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NEW HAMPSHIRE RESULTS
chosen on the first Wednesday in January 1789, which was the 7th. It was not until the 3d that the General Court appointed a committee to examine the returns of the popular vote for electors. According to the report of the committee, which was not made until the 6th, none had a majority, the highest had 1759 votes, and the lowest of the ten from whom the General Court should choose five had 528; whereupon the House voted for a joint session to make the choice, but on January 7 the Senate nonconcurred in this and sent down a proposal for a vote "in separate branches." The House in turn nonconcurred and proposed a joint committee which should choose the five, which the Senate amended to a nomination of five by the committee for concurrence by the General Court. This the House rejected by 42 to 29, and proposed that the clerk of the House and secretary of the Senate draw out five names; but this did not please the Senate either, which proceeded on its own part to name the five that had received the highest vote and send this down to the House. It being now near midnight, the House yielded, first agreeing by 35 to 32 to proceed to concur or nonconcur in the Senate's selection, and then concurring by 40 to 19. In doing so, however, by a vote of 46 to 11 the House registered a protest: ". . . at the same time Solemnly protesting against the said mode of choice and declaring that in the Opinion of this House the present mode of appointing Electors ought not to be considered as Establishing a preceedent or drawn into example or insisted upon as a rule in any future appointment of Electors, . "2 The presidential electors were to meet and vote
It will be noticed that the General Court considered that it was necessary to choose the presidential electors not later than January 7, and that was indeed the date prescribed in the ordinance of Congress, in accordance with the plan laid down by the Convention of 1787. Inasmuch as the Constitution declared that "Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors," it is possible that a resolution by the Continental Congress might be considered such a legal choice; though in no place does the Constitution include the older body in the term, and the resolution of the Convention of 1787, while somewhat like the "schedules" of later state constitutions, was merely an opinion of the convention.
METHODS OF ELECTIONS
AS MASSACHUSETTS was the second most populous state in the Union, and recognized as a leader, not only in its section but in the
whole country; as it had recently been the seat of a radical uprising (Shays Rebellion), from the sympathizers of which much of the Antifederalist sentiment in the state had come; and as in it ratification had been successful only after a severe struggle and only because of the expectation of certain amendments, its action in carrying out the resolution of the Continental Congress deserves particular attention.
On October 29, 1788, the General Court of the state met, and on October 31 consigned the resolution of Congress to a joint committee. This committee reported on November 5: (1) electors to be appointed by a joint ballot of the two houses; (2) senators to be elected by the separate houses, each with a negative on the other; (3) the state to be divided into eight districts as nearly of equal poll as possible without dividing counties, and a representative to be elected in each. If no one had a majority, choice should be made at a second election out of the two highest; and if a tie, the senators and assemblymen of the district should choose. The electors to be chosen by the General Court should be one from each representative district and two at large. The Senate accepted the report and appointed a committee to prepare a bill; but the House considered it in committee of the whole for several days. After debate, the committee of the whole appointed a subcommittee on the question of popular election of electors; substituted joint ballot for senators; defeated a motion to require residence in the district by a candidate for representative; and appointed a subcommittee to consider towns rather than counties in forming the districts, but later voted not to disregard county lines, after defeating a motion for heavier representation from the late insurgent region.
On November 10 the subcommittee on popular election of electors reported in favor of freemen voting by districts, district residence of candidates being required, and the General Court in joint session to vote one from the three highest candidates in each district, evidently to do so even though one candidate had a majority. The committee of the whole approved this report, and also voted that at the second election of representatives there should be no limit on the candidates, but the one receiving the highest vote should be declared successful. If there was a tie there should be a third election. When the report of the committee of the whole came up in the House, a division into districts without regard to county lines was defeated; and the report of the joint committee, thus amended, was sent up to the Senate on November 13. In these amendments the Senate nonconcurred and proposed substitutes, of which that
ELECTION PLAN IN MASSACHUSETTS
upon the election of senators was unacceptable to the House. On November 19 a joint committee was appointed to prepare a resolve to put in effect the parts agreed upon, and a committee of conference was appointed on the question of the election of senators. There were final efforts in the House to strike out from the Senate's amendments the residence requirement for representatives because unconstitutional, and to alter the districts, but these were defeated; and an attempt by some Shaysites to postpone the whole matter to the next General Court did not come to a vote.
The resolve of November 20 for organizing the national government provided for the eight districts as originally proposed, each district to choose on December 18, 1788, one representative, "who shall be an inhabitant of such district." If no one had a majority the governor and council should notify the towns of the district, naming the two who had the highest vote, and a second election should take place; but, though the two highest were to be named, the second election was not limited to them. Also the freemen of each district were to vote for two presidential electors, inhabitants of the district; and from the two who had the highest vote in the district the General Court by joint ballot on the first Wednesday of January was to elect one, when there was also to be a joint ballot for two at large "not voted for by the districts". As this last clause would prevent the candidature at large of some 200 or more prominent citizens, the General Court on January 6, 1789, resolved that there should be unlimited choice among citizens not constitutionally disqualified for electors at large.
Theodore Sedgwick wrote Alexander Hamilton on November 2, 1788, that some Federalists and Antifederalists desired that electors should be chosen by the people and the representatives at large. He was still in hope that this would not succeed. The election of representatives by districts was, on the other hand, deprecated because it would "deprive the people, in a great degree, of the opportunity of electing such characters as they may think are the most competent."
On November 20, the method of electing representatives and electors being decided upon, the House voted to propose two as senators and send the names to the upper house, and continue the process until that house concurred. The Senate had other ideas. Both houses were tenacious of their rights, though the lower house had here yielded the major matter of a joint ballot, seemingly persuaded that the proposal of the original joint committee was proper, since the Constitution required that the election should be by the legislature (General Court), and the state constitution declared the
General Court to be the two branches, "each of which shall have a negative on the other." The Senate in turn had yielded to a joint ballot for electors, there being in this case no constitutional limitation, since the national Constitution left the legislature of each state a free hand as to method of choosing the electors. Under the final agreement the voting for national senators began on that same day, November 20.
ELECTION OF SENATORS
There had been considerable popular speculation on available candidates. John Adams wrote Theophilus Parsons on November 2, 1788, that he was not to be considered a candidate, and wished his name kept out entirely: "You know very well, how ungracious and odious the nonacceptance of an appointment by election is; and, therefore, let me beg of you not to expose me to the necessity of incurring the censure of the public; and the obloquy of individuals, by so unpopular a measure . . . the result of my reflections on the place of a senator in the new government, is an unchangeable determination to refuse it." 4 Adams had a higher office in view. Samuel Adams and Francis Dana were much talked of, and Strong and King, both members of the Convention of 1787, were wished for by "all true Federalists"; but there were doubts concerning King's residence. He had married a New York lady in 1786, but had continued to represent Massachusetts in the Continental Congress through October 1787. Christopher Gore wrote Theodore Sedgwick from Boston on August 31, 1788: "I am very desirous K should give satisfactory evidence of his remaining a citizen of Massachusetts. We much need men of his honor & talents in the New Government." 5 King made unsuccessful efforts to buy a house in Boston in the autumn of 1788, authorizing Gore, who was acting for him, on September 6, 1788, to purchase the property under consideration for $5,000, and Gore on October 12 wrote that the property was to be conveyed to him the next day. The correspondence is evidently not complete and the final reason for failure is not evident. King was himself in Boston about this time; but was after that distinctly associated with New York, and became an assemblyman of that state the next year and was elected one of her United States senators.
On November 21 the House chose Caleb Strong and Charles Jarvis as senators. The latter was a Hancock man. The Senate agreed to Strong, but substituted John Lowell for Jarvis. The House repeated Jarvis. The next day the Senate put up Azor Orme, but the House refused to desert Jarvis. The Senate then substituted Tristram Dalton and the House came back with Nathan Dane, after
165 defeating a motion to postpone the election to the next session of the General Court. On November 24 the Senate insisted on Dalton, and the House finally yielded. Gore, who was in the lower house, wrote King on November 23, 1788, about the election, indicating considerable irritation at King's not being chosen. He said: "The monstrous lies told by your Essex friends pervaded every quarter of the house and the envy of these people had much greater weight than I coud have suppos'd." "
CHOICE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ELECTORS
The correspondence of various Massachusetts men of this period indicates their interest in the election of representatives; but the vote on December 18 did not denote that the freemen in general were much concerned. The weather was bad; but even in Suffolk County (Boston) only 1800 out of 9417 polls were counted. A majority was found in four districts, but a further election ordered in the other four. Though Samuel Adams was a candidate in the Suffolk County district, the old patriot had lost his hold on this commercial and conservative region, even though his strength continued in the more radical western part of the state. Young Fisher Ames was elected. Gore expressed the belief that King could have been chosen from this district but for the "unconstitutional" district residence requirement. Though, as said above, King attempted to buy a house in Boston, his previous Massachusetts residence had been at Newburyport. On January 6, 1789, the General Court received from the secretary of state the popular votes on electors, and on January 7 the two houses in joint session selected the state's quota of ten; and its final action in the matter of the organization of the national government was on February 7 to direct the governor to deliver the proper credentials to representatives and senators.
Meanwhile, the elections for representatives had continued. At the second election, January 29, 1789, two more were chosen. The four of the first election were all Federalists, as was one at the second election. The sixth man was Elbridge Gerry. He had been opposed in the first election by Nathaniel Gorham, who, like Gerry, had been a member of the Convention of 1787, and who had signed the Constitution, while Gerry had refused to do so and had been later prominent against ratification. Gorham would probably have been elected had there not been other Federalists on the ticket. He withdrew before the second election, and was one of the very few of the men who signed the Constitution who never held office or helped to legislate under it; but Gerry's opponents accused his supporters of