Elliot’s Debates: Volume 1

Journal of the Federal Convention

Tuesday, June 12, 1787.

The order of the day being read, the house resolved itself into a committee of the whole house, to consider 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 and seconded to fill up the blank, in the 4th resolution, respecting the term for which the members of the first branch of the national legislature should be chosen, with the words “three years.”

On the motion to fill up with “three years,” it passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, 7. Nays: Massachusetts, Connecticut, North Carolina, South Carolina, 4.

It was moved and seconded to strike out the following words in the 4th resolution, namely, “to be of years at least.”

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

Yeas: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgian, 10. Nay: Maryland, 1.

It was moved and seconded to add the words “and fixed,” after the word “liberal,” in that clause of the 4th resolution which respects the stipend of the first branch. Passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, 8. Nays: Massachusetts, Connecticut, South Carolina, 3.

It was then moved and seconded to add the words “to be paid out of the public treasury.” Agreed to.

Yeas: Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, 8. Nays: Connecticut, New York, South Carolina, 3.

A question being taken on the clause respecting the salary of the first branch, it passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, 8. Nays: Connecticut, New York, South Carolina, 3.

It was moved and seconded to strike out the words “by a particular state.” Passed in the negative.

Yeas: Connecticut, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, 4. Nays: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Georgia, 5. Divided: Massachusetts, Maryland, 2.

A question being taken on the clause which respects the ineligibility of the members of the first branch, it passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 10. Nay: Connecticut, 1.

It was moved and seconded to amend the 4th resolution by inserting the words “and under the national government for the space of three years after its expiration.” Passed in the negative.

Yea: Maryland, 1. Nays: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 10.

Moved and seconded to fill up the blank with “one year.” Passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, 8. Nays: New York, Georgia, 2. Divided: Maryland, 1.

It was moved and seconded to strike out the following words, namely: “to be incapable of reelection for the space of…after the expiration of their term of service, and to be subject to recall.”

On the question to strike out, passed in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to strike out the words “to be of…years at least,” from the 5th resolution. Passed in the negative.

Yeas: Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, 3. Nays: Massachusetts, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, 6. Divided: North Carolina, Georgia, 2.

Moved to fill up the blank with “thirty.” Passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, 7. Nays: Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Georgia, 4.

Moved and seconded to fill up the blank after the words “sufficient to insure their independency,” with “seven years.” Passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 8. Nay: Connecticut, 1. Divided: Massachusetts, New York, 2.

It was moved by Mr. Rutledge, seconded by Mr. Butler, to strike out the clause which respects stipends to be allowed to the second branch.

On the question to strike out, passed in the negative.

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

It was then moved and seconded that the clause which respects the stipends to be given to the second branch be the same as the first. Passed in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded that the ineligibility of the second branch to office be the same as the first. Passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 10. Nay: Connecticut, 1.

It was moved and seconded to alter the resolutions submitted by Mr. Randolph, so as to read as follows, namely: “that the jurisdiction of the supreme tribunal shall be to hear and determine, in the dernier resort, all piracies, felonies,” &c.

It was moved and seconded to postpone the whole of the last clause generally.

It was then moved and seconded to strike out the words “all piracies and felonies on the high seas.” Passed in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to strike out the words “all captures from an enemy.” Passed in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to strike out the words “other states,” and to insert the words “two distinct states in the Union.” Passed in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the resolution which respects the judiciary. Passed in the affirmative.

It was then 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 the state of the American Union.”

And then the house adjourned till to-morrow, at 11 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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