Fireworks of all Sorts

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Birch View of Second Street

The New York Public Library.  www.nypl.org

Fireworks of all Sorts

"APPARATUS. July the 4th, being the anniversary of AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE, will be erected, opposite the City Tavern in Second Street, the most elegant FIRE WORKS, That ever had been exhibited; not labor or expense will be spared to gratify the curiosity of the spectators; and to prevent accidents, there will be no rockets.

Tickets to be had at the City Tavern, at 7s 6d, each, without which, no person will be admitted to the aforesaid City Tavern."

- Advertisement in the Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser

Brearley (NJ), second by Paterson (NJ), moved that the President write New Hampshire ..."that the business depending before the Convention was of such a nature as to require the immediate attendance of the deputies of that state."

This motion indicated that the small states wanted reinforcements. Rutledge (VA), King (MA) and Wilson (PA) opposed the motion, and it lost, New York and New Jersey aye; 5 no; Maryland divided; Pennsylvania, Delaware and Georgia "not on the floor."

Fireworks developed in the convention as well. Debate on Ellsworth's motion for an equal vote in the Senate resumed with increasing acrimony.

Dr. Franklin proposed a compromise - an equal vote in the Senate for each state except on appropriations and tax bills, the vote on these to be proportioned to the money provided by each state. He was ignored.

Debate continued, with neither side yielding. Gunning Bedford (DE), always a hot head, then delivered perhaps the harshest speech of the debates thus far. Why not simply give Congress the power it needed? "The large states dare not dissolve the confederation. If they do, the small ones will find some foreign ally ..."

Ellsworth (CT) said he looked to the states for preservation of his rights and for happiness.

King (MA) then closed the day's debate by acknowledging that the states should be preserved and by reprimanding Bedford for courting relief from a foreign power.

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Sunday, July 1, 1787
A Low Point

HOME The 225th Anniversary of the Constitution Convention

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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