NC to George Washington: Don’t despair, Your Excellency

“During the mid-1780s, [George] Washington was convinced that time running out for the United States. As if he needed instruction on how to meet the challenge, the leaders of North Carolina who had dragged their feet on ratification of the Constitution reminded Washington of how hard it was to bring the critics and the doubters around to supporting the new government.

“In a letter sent to Washington in May 1789, the governor and council observed, ‘Your Excellency will consider (however others may forget) how extremely difficult it is to unite all the People of a great Country in one common sentiment upon almost any political subject, much less a new form of Government materially different from one they have been accustomed to. ‘

“They were optimistic. After all, ‘We sincerely believe that America is the only country in the world where such a deliberate change of Government could take place under any circumstances whatever.’

“Washington hoped the North Carolinians were right….”

— From “George Washington’s Journey: The President Forges a New Nation” by T.H. Breen (2016)

 

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