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Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Leffler, Richard; Schoenleber, Charles H.; Carlson, Marybeth (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Virginia (1)
8 (1988)

I. The debate over the Constitution in Virginia, 3 September 1787-31 March 1788,   pp. 3-524


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I. DEBATE OVER CONSTITUTION
To GEORGE MASON and DAVID STUART, Esquires,
We, the Freeholders of the County of Fairfax, conceiving that the
Peace, Security and Prosperity of the State of Virginia and the United
States of America in general, do depend on the speedy Adoption of
the System of Government recommended by the late General Con-
vention of the United States; and that this End will be advanced by
an immediate Recommendation from the Legislature of this State, to
subject the same to a Convention of Delegates chosen by the Free-
holders thereof, for their Assent and Ratification, do therefore direct
you, our Representatives, to declare the Opinion of your Constituents,
in the next General Assembly of this State, to be for the immediate
Convocation of a Convention of Delegates from the several Counties
and Boroughs of this State for the said Purpose.
The aforesaid Instructions being prepared and signed by all the
Freeholders present-it was Resolved, That Charles Broadwater, George
Gilpin, Charles Little, John Harper, Lund Washington, James Wren,
John Moss, William Payne, Thomas Pollard, Elisha C. Dick, William
Thompson, Roger West, William          Deneal, Peter Wagener, Daniel
M'Carty, George Minor, and Thomas West, Esquires, the Rev. David
Griffith, Jeremiah Moore, and William Waters, in the County, and
William Hunter, jun. Robert T. Hooe, William Hartshorne, James Keith,
William Brown, William Herbert, Charles Simms, David Arell, and John
Fitzgerald, Esquires, in the Town of Alexandria, be a Committee to
wait on such of the Freeholders in their respective Neighbourhoods,
as happened not to be present at this Meeting, with Copies of the
aforesaid Instructions, in order that they may sign them.4
1. An undated "Extract of a letter from Georgetown, (Potowmack.)," in the Pennsylvania
Gazette, 10 October, reported that the Alexandria and Fairfax meetings would "instruct
their Delegates to promote the calling of a Convention" (CC:Vol. 1, p. 585). This extract
was reprinted seventeen times by 8 November: N.H. (2), Mass. (3), R.I. (3), Conn. (3),
N.J. (2), Pa. (3), Md. (1).
2. Virginia journal, 11 October. In the only known issue of the Virginia Journal, 11
October, this account of the town meeting has been clipped out. The text has been
taken from the Pennsylvania Packet, 18 October-the earliest known reprint. This account
was again reprinted six times by 5 November: N.H. (1), Mass. (1), Conn. (1), Pa. (3).
This item was also reprinted in the October issue of the Philadelphia American Museum
and summarized in the New York Daily Advertiser, 19 October.
3. Virginia Journal, 11 October. Reprints by 5 November (6): N.H. (1), Mass. (1),
Conn. (1), Pa. (3). This item was also reprinted in the October issue of the Philadelphia
American Museum. The New Hampshire and Massachusetts newspapers did not reprint
the last paragraph. A summary of the Alexandria and Fairfax County meetings appeared
in the Maryland journal on 16 October and was reprinted once in Connecticut, New
York, and Georgia by 8 November.
4. Even before accounts of the meetings were reprinted in New York City, New Jersey
congressman Lambert Cadwalader reported that "it is said and believed here that the
County of Fairfax in Virginia wh Mason represents in the Legislature of that State will
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