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

A. Proceedings and debates of the convention,   pp. 326-616


Page 608

III. PENNSYLVANIA CONVENTION
ducted a boat, on a wagon drawn by five horses, through the city,
to the great amusement of many thousand spectators. On their way
through the different streets, they frequently threw a sounding line,
and cried out, "three and twenty fathoms, foul bottom"; and in other
places, "six and forty fathoms, sound bottom-safe anchorage"; al-
luding to the numbers that composed the minority and majority of
the late Convention of Pennsylvania, which ratified the Federal Con-
stitution. [Pennsylvania Gazette, 19 December]7
A correspondent observes, he was much surprised to see so very short
a procession on Thursday last, at the proclaiming and publishing the
Ratification and adoption of the new plan of government; which is
of so solemn and important concern to all of us. The delinquency of
the officers, of (our present) government on this occasion, is easily
accounted for; but that so few militia officers as 17, and such a small
number of other citizens should think it worth their attention, is
very strange. The gentlemen of the university were as scarce on this
occasion as any others. Our friends in Convention and Council de-
serve credit for their exertions; they distributed invitations and copies
of the order of the procession all round; and did their utmost to
procure as respectable a company on that day as the occasion merited.
And the common people appeared to be as inattentive as the rest. A
batteau was carried on a cart in the evening, thro the back streets,
dressed with several flags (an emblem of our future commerce) and
notwithstanding the hearty sailors who conducted it, used all their
honest endeavors, by huzzaing and playing on a fiddle, to attract the
admiration, yet it was remarkable, that the people did not seem much
pleased with it; none but a few children followed. With such astonish-
ing indifference is this great subject treated. [Freeman's Journal, 19
December] 8
The conduct of our fellow citizens on the late glorious occasion of
solemnly proclaiming to the people the Ratification and adoption of
the proposed new Constitution, by the Convention of this state does
them no honor; for, notwithstanding due notice having been Aiven
by our friends in the Convention and Council, to the members of
Council, judges, justices, and other state officers, the faculty of the
university, militia officers, and citizens, of the order and time of the
procession; yet few of any of these attended. The citizens and militia
officers in particular were uncommonly scarce. They should at least
have given their countenance to this very important business; it is
not very unaccountable that more officers of government did not
come forth, but that more of the professors, etc. in the university, the
608


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