An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States/Chapter X
The Economics of the Vote on the Constitution
As in natural science no organism is pretended to be understood as long as its merely superficial aspects are described, so in history no movement by a mass of people can be correctly comprehended until that mass is resolved into its component parts. To apply this concept to the problem before us: no mathematically exact conclusion can be reached concerning the material interests reflected in the Constitution until "the people" who favored its adoption and "the people" who opposed it are individualized and studied as economic beings dependent upon definite modes and processes of gaining a livelihood. A really fine analytical treatment of this problem would, therefore, require a study of the natural history of the (approximately) 160,000 men involved in the formation and adoption of the Constitution; but for the present we must rely on rougher generalizations, drawn from incomplete sources.
It would be fortunate if we had a description of each of the state conventions similar to that made of the Philadelphia Convention; but such a description would require a study of the private economy of several hundred men, with considerable scrutiny. And the results of such a search would be on the whole less fruitful than those secured by the study of the Philadelphia Convention, because so many members of the state-ratifying bodies were obscure persons of whom biography records nothing and whose property holdings do not appear in any of the documents that have come down to us. In a few instances, as in the case of Pennsylvania, a portion of this work has been done in a fragmentary way - as regards economic matters; and it may be hoped that a penetrating analysis of the public security holdings and other property interests of the members of all state conventions may sometime be made - as far as the sources will allow. Nevertheless, for the purposes of this study, certain general truths concerning the conflict over the ratification of the Constitution in the several states have already been established by scholars like Libby, Harding, Ambler.
The first of these authors, Dr. Libby, has made a painstaking study of the Geographical Distribution of the Vote on the Constitution, in which he sets forth the economic characteristics of the areas for and against the adoption of the Constitution. These conclusions are all utilized in this chapter; but they are supplemented by reference to the later researches of Harding and Ambler, and by a large amount of new illustrative materials here presented for the first time. The method followed is to exhibit, in general, the conflict of economic interests in each of the several states over the adoption of the Constitution.
New Hampshire. -There were three rather sharply marked economic districts in New Hampshire which found political expression in the convention that ratified the Constitution. Two of the three were the sea-coast area and the interior or middle region. "The former," says Libby, "the coast area, represented the commercial and urban interests; here were to be found most of the professional men, leaders of thought, men of wealth and influence. The second section, the interior, was composed of those representing the small farmers; a population cut off from the outside world by lack of good roads, and which raised little for market except to exchange for the few things that could not be produced at home. The former class, progressive and liberal and familiar with the practical details of government, as a rule voted for the Constitution. The latter, conservative by environment and having little knowledge of what went on outside the narrow bounds of the home village or township, quite as generally voted against the Constitution."
The third region in New Hampshire (whose representatives favored ratification) was "the Connecticut valley or border district" whose interests were akin to those of the sea towns because it had commercial connection with the outside world through the Connecticut River. It was to this region particularly that Oliver Ellsworth must have appealed in his open letter to the citizens of New Hampshire in which he said: "New York, the trading towns on the Connecticut River, and Boston are the sources from which a great part of your foreign supplies will be obtained, and where your produce will be exposed for market. In all these places an import is collected, of which, as consumers, you pay a share without deriving any public benefit. You cannot expect any alteration in the private systems of these states unless effected by the proposed government."
Several economic facts of prime significance in the ratification of the Constitution in New Hampshire are afforded by the tax returns of 1793. These show that of the £61,711/ 9/5 "total value of stock in trade" in the state in that year (Vermont being then cut off) no less than £42,512/0/5 or over two-thirds was in Rockingham county, the seat of the commercial town of Portsmouth, whose citizens were the leading agitators for the new system, and whose delegates in the state convention were overwhelmingly in favor of ratification. Moreover, of the total amount of the "money on hand or at interest” in the state, £35,985/5/6, about two-thirds, £22,770/9/4 was in Rockingham county. It is of further significance that of the £893,327/16/10 worth of real estate and buildings in the state, less than one-half, £317,970/7/2, was in that county. Thus the stronghold of Federalism possessed about two-thirds of all the personalty and only about one-half of the realty values in the commonwealth.
All personalty was not equally interested in ratifying the Constitution, as pointed out above; holders of public paper multiplied their values from six to twenty times in securing the establishment of the new system. Further interesting data would be revealed, therefore, if we could discover the proportion of public securities to other personalty and their geographic distribution. The weight of the securities in New Hampshire is shown by the fact that the tax list for 1793 gives only £35,985 as the total amount of money on hand or at interest (including public securities) in the state, while the accounts of the Treasury department show that $20,000 in interest on the public debt went to the loan office of that state to discharge that annual federal obligation. It is highly probable that the tax list is very low, but even at that the public securities constituted a considerable mass of the capital of the commonwealth. The leading supporters of the Con- stitution in New Hampshire were large holders of public paper, and there is no doubt that as personalty was the dynamic element in the movement for the Constitution, so securities were the dynamic element in the personalty.
Massachusetts. -The vote in Massachusetts on the Constitution was clearly along class or group lines: those sections in which were to be found the commerce, money, securities - in a word, personalty - were in favor of the ratification of the new instrument of government; and those sections which were predominantly rural and possessed little personalty were against it. Libby classifies ...the sections on the basis of the vote as follows: -
Eastern section. Yeas, 73 per cent Nays, 27 per cent Middle section. Yeas, 14 per cent Nays, 86 per cent Western section. Yeas, 42 per cent Nays, 58 per cent
Speaking of this table he says: "Such striking differences as these indicate clearly that there is something fundamental , lying back of the vote. Each of these sections is an economic and social unit, the first representing the coast region, the second the interior, and the third the Connecticut valley and border districts of the state. In the eastern section the interests were commercial; there was the wealth, the influence, the urban population of the state. ...The middle section of Massachusetts represented the interior agricultural interests of the state - the small farmers. From this section came a large part of the Shays faction in 1786. The Connecticut valley or western district may be subdivided into the northern, most interior, and predominantly Anti-federal section, and the southern section, nearest the coast and predominantly Federal, with the trading towns of the Connecticut River in its southeastern part."
Harding, after an independent study of the opposition to the Constitution in Massachusetts, comes to substantially the same conclusion. Among the weighty elements in the struggle he places "the conflict of interest, partly real and partly fancied, between the agricultural and the commercial sections of the state." Underlying the whole opposition, he continues, "was the pronounced antagonism between the aristocratic and the democratic elements of society in Massachusetts. ...Massachusetts was not alone in this experience; in most, if not all, of the states a similar contest had arisen since the war. The men who at Philadelphia had put their names to the new Constitution were, it seems quite safe to affirm, at that time identified with the aristocratic interest. ...There can be no question that this feeling [of antagonism between democracy and aristocracy] underlay most of the opposition in the Massachusetts convention."
Of course this second element of opposition - aristocracy versus democracy - introduced by Harding is really nothing but the first under another guise; for the aristocratic party was the party of wealth with its professional dependents; and the democratic party was the agrarian element which, by the nature of economic circumstances, could have no large body of professional adherents. This economic foundation of the class division was fully understood by Adams and set forth with unmistakable clearness in his Defence of the American Constitutions. Hamilton, Madison, and all thinkers among the Federalists understood it also. To speak of a democratic interest apart from its economic sources is therefore a work of supererogation; and it does not add, in fact, to an exposition of the real forces at work. Harding himself recognizes this and explains it in a luminous fashion in his introductory chapter.
And what were the economic and social antecedents of the opponents of the Constitution in the Massachusetts convention? Harding, with his customary directness, meets the inquiry: "A half-dozen obscure men, it must be answered, whose names are utterly unknown, even to most students of this period." He continues: "William Widgery (or Wedgery) of New Gloucester, Maine, was one of these. A poor, friendless, uneducated boy, he had emigrated from England before the Revolution, had served as a lieutenant on board a privateer in that contest, had then settled in Maine, had acquired some property, and by 1788 had served one term in the Massachusetts legislature. ... Samuel Thompson, of Topsham, Maine, was another of the anti-federalist leaders. A self-made man, he had the obstinacy of opinion which such men often show. ...He "was wealthy for the times, but inclined to be niggardly. ... Another determined opponent of the proposed Constitution was Samuel Nasson (or Nason) of Sanford, Maine. Born in New Hampshire and a saddler by trade, he became a store keeper in Maine, served awhile in the War ...and finally settled down as a trader at Sanford. ...In 1787 he served a term in the General Court, but declined a re-election because he felt 'the want of a proper education.' ... From Massachusetts proper, Dr. John Taylor, of Douglas, Worcester County, was the most prominent opponent of the new Constitution. ...But the slightest information, it seems, can now be gathered as to his history and personality. He had been one of the popular majority in the legislature of 1787 where he had taken an active part in procuring the extension of the Tender Law. ...Another delegate from this part of the state who was prominent in the opposition was Captain Phanuel Bishop, of Rehoboth, Bristol County. In him the Rhode Island virus may be seen at work. ...He was a native of Massachusetts and had received a public school education. When or why he had been dubbed Captain is not now apparent. Belknap styles him 'a noted insurgent'; and he had evidently ridden into office on the crest of the Shaysite wave. His first legislative experience had been in the Senate of 1787 where he had championed the debtor's cause."
This completes the list of leaders who fought bitterly against the Constitution to the end in Massachusetts, according to a careful student of the ratification in that state: three self-made men from the Maine regions and two representatives of the debtor's cause. Nothing could be more eloquent than this description of the alignment.
Neither Harding nor Libby has, however, made analysis of the facts disclosed by the tax lists of Massachusetts or the records in the Treasury Department at Washington, which show unquestionably that the live and persistent economic force which organized and carried through the ratification was the personalty interests and particularly the public security interests. As has been pointed out, these had the most to gain immediately from the Constitution. Continental paper bought at two and three shillings in the pound was bound to rise rapidly with the establishment of the federal government. No one knew this better than the members of the federal Convention from Massachusetts and their immediate friends and adherents in Boston.
- Of the total amount of funded 6 per cents in the state, £113,821, more than one-half, £65,730, was concentrated in the two counties, Essex and Suffolk, of which Boston was the urban centre – the two counties whose delegates in the state convention were almost unanimous in supporting the Constitution.
- Of the total amount of 3 per cents, £73,100, more than one-half, £43,857, was in these two counties.
- Of the deferred stock, amounting to £59,872, more than one-half, £32,973, was in these two counties.
- Of the total amount of all other securities of the state or the United States in the commonwealth, £94,893, less than one-third or £30,329, was in these counties.
- Of the total amount of money at interest in the state, £196,698, only about one-third, £63,056, was in these two counties, which supports the above conjecture that public securities were the active element.
Further confirmation for this conjecture seems to be afforded by the following tables, showing the distribution of the vote and of public securities. The first group shows the votes of the delegates from Essex and Suffolk counties - the Federalist strongholds - on the ratification, and also the amount of public securities in each as revealed by the tax lists of 1792:
Essex For the Constitution 38 votes Against 6 votes Suffolk For the Constitution 34 votes Against 5 votes
Table of public securities listed for taxation in each of these counties.
Funded Sixes 29,228 36,502 Funded Threes 17,096 26,761 Funded, not on interest 14,854 18,119 Other Securities 14,056 16,273 Money at Interest 29,941 33,115
Now let us take the vote in the convention and the property in two counties which were heavily against the Constitution. The vote is as follows:
Worcester For the Constitution 7 votes Against 43 votes Berkshire For the Constitution 7 votes Against 15 votes
The table of public securities and money in these counties follow:
Funded Sixes 12,924 981 Funded Threes 8,184 665 Funded, not on interest 5,736 384 Other Securities 10,903 602 Money at Interest 25,594 6,298
Now if we take the securities in these two counties which went heavily against the Constitution several economic facts are worthy of notice. Of the total amount of 6 per cents in the state, only £13,905, or about one-eighth is to be found in them. Of the 3 per cents, we find £8,849, or about one-eighth of the total amount in the commonwealth. But if we take money at interest, we find £31,892, or about one-sixth of the total amount in the state. This is not surprising, for Worcester was the centre of the Shays rebellion in behalf of debtors, and a large portion of their creditors were presumably in the neighborhood.
"The courts were burdened with suits for ordinary debts by means of which creditors sought to put in more lasting form the obligations which their debtors could not at that time meet. In Worcester county alone, with a population of less than 50,000, more than 2000 actions were entered in 1784, and during the next year 1700 more were put on the list."
These figures, like all other statistics, should be used with care, and it would require a far closer analysis than can be made here to work out all of their political implications. We should have a thorough examination of such details as the distribution of the public securities among towns and individual holders; and such a work is altogether worthy of a Quetelet.
Meanwhile, it may be said with safety that the communities in which personalty was relatively more powerful favored the ratification of the Constitution, and that in these communities large quantities of public securities were held. Moreover, there was undoubtedly a vital connection between the movement in support of the Constitution and public security holding, or to speak concretely, among the leading men in Massachusetts who labored to bring about the ratification was a large number of public creditors.
For example, Boston had twelve representatives in the state-ratifying convention, all of whom voted in favor of the Constitution. Of these twelve men the following were holders of public securities:
Samuel Adams John Coffin Jones James Bowdoin, Sr. William Phillips Thomas Dawes, Jr. Thomas Russell Christopher Gore John Winthrop
In other words, at least eight out of the twelve men representing the chief financial centre of the state were personally interested in the fate of the new Constitution. How deeply, it is impossible to say, for the Ledgers seem to have disappeared from the Treasury Department and only the Index to the funded debt remains. Supplementary records, however, show some of them to have been extensively engaged in dealing in paper. The four men who, apparently, were not security holders were John Hancock, Caleb Davis, Charles Jarvis, and Rev. Samuel Stillman.
The towns surrounding Boston in Suffolk county also returned a number of men who were holders of securities:
Fisher Ames, Dedham Benj. Lincoln, Hingham John Baxter, Medfield Rev. Daniel Shute, Hingham James Bowdoin, Jr., Dorchester Increase Sumner, Roxbury Richard Cranch, Braintree Cotton Tufts, Weymouth J. Fisher, Franklin Ebenezer WaIes, Dorchester William Heath, Roxbury Ebenezer Warren, Foxboro Thomas Jones, Hull Rev. Anthony Wibird, Braintree
In other words, twenty-two of the thirty-four men from Boston and Suffolk county who voted in favor of the ratification of the Constitution in the Massachusetts convention were holders of public securities, and all of the twenty-two except two (Wales and Warren) probably benefited from the appreciation of the funds which resulted from the ratification.
To recapitulate. There were thirty-nine members of the Massachusetts convention from Suffolk county, which includes Boston. Of these, thirty-four voted for the ratification of the Constitution, and of the thirty-four who so voted, two-thirds, or twenty-two to be exact, were holders of public paper.
That other supporters of the Constitution from other Massachusetts counties held paper so extensively is not to be expected, and a casual glance through the records shows that this surmise is probably true. Boston was the centre of the Federalist agitation, and it supplied the sinews of war for the campaign which finally secured the adoption of the new system of government.
Connecticut. -The vote on the Constitution in Connecticut was so largely in favor of ratification that no very clear lines of cleavage are apparent on the surface. The opposition, as measured by the vote of the delegates in the Convention, was "scattered and unimportant. Its two chief centres were in New Haven county on the coast, and in five or six towns on the Connecticut river at the northern boundary, connecting with a group of opposition towns in Massachusetts." It is worthy of note that the considerable towns for the time, Windsor, Norwalk, Stamford, Litchfield, Hartford, and New Haven were for the Constitution, while much of the opposition came from small inland towns like Cornwall, Norfolk, and Sharon.
The map facing this page shows that the Federalist towns were the financial centres of the time in Connecticut. The representatives of the "shaded" towns in the state convention voted against the Constitution; those from the partially "shaded" towns were divided; and those from the plain white towns voted for the Constitution. Each black dot represents a holder of one 6 per cent assumed debt bond. It is apparent at a glance that there must have been some relation between security-holding and the "sentiments," to Madison's term, of the respective proprietors. Hartford alone had almost as many security holders as all of the Anti- Federalist towns combined. It would be interesting to have a map showing the distribution of all other forms of, wealth as well as the assumed debt.
What a more searching study would produce were we able to carry the contest back into the town meetings that chose the delegates cannot be conjectured. But the local evidence - even that which was recorded - has largely the disappeared or would require years of search to unearth. Moreover, the tax system in Connecticut at the time was not such as to yield the data most needed for such an inquiry, for "loans to the state and the United States were exempt from assessment." Whether this grew out of a public policy or the fact that the chief politicians of the day were large holders of securities - evidenced by the records the in the Treasury Department at Washington - is also a matter for conjecture. No documents, no history.
Nevertheless, as in Massachusetts, the public securities formed a dynamic element in the movement for ratification. One hundred and twenty-eight members of the Connecticut convention voted in favor of the new system. Of these men at least sixty-five held public paper in some amount (ranging from a few dollars to tens of thousands) previous to or about the time of the adoption of the Constitution. They are given here in alphabetical order with the names of the towns which they represented.
|Nehemiah Beardsley, New Fairfield||Eli Hyde, Franklin|
|Philip, B. Bradley, Ridgefield||Wm. Samuel Johnson, Stratford|
|Hezekiah Brainerd, Haddam||Richard Law, New London|
|Daniel Brinsmade, Washington||Andrew Lee, Lisbon|
|Gideon Buckingham, Milford||Elisha Mills, Stratford|
|Thaddeus Burr, Fairfield||Stephen Mitchel, Wethersfield|
|Charles Burrall, Canaan||Josiah Mosely, Glastonbury|
|Samuel Canfield, New Milford||Roger Newberry, Winsor|
|Samuel Carver, Bolton||Wm. Noyes, Lyme|
|Jabez Chapman, East Haddam||Samuel H. Parsons, Middletown|
|Moses Cleaveland, Canterbury||Charles Phelps, Stonnington|
|Wheeler Coit, Preston||John Phelps, Stafford|
|Seth Crocker, Wilington||Joshua Porter, Salisbury|
|James Davenport, Stamford||Jeremiah Ripley, Coventry|
|John Davenport, Stamford||Ephraim Root, Coventry|
|Benjamin Dow, Voluntown||Jesse Root, Hartford|
|Joshua Dunlop, Plainfield||Lemuel Sanford, Reading|
|Eliphalet Dyer, Windham||Epaphras Sheldon, Torrington|
|Pierpont Edwards, New Haven||Roger Sherman, New Haven|
|Oliver Ellsworth, Winsor||Simeon Smith, Ashford|
|Jabez Fitch, Greenwich||Jonathan Sturges, Fairfield|
|Daniel Foor, Colchester||Dyar Throop, East Haddam|
|Isaac Foot, Stafford||John Treadwell, Farmington|
|Mathew Griswold, Lyme
(President of the Convention)
|Jeremiah Wadsworth, Hartford|
|Nathan Hale, Canaan||Ichabod Warner, Bolton|
|Asaph Hall, Goshen||John Watson, East Winsor|
|Jeremiah Halsey, Preston||Jeremiah West, Tolland|
|William Hart, Saybrook||Ebenezer White, Chatham|
|Cornelius Higgins, Haddam||William Williams, Lebanon|
|Benjamin Hinman, Southbury||Joseph Woolbridge, Groton|
|Caleb Holt, Willington||Erastus Wolcott, East Wonsor|
|Jedediah Huntington, Norwich||Oliver Wolcott, Lichfield|
|Samuel Huntington, Norwich|
It must not be thought that the ramifications of economic interest ends with these names. A large number of men, who do not appear on the records as holding securities personally, belonged to families having such holdings. For example, John Chester, of Wethersfield, is apparently not on the books, but he was a colonel in the war and doubtless received the soldiers' certificates or other paper at some period. Thomas Chester and Sarah Chester of Wethersfield appear on the records. Whether there were family connections might be ascertained by a study of local history. It is evident what infinite pains would be required to trace out all of these genealogical data.
New York. - There can be no question about the predominance of personalty in the contest over the ratification in New York. That state, says Libby, "presents the problem in its simplest form. The entire mass of interior counties. ..were solidly Anti-federal, comprising the agricultural portion of the state, the last settled and the most thinly populated. There were however in this region two Federal cities (not represented in the convention [as such]), Albany in Albany county and Hudson in Columbia county.
...The Federal area centred about New York city and county: to the southwest lay Richmond county (Staten Island); to the southeast Kings county, and to the north-east Westchester county; while still further extending this area, at the northeast lay the divided county of Dutchess, with a vote in the convention of 4 to 2 in favor of the Constitution, and at the southeast were the divided counties of Queens and Suffolk. ...These radiating strips of territory with New York city as a centre form a unit, in general favorable to the new Constitution; and it is significant of this unity that Dutchess, Queens, and Suffolk counties broke away from the anti-Federal phalanx and joined the Federalists, securing thereby the adoption of the Constitution."
Unfortunately the exact distribution of personalty in New York and particularly in the wavering districts which went over to the Federalist party cannot be ascertained, for the system of taxation in vogue in New York at the period of the adoption of the Constitution did not require a state record of property. The data which proved so fruitful in Massachusetts are not forthcoming, therefore, in the case of New York; but it seems hardly necessary to demonstrate the fact that New York City was the centre of personalty for the state and stood next to Philadelphia as the great centre of operations in public stock.
This somewhat obvious conclusion is reinforced by the evidence relative to the vote on the legal tender bill which the paper money party pushed through in 1786. Libby's analysis of this vote shows that "No vote was cast against the bill by members of counties north of the county of New York. In the city and county of New York and in Long Island and Staten Island, the combined vote was 9 to 5 against the measure. Comparing this vote with the in vote on the ratification in 1788, it will be seen that of the Federal counties 3 voted against paper money and 1 for it; of the divided counties 1 (Suffolk) voted against paper money and 2 (Queens and Dutchess) voted for it. Of the anti-Federal counties none had members voting against paper money. The merchants as a body were opposed to the issue of paper money and the Chamber of Commerce adopted a memorial against the issue."
Public security interests were identified with the sound money party. There were thirty members of the New York constitutional convention who voted in favor of the ratification of the Constitution and of these no less than sixteen were holders of public securities:
James Duane, New York (C6)
John DeWitt, Dutchess (N.Y. 3)
Alexander Hamilton, New York
Richard Harrison, New York (C6)
Jonathan Havens, Suffolk (C6 as Trustee for a religious society).
John Jay, New York (C6)
Samuel Jones, Queens (C6)
Philip Livingston, Westchester (C6)
Robert R. Livingston, New York (N.Y. 3)
Nicholas Low, New York (C6)
Richard Morris, New York (C6)
Isaac Roosevelt, New York (R)
Gozen Ryerss, Richmond (N.Y. 3)
John Smith, Suffolk (C6)
Melancton Smith, Dutchess (Conn.)
Philip Van Cortland, Westchester (C6)
Jesse Woodhull, Orange (C6)
New Jersey. - New Jersey was among the states which pushed through the ratification of the Constitution without giving the agrarian party time to organize its forces; and, from the records, the vote in the state convention was unanimous. This unanimity is rather startling in view of the fact that the year before a paper money party had been able to force through an emission bill by a narrow margin. Either there was a violent reaction against inflation, or the Federalist campaign had been highly organized. What little opposition appears to have been raised in that state seems to have been by the debtor and paper money class.
It must be admitted, however, that no detailed study of the ratification in New Jersey has ever been made. Libby passes it over briefly; and the older writers like Bancroft and Curtis dismiss it with their usual lightness of touch. Unfortunately for such a study, the records of the convention in that state are no more than bare minutes; and the materials in the Treasury Department from the New Jersey loan office are extremely fragmentary. Until extended search in local and state history is made on the points here raised, New Jersey must be dismissed cursorily.
There were thirteen counties in the state represented in the Convention, and each of nine counties had one or more representatives who had learned the elementary lessons in public finance through holding at least some small amounts of public securities - often certificates of only trivial value.
The meagre character of the records of that state do not permit of a satisfactory statement. There were three delegates from Bergen county; of these John Fell appears on the Register of Land Office Certificates; there is no record of Peter Zabriskie either as a subscriber to original funds or as owner of securities; but a Jacob Zabriskie appears on a later Ledger. From Essex county, John Chetwood and David Crane appear among the holders; from Middlesex, John Beatty, John Neilson, and Benjamin Manning - the entire delegation; from Somerset, Fred. Frelinghuysen; from Gloucester, Andw. Hunter; from Salem, Edmund Wetherby; from Hunterdon, David Brearley and Joshua Corshon; from Morris, John Jacob Faesch; and from Sussex, Robert Ogden and Thomas Anderson, and even the Secretary, Saml. W. Stockton, was a considerable holder. Thus every county except Cumberland, Cape-of-May, Burlington, and Monmouth had its spokesmen for public creditors.
Delaware. - Although there had been a strong paper money party in Delaware it does not seem to have manifested any considerable influence in the ratification of the Constitution, for that commonwealth was the first to set its seal on the new instrument, and it did so with apparent unanimity. No detailed scrutiny of the local contests over the election of delegates has ever been made; and the records of the loan office of that state preserved in the Treasury Department are defective. The records for taxation are also of little help. The absence of any contest of course contributes to obscuring the economic forces which may have been at work.
Pennsylvania. - In strong contrast to the uniformity in Delaware is the sharp division which existed in Pennsylvania. There, says Libby, "the opposition to the Constitution came from those counties belonging to the great interior highland of the state, extending from the head waters of the Schuylkill to the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers, with only Huntingdon county (one vote - Federal) interrupting the continuity from east to west. ... The Federal area contained. ..York, Lancaster, Chester, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Bucks, Luzerne, and Northampton, and the largest population, most of the men of wealth and influence and the commercial classes of the state. Pittsburgh with 400 inhabitants was Federal in an Anti-Federal county."
Each of the eastern counties of Pennsylvania was represented in the state convention by one or more members who held public securities. From Philadelphia city and county, five of the ten members, all of whom favored ratification, were interested in stocks, George Latimer, James Wilson, Thomas M'Kean, Samuel Ashmead, and Enoch Edwards. From Bucks came John Barclay, a large dealer, to whose credit $17,056.56 is set down in one entry. Two of the six members from Chester, John Hannum and Thomas Bull, were security holders. James Morris, of Montgomery county, John Black and David Grier, from York, Timothy Pickering, from Luzerne, Stephen Balliet, David Deshler, and Joseph Horsfield of Northampton (three of the four from that county) were interested. From Lancaster came Jasper Yeates, a large holder (one entry $11,986.65), Robert Coleman, Sebastian Graff, and John Hubley (four of the six delegates), who had a first-hand knowledge of the relation of a new and stable government to public paper.
In other words at least nineteen out of the forty-six men who voted for the Constitution in the Pennsylvania convention were interested in public paper at or about the time of the adoption of the Constitution. Their names follow with the references to each, but it is not to be supposed that this list is complete, for the records of Pennsylvania are not full, and a great many of the transactions in that state were not with the local loan office, but directly with the Treasury, a part of whose early records were probably burned in one of the fires at the Treasury Building:
John Black (M) Sebastian Graff (I) Thomas Bull (I) David Grier (I) John Hannum (3 C) Thomas M'Kean (M) Joseph Horsfield (M) James Morris (I) John Hubley (77) Timothy Pickering (I) George Latimer (JB) James Wilson (I) Jasper Yeates (JA)
Fortunately, also other data are easily available for the study of the economic interests of the members of the Pennsylvania convention. McMaster and Stone have appended to their work on the ratification of the Constitution in that state brief biographical sketches of the members of the convention, in which many clues are given to their respective economic interests. The following table is prepared from these biographies, and every effort is made to state in the language of the authors the exact occupation and interests of the delegates. These details are given so that the student may draw his conclusions independently.
Members Who Voted In Favor Of Ratification
John Allison "received a thorough English and classical education;" laid out the town of Greencastle in 1781; in the War, rank of Colonel.John Arndt. Father a mill owner on the Bush kill; for a time a commissary of supplies during the War; "advanced large sums of money to the government, most of which was refunded to him;" devoted the latter years of his life to "'mercantile pursuits."
Samuel Ashmead. "Little is known of his early history, save that he received a good education and was brought up to mercantile pursuits." [Securities.]
Hilary Baker "received a good classical education, entered mercantile life, became an iron merchant, which business he carried on for some years."
Stephen Balliet "acquired a very limited education and was brought up to mercantile life under his father; "an agent for forfeited estates in Northampton county. Held many offices. Colonel in War .[Securities.]
John Barclay "was a son of Alexander Barclay, an officer of In the Crown under the proprietary government, and received a classical education." Captain in the War and member of the Cincinnati. Sometime president of the Bank of the Northern Liberties. [Securities.]
John Black was a graduate of Nassau Hall. Was an eminent Presbyterian clergyman in his time. [Securities.]
John Boyd. Little known of early life and education. In the War. Member of the Cincinnati. After the War "entered into merchandising at the town of Northumberland" and was interested in a mill.
Thomas Bull. "Meagre education" and "learned the trade of a stone-mason. Prior to the Revolution he was the manager of Warwick Furnace." Resumed this place after service in the War. [Securities.]
Thomas Campbell "was a farmer by occupation." Captain in the War and member of the Cincinnati.
Stephen Chambers. A lawyer. Captain in the War and member of the Cincinnati.
Thomas Cheyney, "An intelligent and progressive farmer." Grandfather bequeathed to his father half of a large tract of land in Thombury.
Robert Coleman. "By his energy and indomitable perseverance became the most enterprising and successful iron-master in Pennsylvania." [Securities.]
David Deshler was a shop-keeper and afterwards operated grist and saw mills. He "advanced money out of his private means at a time when not only the United States treasury but also that of Pennsylvania was empty." [Securities.]
Richard Downing operated " a fulling, grist, and saw mill."
Enoch Edwards "received a classical education, studied medicine, and was in practice when he went into the War serving as & ha surgeon. [Securities.]
Benjamin Elliott "settled in the town of Huntingdon prior to the Revolution." Held many local offices. Regular occupation, if any, not given.
William Gibbons resided for a time in Philadelphia, and later moved to "a fine farm left him by his parents." Later held local offices. Lieutenant Colonel.
Sebastian Graff. Son of a Lancaster "shopkeeper," and was in "active business when the War broke out." [Securities.]
George Gray. "The fifth of that name in the line of descent from George Gray, a wealthy member of the Society of Friends." Office-holder; in the War; apparently a gentleman of means.
David Grier. Classical education. Lawyer. Served in the War, rank of Colonel. [Securities.]
John Hannum. Settled on a large farm. Local office-holder. In the War, rank of Colonel. [Securities.]
Thomas Hartley. Classical education. Lawyer. In the War, rank of Colonel; member of the Cincinnati. Purchased a tract of one thousand acres of land during the Revolution.
Joseph Horsfield. Man of good education. Local postmaster under Washington. [Securities.]
John Hubley was a lawyer by profession. [Securities.]
John Hunn was a captain in the merchant marine service at the outbreak of the War. Engaged in privateering during the war and saw service in the field also.
George Latimer was a merchant, bank director, and wealthy capitalist. [Securities.]
Thomas M'Kean received a classical education. Was a lawyer. Extensive office-holder. In the War, and a member of the Cincinnati. Capitalist of some quality. [Securities.]
William MacPherson was the Bon of a noted " privateersman in the French and Spanish wars." Educated at the College of New Jersey. Officer in the British Army; but joined the American cause. Major and member of the Cincinnati. Man of some means.
James Morris possessed "a house and gristmill and ninety-four acres of land "which his father had given him. [Securities.]
F.A. Muhlenberg. Studied at the University of Halle. Clergyman, but entered into the politics of the Revolutionary War. Extensive office-holder.
John Neville. Soldier and large landholder. Office-holder and member of the Cincinnati.
Benjamin Pedan. Farmer and office-holder.
Timothy Pickering. Harvard graduate. In the War, rank of Adjutant-general; member of the Cincinnati. Lawyer and office-holder and land speculator. [Securities.]
John Richards owned a fine estate. He was "a progressive farmer, a store-keeper, and iron-master."
Jonathan Roberts was brought up as a farmer. Office-holder.
Benjamin Rush. graduate of the College of New Jersey and distinguished physician in Philadelphia.
Thomas Scott settled in Western Pennsylvania as a farmer. Became local office-holder and later (1791) entered the practice of law.
Henry Slagle was a provincial magistrate. Joined the Revolutionary cause and held a number of political offices and was connected with the loan office.
Abraham Stout seems to have been "an influential farmer."
Anthony Wayne was the son of a farmer and surveyor. Soldier, and a member of the Cincinnati.
James Wilson. Lawyer. Member of the constitutional Convention of 1787. Wealthy land speculator. [Securities.]
William Wilson. Officer in the War. Office-holder. In mercantile business and millowner.
Henry Wynkoop. Collegiate education. Major in the War and office-holder.
Thomas Yardley, farmer owning a large tract of land.
Jasper Yeates, educated at the College of Philadelphia, lawyer, judge, and man of large means for his time. [Securities.]
Opponents Of Ratification
John Baird "took up land" and "appears to have been a man of mark west of the AIleghanies." Held local offices.
Richard Bard was a farmer and proprietor of a mill."
John Bishop "was brought up as a farmer, an occupation he was engaged in all his life. ...He had extensive business connections, and became an iron-master. He was a large landholder." Advanced large sums of money to the Revolutionary cause.
Nathaniel Breading received a classical education, taught school, was in the War, and held local offices. "In deference to" his constituents he did not sign the ratification."
William Brown descendant of a farmer; was a frontiersman; in the War.
James Edgar was born on a farm and died on a farm.
William Findley received a fair English education and "towards the close of the war he removed with his family to Western Pennsylvania and took up a tract of land. ..on which he resided until his death."
John Andre Hanna received a good classical education; admitted to the bar and was a successful lawyer at Harrisburg.
John Harris was a farmer and laid out Miffiintown.
Joseph Hiester acquired the rudiments of a good education, and " until near age he worked upon his father's farm when he went to Reading and learned merchandising." Was in the War.
Jonathan Hoge. Nothing known.
Abraham Lincoln was brought up on a farm and died on a farm. Local office-holder.
John Ludwig was a substantial farmer. Was in the War. Local office-holder.
Nicholas Lotz was a millwright by occupation and established a mill near Reading. Was in the War.
James Marshel "moved to the western country some three years prior to the Revolution, and settled in what is now Cross Creek Township." Frontiersman and local officer.
James Martin was born in the Cumberland valley and resided in what was then (1772) Colerain township. Was in the War.
Adam Orth was "brought up amid the dangers and struggles of Pennsylvania pioneer life. He received the limited education of the' back settlements.' ...He was one of the pioneers in the manufacture of iron in Lebanon county."
John Smilie. His father settled in Lancaster county and evidently was a farmer. In 1781 John Smilie "removed with his family to then Westmoreland county," which meant that he went to the frontier. Office-holder.
William Todd went to Western Pennsylvania about 1765 and later "removed to Westmoreland county where he settled upon land subsequently warranted to him."
John Whitehill, "son of an Irish immigrant who settled on Pequea Creek in 1723. "Received a good education. Local office holder. At his death he left "a large landed estate."
Robert Whitehill, brother of the above Whitehill. "In the spring of 1771 he removed to Cumberland county, locating on a farm two miles west of Harrisburg." Extensive public career. "Died at his residence in Cumberland county two miles west of the Susquehanna." Evidently dependent largely upon agriculture, but farmer of some means.
Obviously such a table is more or less superficial so far as economic aspects are concerned, for the forms of wealth possessed by each member and the numerical proportions of the several forms at the time of, the Pennsylvania state convention are not apparent. More than the ordinary margin must therefore be allowed for error on both sides. Evidently also it is difficult to classify these men from the meagre data given; but the following table may be taken to be roughly correct as to the men about whom we have some economic facts.
Of the thirty-eight in favor of the Constitution, who may be reasonably classified, ten, or one-fourth, represented agricultural interests primarily. Of the eighteen, opposed to the Constitution, who may be satisfactorily classified, thirteen or more than two-thirds were primarily identified with agricultural interests. Of the forty-six favorable, twenty were capitalists and lawyers; of the twenty-three opposed, four were in these categories. When all allowance for error is made, the result is highly significant and bears out the general conclusion that the Constitution was a reflex of personalty rather than realty interests.
Maryland. - In Maryland the mercantile interests of the towns were all on the side of the Constitution; and as the urban centres were the seats of operations in public securities these too must be thrown into the balance. The opposition came from the rural districts and particularly from the paper money constituencies. Libby discovered there, "a correspondence between the friends of paper money and debt laws and the Anti-Federal party of 1788, both as to leaders and to the rank and file of the respective parties."
But it should be noted that we are now leaving the regions of small farms and of estates tilled by free labor and are coming into the districts where slavery and the plantation system dominate rural economy. Indeed, the slave-holding plantations were so extensive and the small farming class so restricted that the paper money party would have been seriously weakened had it not been for the fact that their ranks were recruited from other sources. A contemporary, speaking of the election of delegates to the convention, says: "Baltimore and Hartford counties alone are clearly anti-Federal, in which are many powerful and popular men who have speculated deeply in British confiscated property and for that reason are alarmed at shutting the door against state paper money. The same men, their relations and particular friends are more violently anti-Federal because they paid considerable sums into the treasury in depreciated continental currency and are scared at the sweeping clause. ..which may bring about a due execution of the treaty between Great Britain and America to their loss.
Virginia. - Fortunately, for Virginia we have a somewhat detailed study of the economic forces in the politics of that commonwealth by Dr. Charles H. Ambler. By way of preparation he examines the geographical distribution of economic characteristics, and takes up first the Tidewater region. Of this portion of the state, he says, "The industrial, social and political life of the Tidewater centred in the large estate. ...The society which developed in the Tidewater resembled that of the mother country. It consisted of several strata separated by no clearly marked lines. Along the large rivers there were the great landowners who lived in a style of luxury and extravagance beyond the means of other inhabitants. Immediately below them were the half-breeds, persons descended from the younger sons and daughters of the landed proprietors. They had all the pride and social tastes of the upper class but not its wealth. Then came the 'pretenders,' men of industry and enterprise but not of established families, ...Below these classes were the 'yeomen,' most of whom were very poor. The system of entail and primogeniture operated to preserve these strata intact." The Tidewater region was almost solid in favor of ratifying the constitution.
The second geographical division of Virginia, according to Dr. Ambler, was the Piedmont region, which resembled in many respects the Tidewater but had some decided characteristics of its own. "Although one and two-thirds times as large as the Tidewater, the Piedmont, in 1790 contained a much smaller Negro slave population. Immigrants from the northern colonies, who, as will be shown, had pushed into the Valley, came into the Piedmont from the rear. For the most part they were conscientiously opposed to slave-holding and consequently did not become tobacco-growers. On the other hand the poorer whites of the Tidewater had been pushed by the gradual advance of the plantation into the less desirable lands of the Piedmont. Lack of ability and the presence of conscientious scruples prevented them from becoming large planters. These elements constituted a large and influential democratic and non-slaveholding population in the Piedmont." This region was largely against ratifying the Constitution.
Beyond the Piedmont lay the Valley which was largely settled by Scotch-Irish and Germans, and the economic basis was the small farm with all that it implies. Here the political theories, says Ambler " differed widely from those entertained in the east. The Germans and the Scotch-Irish brought to the Valley the sacred traditions of the years of religious wars which taught hatred to an established church, antipathy to a government by the privileged, and; a love for civic and personal liberty. To the Scotch-Irish, the political leaders, civil liberty meant freedom of person, the right of fee-simple possession, and an open door to civic honors." The markets for this region were at Baltimore and Philadelphia. This fact, coupled with several peculiar social characteristics may partially account for the heavy vote for the Constitution; but the sentiment in favor of the new government in this region has not yet been traced to economic reasons.
To the far West lay the Kentucky region whose frontier economic characteristics need no description. There the sentiment was almost solid against the ratification of the Constitution.
At the time of the movement for the adoption of a new national Constitution, the self-sufficient western regions of Virginia were practically indifferent; and the eastern section was the part of the state in which there was a conscious determination to bring about a change. At this time, says Ambler, "The towns of the Tidewater chafed under the British restrictions upon trade and desired better commercial relations between the states. Of the numerous petitions to the assembly on these subjects, that from Norfolk was, perhaps, the most significant. It claimed that the restrictions on the West India trade and the foreign commercial monopolies were producing injury to Virginia, and asked for restriction on British trade and better commercial relations between the states. ...Petitions of a similar tone came from Fredericksburg, Falmouth, Alexandria, and Port Royal."
Against the indifference and opposition of the western districts, the east prevailed in the contest over the proposition to send delegates to the federal Convention and Washington, Madison, Mason, Henry , Randolph, Wythe, and Blair were named - "all residents of the Tidewater, except Henry and Madison." This result was partly due to the fact that the Tidewater region was over-represented in the state legislature according to population, and partly to the superior cohesion of the interests affected.
The same economic antagonism that was manifested in the selection of delegates to the federal Convention was again manifested in the state convention called to ratify the Constitution. "The democratic leaders of the interior, says Ambler, "declared that it [the Constitution] sacrificed the state's sovereignty. Accordingly they made a desperate fight to secure the election of delegates pledged to vote against ratification. When the canvass was ended it was not known which side would be successful, so evenly were the friends and enemies of the new plan of federal government matched. From the Tidewater came a strong delegation favorable to ratification. It numbered among its members the most prominent characters of the Virginia bar, former sympathizers with Great Britain, and representatives of interests essentially commercial. The other delegates favorable to ratification came from the Valley and the north-western part of the state. Most of them had seen service in the Revolutionary armies and were largely under the influence of Washington. The Kentucky country and the Piedmont sent delegates opposed to ratification. ... The vote on the ratification was: ayes 89, nays 79 ... practically all the lower Tidewater [being] in favor of ratification. Only two delegates from Shenandoah Valley and that part of the Trans-Alleghany north of the Great Kanawha voted nay. The democratic Piedmont and the Kentucky country was almost unanimous in opposition to the Constitution."
These conclusions reached by Ambler closely support Libby's survey. In speaking of the distribution of the vote on the Constitution in Virginia, he says: "Four well-marked sections are to be noted. ...The first, the eastern, comprised all the counties in tidewater Virginia. Its vote on the Constitution stood 80 per cent for and 20 per cent against ratification. This was the region of the large towns, and where commercial interests were predominant. The middle district, lying farther west to the Blue Ridge mountains, represented the interior farming interests of the state; the class of small farmers made up the principal part of its population. Its vote on the Constitution stood 26 per cent for and 74 per cent against adoption. The third, the West Virginia district is really double, composed of the Shenandoah Valley, in which lay the bulk of the population and the sparsely settled Trans-Alleghany region. This, also, was an agricultural section with a population chiefly Scotch-Irish and Germans from Pennsylvania. Its vote stood 97 per cent for and 3 per cent against the Constitution. ...The fourth, or Kentucky district comprised all that territory west of the great Kanawha to the Cumberland River. Its vote stood 10 per cent for and 90 per cent against. ...The question of the opening of the Mississippi river was the decisive one in determining the vote of this section."
That public securities also carried some weight in the Virginia counties which were strongly favorable to the Constitution is shown by the following table of the delegates (all, except Thomas Read, favorable to the Constitution) to the state convention from the towns and the seaboard or tidewater regions. Those italicised were holders of paper to some amount and appear on the Index to Virginia Funds in the Mss. of the Treasury Department. Those not italicised were not discovered on the books.
Fairfax County - David Stuart and Charles Simms. King George - Burdet Ashton and William Thornton. Westmoreland - Henry Lee and Bushrod Washington. Northumberland - Walter Jones and Thomas Gaskins. Richmond County - Walker Tomlin (as Executor) and William Peachy (as Executor). Lancaster - James Gordon and Henry Towles. Gloucester - Warner Lewis and Thomas Smith. York - John Blair and George Wyeth. Princess Anne - Anthony Walke and Thomas Walke. Norfolk - James Webb and James Taylor. (Portsmouth.) Henrico
- Edmund Randolph and John Marshall. James City - Nathl. Burwell and Robert Andrews. Elizabeth City - Miles King and Worlich Westwood. Charlotte - Paul Carrington and Thomas Read.
North Carolina. - North Carolina was at first overwhelmingly Anti-Federal. It had peculiar economic characteristics. Though in the south, it had a large body of small farmers; and the great slave-tilled plantation was not such a marked feature of its economy as it was of South Carolina. It had small mercantile interests as compared with Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, with their considerable seaport towns. And perhaps most significant of all was the fact that a very large proportion of the public securities in that state were bought up by speculators from northern cities and therefore not held by native inhabitants in the centres of influence. This must have had a very deadening effect on the spirit of the movement for ratification.
Owing to these peculiarities, it is impossible to layout North Carolina into such sharply differentiated economic regions as some of the other commonwealths. Nevertheless, certain lines are marked out by Libby in his survey of the vote in 1789 when the Constitution was finally ratified. "The counties around Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds constituted the bulk of the federal area. ...This region was the earliest settled, the most densely populated, and represented most of the mercantile and commercial interests of the state." With this region went some additional inland districts when the swing to the Federalists carried the state for ratification. The second region was in the centre of the state where the "interests were wholly agricultural;" this region was strongly Anti-Federal. To it was added the Tennessee region, also Anti-Federal, for the same reasons that carried western Virginia against the Constitution.
South Carolina. - South Carolina presents the economic elements in the ratification with the utmost simplicity. There we find two rather sharply marked districts in antagonism over the Constitution. "The rival sections," says Libby, "were the coast or lower district and the upper, or more properly, the middle and upper country. The coast region was the first settled and contained a larger portion of the wealth of the state; its mercantile and commercial interests were important; its church was the Episcopal, supported by the state." This region, it is scarcely necessary to remark, was overwhelmingly in favor of the Constitution. The upper area, against the Constitution, "was a frontier section, the last to receive settlement; its lands were fertile and its mixed population were largely small farmers. ...There was no established church, each community supported its own church and there was a great variety in the district."
A contemporary writer, R.G. Harper, calls attention to the fact that the lower country, Charleston, Beaufort, and Georgetown, which had 28,694 white inhabitants, and about seven-twelfths of the representation in the state convention, paid £28,081/5/10 taxes in 1794, while the upper country, with 120,902 inhabitants, and five-twelfths of the representation in the convention, paid only £8,390/13/3 taxes.
The lower districts in favor of the Constitution therefore possessed the wealth of the state and a disproportionate share in the convention - on the basis of the popular distribution of representation.
These divisions of economic interest are indicated by the abstracts of the tax returns for the state in 1794 which show that of £127,337 worth of stock in trade, faculties, etc. listed for taxation in the state, £109,800 worth was in Charleston, city and county - the stronghold of Federalism. Of the valuation of lots in towns and villages to the amount of £656,272 in the state, £549,909 was located in that city and county.
The records of the South Carolina loan office preserved in the Treasury Department at Washington show that the public securities of that state were more largely in the hands of inhabitants than was the case in North Carolina. They also show a heavy concentration in the Charleston district.
At least fourteen of the thirty-one members of the state-ratifying convention from the parishes of St. Philip and Saint Michael, Charleston (all of whom favored ratification) held over $75,000 worth of public securities, which amount was distributed unevenly among the following men:
John Blake Isaac Motte Danl. Cannon C. C. Pinckney Edw. Darrell John Pringle John F. Grimke David Ramsay Wm. Johnson Nathaniel Russel Thomas Jones Josiah Smith Lewis Morris Danl. de Soussure
Georgia. - Georgia was one of the states that gave a speedy and unanimous consent to the adoption of the Constitution. If there was any considerable contest there, no record of it appears on the surface; and no thorough research has ever been made into the local unprinted records. Libby dismisses the state with the suggestion that the pressing dangers from the Indians on the frontiers, which were formidable and threatening in the summer and autumn of 1787, were largely responsible for the swift and favorable action of the state in ratifying the new instrument of government that promised protection under national arms,
Three conclusions seem warranted by the data presented in this chapter:
Inasmuch as the movement for the ratification of the Constitution centred particularly in the regions in which mercantile, manufacturing, security, and personalty interests generally had their greatest strength, it is impossible to escape the conclusion that holders of personalty saw in the new government a strength and defence to their advantage.
Inasmuch as so many leaders in the movement for ratification were large security holders, and inasmuch as securities constituted such a large proportion of personalty, this economic interest must have formed a very considerable dynamic element, if not the preponderating element, in bringing about the adoption of the new system.
The state conventions do not seem to have been more "disinterested" than the Philadelphia convention; but in fact the leading champions of the new government appear to have been, for the most part, men of the same practical type, with actual economic advantages at stake.
The opposition to the Constitution almost uniformly came from the agricultural regions, and from the areas in which debtors had been formulating paper money and other depreciatory schemes.
- Above, Chapter v. 253.
- Massachusetts and the Federal Constitution (Harvard Studies).
- Sectionalism in Virginia.
- Libby, op. cit., pp. 7-8.
- Ibid., p. 11.
- Data given here are from State Papers: Finance, Vol. I, p. 442. It should be remembered that the figures would have been relatively different in 1787 on account of the union of Vermont with New Hampshire, but they are doubtless roughly correct.
- Some painstaking research in the Treasury Department would produce valuable data toward the solution of this problem.
- State Papers: Finance, Vol. I, p. 442 (public funds included. see p. 419).
- See above for the table, p. 36.
- Ms. Treasury Department: New Hampshire Loan Office Books.
- Libby, op. cit., p. 12.
- The Federal Constitution in Massachusetts, p. 75.
- As to the opposition in Maine, see General Knox's view, below, p. 301.
- The Federal Constitution in Massachusetts, pp. 63-66.
- State Papers: Finance, V01. I, pp. 451. Of course some changes in distribution may have occurred between 1789 and 1792, but this may be taken approximately correct.
- State Papers: Finance, V01. I, p. 443; Libby, op. cit., p. 107 for the vote.
- Libby, op. cit., for vote, p. 107; State Papers: Finance, Vol. I. pp. 450 and 449 for taxes lists.
- The full significance of the Worcester vote and property lists would involve an analysis of the distribution of each among the towns.
- American Antiquarian Society Proceedings (1911), p. 65.
- Ms. Treasury Department: Index to the Three Per Cents (Mass.). Gore, Dawes, and Phillips appear on the New Hampshire Journals and other Massachusetts Records.
- The Index shows several holders by the name of Davis: Jonathan, James, Aaron, Susanna, John, Nathl., Joseph. Moses, Thomas, Saml., Wendell, and John G. Whether they were relatives of Caleb is not apparent. Leonard and Nathl. Jarvis also appear on the Book. Also Mary and Belcher Hancock.
- All of these men except Wales and Warren appear on the Index to the Three Per Cents (Mass.). Wales and Warren appear on the books as holders of old certificates (Loan Office Certificates. 1779-1788. Mas..) ; and it does not appear when or how they disposed of their holdings.
- See above, p. 75, note 3.
- On September 3, 1787, the Connecticut Courant in a letter from Philadelphia (Aug. 24) says: "One of the first objects with the national government to be elected under the new constitution, it is said, will be to provide funds for the payment of the national debt, and thereby restore the credit of the United States, which has been so much impaired by the individual states. Every holder of a public security of any kind is, therefore, deeply interested in the cordial reception and speedy establishment of a vigorous continental government."
- Libby, op. cit., p. 14.
- Ibid., p, 113.
- Towns not represented or not voting in the convention are counted against the Constitution.
- The assumed debt is taken because the Ledgers of that debt are in excellent shape and apparently complete. They do not contain, however, half of the security holders in that state. Several of the towns that had no assumed debt-holders were represented in the convention by holders of other paper. See table, p. 267.
- See above, p. 15.
- State Papers: Finance, Vol. I, p. 423.
- The sources for the information as to these securities are in the Treasury Department: Connecticut Loan Office, 1781-1783 (Register of Certificates) ; Connecticut Loan Office, Ledger B, Assumed Debt; Ledger C, 1790-1796; Ledger A, ac 1790-1797; Loan Office Certificates of 1779, etc.
- The sources for the information as to these securities are in the Treasury Department: Connecticut Loan Office, 1781-1783 (Register of Certificates) ; Connecticut Loan Office, Ledger B, Assumed Debt; Ledger C, 1790-1796; Ledger A, ac 1790-1797; Loan Office Certificates of 1779, etc.
- No doubt a study of local economic interests in Connecticut would yield highly important data. See, for example, the early capitalist enterprises connected with, the navigation of the Connecticut River. Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, 1903-1904, p. 404. Such local histories as E.D. Larned, A History of Windham County, contain veritable mines of information on the economic interests of men prominent in local politics.
- Libby, op. cit., p. 18. Libby here takes the vote in the New York convention, but that did not precisely represent the popular vote. Above, p. 244.
- State Papers: Finance, Vol. I, p. 425.
- Libby, op. cit., p. 59.
- Those marked "C6," Ms; Treasury Department: New York, 6% Funds, 1790; "N.Y. 3" ibid., 3% Funds; "R," New York Loan Office Receipts, Ms. Division, Library of Congress. Melancton Smith appears on the Ledgers of the Connecticut Loan Office; and N.Y. Loan Office, 1791, folio 138, for $10,000 worth of sixes and threes.
- See above, p. 107.
- Not present on final vote, but see Elliot, Debates, Vol. II, p. 411.
- Libby, op. cit., pp. 60-61. Writing on October 14, 1787, Madison said, 'I do not learn that any opposition is likely to be made [to the ratification] in New Jersey," Writings of James Madison, Vol. I, p. 342.
- These records are drawn principally from incomplete lists of early certificates issued, or from some later funding books in the Treasury Department. The real weight of securities in the New Jersey convention must remain problematical, at least, for the present. The amounts set down to the names above recorded are for the most part insignificant - a few hundred or thousand dollars at the most, and often smaller. The point, it may be repeated, is not the amount but the practical information derived from holding even one certificate of the nominal value of $10.
- Dr. Jameson says of the records of the Delaware convention; "Neither Journal nor debates, has, I believe, ever been published," American Historical Association Report (1902), Vol. I, p. 165.
- Libby, op. cit., pp. 26 ff.
- The Massachusetts Gazette, on October 19, 1787, prints a letter from Philadelphia (dated October 5) in which the activities of speculators in public securities are fully set forth; ..Since the grand federal convention has opened the budget and published their scheme of government, all goes well here. Continental loan office certificates and all such securities have risen twenty-five per cent. Even the old emission which has long lain dormant begins to show its head. Last week many thousand pounds' worth of it were bought up. Moneyed men have their agents employed to buy up all the continental securities they can -foreseeing the rapid rise of our funds. Such men as have the cash to spare will certainly make large fortunes. ...We send our factors to the distant towns who know nothing of the rise and buy them cheap; for there is no buying them on reasonable terms in Philadelphia, as the wealthy men are purchasing them to lay up. Thus we go on - pray how is it with you?"
- Ms. Treasury Department: "I," Index to Funded 6 C; "JA," Journal A, 1790-1791 (sixes and threes); "JB," Journal B; "R," Register Loan Office Certificates, 1788; "77," Register Certificates of 1777; "3C," Ledger C, 3% Stock; "LT," Treasury Ledger; "M," Miscellaneous.
- Pennsylvania and the Federal Constitution. It will be noted that there were at least seven members of the Order of Cincinnati in the convention, all of whom were in favor of the Constitution.
- Libby, op. cit., p. 66.
- Letter, quoted in Libby, op cit. p. 65.
- Sectionalism in Virginia, pp. 6-9; p. 58.
- Ambler, op. cit., pp. 8, 59.
- Ibid., pp. 15-16.
- Ambler, op. cit., pp. 48-52.
- Henry not only refused to attend but opposed the adoption of the Constitution with all his might.
- Ibid., p. 36.
- Ambler, op. cit., pp. 53 ff.
- For an explanation of the Federalist complexion of this region see Ambler's explanation, Sectionalism in Virginia, p. 16.
- Libby, op. cit., pp. 34-35.
- Voted against ratification.
- This is evident from the records in the Treasury Department.
- Libby, op. cit., pp. 38 ff.
- Ibid., p. 42--43.
- Appius, To the Citizens of South Carolina (1794), Library of Congress, Duane Pamphlets, V 01. 83.
- See above, p. 248.
- State Papers: Finance, Vol. I, p. 462. In 1783 an attempt to establish a bank .I with 5100,000 capital was made in Charleston, S.C., but it failed. "Soon after ! the adoption of the funding system, three banks were established in Charleston whose capitals in the whole amounted to twenty times the sum proposed in 1783." D. Ramsay, History of South Carolina (1858 ed.), Vol. II, p. 106.
- Ms. Treasury Department: South Carolina Loan Office Ledger, consult Index. No general search was made for other names.
- On the subject of ratification in Georgia, Dr. Jameson says: "Nothing of either journal or debates is known to have been printed, unless in some contemporary newspaper outside the state; the Georgia newspapers seem to have nothing of the sort." American Historical Association Report (1902), Vol. I, p. 167.
- This danger may have had some influence in the concessions made by the Georgia delegates in the Convention for they were kept informed of the Indian troubles in the summer of 1787. Force Transcripts, Georgia Records, 1781-1789: Library of Congress.
- Some holders of public securities are found among the opponents of the Constitution, but they are not numerous.