Alexander Hamilton Papers

Campaign Broadside, 12 April 1788

Campaign Broadside1

NEW-YORK, 12th of April, 1788.

Friends and Countrymen

From a sincere Attachment to yourselves, and a Regard to our mutual Interest, we are induced to apprize you of our Opinions on a Subject, which we view as of the most essential Consequence to both.

YOUR Countrymen in New-York, in Union of Sentiment with the true Friends of America, have long lamented the want of a FIRM, NATIONAL GOVERNMENT; without which they consider Property as insecure, and Liberty without a substantial Basis.

IN Order to avert the Calamities incident to such a Situation, and to rescue us from one so truly Dangerous, a respectable Body of the most tried Patriots of America have digested, and submitted to the PEOPLE, a Plan of Government, which we have good reason to believe, if accepted, will deliver this Country from the Misfortunes with which it is now threatened.

FROM the fullest Persuasion, that it will be ADVISEABLE for the People of the State of New-York to join in supporting a Federal Government for the United States—and from the most entire Conviction that the new Constitution is well calculated to preserve all the Rights and Privileges which FREEMEN hold dear, we cannot refrain from recommending it to your most serious Consideration—we had almost said to your hearty support. We conceive it more especially our Duty to do so, at this Time, because we have the best Authority to believe, that the Influence of some Characters, whose political conduct we do not approve, is employed to engage your Suffrages at the ensuing Election, in supporting a Cause which we believe to be hostile to the Happiness of this Country: We have Reason to suspect also, that our Sentiments on this Subject have been industriously misrepresented to you; a Circumstance which first suggested the Propriety of the present Address. We assure you, Friends and Countrymen, that the SCOTSMEN of this City, with very few Exceptions, are friendly to the New Plan of Government.

WE beg you to believe that whilst we are thus anxious to communicate to you our Sentiments on this important subject, we by no means aim at any improper Influence over your Opinions—we know and feel that we are addressing Freemen—we therefore intreat you, maturely to reflect before you give your Votes, where your Confidence may most sagely be reposed: whether in men who it is to be feared may have an Interest in artfully misrepresenting Facts, or in such whose political Conduct is directed to the Public Good.

WE trust that before the ensuing Election, you will weigh very seriously, the Counsel which we now offer to you: be persuaded, that it has proceeded from the best Intentions, and flows from the best Judgement, of

Your affectionate Countrymen,2

Printed document, New-York Historical Society, New York City.

1This broadside was an appeal to the “Scotsmen” of New York City to elect Federalists to the state’s Ratifying Convention.

2At the end of this document are printed the names of fifty-five New York City residents, including that of H. Although most of the names indicate that the sponsors of this broadside were of Scottish origin, the list includes two Van Cortlandts.

Following the names of New York City residents is the following statement:

“We, the Subscribers, of the City of Albany, having with Pleasure, perused the above Address, signed by a worthy and respectable Number of our Countrymen of the City of New York …, we do fully agree with them in Sentiment, and as such would wish to recommend the same to all our Friends and Countrymen, who may attend the ensuing Election. Albany, 21st April, 1788.”

This statement is followed by the names of fifteen residents of Albany.

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