Elliot’s Debates: Volume 1

Journal of the Federal Convention

Friday, June 8, 1787.

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 left the chair.

In Committee of the whole House.

Mr. Gorham in the chair.

It was moved by Mr. Pinckney, seconded by Mr. Madison, to strike out the following words in the 6th resolution, adopted by the committee, namely,—

“To negative all laws passed by the several states, contravening, in the opinion of the national legislature, the articles of union, or any treaties subsisting under the authority of the Union,—”

and to insert the following words in their place, namely,—

“To negative all laws which to them shall appear improper.”

And on the question to strike out, it passed in the negative.

Yeas: Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, 3. Nays: Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 7. Divided: Delaware, 1.

It was moved by Mr. Gerry, seconded by Mr. King, to reconsider that clause of the 7th resolution adopted by the committee, which respects the appointment of the national executive.

On the question to reconsider, it passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, 10. Nays: Connecticut, North Carolina, 2.

And to-morrow was assigned for the reconsideration.

It was then moved by Mr. C. Pinckney, seconded by Mr. Rutledge, that the following resolution be added after the 4th resolution, adopted by the committee, namely:—

Resolved, That the states be divided into three classes; the first class to have three members, the second two, and the third one member each; that an estimate be taken of the comparative importance of each state, at fixed periods, so as to ascertain the number of members they may from time to time be entitled to.”

Before any debate was had, or determination taken on Mr. Pinckney’s proposition, it was moved and seconded that the committee do now rise, report a further progress, and request leave to sit again. 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 11 o’clock, A. M.

Back to Table of Contents



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.

View Feature

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.

View Feature

Interactive Ratification Map

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

View Interactive is a project of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University

401 College Avenue | Ashland, Ohio 44805 (419) 289-5411 | (877) 289-5411 (Toll Free)