On November 20, 1787, the fourth day of the Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention, before any debates had taken place, it was "Ordered, That the doors of the Convention be left open during the session" on motion of Thomas McKean, seconded by James Smilie (330). On November 21, the Pennsylvania Herald wrote:
It has been doubted, says a correspondent, whether the doors of the ensuing Convention will be kept open; but from the very constitution of that body, it cannot be otherwise; for the plan of the federal government is to be submitted to the people, yet as it would be highly inconvenient, if not impracticable, to lay it before the citizens at large, it is agreed to submit it to a part for the whole. Whatever therefore is transacted by the Convention is, in fact, transacted by the people. and to exclude them from hearing what passes is in effect excluding them from a share in their own act. Besides this reason, it will doubtless be remembered that the secret proceedings of the Federal Convention, by preventing its members from a knowledge of the sentiments of the people, which might have guided their decisions, has probably been the source of all the opposition that is now made to the plan of government devised by that body. (qtd. in 331, note 4)
So were the doors actually left open for the whole convention, or just for the November 20 session?
Jensen, Merrill, ed. The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution. Vol. 2. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1976. Print.