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Sherburne, Henry (1747-1824) to Henry Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.04533 Author/Creator: Sherburne, Henry (1747-1824) Place Written: Newport, Rhode Island Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 7 March 1790 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 22 x 18.3 cm.

Thanks Knox for sending his application to President Washington and also informs him that the Rhode Island state convention adjourned without discussing the question of whether or not to adopt the Constitution. Writes that "[t]his Extraordinary Step was warmly opposed, but without effect; Reason, Duty, necessity, and every other Argument was made use of, to no purpose." Feels that the Anti-federalist party is postponing the decision only to serve their own selfish motivations and secure their own representatives in the senate. Writes that "[t]he Convention in Order to Cover their design and keep in with the Ignorant, have by a Committee of their Body reported a Number of Articles [inserted: they] call a Bill of Rights, all of which the Constitution has provided for; Likewise Nineteen Amendments to the Constitution, principally taken from New York, Massachusetts, and North Carolina, this Notable performance they have ordered printed and Sent to the Several Towns in the State for the Information of the people on proxing Day. This Cobweb Covering to their Iniquity, will be set in a True Light, and that advantage which they expect to derive therefrom will be turned to their Injury." Also forwards a copy of the Newport Herald (not included) which covers the proceedings of the convention. Ends by stating he hopes they find deliverance from the men, "whose great Object is to destroy good Government."

Newport, March 7th 1790
Dear Sir,
Your kind favour of the 25th Ulto came safe to hand, I must beg you to accept my warmest thanks for your friendship, in my application to the President of the United States.
Last Evening our State Convention after a Session of six days, rose, without taking the Question, upon the adopting, or rejecting, the Constitution of the United States, and have adjourned themselves to the 24th of May next then to meet in Newport. This Extraordinary Step was warmly opposed, but without effect; Reason, Duty, necessity, and every other Argument was made use of, to no purpose. The grand aim of our Anti party by postponing this Business is to Secure themselves in the State Government (which Choice will be the Middle of April next) whereby they expect to have Sufficient Strength in the Legislature to make choice of their own kind of Creatures to represent this State in the Senate of the United States, and thereby have Sufficient Influence to establish Such of their friends in office as will best Serve their purpose; every Step is taking by us to frustrate their design, and from present appearances I am warranted to Say we Shall

Hon: H Knox Esqr be

[2] be able to Obtain a Majority in the State Legislature.
The Convention in Order to Cover their design and keep in with the Ignorant, have by a Committee of their Body reported a Number of Articles [inserted: they] call a Bill of Rights, all of which the Constitution has provided for; Likewise Nineteen Amendments to the Constitution, principally taken from New York, Massachusetts, and North Carolina, this Notable performance they have ordered printed and Sent to the Several Towns in the State for the Information of the people on proxing Day. This Cobweb Covering to their Iniquity, will be Set in a True Light, and that advantage which they expect to derive therefrom will be turned to their Injury.
I do my Self the pleasure to Inclose you the Newport Herald, which States the proceedings of the late Convention.
That we may find Deliverance, ere long from a Sett of Men whose great Object is to destroy good Government, is the ardent Wish of,
Dear Sir,
Your most obedt
hbl Servt
H Sherburne

[docket]
Colo H Sherburne
7 March 1790

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