The proceedings of the 1787 Constitutional Convention were shrouded in secrecy. On the last day of deliberations, as he left Independence Hall, Ben Franklin was approached by a curious woman. The conversation went as follows:
"Well, Doctor, what have we got -- a Republic or a Monarchy?"
Frankliln replied: "A Republic . . . if you can keep it."
- from the memoirs of Dr. James McHenry, a Maryland delagate