George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to the United States Senate and House of Representatives, 16 June 1790

To the United States Senate and House of Representatives

United States [New York] June 16th 1790.

Gentlemen of the senate and House of Representatives,

The Ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America by the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, was received by me last night, together with a letter to the President of the United States from the President of the Convention, I have directed my secretary to lay before you a copy of each.1

Go: Washington

LS, DNA: RG 46, First Congress, 1789–91, Records of Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages; copy, DNA: RG 233, First Congress, 1789–91, Records of Legislative Proceedings, Journals; LB, DLC:GW.

1GW enclosed a copy of the formal instrument of ratification agreed to by the Rhode Island convention on 29 May 1790 along with a copy of the letter of transmittal from Daniel Owen, president of the Rhode Island convention, dated 9 June 1790. A leader of Rhode Island’s Antifederalist country party, Owen apparently delayed drafting this letter and then delayed longer before sending it, in order to give the Rhode Island legislature time to appoint senators who would rush to New York to urge the continuance of revenue officers appointed by the state. On 9 June Daniel Owen, the president of the Rhode Island convention, sent GW a copy of the state’s instrument of ratification (see Rhode Island Ratifying Convention to GW, 9 June 1790). GW did not wait to receive the formal instrument of ratification before nominating candidates for the principal revenue offices in Rhode Island (see GW to the U.S. Senate, 14 June 1790).

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