Elliot’s Debates: Volume 1

Journal of the Federal Convention

Friday, June 1, 1787.

The Hon. William Houstoun, Esq., a deputy of the state of Georgia, attended and took his seat.

The following credential was produced and read. [See Georgia Credentials.]

The order of the day being read, the house resolved itself into a committee of the whole house, to consider of the state of the American Union. Mr. President in the chair.

In the Committee of the whole House.

Mr. Gorham in the chair.

It was moved and seconded to proceed to the consideration of the 7th resolution submitted by Mr. Randolph, namely,—

Resolved, That a national executive be instituted; to be chosen by the national legislature, for the term of years; to receive punctually, at stated times, a fixed compensation for the services rendered, in which no increase or diminution shall be made, so as to affect the magistracy existing at the time of such increase or diminution; and to be ineligible a second time; and that, besides a general authority to execute the national laws, it ought to enjoy the executive rights vested in Congress by the Confederation.”

On motion of Mr. Wilson, seconded by Mr. C. Pinckney, to amend the 1st clause of the resolution, by adding, after the word “instituted,” the words “to consist of a single person,” so as to read,—

Resolved, That a national executive, to consist of a single person, be instituted,”—

it was moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the amendment.

And on the question to postpone, it passed in the affirmative.

It was then moved and seconded to agree to the 1st clause of the resolution, namely,—

Resolved, That a national executive be instituted.”

And on the question to agree to the said clause, it passed in the affirmative.

It was then moved by Mr. Madison, seconded by Mr. Wilson, after the word “instituted,” to add the words, “with power to carry into execution the national laws; to appoint to offices in cases not otherwise provided for; and to execute such other powers, not legislative or judiciary in their nature, as may from time to time be delegated by the national legislature.”

And on a division of the amendment, the following clauses were agreed to, namely,—

“With power to carry into execution the national laws; to appoint to offices in cases not otherwise provided for.”

Yeas: Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 9. Divided: Connecticut, 1.

On the motion to continue the last clause of the amendment, namely,—

“And to execute such other powers, not legislative or judiciary in their nature, as may from time to time be delegated by the national legislature,”—it passed in the negative.

Yeas: Massachusetts, Virginia, South Carolina, 3. Nays: Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, Georgia, 7.

It was then moved and seconded to fill up the blank with the word “seven,” so as to read, “for the term of seven years.”

And on the question to fill up the blank with the word “seven,” it passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, 5. Nays: Connecticut, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 4. Divided: Massachusetts, 1.

It was then moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the following words, namely, “to be chosen by the national legislature.”

And on the question to postpone, it passed in the affirmative.

It was then moved and seconded, that the committee do now rise, and report a further progress. The committee then rose.

In the House.

Mr. President resumed the chair.

Mr. Gorham reported, from the committee, That the committee had made a further progress in the matter to them referred, and had directed him to move that they may have leave to sit again.

Resolved, That this house will to-morrow again resolve itself into a committee of the whole house, to consider of the state of the American Union.”

And then the house adjourned till to-morrow, at 10 o’clock, A. M.

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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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