Entry

Bloodworth Letters, 2

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.

Entry

Person, Thomas Letter 1 (August 6, 1789)

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. 

Entry

Address to the Freemen of North Carolina (Publicola)

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.

Entry

Bloodworth Letters, 1

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.

Entry

Fayetteville Convention

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.

Entry

Williamson Hugh

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.

Entry

Hillsborough Convention of 1788

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.

Entry

Martin Alexander

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. 

Entry

Ratification Debates

Resulting from nationalists’ claim that the Articles of Confederation was too weak, a more powerful central government was proposed. In Philadelphia during the summer of 1787, Constitutional Convention delegates drafted the U.S. Constitution and submitted the document to the states for ratification.  In North Carolina, the document was neither approved or rejected at the state’s first convention, the Hillsborough Convention of 1788.  The following year, delegates met at the Fayetteville Convention and ratified the Constitution.  North Carolina had joined the Union.