University of Wisconsin–Madison

The Union Society of Richmond Considers the Constitution

The Union Society, also known as the Political Society, generally met weekly to debate a wide variety of topics. The society was composed of many of the leading figures in lower parts of Virginia. On 17 November the Richmond Virginia Gazette and Independent Chronicle published a notice that several questions would be discussed by the Union Society at a meeting to be held on Wednesday evening, 21 November, beginning “precisely at six o’clock.” The questions to be considered were the “Fœderal Government lately recommended by the Convention,” and some agricultural matters.

No minutes exist for the Society’s meetings, but letters printed below indicate that the Society met on 21 and 28 November, and 5 and 13 December. Among those attending, Patrick Henry spoke against the Constitution; George Nicholas and probably John Harvie in support. On 13 December the Society voted in favor of the Constitution by a vote of 128 to 15.