APPENDIX N-1 Secondary Sources on the State Ratifying Conventions 1787–1788
APPENDIX N-1 Secondary Sources on the State Ratifying Conventions 1787–1788
Prior to Charles Beard’s Economic Interpretation of the Constitution (New York, 1913), most scholarship on the constitution and on its ratification was filiopietistic and Antifederalist. The assumptions that the federal constitution was fore–ordained and that its critics were fools or knaves informed even the few extended treatments that used primary sources, such as Richard Hildreth’s History of the United States (6 vols. New York, 1850–52, vol. 4 [Washington Administration], pp. 112–18) and Francis Newton Thorpe’s Constitutional History of the United States (1901, vol. 2 [1788–1861], pp. 1–198). In 1885, The Magazine of American History (vol. 14 [July–Dec. 1885], pp. 529–45) offered a cut–and–paste synopsis of the Massachusetts debates by A. W. Clason. That article became the basis of the first monograph on the conventions, for by 1891, the Magazine had printed similar articles by Clason on South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia (vol. 15 [Jan.–June 1886], pp. 153–61, 352–64, 366–89), New York (vol. 16 [July–Dec. 1886], pp. 148–58), and Pennsylvania (vol. 25 [Jan.–June 1891], pp. 215–26). Clason’s article on the Pennsylvania convention and reprints of the first five articles also appeared as Seven Conventions in 1888.
Orin G. Libby’s Geographical Distribution of the Vote…on the Federal Constitution ([Madison, 1894], pp. 7–45) marked a new turning point in scholarship on the ratifying conventions, for it demonstrated two underlying factors of which Beard and later scholars made much: that inland, agrarian interests provided the basis of Antifederalism and that metropolitan, commercial interests had supported ratification. Neither Beard nor his first monographic critic, Robert Brown (Charles Beard and the Constitution [Princeton, 1956]) treated the conventions systemically, but Forrest McDonald’s We the People (Chicago, 1958, pp. 113–346) provided econometric data challenging Beard’s view of ratification in each state. The principal monograph on the ratifying conventions, Robert Allan Rutland’s Ordeal of the Constitution (Norman, Okla., 1965) also disputes Beard, arguing that political ideology outweighed economic interests as a motive in the conventions. In The Antifederalists (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1961) Jackson T. Main provides another overview of the conventions that criticizes both Beard and his detractors. For other worthwhile scholarship on the conventions, see: Wright, Fabric of Freedom (1961), pp. 173–75. Miller, Perfect Union (1970), pp. 71–91. Ketcham, Colony to Country (1974), pp. 121–38. Robert Middlekauff, The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763–89 (New York, 1981), pp. 649–64.
The bicentennial of the constitution and of its ratification have deposited a new layer of scholarship. Three works are most notable. In Forging the Union , Richard B. Morris summarizes the ratification struggles and provides new anecdotal material but no new synthesis. Leonard W. Levy (Original Intent , pp. 288–91) examines the inadequacies the documentary record, pointing out that only a fraction of the debates were recorded. Finally, Ratifying the Constitution (ed. by Michael A. Gillespie and Michael Liensch [Lawrence, Kans., 1989]) is a valuable anthology of monographic articles that offer new (p.884) insights on each of the state ratifying conventions. For analyses of the ratifications by each state, in the chronological order of ratification, see:
Delaware, 7 Dec. 1787
Scholarship on the Delaware convention is shallow and likely to remain so. The instrument of ratification has survived, but debates and the official journal have not. Summaries of the events leading up to the convention by Rodney, Ryden, and Saladino are the most detailed and reliable of the limited offerings that follow.
James Tunnell, Ratification of the Federal Constitution by the State of Delaware (Dover, Del., 1944). Gaspare J. Saladino, “Delaware: Independence and the Concept of a Commercial Republic,” Ratifying the Constitution, ed. by Gillespie and Liensch , pp. 29–51.
Scharf, Delaware (1888), vol. 1, p. 269. Moran, Constitution (1904), p. 165. Richard S. Rodney, “Delaware’s Greatest Glory”: Address Delivered…July 7, 1925 [Newcastle, Del.?, 1925], pp. 5–6; reprinted: Americana, vol. 21 (1927), pp. 188–90. George H. Ryden, Delaware, The First State in the Union (Wilmington, 1938), pp. 24–29. Daniel J. Layton, Delaware and the Federal Constitution (Dover, 1943), pp. 16–17. John A. Munroe, “Revolution and Confederation,” Reed, ed., Delaware (1947), vol. 1, p. 122. Munroe, Federalist Delaware (1954), pp. 107–09. Main, Antifederalists (1961), pp. 193–94. Jensen, Constitution (1964), p. 141.
Pennsylvania, 12 Dec. 1787
A reprint of the convention’s debates in the contemporary newspapers, McMaster and Stone provide a valuable introduction with material on the convention’s background and consequences, including the Hartford convention. The definitive monograph, Ireland’s dissertation, emphasizes the factional background to the convention battles and rejects the view of those numerous scholars who equate Antifederalism with the Constitutionalist Party and Federalism with the state’s Republican Party. Graham  stresses the role of the premier Federalist, James Wilson, in achieving ratification and, like Ireland, notes the importance of factionalism. Other analytical summaries include Rowe’s biography of McKean, and Ferguson’s monograph of 1938, which emphasizes the role of the backcountry farmers in opposing the constitution.
McMaster and Stone eds., Pennsylvania and the Federal Constitution (1888). Roy F. Nichols, “Pennsylvania and the Constitution,” Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Publications, vol. 13 (1936–39), pp. 11–23. David E. Groshens, “Men of Montgomery County Who Aided the Ratification of Our Federal Constitution by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Historical Society of Montgomery County, Bulletin, vol. 5 (1946), pp. 125–34. Ireland, “Ratification in Pennsylvania” (Ph.D., 1966), pp. 1–67, 198–219. Idem., “Partisanship and (p.885) the Constitution, ‘Pennsylvania, 1787,’ “Pa. Hist., vol. 45 (1978), pp. 315–22. George J. Graham, “Pennsylvania: Representation and the Meaning of Republicanism,” Ratifying the Constitution, ed. by Gillespie and Liensch , pp. 52–70.
FITZSIMONS, THOMAS Martin I. J. Griffin, “Thomas Fitzsimons, Pennsylvania’s Catholic Signer of the Constitution,” American Catholic Historical Society, Record, vol. 2 (1886–88), pp. 82–83.
MCKEAN Rowe, McKean (1976), pp. 243–51.
MIFFLIN, THOMAS Rossman, Mifflin (1952), pp. 186–87.
MORRIS, ROBERT William G. Sumner, The Financier and Finances of the American Revolution (2 vols. New York, 1891), vol. 2, pp. 215–16.
OSWALD, E. Stumpf, “Oswald’ (Ph.D., 1968), pp. 235–39.
RUSH, BENJAMIN Nathan G. Goodman, Benjamin Rush (Philadelphia, 1934), pp. 78–80. Marilee Scaff, “Benjamin Rush: Revolutionary Patriot” (Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Claremont Graduate School, 1963), pp. 87–89. Hawke, Benjamin Rush (1971), pp. 345–56.
WILSON, JAMES Margaret C. Klingelsmith, “James Wilson, 1742–98,” Lewis, comp., Lawyers (1907–09), vol. 1, pp. 185–88.
McMaster, History (1883), vol. 1 (1784–90), pp. 472–74. Moran, Constitution (1904), pp. 166–71. Schuyler, Constitution (1923), pp. 138–40. Beck, Constitution (1924), pp. 180–84. Ferguson, Pennsylvania Politics (1938), pp. 85–93. Thomas, Political Tendencies in Pennsylvania (1938), pp. 131–63. Brunhouse, Counter–Revolution in Pennsylvania (1942), pp. 207–211. Main, Antifederalists (1961), pp. 187–93. Jensen, Constitution, p. 141. Murphy, Triumph (1967), pp. 309–19 Baumann, “Democratic Republicans” (Ph.D., 1970), pp. 66–111. Arnold, “Political Ideology in Pa., 1776–90” (Ph.D., 1976), pp. 245–46, 265–71 passim.
New Jersey 18 Dec. 1787
Of the four most thoroughly researched accounts, the last three are dated: Morris’s thesis (1931), Wood’s biography of Paterson (1933), McCormick’s study (1950), and Shumer’s article (1989). Wood and McCormick are Beardians who utilize the convention’s journal to full advantage. McCormick gives a detailed analysis of personnel via newspapers and correspondence. Shumer pays much attention to the role of Abraham Clark, a radical, before concluding that the forces for ratification were sufficiently powerful to unite Eastern and Western factions and undercut Antifederalism. None of the following accounts, however, (p.886) is or can be satisfactory. Only the journal remains, and the unanimity of the final vote precludes an identification, much less an analysis, of the factions at the convention.
Austin Scott, “The Share of New Jersey in Founding the American Constitution,” 18 December 1787: Adoption of the Constitution…by New Jersey [New Brunswick, 1887], pp. 10–32. Sara M. Shumer, “New Jersey: Property and the Price of Republican Politics,” Ratifying the Constitution, ed. by Gillespie and Liensch , pp. 71–89.
Gordon, New Jersey (1834), pp. 331–32. Mulford, Civil and Political History of New Jersey (1848), pp. 488–89. Elmer, Constitution of New Jersey (1872), p. 86. Whitehead, New Jersey (1897), pt. 1, pp. 356–57. Lee, New Jersey (1902), vol. 2 pp. 403–04. Moran, Constitution (1904), p. 171. Hunter, Commercial Policy of N. J. (1924), pp. 53–54. Hugh MacD. Clokie, in Kull, ed. New Jersey (1930), vol. 2, p. 553. Jay S. Morris, “New Jersey and the Federal Constitution” (Unpublished M. A. Thesis, Political Science, Columbia Univ., 1931), pp. 59–77. Walter R. Fee, The Transition From Aristocracy to Democracy in New Jersey, 1789–1829 (Somerville, N. Y., 1933), p. 12. Wood, Paterson (1933), pp. 85–90. Richard P. McCormick, Experiment in Independence: New Jersey in the Critical Period (New Brunswick, 1950), pp. 261–78. Main, Antifederalists (1961), pp. 194–95. Jensen, Constitution (1964), p. 141. McCormick, New Jersey (1964), p. 173.
Georgia, 2 Jan. 1788
A measure of the inadequacy of Rothkowitz’s study is her inaccurate statement that the instrument of ratification is the only extant documentation from the convention, for the convention’s journal was printed and is readily available. The definitive monograph is that of Kaminski, who has uncovered evidence of a newspaper war underlying the Federalist–Antifederalist split at the convention. using the journal and the newspapers fully, Kaminski illuminates the role of the Antifederalists as well as of the Federalists at the convention. Cashin’s thesis is that the Creek Indian threat transcended low–country–backcountry divisions in the legislature and so generated a strong consensus for ratification at the ratifying convention.
Hilda Rothkowitz, “Georgia and the Ratification of the Constitution” (Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Columbia University, 1924), [fols. 23–27]. John P. Kaminski, “Controversy and Consensus: The Adoption of the Federal Constitution in Georgia,” Ga. Hist. Qtly., vol. 58 (1974), pp. 244–61. Edward J. Cashin, “Georgia: Searching for Secutiry,” Ratifying the Constitution, ed. by Gillespie and Liensch , pp. 93–116.
Steiner is little more than a summary of the principal debates, via Elliot. Lutz (, p. 123) traces the landslide for ratification to homogenous economic interests, a middle class orientation, and strongly mercantiist inclinations among the electorate. According to Lutz, New Haven and other backward towns on the Massachusetts border provided most of the little opposition that the constitution encountered in the state. After Lutz, the most useful guides to the debates are the biographies of Ellsworth by Brown and of Sherman by Boutell and Collier; Brown prints valuable correspondence.
Bernard C. Steiner, “Connecticut’s Ratification of the Federal Constitution,” Am. Antiquarian Soc., Procs., n.s., vol. 25 (1915), pp. 70–127, esp. pp. 109–26. Donald S. Lutz, “Connecticut: Achieving Consent and Assuring Control,” Ratifying the Constitution, ed. by Gillespie and Liensch , pp. 117–37.
ELLSWORTH, OLIVER Van Santvoord, Chief Justices (1854), pp. 232–34. Flanders, Chief Justices (1855–58), vol. 2, pp. 144–57. Brown, Ellsworth (1905), pp. 171–76.
JOHNSON, WILLIAM Groce, Johnson (1937), pp. 154–56. Elizabeth P. McCaughey, “William Samuel Johnson: Loyalist and Founding Father” (Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University, 1976), pp. 573–76. Idem., Johnson (1980), pp. 226–27.
SHERMAN, ROGER Boutell, Sherman (1896), pp. 166–82. Boardman, Sherman (1938), pp. 274–76. Collier, Sherman (1971), pp. 278–82. Rommel, Sherman (1979), pp. 46–47.
WADSWORTH, JEREMIAH Platt, “Wadsworth” (Ph.D., 1955), pp. 206–09.
Hollister, Hist. of Ct. (1855), vol. 2, pp. 456–61. J. Hammond Trumbull, Historical Notes on the Constitution of Connecticut (Hartford, 1901), pp. 20–21. Richard J. Purcell, Connecticut in Transition (Washington, 1918), p. 227. Martin, Merchants…of the Connecticut River Valley (1939), pp. 251–52. Norman L. Stamps, “Political Parties in Connecticut, 1789–1819” (Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Yale University, 1950), pp. 6–8. Main, Antifederalists (1961), pp. 198–200. Jensen, Constitution (1964), p. 142. Murphy, Triumph (1967), pp. 320–22. Van Dusen, Connecticut (1973), pp. 177–78. Dennis C. Smith, “The Appeal of a Virtuous Government: A Content Analysis of Some Connecticut Newspapers During the Ratification Controversy, 1787,” New Scholar, vol. 4 (1973–74), pp. 135–51.
Massachusetts, 7 Feb. 1788
Of the principal monographs, Harding and Stone are dated and partisanly pro–Federalist but still informative. Stone focuses on the influence of Parsons in the decision of Hancock and (p.888) Samuel Adams to support the constitution. Other valuable accounts are those by Morse (1909), by the Handlins (1944: who challenge Beard by arguing that both merchants and farmers divided over the constitution), by Taylor (1954, emphasizing the role of the state’s Western counties at the convention), and by Hall (1978). Hall holds that the essential division over the constitution was not merchants vs farmers but placeholders vs non–placeholders and commercial-cosmopolitan towns vs other towns. The biographies of Ames by Bernhard, of Gerry by Billias, and of King by Ernst offer thoroughly researched summaries of the roles of those persons at the conventions. By far the best summary is that of Gillespie , who provides a wealth of new insights but continues to stress the pivotal roles of Adams and Hancock.
Harding, Massachusetts Ratification (1896). Eben F. Stone, “Parsons and the Constitutional Convention of 1788,” Essex Inst., Hist. Colls., vol. 35 (1899), pp. 8–102. Arthur N. Holcombe, “Massachusetts and the Federal Constitution of 1787,” Hart, ed., Commonwealth Hist. of Mass. (1928), vol. 3 (1775–1820), pp. 366–407. Frank W. Grinnell, “A Brief Account of the Ratification of the Constitution of the United States in 1788,” Mass. Law Qtly., vol. 16 (1930), pp. 35–39. Thomas H. O’Connor and Alan Rogers, This Momentous Affair: Massachusetts and the Ratification of the Constitution of the United States (Boston, 1987), pp. 14–24. Michael J. Gillespie, “Massachusetts: Creating Consensus,” Ratifying the Constitution, ed. by Gillespie and Liensch , pp. 138–67.
AMES, FISHER Elisha P. Douglass, “Fisher Ames, Spokesman for New England Federalism,” Am. Philosophical Soc., Procs., vol. 103 (1959), pp. 700–07. Bernhard, Ames (1965), pp. 55–66.
CABOT, GEORGE George Cabot, Life and Letters of George Cabot (Boston, 1877), pp. 24–29.
GERRY, ELBRIDGE Kramer, “Gerry” (Ph.D., 1955), pp. 92–94. Billias, Gerry (1976), pp. 206–17.
HANCOCK, JOHN Allan, Hancock (1948), pp. 326–3.
KING, RUFUS Robert E. Reeser, “Rufus King and the Federalist Party” (Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, U. C. L. A., 1948), pp. 62–78. Ernst, King (1968), pp. 118–34.
PARSONS, THEOPHILUS Frank Cook, “Theophilus Parsons, 1750–1813,” Lewis, comp., Lawyers (1907–09), vol. 2, pp. 65–68.
SEDGWICK, THEODORE Welsh, Sedgwick (1965), pp. 60–65.
STRONG, CALEB Emily Myers, “Caleb Strong” (Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Smith College, 1938), pp. 41–44.
A. Bradford, Hist. of Mass. (1822–29), vol. 2 (1775–89), pp. 319–26. McMaster, Hist. (1883), vol. 1 (1784–90), pp. 476–80. Moran, Constitution (1904), pp. 172–84. Anson E. Morse, The Federalist Party in Massachusetts to the Year 1800 (Princeton, N. J., 1909), pp. 40–53. Schuyler, Const. (1923), pp. 141–44. Beck, Constitution (1924), pp. 184–85. Adams, New Eng. in the Republic (1926), pp. 174–77. Martin, Merchants…of the Connecticut River Valley (1939), p. 251. Oscar Handlin and Mary Handlin, “Radicals and Conservatives in Massachusetts After Independence,” N. E. Q., vol. 17 (1944), pp. 351–52. Taylor, Western Mass. (1954) pp. 168–75. Main, Antifederalists (1961) pp. 201–10. Labaree, Patriots and Partisans (1962), pp.73–77. Paul Goodman, The Democratic Republicans in Massachusetts (Cambridge, Ma., 1964), pp. 18–23. Jensen, Constitution (1964), pp 142–43. Murphy, Triumph (1967), pp. 323–38. Hall, Politics Without Parties (1978), pp. 271–93.
Maryland, 28 Apr. 1788
Steiner and Renzulli, the most detailed studies, stand at opposite poles. Steiner (1899) is vigorously pro–Federalist. Crowl’s piece, a half–century later, is Beardian, ascribing Antifederalism in Maryland to indebted aristocrats. Verstandig (1970) and Renzulli (1973) provide valuable updates to either perspective. The former relates political divisions in the ratifying convention to earlier and later political groupings, while Renzulli attributes econometric foundations to those divisions. Onuf, the latest contributor [1989, p. 192] concludes that Marylanders ratified because they anticipated economic benefits from ratification that offset their anxieties as citizens of a small state.
Bernard C. Steiner, “Maryland’s Adoption of the Federal Constitution,” A. H. R., vol. 5 (1899–1900), pp. 22–24, 207–224. Philip A. Crowl, “Anti–Federalism in Maryland, 1787–88,” W. M. Q., ser. 3, vol. 4 (1947), pp. 446–69. Peter S. Onuf, “Maryland: The Small Republic in the New Nation,” Ratifying the Constitution, ed. by Gillespie and Liensch , pp. 171–200.
CARROLL, CHARLES Kate M. Rowland, The Life of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, 1737–1812 (New York, 1898), vol. 2, pp. 111–12. Gurn, Carroll (1932), p. 120. Smith, Carroll (1942), p. 231.
CARROLL, DANIEL May Howard Breen, “Daniel Carroll, Framer of the Constitution and Statesman” (Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Catholic University, 1937), pp. 42–48 passim. Richard T. Purcell, “Daniel Carroll, Framer of the Constitution,” Am. Catholic Hist. Soc., Recs., vol. 52 (1941), pp. 140–41.
CHASE, SAMUEL Haw et al., Chase (1980), pp. 149–54.
MADISON, JAMES Brant, Father of the Constitution, vol. 2 of idem., Madison (1950), p. 191.
(p.890) PACA, WILLIAM Albert Silverman, “William Paca, Signer, Governor, Jurist,” Md. Hist. Mag., vol. 37 (1942), pp. 17–19. Gregory A. Stiverson and Phebe Jacobson, William Paca (Baltimore, 1976), pp. 90–91.
OTHER SECONDARY SOURCES
McSherry, Hist. of Md. (1849), pp. 321–22. Scharf, Hist. of Md. (1879), vol. 2 (1765–1812), pp. 541–47, Sams and Conway, Bench and Bar of Md. (1901), vol. 1, pp. 201–10. Moran, Constitution (1904), pp. 184–85. Beck, Constitution (1924), pp. 186–87. Crowl, Maryland During and After the Revolution (1943), pp. 149–58. Alden, South in the Revolution (1957), pp. 390–91. Main, Antifederalists (1961), pp. 213–15. Jensen, Constitution (1964), p. 114. Murphy, Triumph (1967), pp. 339–42. Verstandig, “Two Party System in Md.” (Ph.D., 1970), pp. 41–47. Haw, “Revolutionary Md.” (Ph.D., 1972), pp. 459–60. L. Marx Renzulli, Maryland: The Federalist Years (Rutherford, N. J., 1973), pp. 50–92. Risjord, Chesapeake Politics (1978), pp. 283–93.
South Carolina, 23 May 1788
The sources on the South Carolina convention are especially rich, as both the debates in the legislature and in the convention were recorded. Among the leading works are those by Rogers and Nadelhaft’s dissertation. Both scholars stress economic issues. The article (1961) and biography (1962) by Rogers trace ratification to the state’s economic weaknesses and to a desire by conservatives for commercial stability. Nadelhaft’s sees debtor–creditor tensions underlying the debates on the convention floor. Zahniser relates those debates to divisions in legislature. By contrast, Weir  asserts that the compatibility of slavery and the constitution was the dominant concern in the ratifying convention.
Robert L. Brunhouse, ed., “David Ramsay on the Ratification of the Constitution in South Carolina, 1787–88,” Jnl. of S. Hist., vol. 9 (1943), pp. 549–51. George C. Rogers, “South Carolina Ratifies the Federal Constitution,” S. Carolina Hist. Assoc., Procs., vol. 3 (1961), pp. 41–61. Nadelhaft, “South Carolina and the Federal Constitution,” chapt. 10 (pp. 173–90) of idem., Disorders (1981). Robert M. Weir, “South Carolina: Slavery and the Structure of the Union,” Ratifying the Constitution, Gillespie and Liensch , pp. 201–34.
BUTLER, PIERCE Lewright Sikes, “The Public Life of Pierce Butler” (Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Tennessee, 1973), pp. 70–71.
GADSDEN, CHRISTOPHER Godbold and Woody, Gadsden (1982), p. 242.
LOWNDES, RAWLINS Vipperman, Lowndes (1978), pp. 243–52.
PINCKNEY, C. C. Marvin R. Zahniser, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (Chapel Hill, 1967), pp. 97–100.
SMITH, WILLIAM L. Rogers, Smith (1962), pp. 149–58.
Moran, Constitution (1904), pp. 185–89. Beck, Constitution (1924), p. 187. John H. Wolfe, Jeffersonian Democracy in South Carolina (Chapel Hill, N C., 1940), pp. 24–39. Wallace, South Carolina (1951), p. 340. Alden, South in the Revolution (1957), pp. 391–93. Main, Antifederalists (1961), pp. 215–19. Jensen, Constitution (1964) p 144. Starr, “S. C. Public Affairs” (Ph.D., 1964), pp. 254–55, 161–63. Nadelhaft, “Revolutionary Era—S. Carolina” (Ph.D., 1965), pp. 280–316. Murphy, Triumph (1967), pp. 342–45.
New Hampshire, 21 June 1788
The scholarship on the New Hampshire convention tends toward the imitative and repetitive, especially in the earlier studies. Patterson’s account is shallow and disorganized. Amory’s biography (1868) includes a detailed account of Sullivan’s role at the convention but acknowledges no sources. Walker and Batchellor offer more detailed monographs, but both are openly pro-Federalist. One of the best state historians of the preceding century, Batchellor is, nonetheless, indebted to Walker and bent on presenting a pro-Federalist apologia that refutes Orin G. Libby.
Two of the most profusely researched treatments are the unpublished theses of Eiseman (1937) and Leidtaker (1952), both of which are Beardian. Eiseman, on whom Leidtaker relies, traces Antifederalism at the convention to a battle in the legislature in 1786 between hard–money merchants and a paper–money faction. Straus (1968) supplies a valuable supplement to earlier accounts by explaining the interruption in the state convention and the Federalist use of the press to change public opinion in behalf of ratification. Yarborough  offers fresh evidence toward her thesis that slavery, separation of church and state, and the power of the electorate to instruct their representatives were the central issues.
James W. Patterson, “Mr. Patterson’s Address,” N. H. Hist. Soc., Procs., vol. 2 (1888–95), pp. 13–37. Joseph B. Walker, A History of the New Hampshire Convention For the Investigation…of the Federal Constitution (Boston, 1888). William F. Whitcher, “New Hampshire and the Federal Convention,” Granite Monthly, vol. 11 (n.s., vol. 1: 1888), pp. 203–09. Albert S. Batchellor, A Brief View of the Influences That Moved in the Adoption of the Federal Constitution By…New Hampshire (Concord, N.H., 1900). Nathaniel J. Eiseman, “The Ratification of the Federal Constitution by the State of New Hampshire” (Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Columbia University, Political Science, 1937). New Hampshire Constitution Sesquicentennial Commission, New Hampshire Constitution, Sesquicentennial Celebration, 1788–1938, Concord, N.H., June 21, 1938 (Concord, 1938), pp. 8–26. New Hampshire and the Federal Constitution: A Memorial of the Sesquicentennial Celebration of New Hampshire’s Part in the Framing and Ratification of the Constitution of the United States (Concord: N.H., 1940). Lawrence G. Straus, “Reactions of Supporters of the Constitution to the Adjournment of the New Hampshire Ratification Convention, 1788,” Historical New Hampshire, vol. 23 (Autumn, 1968), pp. 37–50. John B. Archer, “The First New Hampshire (p.892) Convention to Ratify the Constitution, February, 1788, and the Toscan Report,” Historical New Hampshire, vol. 36 (1981), pp. 38–57. Jean Yarborough, “New Hampshire: Puritanism and the Moral Foundations of America,” Ratifying the Constitution, ed. by Gillespie and Liensch , pp. 235–58.
LANGDON, JOHN Charles R. Corning, John Langdon (Concord, 1903), p. 27. Mayo, Langdon (1937), pp. 209–15.
LIVERMORE, SAMUEL Corning, Livermore (1888), pp. 38–44.
SULLIVAN, JOHN Thomas C. Amory, The Military Services and Public Career of Major-General John Sullivan (Boston, 1868), pp. 227–37.
Moran, Constitution (1904), pp. 185, 189–91. Stackpole Hist. of N. Hampshire (1916) vol. 2, pp. 256–59. Schuyler, Constitution (1923), pp. 145–46. Beck, Constitution (1924), pp. 185–86. Frank, L. Leidtaker, “Political Development in New Hampshire from the Revolution to 1850” (Unpublished M.A. Thesis, [History], University of New Hampshire, 1952), pp. 6–16. Main, Antifederalists (1961), pp. 210–12. Jensen, Constitution (1964), pp. 143–44. Murphy, Triumph (1967), pp. 345–46. Daniell, N. Hampshire Politics., 1741–94 (1970), pp. 213–21. Turner, Ninth State (1983), pp. 72–84.
Virginia, 26 June 1788
More has been written on the Virginia convention than on any other, but the quality of the resulting scholarship does not equal its quantity. Intense research on the subject dates from Grigsby, whose book was first a speech before the Virginia Historical Society in 1858. Although Grigsby’s research was extensive, his methodology and conclusions are thoroughly anachronistic and his statements on Patrick Henry’s speeches unreliable. Later scholarship continues to circulate about Beard. In answer to Beard, Thomas (1953) contends (p. 72) that “the contest over ratification…was essentially a struggle between competing groups within the aristocracy.”
On the basis of a thorough analysis of voting behavior in the convention and in the legislature, Risjord offers the neo–Beardian thesis that wealthy and educated Virginians supported ratification of the constitution and became Federalists while the reverse held true of Antifederalists. A powerful, implied rebuttal to Risjord comes from Banning , who argues that the essential divisions at the convention did not concern classes, economic interests, and localist versus cosmopolitan perspectives. According to Banning, both factions at the convention realized that Virginia’s survival as a liberal republic was interwoven with the perpetuation of the union.
Excepting Risjord and Banning, the most capable scholarship on the Virginia convention is not monographic. Biographies contain the most detailed and analytical summaries of the convention debates: Rowland’s Mason (1892), Beveridge’s Marshall (1916), Brant’s Madison (1950), and the scholarship on Henry by Bowman (1962: who criticizes Brant), Beeman (p.893) (1974), and Mayer (1986). None is flawless, for Beveridge and Brant in particular rely excessively on Elliot’s Debates.
DenBoer’s unpublished dissertation (1972) has one of the most incisive summaries of the convention. Ambler (1910) and Hart (1942) reveal the importance of the frontier and of frontier delegates at the convention.
Hugh Blair Grigsby, The History of the Virginia Federal Convention of 1788, ed. by R. A. Brock (Richmond, 1890–91). Worthington C. Ford ed., “The Federal Constitution in Virginia, 1787–88,” Mass. Hist. Soc., Procs., ser. 2, vol. 17 (vol. 37: 1903), pp. 450–510. Robert E. Thomas, “The Virginia Convention of 1788: A Criticism of Beard’s An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution,” Jnl. of S. Hist., vol. 19 (1953), pp. 63–72. Norman K. Risjord, “Virginia and the Constitution: A Multivariant Analysis,” W. M. Q., ser. 3, vol. 31 (1974), pp. 613–32. Lois J. Einhorn, “Basic Assumptions in the Virginia Ratification Debates: Patrick Henry vs James Madison on the Nature of Man and Reason,” Southern Speech Communication Journal, vol. 46 (1980–81), pp. 327–40. Lance Banning, “Virginia: Sectionalism and the General Good,” Ratifying the Constitution, ed. by Gillespie and Liensch , pp. 261–99.
BROWN, JOHN Elizabeth Warren, “John Brown and His Influence on Kentucky Politics, 1784–1805” (Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Northwestern University, 1937), pp. 95–96. Sprague, “Brown” (Ph.D., 1972), pp. 85–88.
GRAYSON, WILLIAM Weston Bristow, “William Grayson: A Study in Virginia Biography of the Eighteenth Century,” Richmond College Historical Papers, vol. 2 (1916–17), pp. 106–12. DuPriest, Grayson (1977), pp. 63–84.
HENRY, PATRICK Wirt, Sketches of Henry (1817), pp 263–98. Everett, Henry (1844), pp. 362–74. Samuel G. Arnold, The Life of Patrick Henry (New York, ), pp. 198–205. Tyler, Henry (1887), pp. 283–97. Henry, Henry Correspondence (1891), vol. 2, pp. 338–77. George Morgan, The True Patrick Henry (Philadelphia, 1907), pp. 341–55. Mallory, “Henry” (Ph.D., 1938), pp. 376–78. Anger, “Henry” (Ph.D., 1939), pp. 162–67. Axelrod, Henry (1947), pp. 249–58. Bowman, “Henry” (Ph.D., 1962), pp. 198–245. Meade, Practical Revolutionary vol. 2 of idem., Henry (1957–69), pp. 342–72. Beeman, Henry (1974), pp. 144–62. Mayer, Son of Thunder (1986), pp. 396–439.
MADISON, JAMES Rives, Madison (1895–68), vol. 2, pp. 560–621. Hunt, Madison (1902), pp. 148–55. Smith, Madison (1938), pp. 134–39. Brant, Father of the Constitution, vol. of idem., Madison (1950), pp. 195–228. Harold Schultz, James Madison (New York, 1970), pp. 82–85. Ketcham, Madison (1971), pp. 253–68. Moore, Madison (1979), pp. 115–18.
MARSHALL, JOHN Alan Magruder, John Marshall (Boston, 1885), pp. 63–87. Albert Beveridge, The Life of John Marshall (4 vols. Boston, 1916–19), vol. 1 (1955–88), pp. 367–480. Edward S. Corwin, John Marshall and the Constitution (New Haven, 1919), pp. 35–38.
MONROE, JAMES Daniel Gilman, James Monroe (Boston, 1883), pp. 27–28. George Morgan, The Life of James Monroe (Boston, 1921), pp. 131–41. Arthur Styron, The Last of the Cocked Hats: James Monroe (Norman, 1945), pp. 120–23. W. P. Cresson, James Monroe (Chapel Hill, 1946), pp 97–102. Harry Ammon, James Monroe (New York, 1971), pp. 70–73.
MOORE, ANDREW Hugh Blair Grigsby, “Sketch of Gen. Andrew Moore,” Washington and Lee University, Historical Papers, vol. 2 (1890), p. 59.
PENDLETON, EDMUND Hilldrup, Pendleton (1939), pp 279–306. Mays, Pendleton (1952), pp. 217–72. D. J. Mays, “Edmund Pendleton, 1721–1803,” Va. Bar Assoc., Reports (Proceedings), vol. 37 (1925), pp. 392–401.
RANDOLPH, EDMUND Reardon, Randolph (1974), pp. 133–50.
WYTHE, GEORGE William Clarkin, Serene Patriot: The Life of George Wythe (Albany, 1970), pp. 199–80. Joyce Blackburn, George Wythe (New York, 1975), pp. 116–18.
McMaster, Hist. (1883), vol. 1 (1784–90), pp. 488–92. Pulliam, Const. Conventions of Va. (1900), pp. 35–39. Moran, Constitution (1904), pp. 192–93. Ambler, Sectionalism in Va. (1910), pp. 53–59. Channing, American Revolution (1912), pp. 518–20. Beck, Constitution (1924), pp. 197–91. Schuyler, Constitution (1923), pp. 146–48. Freeman H. Hart, The Valley of Virginia in the American Revolution (Chapel Hill, N.C. 1942) pp. 179–89. Eaton, Old South (1949), pp. 147–48. Alden, South in the Revolution (1957), pp. 393–98. Main, Antifederalists (1961), pp. 223–33. Jensen, Constitution (1964), pp. 145–46. Murphy, Triumph (1967), pp. 347–68. Beeman, Old Dominion (1972), pp. 1–12. DenBoer, “House of Delegates in Va.” (Ph.D., 1972), pp. 106–220. Patricia Watlington, The Partisan Spirit: Kentucky Politics, 1779–92 (New York, 1972), pp. 155–56. Norman K. Risjord and Gordon DenBoer, “The Evolution of Political parties in Virginia, 1782–1800,” Jnl. of Am. Hist., vol. 60 (1973–74), pp. 970–72. Risjord, Chesapeake Politics (1978), pp. 293–306. William F. Findler, “Virginia Constitutional Commentaries: The Formative Period, 1776–1803,” William and Mary Law Review, vol. 21 (1979–80), pp. 374–76.
New York, 26 July 1788
The scholarship on the New York convention, as with that on the Virginia convention, continues to proceed along the lines that Beard established. Miner’s monograph, a doctoral dissertation at Columbia University in 1921, dominated through mid–century. Miner’s perspective was Beardian, but his research was seriously flawed. (For example, Miner was apparently unaware of Madison’s letter against conditional ratification and of its impact on the Antifederalists). DePauw, the author of the definitive monograph (1966), uncovers a (p.895) wealth of new manuscript material, revises both Beard and his critics, and concludes that ideology was more important to both factions than were property holding or other tangible factors. After DePauw, three of the more important studies are those of Mitchell (on Hamilton, 1957), Brooks (on Smith, 1964) and Schmidt (1965), who argues that the prospect of secession by southern New York was a more powerful inducement to ratification than Hamilton’s eloquence. By stressing class antagonisms, Eubanks  brings the debate full circle.
G[eorge] A[lexander] McKillip Dyess, The Conflict over the Ratification of the Federal Constitution in the State of New York [New York, 1901?]. Clarence E. Miner, The Ratification of the Federal Constitution by the State of New York (New York, 1921). James J. Heslin “Amendments Are Necessary,” N. Y. Hist. Soc., Qtly., vol. 43 (1959), pp. 425–39. Jonathan Mayhew Purver, “Ratification of the Federal Constitution in New York State,” N.Y. State Bar Jnl., vol. 35 (1963), pp. 249–55. Philip R. Schmidt, “Virginia, Secession, and Alexander Hamilton: New York Ratifies the Constitution” (Unpublished M.A. Thesis, The University of Kansas, 1965), pp. 109–51. Linda G. DePauw, The Eleventh Pillar: New York State and the Federal Constitution (Ithaca: N.Y., 1966). Robin Brooks, “Alexander Hamilton, Melancthon Smith, and Ratification of the Constitution in New York,” W. M. Q., ser. 3, vol. 24 (1967), pp 339–58. Richard B. Morris, “John Jay and the Adoption of the Federal Constitution in New York: A New Reading of Persons and Events,” N. Y. Hist., vol. 63 (1982), pp. 133–64. John P. Kaminski, “New York: The Reluctant Pillar,” The Reluctant Pillar: New York and the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, ed., by Stephen L. Schechter (Troy, N.Y., ), pp. 48–117. Gaspare D. Saladino, “A Guide to Sources for Studying the Ratification by…New York,” ibid. pp. 118–47. Jack Van DerHoof, “Fiction–Another Source,” ibid., pp. 148–56. Cecil L. Eubanks, “New York: Federalism and the Political Economy of Union,” Ratifying the Constitution, ed. by Gillespie and Liensch [Lawrence, Kansas, 1989], pp. 300–40.
CLINTON, GEORGE E. Wilder Spaulding, His Excellency George Clinton (New York, 1938), pp. 179–82.
HAMILTON, ALEXANDER Henry Cabot Lodge, Alexander Hamilton (New York, 1882), pp. 71–73. Frederick S. Oliver, Alexander Hamilton (London, 1906), pp. 176–79. Arthur H. Vandenberg, The Greatest American (New York, ), pp. 123–29. Ralph E. Bailey, An American Colossus (Boston, 1933), pp. 182–88. Smertenko, Hamilton (1932), pp. 163–65. Schachner, Hamilton (1946), p. 224. Louis M. Hacker, Alexander Hamilton in the American Tradition (New York, 1957), pp. 124–26. Mitchell, Hamilton…1755–88 (1957), pp. 426–65. Saul K. Padover, “The ‘Singular’ Mr. Hamilton,” Social Research, vol. 24 (1957), pp. 183–84. John C. Miller, Alexander Hamilton (New York, 1959), pp. 210–15. Clinton Rossiter, Alexander Hamilton and the Constitution (New York, 1964), pp. 60–70. Robert A. Hendrickson, Hamilton (New York, 1976–), vol. 1 (1757–89), pp. 512–26. Noemie Emery, Alexander Hamilton: An Intimate Portrait (New York, 1982), pp. 1118–19.
JAY, JOHN Pellew, Jay (1890), pp. 257–61.
SCHUYLER, PHILIP Lossing, Schuyler (1872–73), vol. 2, pp. 443–45.
SMITH, MELANCTHON R. Brooks, “Melancthon Smith” (Ph.D., 1964), pp. 176–251.
McMaster, History (1883), vol. 1 (1784–90), pp. 496–500. Moran, Constitution (1904), pp. 193–94. Channing, American Revolution (1912), pp. 521–26. Schuyler, Constitution (1923), pp. 148–51. Beck, Constitution (1924), pp. 194–95. Spaulding, N. Y. in Critical Period (1932), pp. 249–69. Main, Antifederalists (1961) pp. 221–22. Jensen, Constitution (1964), p. 146. Staughton Lynd, “The Mechanics in New York Politics, 1774–88,” Labor Hist. vol. 5 (1964), pp. 243–44. Murphy, Triumph (1967), pp. 369–85. Young, Democratic Republicans (1967), pp 109–28. Stephen R. Boyd, “The Impact of the Constitution on State Politics: New York as a Test Case,” The Human Diminsions of Nation Making: Essays on Colonial and Revolutionary America, ed. by James Kirby Martin (Madison, Wisc., 1976), pp. 293–99. Ketcham, Colony to Country (1974), pp. 132–33. Countryman, People in Revolution (1981), pp. 273–78.
North Carolina, 21 Nov. 1789
The standard monograph remains that of Trenholme (1932), who attributes the state’s belated ratification to the eventual realization that the benefits of belonging to a strong central government outweighed a tradition of localist independence. Her research, however, fails to explain adequately why this transformation occurred. Several other studies fill in the gaps in Trenholme. Raper, whose thesis Trenholme resembles at several points, identifies individualism in several forms as the basis for Antifederalism at the state convention. Cheshire provides background on the convention’s personnel, and Best supplies important documents pertinent to it. Pool (1950) offers an overstated rebuttal to Beard’s economic determinism, concluding that Antifederalists and their opponents held similar amounts and types of property. Robinson’s biography of Davie (1957) includes an excellent description of Antifederalist maneuverings at the Hillsborough and Fayetteville conventions. Liensch’s article , the most recent monograph, stresses the importance of civil liberties as a factor at the ratifying convention of 1788 but pays little attention to its sequel in 1789, which undertook ratification.
J. B. Cheshire “The Personnel of the North Carolina Convention of 1788,” Southern Hist. Assoc., Publications, vol. 3 (1899), pp. 122–29. Kemp P. Battle, “North Carolina and the Adoption of the Constitution of the United States,” North Carolina Law Journal, vol. 1 (1900), pp. 1–20. Henry Groves Connor, The Convention of 1788–89 and the Federal Constitution (Raleigh, 1904). J. A. Best, The Adoption of the Federal Constitution by North Carolina,” Historical Society of Trinity College, Historical Papers, ser. 5 (1905), pp. 12–30. Charles Lee Raper, “Why North Carolina at First Refused to Ratify the Federal Constitution,” A. H. A., Report, 1905, vol. 1, pp. 99–107. Louise Irby Trenholme, The Ratification of the Federal (p.897) Constitution in the State of North Carolina (New York, 1932). Albert Newsome, “North Carolina’s Ratification of the Federal Constitution,” N. C. Hist. Rev., vol. 17 (1940), pp. 287–301. William C. Pool, “An Economic Interpretation of the Ratification of the Federal Constitution in North Carolina,” ibid., vol. 27 (1950), pp. 119–41, 289–313, 437–61. Michael Liensch, “North Carolina: Preserving Rights,” Ratifying the Constitution, ed. by Gillespie and Liensch , pp. 343–67.
BLOUNT, WILLIAM William H. Masterson, William Blount (Baton Rouge, 1954), pp. 146, 149, 164–65.
DAVIE, WILLIAM Fordyce M. Hubbard, Life of William…Davie (Boston, 1848), pp. 93–100. Blackwell P. Robinson, William R. Davie (Chapel Hill, 1957), pp. 193–207, 215–18.
IREDELL, JAMES H. G. Connor, “James Iredell: Lawyer, Statesman, Judge, 1751–99,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review, vol. 60 (1909–10), pp. 235–36. Idem., “James Iredell, 1751–99,” North Carolina Booklet, vol. 11 (1911–12), no. 4 (Apr. 1912), pp. 220–22.
JOHNSTON, SAMUEL R. D. W. Connor, “Governor Samuel Johnston of North Carolina,” ibid., pp. 278–83.
JONES, WILLIE Blackwell P. Robinson, “Willie Jones of Halifax,” N. C. Hist. Rev., vol. 18 (1941), pp. 150–53, 160–61.
SPAIGHT, RICHARD DOBBS John H. Wheeler, “Richard Dobbs Spaight,” P. M. H. B., vol. 3 (1879), pp. 426–29. Alexander B. Andrews, “Richard Dobbs Spaight,” N. C. Hist. Rev., vol. 1 (1924), pp. 108–10.
McMaster, History (1883), vol. 1 (1784–90), pp. 500–O1. Moran, Constitution (1904), pp. 194–95. Henry Wagstaff, Federalism in North Carolina (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1910), pp. 11–18. R. D. W. Connor et al. eds., Hist. of N. Carolina (1919), vol. 2 (1783–1860), pp. 31–46. Gilpatric, Jeffersonian Democracy in N. Carolina (1931), pp. 31–36. Matteson, “Organization of the Government,” Bloom, History of the Formation of the Union (1941), pp. 468–80 passim. Herbert L. Lycan, “Hamilton and the North Carolina Federalists,” N. C. Hist. Rev., vol. 25 (1948), pp. 446–49, 453–55. Eaton, Old South (1949), pp. 148–49. Leffler and Olson, Hist. of N. Carolina (1954), pp. 267–70. Alden, South in the Revolution (1957), pp. 398–99. Thomas P. Abernethy, The South in the New Nation (Baton Rouge, 1961), pp. 26–27. Main, Antifederalists (1961), pp. 242–48. Murphy, Triumph (1967), pp. 386–97. Charles R. Morrill, The Practice and Politics of Fiat Finance: North Carolina in the Confederation, 1783–89 (Chapel Hill, 1969), pp. 49–53. Risjord, Chesapeake Politics (1978), pp. 317–19, 337–41.
Rhode Island, 29 May 1790
Rogers (1890) defends Rhode Island’s refusal to ratify. Bates (1898) provides a massive collection of documentation, identifies agrarian paper money advocates as the chief (p.898) constituents of Rhode Island Antifederalism, and ascribes that phenomenon to the state’s traditions of individualism, localism, and democracy. Bishop (1949) rejects this states’ rights interpretation, arguing (p. 4) that mercantile opponents of the continental impost in 1782–85 reversed their opposition to a strong central government and became the core of Federalism in the state from 1787 to 1790. On the other hand, Polishook (1969) includes important material from the newspapers on the legislative and political backgrounds to ratification, including a secessionist movement in Rhode Island. Kaminski  reasserts the centrality of the paper–money issue.
Gilbert L. Harney, “How Rhode Island Received the Constitution,” New Eng. Mag., n.s., vol. 2 (1890), p. 276. Horatio Rogers, Discourse Before the Rhode Island Historical Society…[on] Rhode Island’s Adoption of the Federal Constitution (Providence, 1890). Sidney S. Rider, “How the U. S. Senate Forced Rhode Island to Ratify the Constitution,” Book Notes, vol. 11 (1894), pp. 73–75, 85–86. Frank G. Bates, Rhode Island and the Formation of the Union (New York, 1898). “The Adjustment of Rhode Island into the Union in 1790,” R. I. Hist. Soc., Pubns., vol. 8 (1900), pp. 104–35. Hillman M. Bishop, “Why Rhode Island Opposed the Federal Constitution: The Continental Impost,” R. I. Hist., vol. 8 (1949), pp. 1–10, 33–44, 85–95, 115–26. Evelyn M. Walsh, “Crisis 1780–90—to Ratify or Not to Ratify,” Rhode Island Yearbook, 1965–66, pp. 60–63. John P. Kaminski, “Rhode Island: Protecting State Interests,” Ratifying the Constitution, ed. by Gillespie and Liensch , pp. 368–90.
Arnold, Hist. of R. I. (1859–60), vol. 2 (1700–90), pp. 540–49, 556–62. Moran, Constitution (1904), p. 195. Adams, New. Eng. in the Rep. (1926), pp. 178–80. Matteson, “Organization of the Government,” Bloom ed., History of the Formation of the Union (1941), pp. 482–98. Main, Antifederalists (1961), pp. 212–13, 248. Jensen, Constitution (1964), pp. 143, 146. Murphy, Triumph (1967), pp. 397–99. Polishook, R. I. (1969), pp. 207–30. Sidney V. James, Colonial R. I. (New York, 1975), pp. 370–4. Patrick Conley, “Rhode Island in Disunion, 1787–90,” R. I. Hist., vol. 31 (1972), pp. 99–115. Idem., Democracy in Decline: Rhode Island’s Constitutional Development, 1776–1841 (Providence, 1977), pp. 107–42. Boyd, Politics of Opposition (1979), p. 89.