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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 lii

Paterson's proposed amendments to the Articles of Confederation (i.e.,
the New Jersey Plan), which had maintained the states' equal represen-
tation in Congress. Martin may have even been involved in drafting the
amendments. That fact is not clear. Paterson's plan was rejected; the
Maryland delegation was divided on the proposal.74
Once the new plan of government began to take shape, Martin ex-
pressed serious qualms about its lack of a bill of rights. He feared that
citizens might easily fall prey to a government under which individual
rights were not explicitly guarded, not even to the extent that they had
been in some state constitutions. Martin's and Mercer's absence from
the Convention before its conclusion reflected the men's growing dis-
trust of a new system of government that, in their minds, was being
empowered beyond expectation and need. Such a system might put the
states' sovereignty at risk. Maryland's three other delegates did not share
the scruples of Martin and Mercer, and, along with thirty-five fellow
delegates from other states, signed their names to the Constitution on
17 September 1787, the date on which the Convention closed. In his
role as Convention president, George Washington transmitted the Con-
stitution to Congress, requesting that it be sent to the states for their
consideration. The new Constitution would become effective among
the ratifying states after nine had given their assent.75
Upon their return to Maryland, the state's delegates would be asked
to give account of the Convention's proceedings. The General Assem-
bly was scheduled to meet in early November 1787. Once in session,
the House of Delegates wasted little time in calling on the men who
attended at Philadelphia. On 23 November, the House requested that
its five delegates appear on 29 November to give a report. Four of the
five delegates certainly attended the House as requested. No record
exists of Mercer's attendance, though Daniel Carroll noted that Mercer
was in Annapolis while the Assembly was in session. The aftermath of
the Philadelphia Convention revealed the delegates' decidedly different
perspectives on what had taken place. Martin suggested that a strong
monarchical faction had existed at the Convention. In Martin's esti-
mation, that faction wanted to destroy the state governments in the
interest of greater centralization. The delegates disagreed among
themselves over the existence of such a faction and, if there was a
faction, who might have been sympathetic with it. As he had been at
the Convention, Martin would continue to be an outspoken critic of
the Constitution at the state level. Martin's Genuine Information, a twelve-
installment analysis and critique of the Convention and Constitution
printed between December 1787 and February 1788 in the Baltimore
Maryland Gazette, would give voice to his many anxieties about living

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