Elliot’s Debates: Volume 1

Journal of the Federal Convention

Monday, May 14th, 1787

On Monday, the 14th of May, A. D. 1787, and in the eleventh year of the independence of the United States of America, at the State-House in the city of Philadelphia, in virtue of appointments from their respective states, sundry deputies to the Federal Convention appeared; but a majority of the states not being represented, the members present adjourned, from day to day, until Friday, the 25th of the said month, when, in virtue of the said appointments, appeared, from the states of

Massachusetts,

The Hon. Rufus King, Esq;

New York,

The Hon. Robert Yates, and
Alexander Hamilton, Esqrs.;

New Jersey,
The Hon. David Brearly,
William Churchill Houston, and
William Patterson, Esqrs.;

Pennsylvania,

The Hon. Robert Morris,
Thomas Fitzsimmons,
James Wilson, and
Gouverneur Morris, Esqrs.;

Delaware,

The Hon. George Read,
Richard Basset, and
Jacob Broom, Esqrs.;

Virginia,

His Excell’cy, Geo. Washington, Esq.,
His Excellency, E. Randolph, Esq.
The Hon. John Blair
James Madison,
George Mason,
George Wythe, and
James M’Clurg, Esqrs.;

North Carolina,

The Hon. Alexander Martin,
William Richardson Davie,
Richard Dobbs Spaight, and
Hugh Williamson, Esqrs.;

South Carolina,

The Hon. John Rutledge,
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney,
Charles Pinckney, and
Pierce Butler, Esqrs.;

Georgia,

The Hon. William Few, Esq.

It was moved by the Hon. Robert Morris, Esq., one of the deputies from Pennsylvania, that a president be elected by ballot, which was agreed to; and thereupon he nominated, on the part of the said state, his excellency, George Washington, Esq.

The members then proceeded to ballot on behalf of their respective states; and, the ballots being taken, it appeared that the said George Washington was unanimously elected; and he was conducted to the chair by the Hon. Robert Morris and John Rutledge, Esqrs.

The president then proposed to the house that they should proceed to the election of a secretary; and the ballots being taken, it appeared that William Jackson, Esq., was elected.

The following credentials were produced and read. [See Credentials.]

The house then appointed Nicholas Weaver messenger, and Joseph Frye door-keeper.

On motion of Mr. C. Pinckney,

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to draw up rules to be observed as the standing orders of the Convention, and to report the same to the house.”

A committee, by ballot, was appointed of Mr. Wythe, Mr. Hamilton, and Mr. C. Pinckney.

And then the house adjourned till Monday next, at 10 o’clock.

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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.

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