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

IV. The election of convention delegates, 12 November 1787,   pp. 405-455


Page 454

CONNECTICUT/ 18 NOV.
1. RC, Wadsworth Papers, CtHi. Trumbull, a lawyer, was Speaker of the House
from May 1788 to January 1789. All of the individuals named in this letter, with
the exception of the three Congregational clergymen, served in the House of Repre-
sentatives at one time or another between 1747 and about 1800, and all of them who
were Convention delegates voted for ratification.
2. Plainfield elected James Bradford and Joshua Dunlop.
3. Hart, a Congregational clergyman, was a lifelong opponent of slavery and the
slave trade. For his commentary on the state Convention's ratification, see his
letter to Henry Marchant, 12 January 1788, VII:A below.
4. Williams, a resident of Lebanon, was a member of the Council. He had
married Trumbull's sister, Mary, in 1771.
5. Probably William Hillhouse and his son, John Griswold Hillhouse. The elder
Hillhouse, a member of the Council, was known as the "Black Prince" because of
his piercing black eyes and swarthy complexion.
6. Suffield elected delegates on 19 November. Trumbull's belief that such an
election was illegal was incorrect. He confused a town meeting and a freemen's
meeting. Town meetings could and often did adjourn.
Oliver Wolcott, Sr. to Oliver Wolcott, Jr.
Litchfield, 18 November (excerpt)1
Your favor by the last post has been received together with a list
of delegates chosen in the county of Hartford and in return for which
I have sent you a list (so far as I have been informed) of the dele-
gates chosen in this county, together with their opinions relative to
the new Constitution as far as they are known.2 I think that every
town in this county will eventually accede to the adoption of the
proposed Constitution except Sharon and Norfolk. Every member
chosen in Fairfield County will support it except Major Baldwin4
of Newtown, and perhaps he, upon further information, will change
his opinion. In New Haven County I hear that they are much di.-
vided.5 How the elections turn out in the eastern counties I have
had but little information of, tho I suppose the Constitution will be
adopted by this state without much opposition.
As to General [James] Wadsworth, you need give yourself no
concern about him. His duplicity is, I believe, pretty well understood,,
He certainly will not be employed in his office of comptroller nor in
any other that has any resemblance to it later than next May. An
office of accounts with some additional powers will be continued. Take
no more notice of Wadsworth than what the course of business ren-
ders indispensably necessary. It will be for your credit and interest
to be thought to despise him. He undoubtedly would be willing to
do you an injury, but it will not be in his power. I believe that I
never knew a man whose hypocrisy was so [indelibly?] incorporated
into the very substance of his soul and body as his is, but let him
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