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

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Table of Contents Massachusetts Volume 4 (series volume VII)

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.xiv
Organization pg.xvi
Editorial Procedures pg.xviii
General Ratification Chronology, 1786-1791 pg.xix
Calendar for the Years 1787-1788 pg.xxii
Symbols pg.xxiii
Massachusetts Chronology, 1776-1790 pg.xxvii
Officers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1787-1788 pg.xxxi

V. THE MASSACHUSETTS CONVENTION (Continued) CONVENTION COMMENTARIES: PUBLIC AND PRIVATE 3 January-4 March 1788

Dummer Sewall Journal, 3 January-12 February pg.1517
William Heath Diary, Roxbury and Boston, 9 January-7 February (excerpts) pg.1522
John Quincy Adams Diary, Newburyport, 10 January (excerpts) pg.1526
Winthrop Sargent to Henry Knox, Boston, 12 January (excerpt) pg.1526
Jeremy Belknap to Ebenezer Hazard, Boston, 13 January (excerpt) pg.1527
Benjamin Lincoln to George Washington, Boston, 13 January (excerpt) pg.1528
Dwight Foster to Rebecca Foster, Boston, 16 January pg.1529
Rufus King to James Madison, Boston, 16 January pg.1530
Isaac Backus to Susanna Backus, Boston, 17 January pg.1531
Massachusetts Gazette, 18 January pg.1532
John Forbes to John Quincy Adams, Boston, 19 January (excerpts) pg.1532
Jeremy Belknap to Ebenezer Hazard, Boston, 20 January pg.1533
From Tristram Dalton, Boston, 20 January (excerpt) pg.1535
Nathaniel Gorham to Henry Knox, Charlestown, 20 January (excerpt) pg.1536
Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, Boston, 20 January (excerpt) pg.1536
Rufus King to Horatio Gates, Boston, 20 January pg.1538
Rufus King to James Madison, Boston, 20 January pg.1539
Rufus King to George Thatcher, Boston, 20 January pg.1540
Benjamin Lincoln to George Washington, Boston, 20 January pg.1541
William Cranch to John Quincy Adams, Boston, 22, 27 January pg.1543
Samuel Nasson to George Thatcher, Boston, 22 January (excerpt) pg.1545
Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, Boston, 23 January (excerpt) pg.1546
Rufus King to James Madison, Boston, 23 January pg.1546
Cumberland Gazette, 24 January pg.1547
Jeremy Belknap to Ebenezer Hazard, Boston, 25-26 January (excerpts) pg.1547
Massachusetts Gazette, 25 January pg.1549
An Auditor, Massachusetts Gazette, 25 January pg.1550
Joseph Crocker to George Thatcher, Boston, 26 January (excerpt) pg.1550
Nathaniel Freeman, Jr., to John Quincy Adams, Medford, 27 January (excerpt) pg.1551
Nathaniel Gorham to James Madison, Charlestown, 27 January pg.1552
Rufus King to Henry Knox, Boston, 27 January pg.1553
Rufus King to James Madison, Boston, 27 January pg.1553
Benjamin Lincoln to George Washington, Boston, 27 January pg.1555
New York Journal, 28 January pg.1555
George Benson to Nicholas Brown, Boston, 29 January pg.1556
George Benson to Nicholas Brown, Boston, 30 January pg.1557
Tristram Dalton to Michael Hodge, Boston, 30 January (excerpts) pg.1560
Nathaniel Gorham to Henry Knox, Boston, 30 January pg.1561
Rufus King to James Madison, Boston, 30 January pg.1561
Rufus King to George Thatcher, Boston, 30 January pg.1562
Thomas Russell to John Langdon, Boston, 30 January pg.1562
New York Independent Journal, 30 January pg.1563
Tristram Dalton to Stephen Hooper, Boston, 31 January pg.1563
Jonathan Sayward Diary, 31 January pg.1563
Independent Chronicle, 31 January pg.1564
Worcester Magazine, 31 January pg.1564
Isaac Backus to Susanna Backus, Boston, 1 February pg.1564
Joseph Savage to George Thatcher, Springfield, 1 February (excerpt) pg.1565
Editors' Note: John Hancock's Conciliatory Proposition, Massachusetts Centinel, 2 February pg.1565
Jeremy Belknap to Ebenezer Hazard, Boston, 3 February (excerpt) pg.1566
George Benson to Nicholas Brown, Boston, 3 February pg.1567
From Tristram Dalton, Boston, 3 February (excerpts) pg.1568
Christopher Gore to George Thatcher, Boston, 3 February pg.1569
Nathaniel Gorham to Henry Knox, Charlestown, 3 February pg.1570
Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, Boston, 3 February (excerpt) pg.1570
Rufus King to Henry Knox, Boston, 3 February pg.1571
Rufus King to James Madison, Boston, 3 February pg.1572
Benjamin Lincoln to George Washington, Boston, 3 February pg.1572
Winthrop Sargent to Henry Knox, Boston, 3 February (excerpts) pg.1573
James Sullivan to John Langdon, Boston, 3 February pg.1574
Henry Van Schaack to Peter Van Schaack, Pittsfield, 4 February pg.1575
Henry Van Schaack to Theodore Sedgwick, Pittsfield, 4 February (excerpt) pg.1577
William Pynchon Diary, Salem, 5 February pg.1578
Bob Short, Massachusetts Gazette, 5 February pg.1578
New York Packet, 5 February pg.1578
Massachusetts Centinel, 6 February pg.1579
Tristram Dalton to John Langdon, Boston, 6 February pg.1579
Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, Boston, 6 February pg.1580
Benjamin Lincoln to George Washington, Boston, 6 February pg.1581
Anthony Paine to Henry Van Schaack, Worcester, 6 February pg.1582
William Pynchon Diary, Salem, 6 February pg.1583
Winthrop Sargent to Henry Knox, Boston, 6 February pg.1583
Jeremy Belknap to Ebenezer Hazard, Boston, 10 February (excerpt) pg.1583
Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, Boston, 10 February (excerpts) pg.1584
Henry Knox to Robert R. Livingston, New York, 10 February pg.1585
Henry Knox to George Washington, New York, 10 February pg.1586
Jeremy Belknap to Benjamin Rush, Boston, 12 February (excerpt) pg.1588
Nathaniel Barrell to George Thatcher, York, 20 February (excerpt) pg.1589
Bossenger Foster, Jr., to Andrew Craigie, Boston, 24 February (excerpt) pg.1590
Ephraim Ward to Enos Hitchcock, Brookfield, 2 March pg.1591
David Sewall to George Thatcher, Boston, 4 March (excerpts) pg.1592
Reminiscences of the Massachusetts Convention pg.1593
     Isaac Backus Diary (excerpts) pg.1593
     Isaac Backus: Minutes about the Constitution (excerpts) pg.1595
     Jeremy Belknap: Account of the Massachusetts Convention pg.1597
     George R. Minot Journal (excerpt) pg.1599

VI. THE AFTERMATH OF RATIFICATION, 6 February-23 July 1788

VI-A. Reports of Ratification of the Constitution by the, Massachusetts Convention, 6-20 February pg.1601
John Avery, Jr., to George Thatcher, Boston, 6 February pg.1601
Joseph Barrell to Samuel Blachley Webb, Boston, 6 February (excerpt) pg.1602
Tristram Dalton to Stephen Hooper, Boston, 6 February pg.1602
Christopher Gore to George Thatcher, Boston, 6 February pg.1603
Massachusetts: The Sixth Pillar of, the Great Federal Superstructure, 6 February pg.1603
     The Raising of the Sixth Pillar, Massachusetts Centinel, 16 January pg.1605
     The Sixth Pillar Raised, Independent Chronicle, 7 February pg.1606
John Quincy Adams Diary, Newburyport, 7 February (excerpt) pg.1607
Governor John Hancock to the State Executives, Boston, 16 February pg.1607
Pennsylvania Gazette, 20 February pg.1608
VI-B. Celebrations, 6 February-3 March pg.1608
Berwick, York County, 11 February pg.1609
     Independent Chronicle, 21 February pg.1609
Biddeford, York County, 18 February pg.1611
Boston, Suffolk County, 6-7 February pg.1611
     Massachusetts Gazette, 8 February pg.1611
     Massachusetts Gazette, 8 February (excerpt) pg.1612
Boston, Suffolk County, Convention Celebration, 7 February pg.1613
     Massachusetts Gazette, 8 February (excerpt) pg.1613
     Massachusetts Centinel, 9 February (excerpt) pg.1614
     Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, Boston, 10 February (excerpt) pg.1614
Boston, Suffolk County, The Federal Procession, 8 February pg.1615
     Notice to the Tradesmen, Massachusetts Gazette, 8 February pg.1616
     The Federal Procession, 8 February pg.1617
     Massachusetts Centinel, 9 February pg.1618
     William Heath Diary, Roxbury, 8 February pg.1623
     The Burning of ``Old Confederation'', Boston, 8 February pg.1623
          Boston Gazette, 11 February pg.1623
          Massachusetts Centinel, 13 February pg.1623
     Benjamin Lincoln to George Washington, Boston, 9 February (excerpt) pg.1624
     William Widgery to George Thatcher, Boston, 9 February (excerpt) pg.1624
     Jeremy Belknap to Ebenezer Hazard, Boston, 10 February (excerpts) pg.1625
     Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, Boston, 10 February (excerpt) pg.1625
     Boston Convention Delegates to the Committee of Boston Tradesmen, Massachusetts Centinel, 13 February pg.1626
     Massachusetts Gazette, 12 February pg.1627
     Federal Street, Massachusetts Centinel, 13 February pg.1628
     Patriotic Toasts After the Procession, Independent Chronicle, 14 February pg.1629
     Maria, Worcester Magazine, 14 February pg.1630
     Massachusetts Centinel, 23 July pg.1630
Boston, Suffolk County, Militia Parade, 12 February pg.1630
     Massachusetts Centinel, 13 February pg.1631
Charlestown, Middlesex County, 8 February pg.1632
     Boston Gazette, 11 February pg.1632
Gloucester, Essex County, 8 February pg.1632
     Salem Mercury, 12 February pg.1632
New Bedford, Bristol County, c. 8 February pg.1632
     Massachusetts Centinel, 27 February pg.1632
Newbury and Newburyport, Essex County, 8 and 14 February pg.1633
     John Quincy Adams Diary, Newburyport, 8 February pg.1633
     Essex Journal, 13 February pg.1633
     John Quincy Adams Diary, Newburyport, 14 February pg.1634
     Charleston City Gazette, 21 May pg.1635
Springfield, Hampshire County, 9 February pg.1636
     Hampshire Chronicle, 13 February pg.1636
Watertown, Middlesex County, 7 February pg.1636
     Massachusetts Gazette, 12 February pg.1636
     Massachusetts Centinel, 13 February pg.1637
Westminster, Worcester County, 3 March pg.1637
     Independent Chronicle, 1 May pg.1637
New Haven, Connecticut, 11 February pg.1639
     New Haven Gazette, 14 February pg.1639
New London, Connecticut, 14 February pg.1639
     Connecticut Gazette, 22 February (excerpt) pg.1639
New York City, 13, 14 and 16 February pg.1639
     New York Daily Advertiser, 15 February pg.1639
     New York Journal, 15 February pg.1640
     New York Packet, 15 February pg.1640
     Samuel Blachley Webb to Joseph Barrell, New York, 17 February pg.1641
     Samuel Blachley Webb to Catherine Hogeboom, New York, 17 February pg.1642
     New York Daily Advertiser, 18 February pg.1642
     Massachusetts Centinel, 27 February pg.1643
Portsmouth, New Hampshire pg.1644
     New Hampshire Spy, 12 February pg.1644
Richmond, Virginia, 27 February pg.1645
     Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 8 March pg.1645
VI-C. The Acquiescence of the Massachusetts Minority, 6 February-24 May pg.1645
Rufus King to James Madison, Boston, 6 February pg.1647
Rufus King to George Washington, Boston, 6 February pg.1647
Independent Chronicle, 7 February pg.1648
Samuel Nasson to George Thatcher, Boston, 8 February (excerpt) pg.1649
Royal Flint to Noah Webster, Boston, 14 February (excerpt) pg.1649
Newport Herald, 14 February (excerpts) pg.1650
New York Daily Advertiser, 14 February pg.1650
Pennsylvania Gazette, 20 February pg.1651
Pennsylvania Mercury, 21 February pg.1652
John Howard to George Thatcher, Smithtown, N.Y., 27 February (excerpt) pg.1653
George Washington to Benjamin Lincoln, Mount Vernon, 29 February (excerpt) pg.1653
Providence United States Chronicle, 6 March pg.1654
Massachusetts Centinel, 12 March pg.1654
Pennsylvania Gazette, 12 March pg.1654
Winchester Virginia Gazette, 19 March pg.1655
Massachusetts Centinel, 22 March pg.1655
Edenton (N.C.) Intelligencer, 9 April pg.1656
Massachusetts Centinel, 24 May pg.1657
VI-D. Address of the Massachusetts Convention to the People, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 7 February-9 May pg.1657
George Cabot to Theophilus Parsons, Beverly, 28 February pg.1658
George Cabot to George R. Minot, Beverly, 4 March pg.1660
Massachusetts Senate Resolution for Printing, Convention Address to the People, 29 March pg.1661
House Proceedings, Saturday, 29 March (excerpt) pg.1662
American Herald, 18 April pg.1662
Massachusetts Centinel, 19 April pg.1662
New York Journal, 22 April pg.1663
George Cabot to Nathan Dane, Beverly, 9 May (excerpts) pg.1663
VI-E. The Reply of the Massachusetts General Court to the Speech of Governor John Hancock, 27 February-6 May pg.1664
Governor John Hancock's Speech to the General Court, Boston, 27 February (excerpts) pg.1667
Draft of Reply to Governor John Hancock's Speech, 4 March (excerpt) pg.1669
Phanuel Bishop's Amendment to the Draft of the Legislature's Reply to Governor John Hancock's Speech, 5 March pg.1671
Samuel P. Savage to George Thatcher, Weston, 7 March (excerpt) pg.1672
Nathaniel Gorham to Henry Knox, Charlestown, 9 March (excerpt) pg.1673
John Avery, Jr., to George Thatcher, Boston, 10 March pg.1674
Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, Boston, 10 March (excerpt) pg.1675
Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, Boston, 15 March (excerpt) pg.1676
Benjamin Lincoln to George Washington, Boston, 19 March (excerpt) pg.1676
New York Journal, 24 March pg.1677
George R. Minot Journal, post-1 April pg.1677
Samuel Holten to Nathan Dane, Danvers, 5 April (excerpt) pg.1678
Philadelphia Freeman's Journal, 16 April, Pennsylvania Gazette, 30 April pg.1679
A Bostonian, Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, 6 May pg.1680
VI-F. Public and Private Commentaries on the Constitution, 6 February-31 May pg.1682
Public Commentaries pg.1682
Private Commentaries pg.1685
Caleb Gibbs to George Washington, Boston, 9 February pg.1686
Benjamin Lincoln to George Washington, Boston, 9 February (excerpt) pg.1688
Henry Van Schaack to Theodore Sedgwick, Pittsfield, 9 February pg.1689
William Widgery to George Thatcher, Boston, 9 February (excerpts) pg.1690
John Quincy Adams Diary, Newburyport, 11 February (excerpt) pg.1690
David Sewall to George Thatcher, York, 11 February (excerpt) pg.1691
John Avery, Jr., to George Thatcher, Boston, 13 February (excerpt) pg.1692
Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, Boston, 13 February (excerpt) pg.1694
Elbridge Gerry Acquiesces to Massachusetts Ratification, 13-28 February pg.1695
     Jeremy Belknap to Ebenezer Hazard Boston, 10 February (excerpt) pg.1695
     Hampshire Chronicle, 13 February pg.1695
     Henry Knox to Edward Carrington New York, 14 February (excerpt) pg.1695
     Pennsylvania Gazette, 27 February pg.1695
     Richmond Virginia Gazette and Weekly Advertiser, 28 February pg.1696
Jeremiah Hill to George Thatcher, Biddeford, 14 February (excerpts) pg.1696
Henry Knox to George Washington, New York, 14 February pg.1698
Silas Lee to George Thatcher, Biddeford, 14 February pg.1699
Thomas B. Wait to George Thatcher, Portland, 14 February (excerpt) pg.1700
James Madison to George Washington, New York, 15 February pg.1701
Massachusetts Gazette, 15 February pg.1701
John Quincy Adams to William Cranch, Newburyport, 16 February (excerpt) pg.1702
John Quincy Adams to Oliver Fiske, Newburyport, 17 February (excerpt) pg.1703
Victor DuPont to Pierre Samuel DuPont de Nemours, New York, 17 February (excerpt) pg.1703
Samuel P. Savage to George Thatcher, Weston, 17 February (excerpt) pg.1704
Independent Chronicle, 21 February pg.1705
Henry Jackson to Henry Knox, Boston, 24 February (excerpt) pg.1707
Samuel Nasson to George Thatcher, Sanford, 26 February (excerpts) pg.1707
William Vassall to John Lowell, Clapham Common, 26 February (excerpt) pg.1709
John Bacon to Elbridge Gerry, Stockbridge, 27 February pg.1710
Nathaniel Barrell of York, Maine, and the Constitution, 27 February-10 March pg.1712
     New Hampshire Mercury, 27 February pg.1713
     American Herald, 10 March pg.1714
Jeremiah Hill to George Thatcher, Biddeford, 28 February (excerpt) pg.1716
Tristram Dalton to John Langdon, Newburyport, 29 February pg.1717
Silas Lee to George Thatcher, Biddeford, 29 February (excerpt) pg.1718
Thomas B. Wait to George Thatcher, Portland, 29 February pg.1718
  Editors' Note: A Columbian Patriot: Observations on the Constitution, Boston, February pg.1719
The Massachusetts Reprinting of the Last Letter of John Adams's Defence of the Constitutions, 3-13 March pg.1721
     New York Journal, 23 February (excerpts) pg.1722
Pennsylvania Mercury, 8 March pg.1724
William Widgery to George Thatcher, Boston, 16 March (excerpt) pg.1724
Jonathan Moore to Elijah Brigham, Rochester, 17 March (excerpt) pg.1725
Massachusetts Centinel, 19 March pg.1725
Silas Lee to George Thatcher, Biddeford, 20 March (excerpt) pg.1726
A Hint, Providence United States Chronicle, 20 March pg.1727
Samuel Nasson to George Thatcher, Boston, 23 March pg.1727
Nathaniel Gorham to Henry Knox, Boston, 25 March pg.1728
Independent Chronicle, 3 April pg.1729
Editors' Note: The State Elections, 7 April-29 May pg.1730
Consider Arms, Malachi Maynard, and Samuel Field: Dissent to the Massachusetts Convention and Commentaries upon this Dissent, Hampshire Gazette, 9 April-4 June pg.1732
Consider Arms, Malachi Maynard, and Samuel Field: Dissent to the Massachusetts Convention, Hampshire Gazette, 9, 16 April pg.1733
     Philanthrop Hampshire Gazette, 23 April pg.1743
     Phileleutheros Hampshire Gazette, 21 May pg.1746
     Phileleutheros Hampshire Gazette, 4 June pg.1748
Elbridge Gerry Responds to Maryland ``Landholder'' X, American Herald, 18 April pg.1751
Massachusetts Centinel, 7 May pg.1756
Nathan Dane to Samuel Adams, New York (excerpt) pg.1756
Hampshire Gazette, 14 May pg.1757
Massachusetts Centinel, 24 May, The Constitution pg.1758
Independent Chronicle, 12 June pg.1759
Massachusetts Centinal, 14 June pg.1760
An Antifederalist, Massachusetts Centinel, 18 June pg.1761
New York Journal, 26 June pg.1763
Editors' Note: A Native of Boston: Thoughts Upon the Political Situation of the United States, Worcester, 14 August pg.1763
Commentaries on John Hancock's Amendments pg.1769
     The Writings of Laco, Boston, 1789 (excerpts) pg.1770
     Francis Baylies to John H. Clifford, Taunton, 19 April 1842 pg.1774
     Francis Baylies: Eulogy on the Hon. Benjamin Russell Boston, 10 March 1845 (excerpts) pg.1777
     Theophilus Parsons, Jr.: Memoir of Theopholis Parsons, Sr. Boston, 1859 (excerpts) pg.1788
Appendix, Justus Dwight Journal, 7 January-9 Fenruary 1788 pg.1799
Massachusetts Cumulative Index, Explanatory Note pg.1825
Cumulative Index pg.1826
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