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title:“St. John de Crevecoeur to William Short”
authors:St. John de Crevecoeur
date written:1788-4-1

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:30 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Aug. 4, 2021, 1:54 p.m. UTC

John, St .. "Letter to William Short." The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution. Vol. 17. Ed. Gaspare J. Saladino and John P. Kaminski. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 1995. 3-4. Print.

St. John de Crevecoeur to William Short (April 1, 1788)

. . . I am as Anxious to learn what is going on in Europe, & in particular in France as you are Impatient to know of the Progress that the new Constitution is making-6 States have already accepted it as you already doubtless know [from your Letters?], the adoption by Massachusetts was only by a Majority of 18. in the course of the Month we will know what Maryland will do.-here it is said that the most important People are all fœderalists; but that is not the case in Virginia, Mr. Maddisson left us almost a Month ago to return to Virginia, where his Friends had a great desire to elect him a Member of the Convention for the County where he lives; the two parties are preparing themselves for the debates that I fear will be long & full of rancor-Until now the choice that was made appears to be favorable & in order to give you an Idea of it I am sending you the List of those who have already been elected-Gl. Washington Always Wise & Modest, says Nothing, although his Name has a great Influence on the opinion of a great many People-they say that the greatest obstacle to the adoption of the new Constitution in Virginia, are debts & dignity; in effect, one can see that those who owe much look to put off the Establisht. of a Govt. that promises to all the most Impartial Justice-as for dignity, say those who know Virginia better than I, there are a great many People who fear to see their personal Importance eclipsed, by the brilliance of a truly Federal & Energetic Govt.-we have not yet had news of the Election of Mr. Maddisson it will not come until Saturday's Post-in the most antifœderalist Counties, the people have elected as delegates not those in whom they have had confidence up to now but several Sheriffs which appears a little Extraordinary, furthermore that happened in not a few Counties-One waits at this Moment of such great Importance for the choice that everyone is Interested in, & I, a great fœderalist, Judge as if I were right there-in effect, (To be or not be a nation, what alternative,) destruction or to plunge into anarchy, & divisions; if it forms two Confederations as P. Henry wishes, goodbye to the Peace & the happiness of this Country; the convention of Maryland is to be held on the 31 of this Month, this state's 17. June, Virginia's the last week of the same Month, South Carolina's 12 May, North Carolina's July 4, & New Hampshire's the last week in June-you know, no doubt, what happened in the latter State. Fœderalists, fearing to lose the question, consented to adjourn at this Time in the hope of being able to Convert those men in the Minority;' are you afraid that in the 4 States of New England they are so weary of his Government themselves that they long for Monarchy & that a very great number of people in some Counties would prefer to live once more under english administration-Lord Dorchester, Governor of Canada, has Spies everywhere; this City is full of them, as are the States to the East; what would become of all these states if just once they were to disunite?-this Country Approaches a Time more Prickly, more dangerous than that of the War but I hope that the Stock of Reason & of good Sense for which this country is so distinguished that truly enlightened men will Turn the scale toward the Side of good; it remains to be seen how men who have been without check & without laws for so long a Time will submit to the Salutary check that is being readied for them....

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