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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)

II. The Maryland General Assembly calls a state convention, 23 November-1 December 1787,   pp. 68-100


Page 80

II. STATE CONVENTION CALLED
voted 28 to 22 to request that the Convention delegates attend the House on
29 November to give information about the Convention. Antifederalists sup-
ported the proposal, while Federalists were divided.
Four of the state's five Convention delegates appeared on 29 November-
Daniel Carroll, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, James McHenry, and Luther Mar-
tin. The fifth delegate-John Francis Mercer-apparently did not attend. The
delegates were dismissed by the House on 30 November. Copies of McHenry's
and Martin's addresses have survived, while Carroll described the actions of
the delegates in a 2 December letter to Benjamin Franklin. All three items
follow in this grouping.
James McHenry Addresses the House of Delegates, 29 November 17871
MaryLand Novr. 29 1787-
The Delegates to the late Convention being call'd before the House of
Representatives to explain the principles, upon which the proposed
Constitution for the United States of America were formed
Mr. McHenry addressed the House in the followg terms
Mr. Speaker
Convention having deposited their proceedings with their Worthy
President, and by a Resolve prohibited any copy to be taken, under the
Idea that nothing but the Constitution thus framed and submitted to
the Public could come under their consideration, I regret that at this
distant period, I am unable from Memory to give this Honorable House
so full and accurate information as might possibly be expected on so
important and interesting a Subject. I Collated however from my Notes
as soon as the Pleasure of this House was made known to me such of
the proceedings as pass'd under my observation from an anxious desire
I have to give this Honorable Body the information they require-
It must be within the Knowledge of this House Mr Speaker that the
plan of a Convention originated in Virginia-accordingly when it met
at Philadelphia the objects of the meeting were first brought forward
in an address from an Honorable Member of that state.2 He premised
that our present Constitution had not and on further experiance would
be found that it could not fulfill the objects of the Confederation.
1st It has no sufficient provision for internal defence nor against
foreign invasion, if a State offends it cannot punish; nor if the rights
of Embassadors or foreign Nations be invaded have the Judges of the
respective States competent Jurisdiction to redress them. In short the
Journals of Congress are nothing more than a History of expedients,
without any regular or fixed system, and without power to give them
efficacy or carry them into Execution-
2nd. It does not secure the seperate States from Sedition among
themselves nor from encroachments against each other-
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