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the anomalous trade between the two regions. The journal indicates that these provisions were an addition to the second bill and not a substitute, though they may have been lifted from the first bill, which first bill the Senate now rejected. The text of the two bills as they left the House is not available. After the petitions from North Carolina and Rhode Island were read, the Senate adopted the amended second bill, and on September 14 the House agreed to the amendments.
In spite of the lack of debates, the outside correspondence and articles make fairly evident the expected results of independent trade by the two states. Joseph Jones wrote Madison on May 10, 1789: upon the whole it appears [the impost debate] to have been conducted with temper and moderation and such middle ground generally taken as will proably in the outset prevent clamour and submit to time and the conviction of experience such changes as shall be found for the common welfare. R. Island not being subject to the regulation & so convenient a place to the eastern and N. York States may interpose difficulties to the faithfull collection of the revenues and North Carolina in this quarter wod. do the same but for the obstacles of navigation. These interruptions will be only temporary as I presume they cannot long remain out of the Union." 23
The exceptions made in favor of the two states and the limitations of the exceptions aided their agricultural rather than their commercial classes, and therefore helped the interest that supported the Antifederalist principles-the people who cared "nothing for Commerce," as Williamson stated it, and not the Federalist merchants and manufacturers. Rhode Island was far more concerned with the restriction on rum, sugar, and chocolate than was North Carolina. This restriction was made because the materials from which the articles were fabricated could not possibly be of the growth of the states; and before this act was passed Rhode Island papers reported that the custom house at New York had ruled that the freedom of trade did not extend to other articles made from material not the growth of the state.24
The lightening of the tonnage duty would at first glance seem to be primarily in the interest of the traders and shippers, and therefore more important to Rhode Island; but the cost of sending the products of North Carolina by sea to other states would be lessened. The North Carolina trade was not unimportant. Wilmington exported in the year 1788 lumber, shingles, staves, tobacco, naval stores, pork, rice, hides, and deerskins. During June-December 1789 184 vessels arrived at Edenton and 170 cleared; of these 354 instances, 249
IMPOST AND TONNAGE EXCEPTIONS
477 were from or to ports in the United States. There were other active ports of the state, that of Wilmington probably being of more importance. During this same period the Providence movement of ships was reported a 209 arrived and 140 cleared, 239 being from or to other states. Providence and Newport were the main ports of the state. At Edenton the vessels were usually sloops and schooners, only occasionally a brig; at Rhode Island they were larger. In both cases the bulk of the shipping by number was to and from other states; but it is not possible to say what proportion of the vessels were owned in North Carolina or Rhode Island, and the larger vessels were those in the foreign trade or in whaling.
Since the act to regulate the collection of duties gave Rhode Island and North Carolina free trade of domestic products and the impost could not be made operative until this act was passed, there is no reason to suppose that the domestic articles from these states ever paid the national duty, unless by Rhode Island after January 15, 1790. The tonnage act was in force about a month before the other concession was made, from the middle of August to the middle of September. The Providence United States Chronicle reported on August 27, 1789, that Rhode Island ships were made to pay foreign tonnage at New York after August 15 and not permitted to go up the Connecticut River, New London being the port for foreign trade. In June and July 76 ships cleared at Edenton, of these 48, or 63 percent, were for United States ports; in August and September 45 cleared, the 35 in interstate trade being 78 per cent. At Providence during the same periods the figures were 44 and 47 cleared, the 34 and 27 in interstate voyages being 77 and 57 per cent. If these figures have any significance, it is that the Rhode Island shipping may have decreased during the restriction, while that of North Carolina did not.
The limitation on the period of small tonnage duties would be a spur to the southern agriculturists, and to the ship owners of Rhode Island. It was considered usually as of more concern to the latter, but they needed no such warning and it was neither important to, nor likely to influence, the rural Antifederalists of the New England state. Shipments by land or in vessels of less than thirty tons seems possible, except of the rum, sugar, and chocolate; for even though the goods were "foreign," they were no longer within the regulation that "dutiable" goods of foreign growth should arrive only by sea and in certain ships, which presumably would be required of those manufactures of the two states that were not freed from the duties. Smuggling, which Jones and others feared, was by no means the only commercial complication that might arise through the
abnormal position of the two outside states; and the concessions tended to increase the complexities, while they tried to ameliorate the conditions.
AWAITING THE CONVENTION IN NORTH CAROLINA
THE NORTH CAROLINIANS followed the proceedings of Congress carefully. The newspapers gave precedence to the debates in the House and to the text of important bills and acts. A letter from Edenton, May 4, which was printed in a northern paper and reprinted at Edenton, showed the interest and the early fear:
Though we are not in the union, we are not the less attentive to all the proceedings of Congress. Some of the regulations proposed in the new revenue bill might be of use to the commerce of this state if we formed a part of the union; as matters are circumstance they must injure us greatly. We are doubtless to be considered as foreigners with whom there is not any commercial treaty, and in this case our vessels must pay the duty of half a dollar the ton in every port of the United States; but the small profits of our coasting trade are not equal to this charge, hence it must follow that our coasting vessels must be laid up, and many valuable citizens be ruined.25
The people were kept informed of Madison's proposed constitutional amendments and the stages of development toward the final resolution. The result was as little satisfactory to the extreme state rights people as it was to Patrick Henry; but just as the North Carolina refusal to ratify promoted the passage of the amendments in Congress, the congressional proposal undoubtedly strengthened the Federalist sentiment in the state, as did the calming trade concessions. Indeed, a letter from Fayetteville, September 12, showed the hopeful spirit: "I think there is not a doubt that the Convention . . . will adopt the Constitution-the amendments will do the business." 26
Meanwhile, the governor and council of the state, chiefly Federalists, added on May 10 their congratulations to the many sent Washington on his assuming the presidency, taking the occasion of the address to assure him and the country of North Carolina's good intentions, to excuse her attitude, and to hope for patience toward her:
Though this State be not yet a Member of the Union under the new Form of Government, we look forward with the pleasing hope of its shortly becoming such, and in the meantime consider ourselves bound in a common interest and affection with the other States, waiting only for the happy event of such alterations being proposed as will remove the apprehensions of many of the good Citizens of this State for those liberties for which they have fought and suffered in common with others. This happy event we doubt not will be accelerated by your Excellency's appointment to the first office in the Union, since we are
EXPECTANCY IN NORTH CAROLINA
479 well assured that the same greatness of mind which in all scenes has so eminently characterized your Excellency, will induce you to advise every measure calculated to compose Party-Divisions, and to abate any animosity which may be excited by a mere difference of opinion. Your Excellency will consider (however others may forget) how extremely difficult it is to unite all the People of a great Country in one common sentiment upon almost any political subject, much less upon a new form of Government materially different from one they have been accustomed to, and will therefore either be disposed to rejoice that so much has been done than regret that more could not all at once be accomplished. We sincerely believe that America is the only country in the World where such a deliberate change of Government could take place under any circumstances whatever. We cannot help considering you, Sir, in some measure, as the Father of it [the country], and hope to experience the good effects of that confidence you so justly have acquired, in an abatement of the Party Spirit which so much endangers a Union, in which the safety and happiness of America can alone be founded.27
Washington in his reply on June 19 (or 15) was cordial and soothing, but rather pointed in his expectation of the result of the new convention:
[Your address] I consider . . . indicative of the good dispositions of the Citizens of your State towards their Sister-States, and of the probability of their speedily acceding to the new General-Government. . . I entertain
a well-founded expectation that nothing will be wanting on the part of the different branches of the general-government to render the union as perfect, and more safe than ever it has been. A difference of opinion on political points is not to be imputed to Freemen as a fault; since it is to be presumed that they are all actuated by an equally laudable and sacred regard for the liberties of their Country. If the mind is so formed in different persons as to consider the same object to be somewhat different in it's nature and consequences as it happens to be placed in different points of view; and if the oldest, the ablest, and the most virtuous Statesmen have often differed in judgment as to the best forms of Government, we ought, indeed rather to rejoice that so much has been effected, than to regret that more could not all at once be accomplished. Gratified by the favorable sentiments which are evinced in your address to me, and impressed with an idea that the Citizens of your State are sincerely attached to the Interest, the Prosperity, and the Glory of America, I most earnestly implore the divine benediction and guidance in the Counsels, which are shortly to be taken by their Delegates on the subject of the most momentous consequence, I mean the political relation which is to subsist hereafter between the State of North Carolina and the States now in union under the new general government.28
MANY of the delegates to the convention were also at the same time elected to the legislature, both bodies to meet at Fayetteville in November. The result of the campaign in August showed a further increase in Federalist sentiment. The legislature met on November 2
but stood virtually adjourned during the few days, November 16-23, of the convention. The debates of this second convention have not been preserved. Governor Samuel Johnston presided, as he did over the earlier meeting. For three days the Constitution and the amendments sent out by Congress were considered in committee of the whole, which reported in favor of ratification. Five of the state's earlier proposed amendments were moved as a condition of ratification: ". . . and although union with our sister States is our most earnest wish and desire, yet as some of the great and most exceptional parts of said proposed Constitution have not undergone the alterations which were thought necessary by the last Convention: Therefore, Resolved, That previous to the ratification the following amendments be proposed and laid before Congress, that they may be adopted and made part of the said Constitution, motion was rejected by 187 to 82, and on November 21 unconditional ratification voted by 194 to 77, which was a greater majority than the 184 to 83 by which approval was refused the year before.
As a sop, a committee appointed for that purpose proposed eight amendments which the representatives of the state in Congress should endeavor to get enacted. These included some of the earlier five, and all were among those of the first convention. The Edenton State Gazette of North Carolina headed its announcement on December 3 of the ratification with "LAUS DEO." Governor Alexander Martin, who had been a delegate to the Convention of 1787 but not a signer, said in his message of December 22:
That this event must be the subject of great joy to our sister States, as well as to our friends and allies in Europe, on hearing that one important link late broken in the American Union, is again restored; . . . Perhaps it was all for the best, that this State hesitated and was not precipitate in Ratifying a form of Government intended to last for ages, without maturely deliberating how far the lives, liberties and properties of her Citizens were to be protected and secured by it. . . . Let our citizens be led to embrace again their Northern and Southern brethren, with former affection and cordiality in the adoption of this new system of Government, that be the same perfect or imperfect, tho' at present the most perfect to be obtained, the same they are determined to stand or fall together in its support, . . . and with united efforts maintain and defend it against all its enemies and opposers whereever to be found.29a
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY moved quickly as soon as ratification was achieved. The approval of the twelve amendments proposed by Congress passed the House the first time on November 23, and the final passage in the Senate was on December 8. The House proposed