Use the smaller-sized text Use the larger-sized text Use the very large text

The Massachusetts Volumes of The Documentary History
of the Ratification of the Constitution

Return to Search Page

Table of Contents Massachusetts Volume 1 (series volume IV)

Volume 1  Volume 2   Volume 3  Volume 4

Endsheet Map: “Massachusetts Towns Vote on the Constitution”
Half Title Page pg.i

Title Page

pg.iii

Copyright Page

pg.iv

Dedication

pg.v

Editorial Advisory Committee

pg.vi

Contents

pg.vii

Acknowledgments

pg.xv

Organization

pg.xvii

Editorial Procedures

pg.xix

General Ratification Chronology, 1786-1791

pg.xx

Calendar for the Years 1787-1788

pg.xxiii

Introduction

pg.xxiv

Note on Sources

pg.xlix

Symbols

pg.lxvi

Massachusetts Chronology, 1773-1790

pg.lxx

Officers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1787-1788

pg.lxxiv

I. The Debate over the Constitution 5 September-25 October 1787

Introduction

pg.3

Numa: Political and Moral Entertainment VII, Hampshire Gazette, 5 September

pg.7

Elbridge Gerry in the Constitutional Convention, 12-17 September

pg.13

     Speech in the Constitutional Convention, Saturday, 15 September

pg.14

     Speech in the Constitutional Convention, Saturday, 17 September

pg.15

Elbridge Gerry to John Adams, New York, 20 September

pg.16

Mercy Warren to Abigail Adams, Milton, 22 September pg.16
James Sullivan to Rufus King, Boston, 23 September pg.16

Thomas Dwight to Nathan Dane, Springfield, 25 September

pg.17

Editors' Note: The Publication of the Constitution in Massachusetts 25 September 1787-9 January 1788

pg.18

James Sullivan to Rufus King, Boston, 28 September

pg.21

Mercy Warren to Catherine Macaulay Graham, Milton, 28 September

pg.22

Jeremy Belknap to Ebenezer Hazard, Boston, 29 September

pg.23

Massachusetts Centinel, 29 September

pg.24

 A True American, Massachusetts Centinel, 29 September pg.24

Nathaniel Ames Diary, Dedham, 30 September

pg.25

Thomas L. Winthrop to Joseph Winthrop, Boston, 30 September

pg.26

From Henry Knox, New York, September

pg.26

American Herald, 1 October

pg.28

Cassius, Massachusetts Gazette, 2 October

pg.30

William Bentley Diary, Salem, 3 October

pg.32

Massachusetts Centinel, 3 October

pg.33

Essex Journal, 3, 17, and 24 October pg.33

     A Correspondent, 3 October

pg.34

     Another, 17 October pg.34

     A Parody, 24 October

pg.35

Worcester Magazine, 4 October pg.35

Cumberland Gazette, 4 October

pg.36

David, Independent Chronicle, 4 October

pg.36

Observator, Independent Chronicle, 4 October

pg.38

The Boston Press and the Constitution, 4 October-22 December

pg.41

     Independent Chronicle, 4 October

pg.44

     Massachusetts Centinel, 10 October pg.44
     American Herald, 15 October pg.45

     A Citizen, Massachusetts Gazette, 16 October

pg.45

     Massachusetts Gazette, 16 October

pg.46

     Benjamin Russell to Eleazer Oswald Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, 4 December pg.46

     American Herald, 17 December

pg.48

    Massachusetts Centinel, 22 December

pg.49

William Cranch to John Quincy Adams, Boston, 5 October

pg.50

Massachusetts Gazette, 5 October

pg.52

Massachusetts Centinel, 6 October

pg.52

The Grand Constitution, Massachusetts Centinel, 6 October

pg.56

Christopher Gore to Rufus King, Boston, 7 October

pg.57

James Madison to Edmund Randolph, New York, 7 October

pg.58

Joshua B. Osgood to George Thatcher, Brownfield, 8 October pg.58

Hartford American Mercury, 8 October

pg.59

Chesterfield Town Meeting: Instructions to Representative, 9 October

pg.59

Massachusetts Gazette, 9 October

pg.61

Nathan Dane to Caleb Strong, New York, 10 October

pg.62

Henry Van Schaack to Caleb Strong, Pittsfield, 10 October

pg.63

Jonathan Williams, Sr., to Benjamin Franklin, Boston, 10 October

pg.65

"A,'' Essex Journal, 10 October

pg.65

William Heath Diary, Roxbury, 11 October

pg.67

John Quincy Adams Diary, Newburyport, 12 October

pg.67

John Quincy Adams Diary, Newburyport, 13 October

pg.68

 Francis Dana to Rufus King, Cambridge, 13 October pg.68

Massachusetts Centinel, 13 October

pg.68

Massachusetts Centinel, 13 October

pg.71

John Quincy Adams to William Cranch, Newburyport, 14 October

pg.72

American Herald, 15 October

pg.75

Harrington, American Herald, 15 October

pg.76

Boston Gazette, 15 October

pg.80

Boston Gazette, 15 October pg.80

John Quincy Adams Diary, Haverhill, 17 October

pg.81

Massachusetts Centinel, 17 October pg.81

One of the People, Massachusetts Centinel, 17 October

pg.82

Ship News, 17 October-24 November

pg.86

     Massachusetts Centinel, 17 October pg.86
     Massachusetts Gazette, 19 October pg.86

     Massachusetts Centinel, 20 October

pg.88

     Independent Chronicle, 25 October

pg.89

     Massachusetts Gazette, 30 October pg.89

     Independent Chronicle, 1 November

pg.90

     Massachusetts Gazette, 9 November

pg.91

     Massachusetts Centinel, 24 November

pg.92

Elbridge Gerry to James Warren, New York, 18 October

pg.93

Elbridge Gerry to the General Court, New York, 18 October

pg.94

Samuel Henshaw to Henry Van Schaack, Northampton, 18 October

pg.100

Cumberland Gazette, 18 October

pg.101

Solon, Independent Chronicle, 18 October

pg.102

The Worcester Speculator V, Worcester Magazine, 18 October

pg.104

Elisha May to David Daggett, Attleborough, 19 October

pg.107

Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, Boston, 21 October

pg.109

John De Witt I, American Herald, 22 October

pg.109

William Lyman to Joseph Clarke, Boston, 23 October

pg.113

Lycurgus, Massachusetts Gazette, 23 October

pg.114

Editors' Note: The Massachusetts Reprinting of the Address of the Seceding Assemblymen of the Pennsylvania Assembly, 23 October-8 November

pg.115

Monitor, Hampshire Gazette, 24 October

pg.116

Massachusetts Centinel, 24 October

pg.119

"W. X.,'' Massachusetts Centinel, 24 October

pg.120

Editors' Note: The Massachusetts Reprinting of James Wilson's Speech of 6 October Before a Philadelphia Public Meeting, 24 October-15 November

pg.120

Ezekiel, Independent Chronicle, 25 October

pg.122

Cumberland Gazette, 25 October

pg.123

II. Massachusetts Calls a State Convention 18-25 October 1787

Introduction

pg.124

Senate Proceedings, Thursday, 18 October 

pg.126

House Proceedings, Thursday, 18 October pg.126
Governor John Hancock to the General Court, 18 October pg.126
Newspaper Commentaries on Governor John Hancock's Speech of 18 October pg.127

     Massachusetts Centinel, 20 October

pg.127

     American Herald, 22 October pg.127
     Pennsylvania Herald, 31 October pg.128

     Examiner, Hampshire Gazette, 21 November

pg.128

Senate Proceedings, Friday, 19 October

pg.129

House Proceedings, Friday, 19 October

pg.130

Report of the Joint Committee with Senate and House Amendments 19-25 October pg.130

Senate Proceedings, Saturday, 20 October, Newspaper Reports of the Senate Proceedings of 19-20 October, Boston Gazette, 22 October

pg.133

American Herald, 22 October pg.134

House Proceedings, Wednesday, 24 October

pg.134

Newspaper Reports of the House Proceedings and Debates of 24 October

pg.135

     Massachusetts Centinel, 27 October

pg.135

     Independent Chronicle, 25 October

pg.139

Private Commentaries on the House Proceedings and Debates of 24 October

pg.142

     Nathaniel Gorham to Henry Knox, Boston, 25 October pg.142
     Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, Boston, 28 October pg.142

Senate Proceedings, Thursday, 25 October

pg.143

House Proceedings, Thursday, 25 October pg.143
Senate Proceedings, Thursday, 25 October pg.143

Resolutions Calling the State Convention, 25 October

pg.143

Governor John Hancock: Proclamation for a Day of Public Thanksgiving Boston, 25 October

pg.146

The General Court Receives Elbridge Gerry's Letter, 31 October-2 November

pg.148

     Senate Proceedings, Wednesday, 31 October pg.148
     House Proceedings, Thursday, 1 November pg.148
     House Proceedings, Friday, 2 November pg.148

III. The Debate over the Constitution in Massachusetts 28 October 1787-12 February 1788

Introduction

pg.149

Rufus King to Henry Knox, Boston, 28 October

pg.155

From Theodore Sedgwick, Boston, 28 October

pg.156

John De Witt II, American Herald, 29 October pg.156

Lycurgus, American Herald, 29 October

pg.161

A Dialogue Between Mr. Schism and Mr. Cutbrush, Boston Gazette, 29 October

pg.162

Boston Gazette, 29 October

pg.166

William Frost to George Thatcher, York, 30 October

pg.167

Editors' Note: Nathaniel Gorham to Benjamin Franklin, Boston, 30 October

pg.168

Nathaniel Gorham to Henry Knox, Boston, 30 October pg.168
Vox Populi, Massachusetts Gazette, 30 October pg.168

Massachusetts Gazette, 30 October

pg.171

Salem Mercury, 30 October

pg.173

Henry Gibbs to Simeon Baldwin, Salem, 31 October

pg.174

Cotton Tufts to Abigail Adams, Boston, 31 October pg.174
Essex Journal, 31 October pg.175

Hampshire Gazette, 31 October

pg.175

A Dialogue Between Mr. Z and Mr. &, Massachusetts Centinel, 31 October

pg.176

Responses to An Old Whig I, Massachusetts Centinel, 31 October

pg.179

     Poplicola

pg.180

     Examiner

pg.182

     A Correspondent

pg.183

     Response to a Late Writer pg.183

Massachusetts Centinel, 31 October

pg.184

Massachusetts Centinel, 31 October pg.184

Henry Van Schaack to David Van Schaack, Pittsfield, c. 31 October

pg.185

Rufus King and Nathaniel Gorham: Response to Elbridge Gerry's Objections post-31 October

pg.186

Isaiah, Independent Chronicle, 1 November

pg.190

Henry Warren to Henry Van Schaack, Plymouth, 2 November

pg.191

Examiner, Massachusetts Gazette, 2 November

pg.192

Massachusetts Centinel, 3 November pg.192

Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, Boston, 5 November

pg.193

John De Witt III, American Herald, 5 November

pg.194

A Federalist, Boston Gazette, 5 November

pg.199

Vox Populi, Massachusetts Gazette, 6 November

pg.200

Essex Journal, 7 November

pg.202

A Dialogue Between Mr. Z and Mr. &, Massachusetts Centinel, 7 November

pg.202

Massachusetts Centinel, 7 November

pg.204

"A. B.,'' Massachusetts Centinel, 7 November

pg.205

Observator, Independent Chronicle, 8 November

pg.206

Independent Chronicle, 8 November

pg.208

Independent Chronicle, 8 November pg.208

Worcester Magazine, 8 November

pg.209

Cumberland Gazette, 9 November

pg.210

Examiner, Massachusetts Gazette, 9 November

pg.211

John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, London, 10 November

pg.212

Thomas a Kempis, Massachusetts Centinel, 10 November pg.212

Massachusetts Centinel, 10 November

pg.212

Massachusetts Centinel, 10 November

pg.213

Massachusetts Centinel, 10 November

pg.214

Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, Boston, 11 November

pg.215

Portius, American Herald, 12 November

pg.216

Union, Boston Gazette, 12 November

pg.220

Boston Gazette, 12 November

pg.221

Vox Populi, Massachusetts Gazette, 13 November

pg.222

Hanno, Massachusetts Gazette, 13 November

pg.225

Massachusetts Gazette, 13 November

pg.227

"A. B.'' to Elbridge Gerry, Massachusetts Centinel, 14 November

pg.227

A Friend for Liberty, Massachusetts Centinel, 14 November

pg.231

Massachusetts Centinel, 14 November

pg.231

Truth: Disadvantages of Federalism, Upon the New Plan, Boston, 14-24 November

pg.232

     Truth, Boston, 14 November

pg.233

     Thomas a Kempis, Massachusetts Centinel, 21 November pg.233
     Massachusetts Centinel, 21 November pg.233
     A Bostonian, Massachusetts Gazette, 23 November pg.234

     Truth, Massachusetts Centinel, 24 November

pg.234

Thomas Smith to John Dolbeare, 15 November

pg.235

William Symmes, Jr., to Peter Osgood, Jr., Andover, 15 November

pg.236

Cumberland Gazette, 15 November

pg.245

Consideration, Independent Chronicle, 15 November

pg.247

Worcester Speculator VII, Worcester Magazine, 15 November

pg.248

Elbridge Gerry to John Wendell, Cambridge, 16 November

pg.251

Vox Populi, Massachusetts Gazette, 16 November

pg.251

Cato's Soliloquy Parodied, Massachusetts Gazette, 16 November

pg.254

Cassius I, Massachusetts Gazette, 16 November

pg.256

One of the People, Massachusetts Centinel, 17 November

pg.259

Federalist, Massachusetts Centinel, 17 November

pg.262

An American: The Crisis, Massachusetts Centinel, 17 November

pg.263

Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, Boston, 18 November

pg.264

John De Witt IV, American Herald, 19 November

pg.265

George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the Constitutional Convention Boston, 19-21 November

pg.271

     American Herald, 19 November

pg.272

     American Herald, 19 November pg.272
     American Herald, 19 November pg.273

     Massachusetts Gazette, 20 November

pg.273

     Massachusetts Gazette, 20 November pg.273
     Massachusetts Centinel, 21 November pg.273

Boston Gazette, 19 November

pg.274

Public Creditors and the Constitution, Boston, 19 November

pg.276

     Lycurgus, Boston Gazette, 19 November

pg.276

     American Herald, 19 November

pg.277

"A. B.'': Lessons from the Book of Samuel, Massachusetts Gazette, 20 November

pg.278

Examiner, Massachusetts Gazette, 20 November

pg.279

Candor, Massachusetts Gazette, 20 November

pg.280

Massachusetts Gazette, 20 November

pg.281

George Mason and the Constitution, 20 November-3 December

pg.282

     Massachusetts Gazette, 20 November

pg.283

     Massachusetts Centinel, 21 November

pg.284

     Massachusetts Gazette, 23 November pg.284
     Massachusetts Centinel, 24 November pg.284
     Massachusetts Centinel, 28 November pg.284
     Candor, American Herald, 3 December pg.284

     Prudental, American Herald, 3 December

pg.285

George Mason's Objections to the Constitution, 21 November-19 December

pg.287

     Massachusetts Centinel, 21 November

pg.288

     Massachusetts Centinel, 19 December

pg.290

Joseph Savage to Samuel P. Savage, Springfield, 21 November

pg.291

Massachusetts Centinel, 21 November pg.291

Essex Journal, 21 November

pg.292

Monitor, Hampshire Gazette, 21 November

pg.293

Thomas B. Wait to George Thatcher, Portland, 22 November

pg.295

Cumberland Gazette, 22 November

pg.296

Cumberland Gazette, 22 November

pg.296

Atticus III, Independent Chronicle, 22 November

pg.296

The Worcester Speculator VIII, Worcester Magazine, 22 November

pg.300

Editors' Note: The Massachusetts Reprinting of the Brutus Essays 22 November 1787-8 May 1788

pg.301

Agrippa I, Massachusetts Gazette, 23 November

pg.303

Cassius II, Massachusetts Gazette, 23 November

pg.306

Vox Populi, Massachusetts Gazette, 23 November

pg.309

Massachusetts Gazette, 23 November

pg.312

Massachusetts Centinel, 24 November

pg.315

Massachusetts Centinel, 24 November pg.316

Propriety, Massachusetts Centinel, 24 November

pg.316

Christopher Gore to George Thatcher, Boston, 25 November

pg.317

Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, Boston, 25 November

pg.317

William Cranch to John Quincy Adams, Braintree, 26 November

pg.318

A Federalist, Boston Gazette, 26 November

pg.320

Agrippa II, Massachusetts Gazette, 27 November

pg.322

Cassius III, Massachusetts Gazette, 27 November

pg.325

Massachusetts Gazette, 27 November

pg.326

Cotton Tufts to John Adams, Weymouth, 28 November pg.326

Cato, Essex Journal, 28 November

pg.327

One of the Middling-Interest, Massachusetts Centinel, 28 November

pg.328

Valerius, Massachusetts Centinel, 28 November

pg.333

Jonathan Sayward Diary, York, 29 November

pg.335

Virginia Journal, 29 November pg.335

Cumberland Gazette, 30 November

pg.335

An American, Independent Chronicle, 30 November

pg.337

Cassius IV, Massachusetts Gazette, 30 November

pg.338

Cassius V, Massachusetts Gazette, 30 November

pg.339

Agrippa III, Massachusetts Gazette, 30 November

pg.342

John Quincy Adams Diary, Newburyport, 1 December

pg.344

Mentor, Massachusetts Centinel, 1 December

pg.344

Massachusetts Centinel, 1 December

pg.346

Cincinnatus, Massachusetts Centinel, 1 December

pg.347

Benjamin Lincoln to Fran;alcois de Fleury, Boston, 2 December

pg.348

Samuel Adams to Richard Henry Lee, Boston, 3 December

pg.349

John De Witt V, American Herald, 3 December

pg.351

The Monitor, American Herald, 3 December

pg.358

American Herald, 3 December

pg.359

A Federalist, Boston Gazette, 3 December

pg.360

Boston Gazette, 3 December

pg.362

One of the Common People, Boston Gazette, 3 December

pg.367

The Massachusetts Printing of Benjamin Franklin's Last Speech in the Constitutional Convention, 3-18 December

pg.369

     Nathaniel Gorham to Benjamin Franklin, Boston, 30 October

pg.371

     Benjamin Franklin to Nathaniel Gorham, Philadelphia, 14 November pg.371

     Benjamin Franklin's Speech, Boston Gazette, 3 December

pg.372

     "Z,'' Independent Chronicle, 6 December

pg.373

     Cumberland Gazette, 6 December

pg.375

     A Federalist, Boston Gazette, 10 December pg.375

     Massachusetts Gazette, 14 December

pg.376

     Nathaniel Gorham to Benjamin Franklin, Charlestown, 15 December

pg.377

     Massachusetts Gazette, 18 December

pg.378

     Clito, Massachusetts Gazette, 18 December pg.378

Boston Gazette, 3 December

pg.380

Nathaniel Gorham to Henry Knox, Charlestown, 4 December

pg.380

Agrippa IV, Massachusetts Gazette, 4 December

pg.381

Massachusetts Gazette, 4 December

pg.383

Theodore Sedgwick to Henry Van Schaack, Stockbridge, 5 December

pg.384

One of the Middle-Interest, Massachusetts Centinel, 5 December

pg.385

John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, London, 6 December

pg.389

Oliver Phelps to Elbridge Gerry, Granville, 6 December

pg.390

Cumberland Gazette, 6 December

pg.391

Candidus I, Independent Chronicle, 6 December

pg.392

An American, Independent Chronicle, 6 December

pg.399

Massachusetts Gazette, 7 December

pg.400

John Quincy Adams to William Cranch, Newburyport, 8 December

pg.400

Jeremy Belknap to Ebenezer Hazard, Boston, 8 December

pg.402

Philo Publius, Massachusetts Centinel, 8 December

pg.403

"O,'' Massachusetts Centinel, 8 December

pg.404

Thomas a Kempis, Massachusetts Centinel, 8 December

pg.405

American Herald, 10 December pg.405
     Definitions pg.405

     A Correspondent

pg.406

     Question pg.406
     Legion pg.406

Agrippa V, Massachusetts Gazette, 11 December

pg.406

Massachusetts Gazette, 11 December

pg.409

Cornelius, Hampshire Chronicle, 11, 18 December

pg.410

Thomas a Kempis, Massachusetts Centinel, 12 December

pg.418

Massachusetts Centinel, 12 December pg.418

Editors' Note: The Massachusetts Reprinting of James Wilson's 24 November Speech to the Pennsylvania Convention, 12-27 December

pg.419

Theodore Sedgwick to Henry Van Schaack, Stockbridge, 13 December

pg.421

James Madison to Archibald Stuart, New York, 14 December

pg.422

Cassius VI, Massachusetts Gazette, 14 December

pg.423

Agrippa VI, Massachusetts Gazette, 14 December

pg.426

Thomas a Kempis, Massachusetts Centinel, 15 December

pg.428

Massachusetts Centinel, 15 December

pg.429

Nathaniel Gorham to Henry Knox, Charlestown, 16 December pg.429

American Herald, 17 December

pg.430

"B,'' Boston Gazette, 17 December

pg.431

Biographical Gazetteer

pg.432

Appendices

     I. The Massachusetts Constitution: Preamble and Declaration of Rights pg.440

     II. Massachusetts Appoints Delegates to the Constitutional Convention 2 October 1786-9 April 1787

pg.446

     III. The Constitution of the United States

pg.463

select text size Use the smaller-sized textUse the larger-sized textUse the very large text