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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 5

This note contained in document ADMS-06-05-02-0040
1. Pennsylvania, in the control of the Radicals or Constitutionalists, who drafted the state constitution, required voters and officeholders to take an oath to uphold the constitution, a requirement that was interpreted by many to mean accepting it in toto. Since many deemed the document too extreme in its departure from commonly accepted principles, the oath became a major source of political friction. It was not abolished at this time, but it was ignored successfully in some instances. In Philadelphia, for example, the first elections were held without oath-taking (Robert L. Brunhouse, The Counter Revolution in Pennsylvania, 1776–1790, Harrisburg, 1942, p. 16–17, 20).
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2016.