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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 740

1783, see RCS:N.Y, Vol. 1, xxxvi-xl. On 27 July 1786 Congress declared that Pennsylva-
nia's act adopting the Impost of 1783 contained clauses that needed to be repealed before
the impost could go into effect (JCC, XXX, 443).
5. The Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention (1789-90) then meeting was drafting
a new state constitution which would replace the unicameral legislature of the Constitu-
tion of 1776 with a bicameral legislature.
6. According to Article V of the Articles of Confederation, delegates to Congress were
"annually appointed in such manner as the legislature of each state shall direct" (CDR,
87). Only in Rhode Island and Connecticut were delegates to Congress elected directly
by the people. In the other eleven states, the state legislatures elected congressional
7. Probably a reference to the compensation Congress approved for Baron von Steu-
ben for his service as a major general and inspector general during the Revolutionary
War. David Howell was in Congress when it considered granting von Steuben $45,000 in
April 1784. The amount was reduced to $10,000. Howell likewise was involved in granting
von Steuben $7,000 in September 1785. See JCC, XXVI, 217-19, 227-30; XXIX, 771-
Providence United States Chronicle, 25 February 1790
So much has been said, and wrote on the subject of the federal Con-
stitution, that little new remains to offer the honorable Members of the
Convention, appointed to meet next week.-Yet I will venture for the
first time, to impress the magnitude of the business entrusted to their
care, and to point out a few of the many reasons which urge the ne-
cessity of a speedy adoption of that Constitution our sister States now
Sensible as they all were of the unhappy consequences which flowed
from the old confederated system, the people at large, by their Rep-
resentatives, appointed and sent forward the best and most respectable
of their fellow-citizens, either to revise and strengthen the old or form
a new government, that would secure to themselves and posterity their
liberties and properties. This State unfortunately was almost destroyed
by internal commotions-party rage and private malice so occupied the
thoughts of those who turned the wheels of government, that little at-
tention was paid to the advice of any, when those worthy well-informed
Delegates met in 1787, and without our assistance,' on cool delibera-
tion, formed and proposed that Constitution the States have now in-
dividually chosen for to bind themselves together.-A government that
must necessarily increase the welfare of all classes of men, and render
them beloved and respected at home and abroad.
The want of power to protect us from invasion, or internal insurrec-
tions,-to promote our Agricultures and Manufactures at home, and
our Commerce abroad was sufficiently exemplified under the old Con-
federation. How often during the last war, when Congress applied to

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