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Proceedings of the Massachusetts Convention to Consider the New Constitution

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionSouth Caroliniana Collection: Robert Goodloe Harper view image
MicrofilmMassachusetts Historical Society: Benjamin Lincoln Papers (no image)
Document Information
Date February 3, 1788
Author Name Benjamin Lincoln (primary) Location: Boston
Recipient Name George Washington (primary)
Summary Lincoln reports on the proceedings of the Massachusetts convention that is charged with adopting or rejecting the new Constitution. Though several of the Shays insurgents are delegates, Lincoln is optimistic that the Constitution will be approved by the convention.
Document Format Autograph Draft Letter Signed
Document Notes [not available]
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups George Washington; Benjamin Lincoln; president of the convention; insurgents; Shays' officers; ;
Related Places Boston;
Keywords motion for the adoption of the Constitution; gentlemen in the opposition; alterations; large committee; county; liberty;
Key Phrases I think the Constitution will pass.

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Feb 3 1788
Boston Feby 3d 1788
My dear General
Your Excellency will find by the paper of yesterday, which I do my self the pleasure to enclose, that the Governor Lee has taken his seat as President of the convention and that he came forward with a motion for the adoption of the constitution & [undecipherable] a recommendation that some alterations may take place in the it constitution. The motion has taken up a considerable time, those in the opposition want the completion accepted upon condition that the alterations are made this they will not be able to carry.
Yesterday noon a motion was [illegible] motion under consideration
would be committed this was agreed to and a large committee was raised two from each of the large committees & one for two small ones. It was also agreed that each county should nominate their own number, and that they would take one who had given his opinion for and one who had given his opinion against the constitution in each county. Wherein two were chosen I expect that they will report tomorrow afternoon to which time the convention stands adjourned I hope good will arise from te measure and that the main question will be taken by Wednesday next.
The gentlement in the opposition use that the Governors motion ought to be divided and take the past question simply whether they will or will not accept the constitution. They are [illegible] in this and I hope the [illegible] adjust this matter
We find our selves exceedingly embarrassed from the temper which rages the last winter n some of the counties. Many of the insurgents are in convention (even some of the Shays officers) a great proportion of those men are high in the opposition we would hardly expect any thing else nor could we. I think, justly suppose that those men who were so lately intoxicated with large draught of liberty, and were thirsting for more should would in so short a time submit to a constitution which would further take up the ruins of government which in their opinion were too strait before I hope people abroad will consider this matter & make proper allowances for a [undecipherable] this kind -- {I think the constitution will pass
I have the honor of being my dear General with respect please your Excellencys most obedient servant,
B Lincoln
His Excellency
General Washington