Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: Town Records At Salem / The Federal Constitution

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Town Records At Salem

February 4, 1788.-Under this date is a singular entry in the town records, not to be explained by any known act of the town previously: "Christopher Toppan Esq. Is appointed in behalf of this town to apply for & receive [the Records] from the town Clerk of Salem or any other persons who may have the ancient Records belonging to this town in keeping in order that they may be Deposited with the Clerk of this town." A hundred years earlier, the records were carried away for a time, for safe keeping; but why they were now out of the state, is not evident.

At the same meeting, Christopher Toppan was also chosen delegate " to sit in convention to be holden at Exeter the second Wednesday of February instant."

The Federal Constitution

This was the convention of delegates from the various towns, called to consider and act upon the adoption of the Federal Constitution, which had already been ratified by eight states, and required the concurrence of one more. The decision of New Hampshire was therefore awaited with much solicitude.

After a ten days' session in Exeter, the convention adjourned to meet at Concord in June. Debate was then continued till the 21st, when the decisive vote was taken. The painful silence of intense anxiety prevailed during the count; but the vote had passed-the Constitution was safe.

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