Today, the Pennsylvania State Quarter tells the story, in part, of their approval of the constitution 227 years ago.
On January 5, 1788, the Providence Gazette and Country Journal published the following article about Pennsylvania’s ratification of the Constitution.
On Thursday, the 12th instant, the Convention, accompanied by his Excellency the President, the Vice-President, and the members of the Supreme Executive Council, also by several members of Congress, the faculty of the university, the magistrates and militia officers of the city, went in procession to the court-house, where the ratification of the Constitution of the United States was read amidst the acclamations of a great concourse of citizens.
A detachment of militia train of artillery (in uniform) fired a federal salute, and the bells of Christ Church were run on this joyful occasion; after this the Convention returned to the state-house, and subscribed the two copies of ratification.
At three o’clock they met and dined with the members of the Supreme Executive Council, several members of Congress, and a number of citizens, at Mr. Epple’s tavern; where the remainder of the day was spent in mutual congratulations upon the happy prospect of enjoying, once more, order, justice, and good government, in the United States.
The following is a list of the toasts given on the occasion:
The People of the United States.
The President and Members of the late Convention of the United States.
The President of the State of Pennsylvania.
May the citizens of America display as much wisdom in adopting the proposed Constitution, to preserve their liberties, as they have shewn fortitude in defending them.
May order and justice be the pillars of the American Temple of Liberty
May the agriculture, manufactures and commerce, of the United States, speedily flourish under the new Constitution.
The virtuous minority of Rhode Island.
The powers of Europe in alliance with the United States.
May the flame, kindled on the Alter of Liberty, in America, lead the patriots of the world to a knowledge of their rights, and to the means of recovering them.
The memory of the heroes who have sacrificed their lives in defence of the liberties of America.
May America diffuse over Europe a greater portion of political light, than she has borrowed from her.
Peace and free Governments to all the nations in the world.
RATIFICATION of the Federal Constitution by the Convention of Pennsylvania.
In the Name of the People of Pennsylvania.
Be it known unto all men—That we, the Delegates of the People of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in General Convention assembled, have assented to and ratified, and by these presents do, in the name and by the authority of the same people, and for ourselves, assent to and ratify the foregoing Constitution for the United States of America.
Done in Convention, the 12th day of December in the year 1787, and of the Independence of the United States of America the twelfth. In witness whereof, etc.
The following is the order of procession, observed at the Proclamation of the Ratification, by the Convention of Pennsylvania, of the proposed plan of Government for the United States.
The Pennsylvania State Quarter shows against a background of Philadelphia sites circa 1855.