THIS dissertation embodies the results of investigations begun in the American History Seminary of Cornell University, under the guidance of Professor Moses Coit Tyler, and completed in the School of Political Science of Columbia University, under Professor Herbert L. Osgood. The work was undertaken in order to ascertain the facts of Rhode Island's action from 1765 to 1790, and, if possible, to explain the fact that Rhode Island so long delayed her ratification of the Federal Constitution. The subject was suggested by reading an address by Mr. Justice Horatio Rogers of the Supreme Bench of Rhode Island, on "Rhode Island and the Federal Constitution."
The materials for such a study are in some directions scanty. The printed sources used were largely found in the libraries of Cornell and Columbia Universities. The manuscript sources were found in the archives of the State of Rhode Island, preserved in the State House at Providence, and in the collection of the Rhode Island Historical Society. Volumes of early laws were consulted at the Lenox Library, New York City. Newspaper files which were of constant assistance were found at the cabinet of the Rhode Island Historical Society, and at the rooms of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass. Citations have been made of all authorities employed. Those to manuscripts are frequently unsatisfactory, as many, especially in the state archives, are imperfectly paged.
Many thanks are due to Professor Moses Coit Tyler for