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title:“Henry Knox to John Sullivan”
authors:Henry Knox
date written:1788-1-19

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:23 a.m. UTC
retrieved:March 3, 2024, 9:11 a.m. UTC

Knox, Henry. "Letter to John Sullivan." The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution. Vol. 17. Ed. Gaspare J. Saladino and John P. Kaminski. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 1984. 40-42. Print.

Henry Knox to John Sullivan (January 19, 1788)

I have hitherto deferred my dear Sir, answering your esteemed favor of the 27th of February in hopes of being able to give you a satisfactory statement of public affairs. But the unfortunate check the new constitution received in New Hampshire has given new life and Spirits to the opponents of the proposed system, and damped the ardor of its friends.
The Convention in South Carolina is to meet on the 12th of next month-The general tenor of the information is that it will be adopted there but not without considerable opposition-
North Carolina is not to meet untill July-The general opinion seems to be that they will follow the example of Virginia-The convention of which meets in June-The constitution in that state will meet with great opposition indeed, and the issue extremely doubtful-As far as information has been received of the elections which were finished in March, the complection is favorable. The arguments against it there are mostly local although many ostensible ones will appear-Impositions by the eastern states on their commerce; & Treaties being the supreme law of the land thereby compelling the payment of the british debts will be the real objections of the greater part of the opposers- while some others apprehend a consolodation of the Union as a real evil12
In Maryland it is highly probable according to the information received, that the constitution will be adopted there by a great majority their convention will meet the last of this month-
In the state of New York the interests pro and con are so divided that it is impossible for an impartial person to say on which side the scale will turn. Both sides appear confident of victory and both sides are pretty industrious in preparing for the elections which are to take place in about a fortnight-
The Rhode Island people are riveted to the works of paper money and darkness-They will reject the New Constitution
I am happy that you have such confidence in the future conduct of your convention-I hope in God you may not be disapointed The business of electioneering runs high-We cannot judge who will be the president you or Mr Langdon But in either case your friends who are the friends of the Union rest assured that you are both too good patriots, to be disgusted in such a manner as to suffer your ardor for the constitution to be abated-A Man possessing all the virtues of an angel may not have the majority of votes in states where the choice very frequently may depend on mere trifles not more important than the color of a mans hair, eyes-his size or carriage I hope to have the pleasure to see you in the ensuing summer in New Hampshire-in the mean time I shall be happy to learn from you the fate of the constitution I am with great respect and affection Your humble Servant

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