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

V. Commentaries on the Constitution, 13 November 1787-7 January 1788,   pp. 456-534


Page 457

V. COMMENTARIES
reprinted in the Connecticut Courant and in the American Mercury
on 12 November at the request of "Landholder" so that he could
answer it. "Nobody" answered it first on 19 November and "Land-
holder" followed with essays IV and V on 26 November and 3 De-
cember. Mason's objections were reprinted in the Connecticut Cou-
rant on 26 November and "Landholder" VI answered them on 10
December. This was followed by "Landholder" VIII on 24 Decem-
ber, a personal attack on Elbridge Gerry.
Two Antifederalist items from Philadelphia were reprinted during
the first three weeks of December: "An Officer of the Late Continen-
tal Army" (CC:231-A) in the Middlesex Gazette on 3 December and
"An Old Whig" VI (CC:292) in the New Haven Gazette on 6 Decem-
ber. "The People," which mildly criticized the Constitution, was
apparently written in Connecticut. It was published in the Middle-
sex Gazette on 10 December. These items were ignored by Connecti-
cut Federalists, although "Plain Truth" (CC:231-B), the Philadel-
phia answer to "An Officer of the Late Continental Army," was re-
printed in the Weekly Monitor on 17 December.
Evidently, there was criticism of the Hartford newspapers for their
partiality. On 10 December the printers of the Connecticut Courant
published a statement denying that they were partial and asserting
that they were pledged to maintain "the liberty of the press." On 24
December the printers of the Courant and the American Mercury
published a joint statement denying that they were under the "direc-
tion of certain men, who exclude everything written against the new
Constitution." Both the Courant on the 10th and the two papers on
the 24th insisted that they had never received any pieces written
against the Constitution. In any case, the two papers, except for Gerry's
letter and Mason's objections, printed only Federalist material.
Connecticut newspapers continued to rely heavily upon Federalist
writings from other states. Among the items reprinted during this
period were "The Federalist" IV, V, and VIII (CC:234, 252, 274);
James Wilson's speech of 24 November in the Pennsylvania Conven-
tion (CC:289); and an excerpt from "A Citizen of America's" pam-
phlet An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal
Constitution written by Noah Webster (Mfm:Pa. 142). By 21 Decem-
ber, seven Connecticut newspapers had also reprinted Benjamin
Franklin's speech of 17 September in the Constitutional Convention
(CC:77-F). (For other examples of out-of-state items, see CC:168, 214,
220, 225, 263, 268.)
Also reprinted were accounts of events in other states such as
debates in the Pennsylvania Convention, celebrations of Pennsylvania
457


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