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Jensen, Merrill; Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Pennsylvania
2 (1976)

A. The assembly calls the state convention,   pp. 58-111

Page 111

James M'Calmont's Appeal to the Supreme Executive Council,
3 October 1787-16 February 1788
James M'Calmont, who had been brought into the General Assem-
bly by a mob, petitioned the Supreme Executive Council for redress.
On 3 October the Council voted 8 to 3 to direct Attorney General
William Bradford, Jr. "to commence a prosecution against Captain
John Barry and such other persons as shall be found to have been
principally active" in the mob. Three councillors declared that the
Council should not interfere in a trivial matter which did not en-
danger the state and which made the Council an instrument of
On 20 October, Bradford drew up warrants against Barry and cer-
tain unnamed persons and applied to Chief Justice Thomas McKean
for a precept. McKean declined to issue one until he knew who the
unnamed persons were. Earlier in the month McKean had refused
to issue warrants against Barry and the others reportedly because "the
mass of the people were so incensed at their [the seceding assembly-
men's] conduct, that tumult and further outrage would be the in-
evitable consequence." Sometime during the week of 10 December, a
judge finally issued a warrant for Barry, who was preparing to leave
for the Far East as captain of the ship Asia, owned by Robert Morris.
Whether or not the warrant was ever served is unknown, but on 14
December Barry's ship sailed from Philadelphia for Canton, China.
On 16 February 1788, Attorney General Bradford asked the advice
of the Council about the suit pending against Barry. The Council
resolved "That the attorney general be informed that Council do not
wish to interfere but that they leave the matter entirely with him
to act as he shall judge best." The case was closed.
For documents concerning the above events, see Mfm:Pa. 91.

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