(AMERICAN REVOLUTION--1776.) A resolution to begin work on a new constitution for the state of Massachusetts. Letterpress broadside, 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches, signed in type by James Warren as speaker; 4-inch early tape repair on verso, minor foxing, cropped on 3 sides with partial loss to name at bottom. [Watertown, MA]: [Benjamin Edes], 17 September 1776
This resolution asked the towns of Massachusetts whether they would entrust its House of Representatives and Governor's Council with the drafting of a new constitution for the state, just a few months after the state's 1 May independence resolution and the 4 July Declaration of Independence. This led to the unsuccessful Massachusetts Constitutional Convention of 1778; a Constitution was passed the following year. It reads in part: "In the House of Representatives, September 17th, 1776. Resolved, that it be recommended to the Male Inhabitants of each Town . . . that they assemble as soon as they can in Town-Meeting ... and that in such Meeting, they consider and determine whether they will give their Consent that the present House of Representatives . . . together with the Council . . . should consult, agree on, and enact such a Constitution and Form of Government for this State . . . will most conduce to the Safety, Peace, and Happiness of this State, in all after Successions and Generations." This broadside was originally printed on a much larger sheet; several inches of blank paper have been excised from the bottom. It was printed with another resolution of the same date on a facing page, but that was intended to be cut away and issued separately. Bristol B4267; Ford, Massachusetts Broadsides 1997.
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