Elliot’s Debates: Volume 1

Journal of the Federal Convention

Wednesday, August 22, 1787.

The motion made yesterday to insert the word “free” before the word “persons,” in the 4th section of the 7th article, being withdrawn, it was moved and seconded to commit the two remaining clauses of the 4th section, and the 5th section of the 7th article; which passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to commit the 6th section of the 7th article; which passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 9. Nays: Connecticut, New Jersey, 2.

And a committee (of a member from each state) was appointed by ballot, of the Hon. Mr. Langdon, Mr. King, Mr. Johnston, Mr. Livingston, Mr. Clymer, Mr. Dickinson, Mr. L. Martin, Mr. Madison, Mr. Williamson, Mr. C. C. Pinckney, and Mr. Baldwin, to whom the clauses of the 4th, 5th, and 6th sections were referred.

The Hon. Mr. Rutledge, from the committee to whom sundry propositions were referred, on the 18th and 20th instant, informed the house that the committee were prepared to report.

He then read the report in his place; and the same, being delivered in at the secretary’s table, was again read throughout, and is as follows:—

“The committee report, that, in their opinion, the following additions should be made to the report now before the Convention, namely:—

“At the end of the 1st clause of the 1st section of the 7th article, add, ’for payment of the debts and necessary expenses of the United States; provided, that no law for raising any branch of revenue, except what may be specially appropriated for the payment of interest on debts or loans, shall continue in force for more than         years.’

“At the end of the 2d clause, 2d section, 7th article, add, ’and with Indians, within the limits of any state, not subject to the laws thereof.’

“At the end of the 16th clause of the 2d section, 7th article, add, ’and to provide, as may become necessary, from time to time, for the well managing and securing the common property and general interest of the United States, in such manner as shall not interfere with the governments of individual states, in matters which respect only their internal police, or for which their individual authorities may be competent.’

“At the end of the 1st section, 10th article, add, ’he shall be of the age of thirty-five years, and a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant thereof for twenty-one years.’

“After the 2d section of the 10th article, insert the following as a 3d section:—

“’The President of the United States shall have a privy council, which shall consist of the president of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, and the principal officer in the respective departments of foreign affairs, domestic affairs, war, marine, and finance, (as such departments of office shall from time to time be established,) whose duty it shall be to advise him in matters respecting the execution of his office, which he shall think proper to lay before them; but their advice shall not conclude him, nor affect his responsibility for the measures which he shall adopt.’

“At the end of the 2d section of the 11th article, add, ’the judges of the Supreme Court shall be triable by the Senate, on impeachment by the House of Representatives.’

“Between the 4th and 5th lines of the 3d section of the 11th article, after the word ’controversies,’ insert ’between the United States and an individual state, or the United States and an individual person.’”

It was moved and seconded to rescind the orders of the house respecting the hours of meeting and adjournment; which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to insert the following clause after the 2d section of the 7th article:—

“The legislature shall pass no bill of attainder, nor any ex post facto laws;”

which passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to take up the report of the committee of five.

It was moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the report, in order that the members may furnish themselves with copies of the report; which passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to take up the report of the committee of eleven, entered on the Journal of the 21st instant; which passed in the affirmative.

It was moved by Mr. Morris, and seconded, to amend the 1st clause of the report, to read as follows:—

“The legislature shall fulfil the engagements and discharge the debts of the United States.”

It was moved and seconded to alter the amendment by striking out the words “discharge the debts,” and inserting the words “liquidate the claims;” which passed in the negative.

On the question to agree to the clause as amended, namely,—

“The legislature shall fulfil the engagements and discharge the debts of the United States,”—

passed unanimously in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to strike the following words out of the 2d clause of the report:—

“and the authority of training the militia, according to the discipline prescribed by the United States.”

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

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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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