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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)

I. The debate over the Constitution in Maryland, 17 September-30 November 1787,   pp. 3-67


Page 9

COMMENTARIES, 28-30 SEPTEMBER 1787
should this Government not obtain, a Scene of Anarchy will ensue, that
will seriously threaten our Political Existence. It is, therefore, devoutly
to be wished, that the several States will send to their respective Leg-
islatures Men, who are truly attached to their Country, and who, of
course, will support and maintain this New System of Federal Govern-
ment, which has been framed and recommended to us by our most dis-
tinguished Patriots and Statesmen."
"P S. As this New System of Federal Government will have a Ten-
dency to promote Manufactures of every Kind, our Tradesmen here
discover the utmost Anxiety to have it established."
1. Reprinted in thirteen newspapers by 25 October: N.H. (2), Mass. (4), R.I. (1), N.Y
(1), N.J. (1), Pa. (2), S.C., (1), Ga. (1). The New Hampshire Gazette reprinting, 13 October,
omitted the postscript. The Philadelphia Columbian Magazine reprinted the first paragraph
of the letter in its October issue. The New Hampshire Spy reprinted the entire letter on
13 October and only the postscript on 3 November. The Albany Gazette, 18 October, Salem
Mercury, 6 November, and New Hampshire Mercury, 9 November, reprinted only the post-
script.
Samuel Chase: On Calling a State Convention,
28-30 September 1787
The October 1787 election for the state House of Delegates drew little pub-
lic attention except in Baltimore Town. Samuel Chase, who had moved from
Annapolis to Baltimore in 1786, announced his candidacy on 13 September
1787 (Maryland Journal, 14 September [Mfm:Md. 13]). In the Baltimore news-
papers Chase was criticized for supporting paper money and debtor legislation
and for being a champion of the poor and landless. An item in the Maryland
Journal of 5 October described the newspaper publications and handbills against
Chase as "virulent." "Every Artifice was used, every Stratagem practised, every
Falsehood circulated" to defeat Chase (Mfm:Md. 16).
The Constitution, adopted by the Constitutional Convention on 17 Septem-
ber, became an issue in the Baltimore Town election after Chase delivered
speeches on 25 September at Fell's Point and on 26 September at the court-
house. After "his harangue to the people of Fell's point," Chase was asked by
two gentlemen if he "espoused the constitution or not." He replied by bran-
dishing the Maryland constitution of 1776 "under which we have lived happily
for more than ten years." Consequently, he did not think that Marylanders
should "make a new experiment precipitately" (Edmund Randolph to James
Madison, 30 September, below). The next day at the courthouse, Chase de-
clared that he had "always maintained the Union, and the Increase of Powers
in Congress." He believed that "the Federal Government must be greatly al-
tered," but he was undecided whether the Constitution should be accepted
"as it stands, without any Amendment or Alteration." Chase promised, if
elected, to support a legislative call of a ratifying convention (Maryland Journal,
28 September, immediately below).
Federalist leaders were angered by Chase's position because he had not
unequivocally supported the Constitution. On 28 September both Baltimore
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