When the Grand Convention concluded, Benjamin Franklin was asked by a "lady" if we had a "republic or a monarchy." Franklin reportedly quipped, "A republic, if you can keep it."
That there were committed monarchists at the Convention is something most know; however, it is still interesting to read Thomas Jefferson's accounting of the people, procedures, and tactics of the even. Enjoy!
August Glen-James, editor
These people believed it impossible the states should ever agree on a government, as this must include the impost and all the other powers which the states had a thousand times refused to the general authority. They therefore let the proposed convention go on, not doubting its failure, & confiding that on its failure would be a still more favorable moment for their enterprise.
1797. Dec. 26.—
Langdon tells me that at the 2d election of Pr. & V. P. of US. when there was a considerable vote given to Clinton in opposition to Mr. Adams, he took occasion to remark it in conversation in the Senate chamber with Mr. A. who gritting his teeth said “Damn ‘em Damn ‘em Damn ‘em you see that an elective government will not do.” He also tells me that Mr. A. in a late conversation said “Republicanism must be disgraced, Sir.”
Harper lately in a large company was saying that the best thing the friends of the French could do was to pray for the restoration of their monarch. Then says a bystander “the best thing we could do I suppose would be to pray for the establishment of a monarch in the U S.” “Our people says Harper are not yet ripe for it, but it is the best thing we can come to & we shall come to it.” Something like this was said in the presence of Findlay. [Jefferson added a footnote here thusly: “1798. Mar. He now denies it in the public papers tho it can be proved by several members." –T. J.]
Tenche Coxe tells me that a little before Hamilton went out of office, or just as he was going out, taking with him his last conversation, and among other things, on the subject of their differences, “for my part, says he, I avow myself a Monarchist; I have no objection to a trial being made of this thing of a republic, but &c.”
1798. Jan. 5.—
I receive a very remarkable fact indeed in our history from Baldwin & Skinner. Before the establishment of our present government a very extensive combination had taken place in N. York & the Eastern states among that description of people who were partly monarchical in principle or frightened with Shays’ rebellion & the impotence of the old Congress. Delegates in different places had actually had consultations on the subject of seizing on the powers of a government & establishing them by force, had corresponded with one another, and had sent a deputy to Genl. Washington to solicit his co-operation. He calculated too well to join them. The new Convention was in the meantime proposed by Virginia & appointed. These people believed it impossible the states should ever agree on a government, as this must include the impost and all the other powers which the states had a thousand times refused to the general authority. They therefore let the proposed convention go on, not doubting its failure, & confiding that on its failure would be a still more favorable moment for their enterprise. They therefore wished it to fail, & especially when Hamilton their leader brought forward his plan of government, failed entirely in carrying it & retired in disgust from the Convention. His associates then took every method to prevent any form of government being agreed to. But the well intentioned never ceased trying first one thing then another till they could get something agreed to. The final passage & adoption of the constitution completely defeated the views of the combination, and saved us from an attempt to establish a government over us by force. This fact throws a blaze of light on the conduct of several members from N. Y. & the Eastern states in the Convention of Annapolis & the grand convention. At that of Annapolis several Eastern members most vehemently opposed Madison’s proposition for a more general convention with more general powers. They wished things to get more & more into confusion to justify the violent measure they proposed. The idea of establishing a government by reasoning & agreement they publicly ridiculed as an Utopian project, visionary & unexampled.
Mar. 11 
In conversation with Baldwin & Brown of Kentucky, Brown says that in a private company once consisting of Hamilton, King, Madison, himself & someone else making a fifth, speaking of the “federal government” “Oh! Says Hamilton “say the federal monarchy; let us call things by their right manes, for a monarchy it is.” [punctuation and italics in original]
Ford, Paul Leicester, ed. The Works of Thomas Jefferson. Vol. I. The Knickerbocker Press, New York and London, 1904. PP. 337-343.