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Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Moore, Timothy D. (Historian); Lannér-Cusin, Johanna E.; Schoenleber, Charles H.; Reid, Jonathan M.; Flamingo, Margaret R.; Fields, David P. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Maryland (1)
11 (2015)

Introduction,   pp. xxi-lvi


Page l

INTRODUCTION
would go into effect following Congress' and the states' approval of
them. Nine states voted on the motion. Eight favored it.69
Based on the report of the Annapolis commissioners, seven states
(Va., N.J., Pa., N.C., Del., Ga., and N.H.) had already elected delegates
to Philadelphia when Congress approved Massachusetts' motion. Five
other states (Mass., N.Y, S.C., Conn., and Md.) elected delegates fol-
lowing the motion. (New Hampshire's legislature held two elections.)
Every state in the confederacy, with the exception of Rhode Island, which
refused to elect delegates, would be represented at Philadelphia.70
The six months leading up to the Maryland Assembly's appointment
of delegates were difficult and sometimes rancorous ones in the state
legislature. The two houses of the Maryland legislature had been at
odds with each other over paper money. That issue had strained the
goodwill of legislators, who on both sides of the question of debt relief
concurred in the necessity of shoring up the central government. An
unexpected adjournment of the House of Delegates on 20 January
1787, a tactic endorsed by paper-money men, was intended to divest
the Senate of its longstanding advocacy on behalf of creditors. The
Senate was dismayed at the House's approach. The House of Delegates
prepared to remain in adjournment until 20 March, and the Senate
did not expect to reconvene until 20 April. Little had been accom-
plished during the legislative session. The two houses reconvened in
early April, partly at the behest of Governor William Smallwood, who
had issued a proclamation for the Assembly to meet. At that time the
two houses agreed that five men would represent the state at Philadel-
phia.71
The House nominated ten men on 20 April 1787. The Senate nom-
inated four on the next day. During the nomination and election pro-
cess, several delegates refused to serve or resigned when elected. Among
them were Samuel Chase; Thomas Johnson, a lawyer who had served
in both the state House and Senate and as governor; and William Paca,
a lawyer-planter who had also served Maryland as a state legislator and
governor. These were not the last of the refusals and resignations. Com-
pleting the five-man Maryland delegation proved more challenging than
many had imagined. More than a month after the two houses had
begun the process of nominating and electing delegates the composi-
tion of the delegation was still unclear. The Maryland delegation was
finally filled out on 24 May, the same day on which the two houses
passed an act that "appointed and authorised" the delegates to rep-
resent the state at Philadelphia. That act provided that the delegates,
"or such of them as shall attend the said convention," would be en-
trusted with "full power" to represent Maryland's interests. The men
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