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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 12

I. DEBATE OVER CONSTITUTION
in a state of irrecoverable ruin. He therefore wants to obtain a seat in
the Legislature, that he may use his utmost endeavors to defeat it-
But finding that a knowledge of this will destroy his interest among the
people, he conceals it as much as possible, and tries to hold a different
language. In spite of himself, however, the secret breaks out, and no
impartial person in the town is at any loss to gather his real sentiments.
He may now promise equal to the demands of the most zealous for the
federal government-but what confidence can be reposed in promises
directly contrary to opinion, judgment and interest. They are unwill-
ingly and tardily brought forth, to answer the purpose of carrying his
election, and none except the most soft-headed inconsiderate dupes to
most palpable arts, will pay them the least regard.
Baltimore, Sept. 27, 1787.
Edmund Randolph to James Madison
Bowling Green, Va., 30 September 1787 (excerpt) 4
My dear friend
... Baltimore resounds with friendship for the new constitution, and
Mr. Chase's election depends, as it is said, upon his opinion concerning
it. He waited on me, with an affectation, I suspect, of learning some-
thing to foster his opposition. I was prepared, because I had heard of
his address harangue to the people of Fell's point the night before I
saw him. It was represented to me, that after he had finished his speech,
Colo Sam: Smith5 and Mr. Zebulon Hollingsworth6 asked him, whether
he espoused the constitution or not? He replied to this effect: "Here
gentlemen is a form of government, (pulling out the Maryland Act)7
under which we have lived happily for more than ten years. Shall we
make a new experiment precipitately? Are we to pay taxes indefinitely,
have our militia led from one End of the continent to the other, and be
dragooned by a standing army, if we fail in the smallest article of duty?-
But-I have not made up my mind"-However in the discourse be-
tween us, altho' he discovered a tendency to reject the constitution,
unless amended, he declared he would labour to establish a foederal
government.
In Bladensburg the constitution is approved....
Adieu: and believe me My dear sir, always & inviolably to be yr. af-
fectionate friend
1. On 28 September, Chase's remarks were also printed in the Baltimore Maryland
Gazette and then reprinted in the Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, 4 October, the Penn-
sylvania Herald, 6 October, and the State Gazette of South Carolina, 18 October. For com-
ments on Chase's "promise" to the electors, see "A Friend to the Constitution," Maryland
journal, 16 October (below).
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