The First Salvo in the Ratification Debates: James Wilson’s State House Speech

Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by Bob Fiedler

“On September 17, 1787, the Philadelphia Convention, finished with drafting the instrument that would come to be the U.S. Constitution, sent it to the Confederation Congress to be presented to the states. The Anti-Federalists wasted no time in denouncing the document. The first stand-alone counterattack against the Anti-Federalists took place in Philadelphia on October 6, 1787, when James Wilson, who had been a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention, addressed ‘a very large crowd of people’ outside the State House where the Constitution had been signed three weeks earlier. In fact, he didn’t spend much time explaining or elucidating the proposed system of government created by the document but immediately moved on to strike back at the arguments made against the proposed Constitution.” (06/04/22)