New Spotlight on a Constitutional Street Brawl

Report of a fight in Albany between Federalists and anti-Federalists, Freeman's Journal, July 16, 1788 (The Gilder Lehrman Collection, GLC00259.01, p1)This month, the Institute is spotlighting a newspaper article describing a violent street brawl between Federalists and Anti-Federalists. 

The New York State ratifying convention began on June 16, 1788. In July 1788, Federalists marched through Albany, New York, and were blocked by a group of anti-Federalists. According to this newspaper report, “a general battle took place, with swords, bayonets, clubs, stones, &c. which lasted for some time; both parties fighting with the greatest rage, and determined obstinacy, till at last the antifederalists being overpowered by numbers gave way and retreated.”

Each month, our curatorial staff selects a new document to feature in our Spotlight on Primary Sources series. We provide a short introduction, an image, a transcript, and questions for discussion to make these resources classroom ready. You can find a list of our most recent Spotlights, including a Japanese account of the attack on Pearl Harbor, here.