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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 718

VI. DEBATE OVER CONSTITUTION
administration will depend upon the people that are sent & stand ap-
pointed to administer it, who if they are men of wisdom & integrity we
have reason to hope & expect as much happiness under the form
agreed upon as under any form whatever. I wish, therefore, our Friends
would consider this matter; a matter on which perhaps it may never
hereafter be in their power to act, & do what may contribute to the
best interest of this poor, lonely, divided State in such manner as may
appear best. If it should be alleged that it is uncertain whether the
amendments will be adopted
a passage here hardly legible [- - -] at present
Friends address to Gen'l Washington5 I esteem       as designed princi-
pally to manifest thier cordial acceptance of the Gov'tmt I am united
with them therein & hope that none may conclude this letter is de-
signed to serve any political party or to encourage Friends therein, but
in practically manifesting our prospects & unitedly using our freedom
in this cause as a right I have no doubt we may innocently exercise
With love to Freinds I conclude Your affectionate Freind
To Isaac Lawton, Jacob Mott, Sampson Sherman or any other Freind
to whom they may think proper to communicate
1. FC and Copy, Austin Collection, #12, RPJCB. The file copy appears to be a nearly
illegible press copy. A copy of the letter seems to have been transcribed by Samuel Austin.
An "N. B." reads "This contains an important letter, scarcely legible, together with a copy
made by Samuel Austin-See also the accompanying copy from S. A.'s MS. which traces
the probable influence of the letter" (Mfm:R.I.). Lawton, Mott, and Sherman were Quak-
ers living in Portsmouth. None of these men voted in the March 1788 referendum on
the Constitution.
2. For the election of Convention delegates in Portsmouth, see RCS:R.I., 695-703.
3. Daniel Howland was an influential Quaker in East Greenwich.
4. For the twelve amendments to the Constitution adopted by Congress on 25 Septem-
ber 1789, see Appendix I (below).
5. Perhaps a reference to the address to George Washington from the yearly meeting
of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), which was held in Philadelphia from 28
September through 3 October 1789 and represented Friends from Pennsylvania, New
Jersey, and the western parts of Virginia and Maryland. See Abbot, Washington, Presidential
Series, IV, 265-69n.
Newport Herald, 4 February 1790
A Correspondent requests us to inform the public, that by a letter
from New-York, of the 29th of January, from a gentleman of good in-
formation, he is advised, that it appears to be the sense of both Houses
of Congress, that the Acts of Congress, subjecting the citizens of this
State to foreign tonnage and foreign duties, would be suspended in
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