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Elliot’s Debates

Index to Volume 1

Year
Preface to the First Edition
Preface to the Second Edition
Notices of this Work
FEDERAL CONSTITUTION
Digest of the Constitution
Ante-Revolutionary History
1606.
1629.
1628.
1629.
1622.
1638.
1643.
1632.
1664.
1664.
1664.
1682.
1663.
1732.
      Virginia
Plymouth Colonies
Massachusetts
New Hampshire
Maine
Connecticut
Rhode Island
Maryland
New York
New Jersey
Pennsylvania
Delaware
North and South Carolina
Georgia
1774.
1776.
Gradual Approaches towards Independence
First Congress of Delegates
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
1777. Notes on Political Rights and Sovereignty
Occurrences Incident to Act of Confederation
Act of Confederation
Official Letter Accompanying Act of Confederation
Debate on the Articles of Confederation
Mr. Chase (I, II)
Mr. John Adams (I, II)
Mr. Harrison (I)
Mr. Wilson (I, II)
Dr. Witherspoon (I, II)
Dr. Franklin (I)
Dr. Rush (I)
Mr. Hopkins (I)
1778. ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION
Ratification
1778. Amendments to Articles of Confederation
Maryland
Massachusetts Bay
Rhode Island
Connecticut
New Jersey
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
1783.1782.
1784.
1786.
1785.
1786.
Proceedings which led to the Adoption of the Federal Constitution
Address to the States by Congress
Reply to Rhode Island Objections touching Import Duties. Dec. 16
Powers of Congress to regulate Commerce. April 30
Report of the States on the Regulation of Commerce. Mar. 3
Madison’s Resolution for empowering Congress to regulate Trade. Nov. 30
Proposition of the General Assembly of Virginia. Jan 21
(Annapolis Convention.) Proceedings of the Commissioners to remedy Defects of the Federal Government. Sept. 11
Report of Proceedings. Feb. 21
1787. FEDERAL CONVENTION, (2nd Monday in May, but the 25th was the day on which a sufficient number appeared,)
List of the Members who signed, (39.) Who never attended, (10.) Those who attended, but did not sign the Constitution, (16.) Total, 65
Credentials
New Hampshire, dated June 27
Massachusetts, April 6
Connecticut, May 2nd, Thursday
New York, Feb. 28
New Jersey, Nov. 23
Pennsylvania, March 28
Delaware, Feb. 3
Maryland, March 26
Virginia, May 2
North Carolina, April 3
South Carolina, April 10
Georgia, April 17
1787.
May 14.28-29.

30.
31.

JOURNAL OF THE FEDERAL CONVENTION:—
List of Members
Rules
Mr. Edmund Randolph’s Fifteen Propositions
Mr. Charles Pinckney’s Draft of a Federal Constitution
Mr. Randolph’s Propositions considered in Committee
Right of Suggrage further considered; Legislative Rights
June 1.
2.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9, 11.
12.
13.
14, 15.
16, 18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.
Executive Powers; Duties
Term of Service, Choice, Salary, limited Period, Ineligibility, Impeachment
Negative or Veto
National Judiciary; New States
Inferior Tribunals; Negative on State Laws
Elections by District
Representative Classes
Executive Suffrage; Suffrage; Ratio; Vote; Republican Constitution; Amendments
Term of Service; Salary
Jurisdiction of the Supreme Tribunal; Money Bills
Mr. Patterson’s Eleven Propositions
Mr. P.’s Propositions considered; Revisal of Confederation; Col. Hamilton’s Plan of Government, in Eleven Propositions
Mr. Patterson’s Propositions postponed; Mr. Randolph’s Nineteen Resolutions submitted, as altered, amended, and agreed to
Legislative, Judiciary, and Executive
Legislature; two Branches
Congressional Compensation; Age
Congressional Compensation
Second Branch chosen by the Legislatures; Service; Age,30 Years
Biennial Term; Pay; Eligibility, Office holding; Ineligibility; Originating Acts
Right of Suffrage in the First Branch, according to the Confederation
Right of suffrage in First or Second Branch
Right of Suffrage; equal Vote in the Senate
New Hampshire Delegates requested to attend; equal Vote
July 2.
5.6.
7.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.16.
17.

18.
19.
20.
21.
23.
24.
25.
26.

Equal Vote in the Second Branch; Suffrage
Report on Ratio of Representation; Money Bills to originate in the First Branch
Note. Census and Quotas in 1785
Reference and Votes; Money Bills not to be altered in the Second Branch; Appropriations; First Branch
Use of the Philadelphia Library offered to the Convention; Equal Vote
Apportionment of Representatives (56); Census for the Population and Wealth
Apportionment for; Propositions to alter the Number of Representatives in New Hampshire, North and South Carolina, and Georgia
Census; the “Three fifths of the Inhabitants of other Descriptions,” & c.
Taxation according to Representation and the “Three fifths;” Census
Assessment on Inhabitants; Census, Division of States hereafter
Representatives hereafter not to exceed the Number of the original Thirteen States; Second Branch; Proposal to have thirty-six Members
Sixty-five Representatives proposed; Money Bills
Rights of the States to be protected; Negative on Laws, Acts and Treaties the supreme Law; Electors, teir Appointment by the Legislture; Term
National Judiciary; Nomination
National Executive; Electors’ Term
Supreme Executive; Elections; Qualifications; Removable; Impeachment
Pay; Negative on Acts; Nomination and Appointment of Judges
Amendments; Oath to support the Constitution, Representation; vote per Capita; Reference of Proceedings; one from each State
Supreme Executive appointed by State Electors
Supreme Executive, six Years in any twelve; Copies of Proceedings to be furnished by each member
National Executive; Seven Years proposed; to be ineligible second Time; Qualification of landed Property; Pensioners disqualified, or Defaulters; Seat of Government not to be at the Seat of a State Government
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF DETAIL ON THE TWENTY-THREE RESOLUTIONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF REPORTING A CONSTITUTION
Aug. 6.7.
8.
9.
10.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
20.
21.

22.
23.
24.
25.
27.
28.
29.
30.
31.

Report delivered, and Copies furnished
DRAFT OF A CONSTITUTION BY THE COMMITTEE OF FIVE, (debated till September 12)
Preamble, considered in detail; Negative; Time of Meeting
Residence; Taxation; Representation
Vacancies; Resignations to be supplied by the Legislature; Qualifications
Quorum; Attendance; Concurrence; Dissent
Each House to keep a Journal and publish; Adjournment, not more than three Days
Citizenship; Limitation; Money Bills
Office prohibited ; Pay, per Diem, $5; Mileage, same
Bills, originating
Approval of Orders; State Exports
Piracies; Counterfeiting; Rebellion
Additional Powers to be vested, defined; Debts to be assumed
Propositions; Privileges, referred to a Committee of Five; Council of State to assist the President; Organization of the Departments; Treason defined
Livingston’s Report on “the Debts;” Requisitions
Rutledge’s Report on sundry Amendments
Report of Committee of Eleven; Militia; Offices; Treaties
Slaves, limiting their Importation; Choice of President
Debts; Slaves; Laws; Duties; Ports; Taxes
Reprieves; Removal; Oath; Slavery; Controversies; Judiciary
Commerce; Crimes; Bills; ex post facto Laws; Misdemeanors
Bankruptcies; Fugitive Slaves; New States
New States; Western Claims; needful Rules and Regulations; Religious Test
Representation; Constitution to be submitted to State Conventions; Presidency
Sept 3.
4.
5 to 11.
12.13.
14.
15.
17.
Records; Bankruptcies; Office
Partial Report of the Committee of Eleven
Brearly’s Report further considered
PLAN OF THE CONSTITUTION, by the Committee of Revision of Five Members, appointed on the 8th of September to revise the Style
Letter to Congress on submitting the Constitution
Johnson’s Resolutions for Ratification, and putting the Constitution into Operation
Questions and Votes
Madison’s Minutes, completing the Journal; Votes
Constitution engrossed and signed; Representative Clause reconsidered; Journal subject to the Order of Congress
SUPPLEMENT.—Reception of the Report of the Convention by Congress
RATIFICATIONS, showing the Order in which the Thirteen States of the old Confederation adopted the Federal Constitution
1. Delaware, Dec. 12, 1787
2. Pennsylvania, Dec. 12, 1787
3. New Jersey, Dec. 18, 1787
4. Connecticut, Jan. 9, 1788
5. Massachusetts, Feb. 6, 1788
6. Georgia, Jan. 2, 1788
7. Maryland, April 2, 1788
8. South Carolina, May 23, 1788
9. New Hampshire, June 21, 1788
10. Virginia, June 26, 1788
11. New York, July 26, 1788
12. North Carolina, Nov. 21, 1789
13. Rhode Island, June 16, 179014. Vermont, Oct. 27, 1790
1789. March 4. AMENDMENTS proposed at the First Congress.
Returns of the Decisions of the States thereon
AMENDMENTS—
Third Congress, Second Session
Fourth Congress, First Session
Fifth Congress, Second Session
Eighth Congress, First Session
LUTHER MARTIN’S LETTER, disclosing the Proceedings of the Federal Convention, addressed to the Legislature of Maryland
ROBERT YATES’S MINUTES of the Secret Debates of the Federal Convention, from May 25 to June 5
Yates and Lansing’s Letter to the Governor of New York, furnishing their Reasons for not subscribing to the Constitution
Edmund Randolph’s Letter to the Speaker of the House of Delegates, Virginia, containing his Reasons for not subscribing to the Federal Constitution
Sherman and Ellsworth to the Governor of Connecticut
Elbridge Gerry’s Reasons for not signing the Federal Constitution
George Mason’s Objections to the Federal Constitution, (a Virginia Delegate.)
John Jay’s Address on the proposed Federal Constitution to the People of New York
Richland Henry Lee’s Letter to the Governor of Virginia
Gouverneur Morris to General Washington, and also to Timothy Pickering
James Madison to Mr. Sparks, on G. Morris’s Course in the Federal Convention

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Contents

General Overview

In 1787 and 1788, following the Constitutional Convention, a great debate took place throughout America over the Constitution that had been proposed.

In-Doors Debate

View in-depth studies of the Massachusetts, Virginia, and New York state ratifying conventions.

The Federal Pillars

View drawings of the federal pillars rising published by the Massachusetts Centinel during the ratification debate.

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The Stages of Ratification: An Interactive Timeline

View the six stages of the ratification of the Constitution with links to many other features on this site.

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Interactive Ratification Map

View interactive maps showing the breakdown of Federalist-Antifederalist strength at the state level during the Ratification debate.

View Interactive

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