New Jersey Convention

December 18, 1787

Convention Proceedings, Tuesday, 11 December
John Fell, Peter Zabriskie, Cornelius Hennion, John Neilson, John Beatty, Benjamin Manning, Samuel Breese, William Crawford, John Witherspoon, Jacob R. Hardenbergh, Frederick Frelinghuysen, Thomas Reynolds, George Anderson, Joshua M. Wallace, Richard Howell, Andrew Hunter, Benjamin Whitall, Jesse Hand, Jeremiah Eldredge, Matthew Whillden, John Stevens, David Brearley, Joshua Corshon, William Windes, William Woodhull, John J. Faesch, David Potter, Jonathan Bowen, Eli Elmer, Robert Ogden, and Thomas Anderson, being assembled in pursuance of the resolution of the legislature of this state, unanimously passed at Trenton, October 29, 1787, they proceeded to appoint Mr. Beatty, Mr. Frelinghuysen, and Mr. Hand, a committee to receive and examine the certificates of the election of the members of this Convention and to report on the same.

Adjourned till tomorrow morning ten o’clock.

 

Convention Proceedings, Wednesday, 12 December

The Convention met pursuant to adjournment. Present as before, together with John Chetwood, Samuel Hay, and David Crane, delegates from the county of Essex; Whitten Cripps and Edmund Wetherby, two of the delegates from the county of Salem; and Robert Hoops, one of the delegates from the county of Sussex,

Mr. Beatty, from the committee, reported, that the following persons, viz., John Fell, Peter Zabriskie, Cornelius Hennion, John Chetwood, Samuel Hay, Davide Crane, John Neilson, John Beatty, Benjamin Manning, Samuel Breese, William Crawford, John Witherspoon, Jacob R. Hardenbergh, Frederick Frelinghuysen, Thomas Reynolds, Geoge Anderson, Joshua M. Wallace, Richard Howell, Andrew Hunter, Benjamin Whitall, Whitten Cripps, Edmund Wetherby, Jesse Hand, Jeremiah Eldredge, Matthew Whillden John Stevens, Davide Brearley, Joshua Corshon, William Windes, William Woodhull, John J. Faesch, David Potter, Jonathan Bowen, Eli Elmer, Robert Ogden, Thomas Anderson, and Robert Hoops have been duly elected, agreeably to the resolution of the legislature passed on the 29th of October last.

To which report the Convention agreed.

Elisha Lawrence, one of the delegates from the country of Monmouth, produced a certificate of his being duly elected; which being read and approved, he took his seat in Convention.

The Convention proceeded to the choice of a president, by ballot, when the Honorable John Stevens, Esquire, was elected.

The Convention then proceeded to the choice of a secretary, also by ballot, when Samuel—Witham Stockton, Esquire, was elected.

William Rogers was appointed doorkeeper.

Mr. Brearley, Mr. Hardenbergh, and Mr. Neilson were appointed a committee to draw up and report rules for the government of this Convention during their sitting.

The Convention adjourned till tomorrow morning ten o’clock.

 

Convention Proceedings, Thursday, 13 December

The Convention met agreeably to adjournment. Present as before.

On motion, Resolved, That the Reverend Mr. [James Francis] Armstrong be requested to open the business of the Convention every morning during their sitting with prayers.

The committee appointed yesterday, to form rules for the government of this Convention, made their report; which, being considered and amended, was agreed to as follows:

Rules for conducting business in the Convention of New Jersey.

I. The Convention shall be opened every morning with prayers.

II. When the President assumes the chair, the members shall take their seats.

III. The Minutes of the preceding day shall be read, and, if necessary, mayb ne corrected.

IV. Every petition, memorial, letter, or other thing of the like kind, read in the Convention, shall be deemed as lying on the table for further consideration, unless any special order be moved thereon.

V. A motion made and seconded shall be repeated by the President; a motion shall b reduced to writing if the President of any two members require it; a motion may be withdrawn by the member making it before any decision is had thereon.

VI. A motion of postponement of amendment shall always be in order and considered as the previous question.

VII. If a question under debate contains several points, any member may have it divided.

VIII. No member speaking shall be interrupted but by a call to order by the President, or by a member through the President.

IX. No member shall be referred to in debate by name.

X. Every member, when he chooses to speak, shall rise and address the President; when two members chance to rise at the same time, the President shall name the person who is to speak first.

XI. Every member shall conduct himself with decency and decorum. The President himself, or by request, may call to order any member who shall transgress the rules; if the disorder be continued or repeated, the President may refer to him by name; the Convention may then examine and censure the member’s conduct, he being allowed to extenuate or justify himself.

XII. Every member shall be in his place at the time the Convention stands adjourned to or within half an hour thereafter.

XIII. No member shall speak more than once in a debate until every member who chooses shall have spoken on the same.

XIV. The yeas and nays may be called and entered on the Minutes when any two member require it.

XV. A motion to adjourn may be made at any time and shall always be in order, and the question thereon shall be put without any debate.

On motion, Resolved, That the act of the legislature of this state, passed at Trenton, November 1, 1787, giving authority for the people thereof, by their delegates, to meet in Convention, to deliberate upon, and, if approved of by them, to ratify the Constitution for the United States, proposed by the General Convention held at Philadelphia, be read; whereupon the same was ready by the secretary.

On motion, Resolved, That the Constitution for the United States of America, agreed to in Convention at Philadelphia, September 17th, 1787, be also read; whereupon the same was read accordingly.

On motion, Resolved, That the usual time of the meeting of the Convention be at ten o’clock in the morning, and of adjournment at three o’clock in the afternoon.

On motion, Resolved, That the Federal Constitution be now read by sections, and, upon each section’s being read, every member do make his observations on the same, if any he hath to make; that, after debating on such section, the question be taken whether any further debate be thereon had; and, if the said question be determined in the negative, that the Convention dot hen proceed in like manner to the next section until the whole be gone through; upon which the general question shall be take, “Whether this Convention, in the name and in behalf of the people of this state, do ratify and confirm the said Constitution?”

The Convention adjourned till tomorrow morning ten o’clock.

 

Convention Proceedings, Friday, 14 December

The Convention met. Present as before.

On motion, Ordered, That the doors of this Convention be open during the sitting.

The Convention, in pursuance of their resolution of yesterday, proceeded to consider and deliberate upon the proposed Federal Constitution by sections.

The Convention adjourned till tomorrow morning ten o’clock.

 

Convention Proceedings, Saturday, 15 December

The Convention met. Present as before.

The Convention proceeded further to consider and deliberate upon the before mentioned Constitution by sections.

The Convention adjourned to meet again in Monday morning next at ten o’clock.

 

Convention Proceedings, Monday, 17 December

The Convention met. Present as before.

A petition from Messrs. [Frederick C.] Quequelle and [George M.] Wilson, printers in Trenton, praying to be appointed by the Convention to print their proceedings, was presented and read.

The Convention proceeded further to consider and deliberate upon the said Constitution by sections; and having gone through the same,

On motion, Resolved, That the said Constitution be again read tomorrow morning.

The Convention adjourned till tomorrow morning ten o’clock.

Convention Proceedings, Tuesday, A.M., 18 December

 

The Convention met. Present as before.

Agreeably to the resolution of yesterday, the Federal Constitution was again read; and, after debating thereon, the general question, viz., “Whether this Convention, in the name and in behalf of the people of this state, do ratify and confirm the said Constitution?” was put; which was determined in the affirmative unanimously.

On motion, Resolved, That Mr. Brearley, Mr. Witherspoon, Mr. Neilson, Mr. Beatty, and Mr. Hunter be a committee for drawing up the Form of the Ratification of the proposed Constitution, on the part of this state.

On motion, Resolved, That Mr. Bowen and Mr. Whillden be committee for the purpose of reporting a state of the expenses attending the business of this Convention.

The Convention adjourned to six o’clock this evening.

 

Convention Proceedings, Tuesday, P.M., 18 December

The Convention met. Present as before.

Mr. Brearly, from the committee appointed for drawing up the Form of the Ratification, reported, that they had, agreeably to the order of the Convention, drawn up a Form, which, being read and amended, was agreed to as follows:

[See The New Jersey Form of Ratification, 18 December, immediately below.]

On motion, Resolved, That the secretary be directed to cause two copies of the Federal Constitution, together with the Form of the Ratification, etc. as agreed to, engrossed on parchment, in a neat and correct manner, to be laid before the Convention tomorrow morning, for the purpose of signature; one for the Congress of the United States, and the other to be deposited among the archives of this state.

The Convention adjourned till tomorrow morning ten o’clock.

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