Page from Journal of William Maclay, April 30, 1789.
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Page from Journal of William Maclay, April 30, 1789, [original journal].

Credit: Library of Congress. Manuscript Division. The Papers of William Maclay.

Along with Robert Morris, William Maclay was one of the first two U.S. senators from Pennsylvania. Between 1789 and 1791, Maclay kept a daily journal remarkable both for its irreverence and insight into the new American government's early partisan debates. Noting the regional differences evident to him in the U.S. Senate, Maclay opined that "we have really more republican plainness and sincere openness of behavior in Pennsylvania than in any other place I have ever been. I was impressed with a different opinion until I have had full opportunity of observing the gentlemen of New England, and sorry indeed am I to say it, but no people in the Union dwell more on trivial distinctions and matters of mere form."

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