Part IX. The Address and Reasons of Dissent of the Minority of the Convention of Pennsylvania To Their Constituents

Abstract

By July, 1787, two New York delegates to the Federal Convention, Robert Yates and John Lansing, had departed because they objected to the shape being taken by the Constitution being developed, and by June, 1788, when the New York Convention met to consider ratification, it was dominated by an anti-federal majority of 46 to 19, led by Governor George Clinton. However, as the Convention opened, news arrived of the ratifications by the ninth and tenth states, New Hampshire and Virginia. This changed the issue to whether New York was to join the new Union or remain outside of it, and debate shifted to how the new Constitution might be improved. The federalists were led in debate by Alexander Hamilton and Robert R. Livingston. The most profound of the anti-federalist speakers was Melancton Smith, who spoke in response to remarks made by Hamilton in the following speeches.