A Lively Experiment

Notes on collections at the RIHS

Faith & Freedom Friday: The Great American Family

RIHS G1157 Broadsides 1790

RIHS G1157 Broadsides 1790

On May 29, 1790, Rhode Island finally voted to ratify the new United States constitution. This broadside, printed on May 31 of the same year by John Carter, served to notify Providence residents of this auspicious news.

It includes the “inserted Bill of Rights, as proposed by the Convention at their Session at South Kingstown, and published in the Providence Gazette of March 13.”

On May 30, the Providence delegates returned home from Newport to be “welcomed by a Discharge of Thirteen Cannon. Some further Demonstrations of Joy [were] expected to take Place.”

The copy held by the RIHS is one of only three known copies of this broadside. Aside from the rarity of this document, it is difficult to imagine a legislative act that would elicit the expansive joy expressed by the discharge of thirteen cannons.


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