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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 458

ratification, proceedings of the New Jersey Convention, and the Bos-
ton election of delegates to the Massachusetts Convention. Most Con-
necticut newspapers also continued to reprint brief accounts of the
calling of state conventions, reports of Delaware, Pennsylvania, and
New Jersey ratification, items that gave assurance of ratification by
other states, and a host of squibs. (For examples, see CC:198, 214,
233 A-B, 251, 258-59, 281-82, 290-A, D, and CC:Vols. I and II, Ap-
pendices, passim.)
While Connecticut Federalists could control the contents of their
own newspapers, they could not control the broadsides, pamphlets,
and newspapers sent into the state by New York Antifederalists.
Thomas Greenleaf, publisher of the Antifederal New York Journal,
printed as a broadside the first two numbers of "Centinel" (CC: 133,
190) by Samuel Bryan of Philadelphia. It was sent to Connecticut, as
was the pamphlet Letters from a Federal Farmer (CC:242), which
Greenleaf had published on 8 November.
Connecticut Federalists denounced the circulation of such publica-
tions and the ideas in them. In "Countryman" II on 22 November,
Roger Sherman attacked, among others, "Centinel" and five Anti-
federalist contributors to the New York Journal, a newspaper which
apparently circulated in western Connecticut. Articles attacking "Cen-
tinel" and New York Antifederalist John Lamb appeared in the New
Haven Gazette on 22 November and 13 December, while on 24 De-
cember "New England" attacked Richard Henry Lee and accused
him of writing Letters from a Federal Farmer. In contrast, Connecti-
cut newspapers continued to ignore opponents of the Constitution
within the state with the notable exceptions of "Compo's" assault on
James Wadsworth on 26 November, and the poetic satire on Wads-
worth and John Lamb, "The Forc'd Alliance," on 31 December.
Connecticut Federalist writing reached a peak as the delegates con-
verged on Hartford for the opening of the state Convention on 3 Jan-
uary 1788. On 31 December the Hartford newspapers published three
major essays: "Landholder" IX in the Connecticut Courant and the
American Mercury, "A Freeman" in the Courant, and "Connecti-
cutensis" in the Mercury. On 7 January, in the midst of the Conven-
tion, the Courant published three more major essays: "A Citizen of
New Haven," "The Republican," and one with no pseudonym. For
additional items published on 7 January, see Mfm:Conn. 64, 65, 66.
Except where another location is indicated, the documents referred
to in this introduction are printed in this section.
458
CONNECTICUT


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