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[159] and brotherly union. To draft such a constitution required all the Numas, Lycurguses, and Solons of the land. There was, in the country, the wisdom, the learning, the patriotism, and the virtue necessary for the stupendous and all-important work; but attending circumstances were, in some respects, unpropitious. Differing opinions and opposite interests, state rights and state sovereignties already established, the disbanded soldiers sowing discontent and immorality among the citizens, the enormous public and private debts, the unwarrantably large importations of foreign merchandise, the draining of the specie from the country, and the fear of a political chaos,--all these fertile sources of alarm rendered the formation of a durable federal compact a gigantic labor. March 10, 1787, a convention of delegates from the several States was agreed upon, who should prepare a form of government which should “render the Federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of government and the preservation of the Union.” This convention was to meet in Philadelphia on the second Monday of May next. The General Court appoint Francis Dana, Elbridge Gerry, Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King, and Caleb Strong as Delegates from Massachusetts.

At this juncture, the late requisition of Congress, Aug. 2, 1786, for $3,777,062, calls on our Commonwealth to pay its proportion, which was $324,746. The murmurs of the people, under what they deemed excessive taxation, became loud and emphatic. There were those who were ready to rise in rebellion against the government, and throw the whole fabric of American liberty in ruins. This suicidal sophistry found its advocate in Shays, who put himself at the head of a military force of eleven hundred men. The Governor of Massachusetts ordered out four thousand four hundred troops of militia and four companies of artillery, who, under Gen. Lincoln, marched to Worcester, Jan. 22. General Shepherd took possession of the arsenal at Springfield, and, on the 25th of that month, encountered Shays, and soon scattered his adherents to the four winds, leaving upon the field three of them killed, and one wounded. This base attempt to involve the country in civil war being thus promptly and totally crushed, while it united anew the friends of freedom and order, put a final check to further insurrections. We have mentioned these facts to show the fidelity of our Medford patriots to the cause of their country; for no sooner had this

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