Today in 1789, North Carolina ratified the Constitution, becoming the 12th state to do so. Prior to this, the state had held a first convention in Hillsborough that decided not to ratify, but left open the possibility of doing so in the future.
Prior to North Carolina’s decision to ratify, and while North Carolina was an independent republic, Hugh Williamson served as North Carolina’s ambassador to the new United States government in Philadelphia.
While he was there, Williamson actively encouraged the government to amend the Constitution so that it would be suitable to his own state’s interests. He made it known that the state remained fearful that an “energetic government” would trample upon the state’s sovereignty and the individual liberty of its inhabitants. While making this clear, the two republics established a cordial, well-mannered relationship.
During this time, the sovereignty of North Carolina was not threatened by the United States, and the two governments remained amiable.
Peace, friendship, and a mutual understanding helped pave the way for North Carolina’s eventual ratification.