Antifederalist Timothy Bloodworth’s letters are scarce. Most of what we know is from what his contemporaries remarked and from his comments during the ratification debates. In this letter, Bloodworth expresses a deep concern to preserve liberty, discusses what he considers to be dangers inherent in the U.S. Constitution, and suggests political strategy.
Subject: Ratification Debates
Former Regulator, Thomas Person describes his love of Liberty, comments on North Carolina popular opinion regarding the Constitution, suggests political strategy to ensure that amendments are added to the Constitution, and criticizes what he considers to be Hugh Williamson’s aristrocratic ways.
During the ratification debates, many Federalists and Antifederalists assumed pseudonyms when writing essays supporting or opposing the U.S. Constitution’s adoption. Under the penname Publicola (meaning friend of the people), Archibald Maclaine of Wilmington, a Federalist, printed a reply to George Mason’s objections to the Constitution. It appeared in installments in the New Bern State Gazette on March 20 and March 27, 1789.
Antifederalist Timothy Bloodworth’s letters are scarce. Most of what we know is from what his contemporaries remarked and from his comments during the ratification debates. In this letter, Bloodworth expresses his concern regarding the Constitution, comments on politics in New York and Virginia, describes public opinion in North Carolina regarding the Constitution, and calls for a committee to explore amendments.
Born in Virginia in 1738, Samuel Spencer played important roles in several chapters of the history of North Carolina. He served as the de facto executive of North Carolina after the American Revolution broke out. Shortly thereafter, he was elected a superior court judge in North Carolina, remaining on the bench until his death. He is, however, best known as the leader of the antifederalist faction at the Hillsborough Convention of 1788.
Born in New Bern, North Carolina in 1758, Richard Dobbs Spaight served as a delegate at the federal constitutional convention of 1787 and at the Hillsboro convention of 1788.
Called by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1789, the Fayetteville Convention was the second meeting to consider ratification of the Federal Constitution in North Carolina. It followed the Hillsborough Convention, at which delegates, rather than rejecting the new Constitution, refused to ratify it.
Born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, Hugh Williamson was a physician and polymath who served as one of North Carolina’s delegates to the Federal Constitutional Convention. Active in the debates at the Convention, Williamson was a leading intellectual in Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary America.
Meeting in Hillsborough, North Carolina, Antifederal and Federal delegates convened from July 21 to August 4, 1788 to consider ratification of the newly proposed U.S. Constitution. The two-week long deliberations resulted in neither ratification nor rejection. North Carolina refused to make a decision. Ratification was postponed until the 1789 Fayetteville Convention.
Born in New Jersey in 1738, Alexander Martin was a politician and North Carolinian delegate to the Federal Constitutional Convention. He was the only delegate to the Federal Convention who sought election to a state convention and lost.