Massachusetts Considers Ratifying the U. S. Constitution
The following web presentations of selections from the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) relate to the debate about the ratification of the U. S. Constitution in Massachusetts (including the District of Maine). These materials have been assembled for a workshop, Ratification! The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788.
Printed Versions of U. S. Constitution with Annotations by Elbridge Gerry
These copies of the first and second printings of the United States Constitution show the evolution of the text as it was amended during the debates in the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. The notes are in the hand of Elbridge Gerry, a delegate from Massachusetts to the convention who refused to sign the completed Constitution. His primary complaint was that there was no federal bill of rights.
Some Individuals Involved with the Ratification Debate
Here are a few portraits of some individuals from Massachusetts who were involved with the ratification debate in Massachusetts. Included are engravings of John Hancock and Sam Adams who were instrumental in saving the U. S. Constitution from likely defeat by recommending amendments to the First Congress.
Locations Relating to the Ratification Debate in Massachusetts
How did Massachusetts Towns Vote?
See two maps that have been enhanced with color-coding indicating how various towns voted during the debate about ratification.