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Kaminski, John P.; Schoenleber, Charles H.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Leffler, Richard; Reid, Jonathan M.; Flamingo, Margaret R.; Lannér-Cusin, Johanna E.; Fields, David P.; Conley, Patrick T.; Moore, Timothy D. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Rhode Island (3)
26 (2013)

VI. The debate over the Constitution in Rhode Island, 20 January-29 May 1790,   pp. 711-897

Page 734

Newport Herald, 25 February 17901
Mr. Edes, Please to give the following remarks on two pieces published in
your last paper the one signed A Friend to the State of Rhode-Island, and the
other A Freeholder a place in your impartial Herald, and you will oblige
The writers of the two pieces referred to have both endeavored, by
representing, in striking colours, the evils which will result to the landed
as well as the mercantile interest of this State, from a rejection of the
Constitution by the ensuing Convention, to induce the Delegates to
adopt it;-and the Freeholder has ventured so far, as to hold up the idea
that a dismemberment of the State may be the consequence of a re-
That the landed and mercantile interest are inseparably connected,-
that the landed interest at large must be involved in the ruin of the
trading towns, and that the farmers who are contiguous to those towns
will soonest feel, and participate in their distress must be acknowledged
by every thinking man,-and I will agree with those writers that the
Commerce of this State would be utterly ruined by a rejection of the
Constitution if we were reduced to their Hobson's choice.3-But is there
not a channel through which our commerce might flow enlarged, and
by which our agriculture and manufactures might be promoted, even
if we should be excluded from the privileges of the Union?-There
is,-and is it not surprizing, that our politicians, who in other respects
have shown themselves to be possessed of extensive forecast, as well as
fortitude, should have so long overlooked or neglected it?-Let the
Constitution be immediately rejected, we have dallied with it too long
for our interest,-the Revenue Act of the State be repealed,4-and our
ports thrown open to all the world, commerce will then revive, and
agriculture and manufactures flourish.-Our harbors will be covered
with the ships, and our stores be replenished with the produce of for-
eign nations, and they will readily admit us to all the benefits of a
reciprocal intercourse.-A high demand for our productions and man-
ufactures will ensue, and give an animating impulse to industry and
agriculture.-All the States on the Continent of America will bring
hither their produce, their manufactures and their money to exchange
for and to purchase the foreign articles in which we shall abound.-
We shall exceed St. Eustatius5 in its most flourishing state, and, instead
of experiencing those evils, which have frightened the Federalists, and
with a gloomy picture of which they have endeavoured to frighten the
Antifederalists, we shall soon become the wealthiest, the happiest, and

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