681. Robert Woodruffe: Journal, post-8 February 17881

While at Boston the Fœderal Constitution as submitted to the people by the Convention was received there with great Pleasure—a Convention of the People was called, in which Governor Hancock sat as president—& on the 9th February on the Question being put, either to adopt or reject it—it was adopted by a Majority of 19—after the Question was decided, many of the Members in the Minority who had been violently opposed [to] it, declared that as it had passed, they were determined to give it all the Support in their Power, and immediately set their Names to it.—the next Day the following curious Procession took Place.

Sixteen Forresters with Axes & Brush Scythes


A Plough

drawn by two Horses & two Yokes of Oxen with

a Person holding it & others clearing

away the Obstructions.

Three Sowers with Baskets, strewing

Grain & smoaking their Pipes.

A Brush Harrow drawn by a Horse.

A large roler drawn by a Horse & pair of Oxen.

Four reapers with Sickles &c

Four Mowers with Scythes followed by

eighteen Haymakers with rakes &c

Eight Husbandmen with Hoes, Spades &

other farming Utensils

A Cart drawn by a Yoke of Oxen, with

Flax dressers at Work.

A Yoke of fat Cattle with Killers

properly equipped.

A Cart loaded with Beef, followed by eight

Master Butchers in clean Frocks.

Seventy three Blacksmiths

carrying Implements of their Craft

decorated with ribbons &c

Forty three Shipwrights

with Tools decorated.

Seventy five Ropemakers

—their Waist encircled with Hemp—with a

Cable sled drawn by Workmen decorated

with Colours, & attended with Martial Music.

Thirty Mastmakers

with Tools decorated.

Thirty Sailmakers

with their Tools

Thirty four Ship Joiners

with their Tools

Thirty Blockmakers

with Tools

Six Mathematical Instrument Makers

with Instruments &c

Twenty three Coopers

with Tools

Twenty Boat Builders

with Tools

Twenty Painters

with Pallets &c

Twelve Carvers

with Tools

Eighteen Riggers

with Tools

Sixteen Glaziers & Plumbers

with Tools

Forty Bakers

with Tools

Twenty eight Tanners & Curriers

with Tools

Fifty Shoemakers

with Lasts &c

Fifty six Taylors

with Measures &c

Twenty six Hatters

with Tools

Eight Tallow Chandlers

with a Miniature Press—Moulds &c

The Ship Fœderal Constitution

On runners drawn by thirteen Horses Manned with a Captain—two Lieutenants—Master—Purser—and thirteen Seamen & Marines—Colours flying—followed by Captains of Vessels—eighty five Seamen dressed in Ribbons & 150 of the principal Merchants of Boston.

Twenty Ship Builders

with a Work Yard drawn by thirteen

Horses in which were eight Vessels on the

Stocks with the Men at work.

One hundred & thirty six Carpenters

with Tools of every Sort decorated

Thirty Masons

with Trowells &c as at work

Thirty Cabinet—Coach Makers


with the Insignia of their Crafts

Fifteen Printers

with a Stand drawn on a Sleigh

and Compositors at work.

Twelve Sadlers

with Tools

Fifteen Goldsmiths

with Hammers &c

Twenty Leather Dressers

dressed in Skins

Twelve Card Makers

with Wire &c

The Committee of Trades

in a Sleigh drawn by four Horses

The Republican Volunteers

closed the Procession—

In this Order the whole proceeded by the Houses of the several Gentleman who represented the Town in Convention & testified their Approbation of their Conduct by three Huzzas from the whole Line & Salutes from the Ship & Volunteer Company—When the Procession passed the State House they were saluted with thirteen Guns by a Company of Artillery.

1. MS, Journal of a Trip … [1785–1788], pp. 85–91, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia. Woodruffe toured several of the states as clerk to John Anstey, Loyalist Claims Commissioner. This journal entry was probably adapted from the newspaper accounts of the Boston Federal Procession of 8 February 1788.