New Hampshire: The Ninth Pillar, Massachusetts Centinel, 25 June 1788

On 26 December 1787 Benjamin Russell, the printer of the Massachusetts Centinel, described Delaware’s ratification of the Constitution as “The FIRST PILLAR of a great FEDERAL SUPERSTRUCTURE raised.” After Connecticut ratified, Russell revived his metaphor on 16 January by printing an illustration under the heading “THE FEDERAL PILLARS.” It showed five erected and named pillars with a sixth labeled “MASS.” in the process of being raised. Russell updated his metaphor as more states accepted the Constitution. On 25 June, four days after New Hampshire ratified, thereby providing the requisite ninth state needed to put the Constitution into effect, Russell published the illustration and the announcement that appear below.

Other publishers and editors reproduced Russell’s metaphoric illustration. On 24 and 26 June, the New Hampshire Spy and New Hampshire Gazette, respectively, printed identical illustrations showing New Hampshire as the ninth raised pillar.



The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution Digital Edition, ed. John P. Kaminski, Gaspare J. Saladino, Richard Leffler, Charles H. Schoenleber and Margaret A. Hogan. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009. [accessed 14 Nov 2012]
Original source: Commentaries on the Constitution, Volume XVIII: Commentaries on the Constitution, No. 6\