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mitted to the legislatures of the several states, they proceeded to take measures for collecting the sense of the people upon the propriety of adopting it. In the small state of Delaware, a convention was called in November, which, after a few days deliberation, ratified the constitution without a dissenting voice. In the convention of Pennsylvania, held the same month, there was a spirited opposition to the new form of government. The debates were long and interesting. Great ability and firmness was displayed on both sides; but, on the 13th of December, the constitution was received b two-thirds of the members. The minority were dissatisfied, and, with an obstinacy that ill became the representatives of a free people, published their reasons of dissent, which were calculated to inflame a party already violent, and which, in fact, produced some disturbances in the western parts of the state. But the opposition has since gradually subsided. In New Jersey, the convention which met in December, were unanimous in adopting the constitution, as was likewise that of Georgia. In Connecticut there was some opposition; but the constitution was, on the 9th of January, 1788, ratified by three-fourths of the votes in convention, and the minority peaceably acquiesced in the decision. In Massachusetts, the opposition was large and respectable. The convention consisting of more than three hundred delegates, were assembled in January, and continued their debates with great candour and liberality, about five weeks. At length the question was carried for the constitution by a small majority, and the minority, with that manly condescension which becomes great minds, submitted to the measure, and united to support the government. In New Hampshire, the federal cause was for some time doubtful. The greatest number of the delegates in convention were at first on the side of the opposition; and some, who might have had their objections removed by the discussion of the subject, instructed to reject the constitution. Although the instructions of constituents cannot, on the true principles of representation, be binding upon a deputy, in any legislative assembly, because his constituents are but a part of the state, and have not heard the arguments and objections of the whole, whereas his act is to affect the whole state, and therefore is to be directed by the sense or wisdom of the whole collected in the legislative assembly; yet, the delegates in the New Bampshire convention conceived, very erroneously, that the sense of the freemen in the towns, those little districts where no act of legislation can be performed, imposed a restraint upon their own wills.” An adjournment was therefore moved and carried; this gave the people an opportunity to gain a farther knowledge of the merits of the constitution, and at the second meeting of the convention it was ratified by a respectable majority. In Maryland, several men of abilities appeared in the opposition, and were unremitted in their endeavours to persuade the people, that the proposed plan of government was artfully calculated to deprive them of their dearest rights; yet, in convention it appeared that fivesixths of the voices were in favour of it. In South Carolina, the opposition was respectable; but two-thirds of the convention appeared to advocate and vote for the constitution. - - - In Virginia, many of the principal characters opposed the ratification of the constitution with great ability and industry. But, after a full discussion of the subject, a small majority of a numerous convention, appeared for its adoption. In New York, two-thirds of the delegates in convention were, at their first meeting, determined to reject the constitution. Here, therefore, the debates were the most interesting, and the event extremely doubtful. The argument was managed with uncommon address and ability on both sides of the question. But, during the session, the ninth and tenth states had acceded to the proposed plan; so that, by the constitution, congress were empowered to issue an ordinance for organizing the new government. This event placed the opposition on new ground, and the expedieney of uniting with the other states—the generous motives of conciliating all differences, and the danger of a rejection, influenced a respectable number, who were originally opposed to the constitution, to join the federal interest. The constitution was accordingly ratified by a small majority; but the ratification was accompanied here, as in Virginia, with a bill of rights, declaratory of the sense of the convention, as to certain great principles, and with a catalogue of amendments, which were to be recommended to the consideration of the new congress, and the several state legislatures. North Carolina met in convention in July, to deliberate on the new constitution; after a short session they rejected

*This pernicious epinion has pretailed in all the states, and done infinite mischies.

it, by a majority of one hundred and seventy-six against seventy-six. This was the first state that, in a formal manner, rejected the constitution. Rhode island was doomed to be the sport of a blind and singular policy. The legislature, in consistency with the measures which had been before pursued, did not call a convention, to collect the sense of the state upon the proposed constitution; but in an unconstitutional and absurd manner, submitted the plan of government to the consideration of the people. Accordingly, it was brought before town-meetings, and in most of them rejected. In some of the large towns, particularly in Newport and Providence, the people collected and resolved, with great propriety, that they could not take up the subject; and that the proposition for embracing or rejecting the federal constitution, could come before no tribunal but that of the state in convention or legislature. Both the last-mentioned states have since adopted the federal constitution by very respectable majorities. From the moment the proceedings of the general convention of Philadelphia transpired, the public mind was exceedingly agitated, and suspended between, hope and fear, until nine states had ratified their plan of a federal government. Indeed, the anxiety continued until Virginia and New York had acceded to the system. But this did not prevent the demonstrations of their joy, on the accession of each state. On the ratification in Massachusetts, the citizens of Boston, in the elevation of their joy, formed a procession in honour of the happy event, which was novel, splendid, and magnificent. This example was afterwards followed, and in some instances improved upon, in Baltimore, Charleston, Philadelphia, New Haven, Portsmouth, and New York, successively. Nothing could equal the beauty and grandeur of these exhibitions; a ship was mounted upon wheels, and drawn through the streets; mechanics. erected stages, and exhibited specimens of labour in their several occupations, as they moved along the road; flags with emblems descriptive of all the arts, and of the federal union, were invented and displayed in honour of the government; multitudes of all ranks in life assembled to view the majestic scenes; while sobriety, joy, and harmony marked the brilliant exhibitions, by which the Americans celebrated the establishment of their empire. After the adoption of the new constitution, and the public celebration of that great event, which, in America is dignified with the title of a second revolution ; on the 11th of March, 1789, delegates from the eleven states, which had then rendered the constitution effectual by their acceptance and ratification of it, met at New York, in the Federal-hall, a new and elegant building, prepared for their reception. Though great difference of opinion had lately existed relative to the new form of government, there was but one sentiment as to the individual who should be elected its supreme magistrate. All men, of whatever party, fixed their attention upon the late commander of their armies, as the fittest person to fill the important station of president. Upon opening and counting the votes, it was found that George Washington was unanimously elected president, and John Adams vice-president, by a great majority. The intelligence of his election having been communicated to general Washington, while on his farm, in Virginia, to which he had retired, umambitious of farther honours, he set out soon after for New York. On his way thither, the road was crowded with countless numbers, anxious to enjoy a sight of the “man of the people.” Large escorts of militia, and many gentlemen of the first character and station, attended him. from town to town, and he was every where received with the highest honours which a grateful and admiring people could confer. Addresses of congratulation were presented to him by the inabitants of every place of consequence through which he passed ; to all of which he returned such modest, unassuming answers, as were in every respect suited to his situation. So great were the honours with which he was loaded, that they could scarcely have failed to produce haughtiness in the mind of any ordinary man; but nothing of the kind was ever discovered in this extraordinary personage. On all occasions, he behaved to all men with the affability of one citizen to another. He was truly great in deserving the applause of his country, but much greater in not being elated by it. When he arrived at the river Schuylkill, the bridge over which he had to pass was highly decorated with lattrels and evergreens. At each end of it were erected magnificent arches composed of laurels, and on each side of the bridge was a laurel shrubbery. As he passed the bridge, a youth ornamented with sprigs of laurel, assisted by machinery, let drop above his head (unperceived by him) a civic crown of laurel. Upwards of 20,000 citizens lined the fences, fields, and avenues, between the Schuytki!! and Philadelphia. Through these he was conducted to the city, by a very numerous and respectable

body of the citizens, where he partook of a sumptuous entertainment provided for the occasion. The pleasures of the day were succeeded by an elegant display of fire-works. On crossing the river Delaware, and landing on the Jersey shore, he was saluted with repeated cheering by the inhabitants of the vicinity; and when he came to the brow of the hill, on his way to Trenton, a triumphal arch was erected on the bridge, by the direction of the ladies of the place. The crown of the arch was highly ornamented with imperial laurels and flowers, and on it was displayed, in large characters, “December 26, 1776;” in allusion to general Washington's victory over the Hessians on that day, in the neighbourhood of Trenton. On the sweep of the arch beneath was this inscription, “ The defender of the mothers will also protect their daughters.” On the north-side were ranged a number of young girls dressed in white, with garlands of flowers on their heads, and baskets of flowers on their arms; in the second row stood the young ladies, and behind them the married ladies of the town. The instant he passed the arch, the young girls began to sing the following ode:

&g Welcome, mighty chief, once more,
Welcome to this grateful shore:
Now no mercenary foe
Aims again the fatal blow— * -
Aims at thee the fatal blow. - .
Virgins fair, and matrons grave,
These, thy conqu'ring arm did save, -
Build for thee triumphal bow'rs; . . . .
Strew, ye fair, his way with flow'rs—
Strew your hero's way with flow’rs.”

As they sung the last lines, they strewed the flowers on the road before their beloved deliverer. His situation on this occasion, contrasted with what he had in December, 1776, felt on the same spot, when the affairs of America were at the lowest ebb of depression, filled him with sensations that cannot be described. He was rowed across the bay from Elizabeth-town to New York in an elegant barge by thirteen pilots, while all the vessels in the harbour hoisted their flags. Stairs had been erected and decorated for his reception, and upon his landing, universal joy diffused itself through every order of the people; and he was received and congratulated by the governor of the state, and the officers of the corporation. He was con

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