Page:The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 Volume 3.djvu/63
appendix a, lxiii
tion, which is now sitting, but sentries are planted without and within — to prevent any person from approaching near — who appear to be very alert in the performance of their duty. …
Dr. Franklin lives in Market Street, between Second and Third Streets, but his house stands up a court-yard at some distance from the street. We found him in his Garden, sitting upon a grass plat under a very large Mulberry, with several other gentlemen and two or three ladies. … I delivered him my letters. After he had read them, he took me again by the hand, and, with the usual compliments, introduced me to the other gentlemen of the company, who were most of them members of the Convention. Here we entered into a free conversation, and spent our time most agreeably until it was dark. … The Doctor showed me a curiosity he had just received, and with which he was much pleased. It was a snake with two heads, preserved in a large vial. … The Doctor mentioned the situation of this snake, if it was traveling among bushes, and one head should choose to go on one side of the stem of a bush and the other head should prefer the other side, and that neither of the heads would consent to come back or give way to the other. He was then going to mention a humorous matter that had that day taken place in Convention, in consequence of his comparing the snake to America, for he seemed to forget that everything in Convention was to be kept a profound secret; but the secrecy of Convention matters was suggested to him, which stopped him, and deprived me of the story he was going to tell. … We took our leave at ten, and I retired to my lodgings.
The gentlemen who lodged in the house were just sitting down to supper; a sumptuous table was spread, and the attendance in the style of noblemen. After supper, Mr. Strong came in and invited me into their Hall, where we sat till twelve. …
LXIII. George Wythe to ————.
16 july, 1787.
The reason which moved me, and the only one which could have moved me, to retire from the convention at Philadelphia, not only continues, but i fear is more urgent than it was. The executive, therefore, are desired to consider my letter to governour Ran-
- “The Convention which met to form the Constitution of the United States, met up stairs, and at the same time the street pavement along Chestnut Street was coverd with earth to silence the rattling of wheels.” Watson, Annals of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, (1855), I, 402.
- William Brotherhead, Centennial Book of the Signers, p. 257.