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Jensen, Merrill (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut
3 (1978)

II. The General Assembly calls the state convention, 16-17 October 1787,   pp. 363-371


Page 371

II. ASSEMBLY CALLS CONVENTION
made, "behold the Constitution cometh; go ye in to pass it." Then
all those virgins arose and offered their votes. And the foolish said
unto the wise, "give us of your sense, for our votes are unpopular."
But the wise answered, saying, "not so, lest there be not enough for
us and you; but look ye rather to the situation of our country, and
learn for yourselves." And while they went to learn, the Constitution
came; and they that were ready supported it with their voice, and
the question was carried. At the next election came also the other
virgins, saying, "People, people, open to us." But the people answered
and said, "verily we say unto you, we know you not." Watch there-
fore, or you will not discern which way the popular wind will blow.
1. RC, Wadsworth Papers, CtHi. Colt, a Hartford merchant, was one of Wads-
worth's business associates.
2. RC, Wolcott Papers, CtHi.
3. This item was reprinted in the Middlesex Gazette, 22 October, and was re-
printed or summarized in thirty-nine other newspapers from Maine to South Caro-
lina by 26 November. For other newspaper reports of the calling of the state
Convention, see Mfm:Conn. 30, 37.
4. New York Daily Advertiser, 19 October. This item was reprinted or summar-
ized in six newspapers from New York to Maryland by 12 December.
5. On 25 October, the Norwich Packet reached the same conclusion when it
stated: "The citizens of this state, as far as we can learn, seem disposed to embrace
the proposed frame for a Continental government with an enthusiastic yet noble
zeal."
6. Hopkins was a member of the House of Representatives from Waterbury.
During the winter of 1786-87, he was attacked in the New Haven Gazette along
with other "anti-federal" leaders such as James Wadsworth and William Williams.
He was nicknamed "Joseph Copper" and "Mr. Copper" because in May 1785 he and
three other men had been granted the right to mint copper coins (CSR:VI, 121-22).
Hopkins was a Waterbury delegate to the state Convention where he opposed the
Constitution, although he voted for ratification. For a comment on this item, see
"A Metallurgist," 1 November, Mfm:Conn. 32.
7. RC, Chaloner and White Papers, PHi. Chaloner, a merchant, was Wadsworth's
business agent in Philadelphia. On 26 October, this excerpt from Wadsworth's
letter was printed in the Pennsylvania Packet. It was reprinted once each in New
York, New Jersey, and Maryland by 20 November.
8. This item was reprinted twice in Boston and once in Lansingburgh, New York,
by 13 November. For another version of what might have happened in the Council,
see Oliver Wolcott, Sr. to Oliver Wolcott, Jr., 9 December, V below.
371I


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