Elliot’s Debates: Volume 1

Journal of the Federal Convention

Tuesday, August 21, 1787.

The Hon. Mr. Livingston, from the committee of eleven, to whom were referred, a proposition respecting the debts of the several states, entered on the Journal of the 18th inst., and a proposition respecting the militia, entered on the Journal of the 18th inst., informed the house that the committee were prepared to report, and had directed him to submit the same to the consideration of the house.

The report was then delivered at the secretary’s table, and, being read throughout, is as follows:—

“The legislature of the United States shall have power to fulfil the engagements which have been entered into by Congress, and to discharge, as well the debts of the United States, as the debts incurred by the several states, during the late war, for the common defence and general welfare;

“To make laws for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states, respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by the United States.”

It was moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the above report; which passed in the affirmative.

On the question to agree to the 3d section of the 7th article, as amended, it passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to add the following clause to the 3d section of the 7th article:—

“And all accounts of supplies furnished, services performed, and moneys advanced by the several states to the United States, or by the United States to the several states, shall be adjusted by the same rule.”

The last motion being withdrawn, it was moved and seconded to add the following clause to the 3d section of the 7th article:—

“By this rule the several quotas of the states shall be determined in settling the expenses of the late war.”

It was moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the last motion; which passed in the affirmative.

It was moved by Mr. Ellsworth, and seconded, to add the following clause to the 3d section of the 7th article:—

“That, from the first meeting of the legislature of the United States, until a census shall be taken, all moneys for supplying the public treasury by direct taxation shall be raised from the several states, according to the number of their representatives respectively in the first branch.”

It was moved and seconded to annex the following amendment to the last motion,—

“subject to a final liquidation by the foregoing rule, when a census shall have been taken.”

On the question to agree to the amendment, it passed in the affirmative.

On the question to agree to the proposition and amendment, it passed in the negative.

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

On the question to take up the amendment offered to the 12th section of the 6th article, entered on the Journal of the 13th instant, and then postponed, it passed in the negative.

Yeas: New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, 5. Nays: Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, South Carolina, Georgia, 6.

It was moved by Mr. Martin, and seconded, to add the following clause to the 3d section, 7th article:—

“And whenever the legislature of the United States shall find it necessary that revenue should be raised by direct taxation, having apportioned the same according to the above rule on the several states, requisitions shall be made of the respective states to pay into the Continental treasury their respective quotas within a time in the said requisition specified; and in case of any of the states failing to comply with such requisitions, then, and then only, to devise and pass acts directing the mode and authorizing the collection of the same;”

which passed in the negative.

Yea: New Jersey, 1. Nays: Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 7. Divided: Maryland, 1.

It was moved and seconded to insert the following clause after the word “duty,” in the 1st line, 4th section, 7th article, “for the purpose of revenue;” which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to amend the 1st clause of the 4th section, 7th article, by inserting the following words: “unless by consent of two thirds of the legislature;” which passed in the negative.

Yeas: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, 5. Nays: Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 6.

On the question to agree to the 1st clause of the 4th section of the 7th article, as reported, it passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to insert the word “free” before the word “persons,” in the 4th section of the 7th article.

Before the question was taken on the last motion, the house adjourned.

Back to Table of Contents

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.

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

TeachingAmericanHistory.org is a project of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University

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

info@TeachingAmericanHistory.org