A Grand Procession in Baltimore

Ratifying the Constitution did
Inspire a Grand Procession in the Honor of
Ratification, “The most interesting
Scene,” wrote the Journal, “in this world’s part ever
Exhibited,” for every Citizen
Who wished to live beneath a Government
Capable to protect his person and
His property, united with the Farmers,
The Merchants and Mechanics, to create
This morning scene at nine: Three thousand people
Gathered on Philpot’s Hill, directed by
Plunket and Moore, both captains: Seven guns
From Major Smith’s and Captain Furnival’s
Park of Artillery, to which Huzzahs
(Three in all) signaled the Procession had
Begun, and the whole line moved to Fells’-Point
And from there through the Town’s main Streets amidst
The Acclamations of a Number of
Spectators (“a prodigious number”) to
Federal-Hill, where they were greeted by
A Seven-Gun Salute, and they partook
Of Entertainment brought forth for the Purpose.

They sat down at a Table (circular,
Three thousand and six hundred feet, with Standards
And the Devices of their Orders, which
Were flown as usual and showed the Town
And shipping in the Harbour what looked like
A brilliant camp, and the Repast was set
Out gracefully, with local food alone.

With Mr. Peters’ first-rate Ale, they closed
With Thirteen Toasts and were accompanied
By Thirteen federal discharges. Toasts
Were to the People’s Majesty, the late
Convention, Congress, Seven States which had
Adopted the Federal Constitution,
A speedy Ratification by those
Remaining six, without Amendments, to
George Washington (Toast number six), to His
Most Christian Majesty and other Allies,
The Maryland Convention’s virtuous
Sixty-three, and Toast number nine was to
The Agriculture, Manufactories
And Commerce of America, while ten:
The Memory of those who had
Fallen while in America’s defense.
Number eleven: Massachusetts’ worthy
Minority; that in each Quarter of
The Globe the flag of America be
Respected, and as Number Thirteen Toast:
Continuance of unanimity
Among inhabitants of Baltimore-
Town; and, the Business of the Day complete,
The different classes of the Citizens
Returned in separate Divisions to
Their proper Stations and continued their
Celebrations in many rational
And lofty Pleasures ‘til each heart was full.

~Day Williams

See “A Grand Procession in Baltimore from the Debate on the Constitution,” Part 2, The Library of America, compiled by Bernard Bail