the most serious and interesting
ever known to the people of America-But alas, for the ignorance of
many of the antifederalists, notwithstanding the most energetic argu-
ments and the clearest demonstrations for the adoption of the Consti-
tution, urged by the two Gentlemen above mentioned, they are regard-
less of the fatal Consequences resulting from a rejection of it; if Congress
should receive it as such,-Mr. Hamilton appeared to be much im-
pressed with a sense of this important crisis, and while he exerted every
faculty to shew them the improbability that their adoption would be
accepted, entreated them to be very deliberate & cool, in determining
perhaps not only the fate of the present, but of many generations-Mr.
Gilbert Livingston seemed to coincide with Mr. Hamilton, and moved
likewise for a postponement of the question, although Mr. Lansing and
one or two others used every effort but happily in vain, that the question
might be brought forward immediately-The debates this Morning were
opened by Mr. Smith, who spoke a considerable time, but I think to little
purpose-He appears to be willing to rest upon an uncertainty for he
cannot be certain that the manner in which they mean to adopt the
Constitution will be esteemed as a ratification-He was followed by The
honorable Mr. Jay who after a long controversy about a comparison made
by himself, silenced his opponent-He was succeeded again by Mr. Har-
rison who in elegant language & with becoming modesty pointed out
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