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Kaminski, John P.; Schoenleber, Charles H.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Leffler, Richard; Reid, Jonathan M.; Flamingo, Margaret R.; Lannér-Cusin, Johanna E.; Fields, David P.; Conley, Patrick T.; Moore, Timothy D. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Rhode Island (3)
26 (2013)

VI. The debate over the Constitution in Rhode Island, 20 January-29 May 1790,   pp. 711-897


Page 717

COMMENTARIES, 4 FEBRUARY 1790
Treasury Alexander Hamilton on public credit and the 12 January report of Secretary of
War Henry Knox on the Indian Department and the southwestern frontier (DHFFC, V,
743-823, 1279-93).
2. For more than thirty years, George Partridge was sheriff of Plymouth County, Mass.
He voted to ratify the Constitution in the Massachusetts Convention on 6 February 1788,
and he served in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789-90.
Moses Brown to Isaac Lawton, Jacob Mott, and Sampson Sherman
Providence, 4 February 17901
Esteemed Friends
It having been permitted by the Governor of the Universe that a
great revolution should take place in the gov't of this country & that
a Const. for the National Gov't should be formed by the common coun-
sel, & peaceably established by the common consent of the people of
12 of the 13 states, it is now the period when this state must decide
whether it will be one of the Union or not. A period perhaps as inter-
esting as any the state has known-so much so that did I not hear the
contrary I should suppose there would not be any opposition to the
adoption of the Const. with the amendments that are proposed by Con-
gress or on the proposal of others may be thot necessary. But hearing
there is likely to be an attempt in your town to choose such persons
for Members of the Convention as will reject the Constitution,2 I tho't it
would be well for our F [rien] ds to manifest their desire of uniting with
our sister states in the adoption of the Const. & those who have been
opposed to some parts thereof like Danl Howld & myself will like him
do themselves & the public the justice to show in town mtg or otherwise
that the amendments proposed & the distressed situation of this state
(should we long continue separate) require that we manifest our opin-
ion as a people of some influence in the state among our neighbors &
that we think the time is come when our acceptance of the new gov't
will be better for us than to any longer stand out being alone & there
can be no possibility, in my view, of any advantageous alteration in our
favor. But were we represented by good men at Congress we should
then have a voice equal to any state in the Union to propose & to
adopt any alteration that may appear best
Having been a tour around as far as E. Greenwich with our esteemed
friend Isaac          I have conversed with Dan'l Howland on this
subject & we are agreed that however our opinion has been that the
Constitution might be [a]mended it is now only to be first adopted
before we can attempt amendments. Indeed we think some of those
proposed by Congress4 So important that the Govermm't will be the
best & the most peaceably founded, perhaps, of any in the world. The
717


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