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

VI. The Connecticut Convention, 3-9 January 1788,   pp. 535-562


Page 547

VI. CONVENTION
1. Ellsworth's speech was also printed in the American Mercury on the same day
and was reprinted in six other Connecticut newspapers by 14 January. It was re-
printed fourteen other times from New Hampshire to Maryland by 13 February and
in the April issue of the Philadelphia American Museum (CC:413).
For Ellsworth's objections to the reporting of his speech, see Ellsworth to the
Printers, Connecticut Courant, 14 January, VII:B below. For a defense of the pub-
lishers, see "A Plain Farmer," 28 January, VII:B below.
2. Johnson's speech was also printed in the American Mercury on the same day.
It was reprinted in six more Connecticut newspapers by 21 January, and in ten
other newspapers from Rhode Island to Maryland by 13 February (CC:413).
Extract of a Letter from
Hartford, 6 January'
I shall endeavor that you have the earliest information of so
happy an event as the adoption of the new Constitution.
The opposition, headed by General [James] Wadsworth, sup-
ported by Colonel W [illiam] Williams, Messrs. Joseph Hopkins,
[Ephraim] Carpenter, Hall,2 and H [osea] Humphreys, is dwindling
to nothing. We are at present discussing the 8th section of the first
Article. Tomorrow forenoon will probably finish the first Article.
The arguments urged by General Wadsworth have exceedingly
injured the cause of the opposition-they have been weak and, in
some instances, urged with great spleen.3
1. New Haven Gazette, 10 January. The letter was headed: "Extract of a letter
from a gentleman in Hartford to his friend in this city dated Jan. 6th."
2. Hall was the surname of three Convention delegates-Asaph Hall of Goshen,
Daniel Hall of Durham, and Street Hall of Wallingford. The latter two voted
against ratification. For a Federalist attack on Street Hall, see American Mercury,
19 November (Mfm:Conn. 39).
3. For another newspaper attack upon Wadsworth's actions in the Convention,
see "Plebian," 28 January, VII:C below.
The Connecticut Convention
Monday
7 January 1788
Convention Debates'
The paragraph which respects taxes, imposts, and excises was
largely debated by several gentlemen.
GENERAL JAMES WADSWORTH objected against it, because it gave
the power of the purse to the general legislature; another para-
graph gave the power of the sword; and that authority which has the
power of the sword and purse is despotic. He objected against im-
posts and excises because their operation would be partial and in
547


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