Elliot’s Debates: Volume 1

Journal of the Federal Convention

Wednesday, September 5, 1787.

The Hon. Mr. Brearly, from the committee of eleven, informed the house that the committee were prepared to report further. He then read the report in his place; and the same, being delivered in at the secretary’s table, was again read, and is as follows:—

“To add to the clause ‘to declare war,’ the words ‘and grant letters of marque and reprisal.’

“To add to the clause ‘to raise and support armies,’ the words ‘but no appropriation of money for that use shall be for a longer term than two years.’

“Instead of the 12th section of the 6th article, say, —

“‘All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, and shall be subject to alterations and amendments by the Senate. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law.’

“Immediately before the last clause of the 1st section of the 7th article, —

“‘To exercise exclusive legislation, in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states and the acceptance of the legislature, become the seat of the government of the United States; and to exercise like authority over all places purchased for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings.

“‘To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing, for limited times, to authors and inventors, the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.’”

On the question to agree to the 1st clause of the report, it passed in the affirmative.

On the question to agree to the 2d clause of the report, it passed in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the 3d clause of the report. It passed in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to insert the following words after the word “purchased,” in the 4th clause of the report: “by the consent of the legislature of the state;” which passed in the affirmative.

On the question to agree to the 4th clause of the report, it passed in the affirmative.

The following resolution and order, reported from the committee of eleven, were read:—

“Resolved, That the United States in Congress be requested to allow, and cause to be paid, to the secretary and other officers of this Convention, such sums, in proportion to their respective times of service, as are allowed to the secretary and similar officers of Congress.”

Ordered, That the secretary make out, and transmit to the treasury office of the United States, an account for the said services, and for the incidental expenses of this Convention.”

Separate questions being taken on the foregoing resolve and order, they passed in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to take up the remainder of the report from the committee of eleven, entered on the Journal of the 4th instant.

It was moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the report, in order to take up the following: —

“He shall be elected, by joint ballot, by the legislature, to which election a majority of the votes of the members present shall be required. He shall hold his office during the term of seven years, but shall not be elected a second time.”

On the question to postpone, it passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to strike out the words “if such number be a majority of that of the electors;” which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to strike out the word “Senate,” and insert the word “legislature;” which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to strike out the words “such majority,” and to insert the words “one third;” which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to strike out the word “five,” and to insert “three;” which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to strike out the word “five,” and to insert the word “thirteen;” which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to add, after the word “electors,” the words “who shall have balloted;” which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to add, after the words “if such number be a majority of the whole number of the electors,” the word “appointed;” which passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to insert, after the words “the legislature may determine the time of choosing and assembling the electors,” the words “and of their giving their votes;” which passed in the affirmative.

The house adjourned.

Thursday, September 6, 1787.

It was moved and seconded to insert the following words after the words “may be entitled in the legislature,” in the 5th clause of the report, entered on the Journal of the 4th instant:—

“but no person shall be appointed an elector who is a member of the legislature of the United States, or who holds any office of profit or trust under the United States;”

which passed in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to insert the word “seven,” instead of “four,” in the 4th clause of the report; which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to insert the word “six,” instead of “four;” which passed in the negative.

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

The question being put to agree to the word “four,” it passed in the affirmative.

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

On the question to agree to the 4th clause of the report, as follows,—

“He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice-President, chosen for the same term, be elected in the following manner,”—

it passed in the affirmative.

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

On the question upon the 5th clause of the report, prescribing the appointment of electors, it passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to agree to the following clause:—

“That the electors meet at the seat of the general government;”

which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to insert the words “under the seal of the state,” after the word “transmit,” in the 6th clause of the report; which passed in the negative.

It was moved and seconded to agree to the 6th clause of the report; which passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to agree to the words “the person having the greatest number of votes shall be President,” in the 7th clause of the report; which passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to agree to the words “if such number be a majority of the whole number of the electors appointed;” which passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to insert the words “in presence of the Senate and House of Representatives,” after the word “counted;” which passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: New Hampshire, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 6. Nays: Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, 4.

It was moved and seconded to insert the words “and who shall have given their votes” after the word “appointed,” in the 7th clause of the report; which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to insert the word “immediately” before the word “choose;” which passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to insert the words “of the electors” after the word “votes;” which passed unanimously in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to agree to the following clause, “but the election shall be on the same day throughout the United States,” after the words “transmitting their votes;” which passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to strike out the words “the Senate shall immediately choose by ballot,” &c., and to insert the words,—

“the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by ballot one of them for President, the members from each state having one vote;”

which 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 agree to the following amendment:—

“but a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two thirds of the states;”

which passed unanimously in the affirmative.

On the question to agree to the following amendment,—

“and also of a majority of the whole number of the House of Representatives,”—

it passed in the negative.

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

On the question to agree to the following paragraph of the report,—

“and in every case, after the choice of the President, the person having the greatest number of votes shall be the Vice-President; but if there should remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate shall choose from them the Vice-President,”—

it passed in the affirmative.

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

The several amendments being agreed to, on separate questions, the 1st section of the report is as follows:—

“He shall hold the office during the term of four years; and, together with the Vice-President, chosen for the same term, be elected in the following manner:—

“Each state shall appoint, in such manner as its legislature may direct, a number of electors equal to the whole number of senators and members of the House of Representatives to which the state may be entitled in the legislature.

“But no person shall be appointed an elector who is a member of the legislature of the United States, or who holds any office of profit or trust under the United States.

“The electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for two persons, of whom one, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; and they shall make a list of all the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each, which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the general government, directed to the president of the Senate.

“The president of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted.

“The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, (if such number be a majority of the whole number of the electors appointed;) and if there be more than one who have such majority, and have an equal number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by ballot one of them for President; the representation from each state having one vote. But if no person have a majority, then, from the five highest on the list, the House of Representatives shall, in like manner, choose by ballot the President. In the choice of a President, by the House of Representatives, a quorum shall consist of a member or members from two thirds of the states; and the concurrence of a majority of all the states shall be necessary to such choice. And in every case, after the choice of the President, the person having the greatest number of votes of the electors shall be the Vice-President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate shall choose from them the Vice-President.

“The legislature may determine the time of choosing the electors, and of their giving their votes, and the manner of certifying and transmitting their votes. But the election shall be on the same day throughout the United States.”

The house adjourned.

Friday, September 7, 1787.

It was moved and seconded to insert the following clause after the words “throughout the United States,” in the 1st section of the report:—

“The legislature may declare by law what officer of the United States shall act as President, in case of the death, resignation, or disability, of the President and Vice-President; and such officer shall act accordingly, until such disability be removed, or a President shall be elected;”—

which passed in the affirmative.

Yeas: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, 6. Nays: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, North Carolina, 4. Divided: New Hampshire, 1.

It was moved and seconded to insert the following amendment after the words “a member or members from two thirds of the states,” in the 1st section of the report, “and a concurrence of a majority of all the states shall be necessary to make such choice;” which passed in the affirmative.

On the question to agree to the 2d section of the report, it passed in the affirmative.

The question being taken on the 1st clause of the 3d section of the report,—

“The Vice-President shall be, ex officio, president of the Senate,”—

it passed in the affirmative.

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

Separate questions having been taken on the several clauses of the 3d section of the report, they passed in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to insert the words “and the House of Representatives,” after the word “Senate,” in the 1st clause of the 4th section of the report; which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to substitute the words “foreign ministers,” instead of “ambassadors and other public ministers,” in the 2d clause of the 4th section of the report; which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to amend the 2d clause of the 4th section of the report, to read, “ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls;” which passed unanimously in the affirmative.

A question was taken on the words “judges of the Supreme Court,” which passed unanimously in the affirmative.

A question was taken upon the words “and all other officers,” which passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved by Mr. Madison, and seconded, to postpone the consideration of the 4th section of the report, in order to take up the following:—

“That it be an instruction to the committee of the states to prepare a clause, or clauses, for establishing an executive council, or a council of state, for the President of the United States, to consist of six members, two of which from the Eastern, two from the Middle, and two from the Southern States, with a rotation and duration of office similar to that of the Senate; such council to be appointed by the legislature or by the Senate.”

On the question to postpone, it passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to agree to the following clause:—

“That the President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of the next session of the Senate;”

which passed in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to insert the words “except treaties of peace,” after the word “treaty,” in the 4th section of the report as amended; it passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to postpone the following clause of the report:—

“and may require the opinion in writing of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices;”

which passed in the negative.

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

On the question to agree to the clause, it passed unanimously in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to agree to the following amendment:—

“but no treaty of peace shall be entered into, whereby the United States shall be deprived of any of their present territory or rights, without the concurrence of two thirds of the members of the Senate present.”

The house adjourned.

Saturday, September 8, 1787.

It was moved and seconded to strike the words “except treaties of peace” out of the 4th section of the report; which passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to strike out the last clause of the 4th section of the report; which passed in the negative.

Yea: Delaware, 1. Nays: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, 9. Divided: Connecticut, 1.

It was moved and seconded to agree to the following amendment:—

“two thirds of all the members of the Senate to make a treaty;”—

Which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to agree to the following amendment:—

“a majority of all the members of the Senate to make a treaty;”

which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to agree to the following amendment:—

“but no treaty shall be made before all the members of the Senate are summoned, and shall have time to attend;”

which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to agree to the following amendment:—

“neither shall any appointment be made as aforesaid, unless to offices established by the Constitution, or by law;”

which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to insert the words “or other high crimes and misdemeanors against the state,” after the word “bribery;” which passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to strike out the words “by the Senate,” after the word “conviction;” which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to strike out the word “state,” after the word “against,” and to insert the words “United States;” which passed unanimously in the affirmative.

On the question to agree to the last clause of the report, it passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to add the following clause after the words “United States:”—

“the Vice-President and other civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment and conviction as aforesaid;”

which passed unanimously in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to amend the 3d clause of the report, entered on the Journal of the 5th instant, to read as follows, instead of the 12th section, 6th article:—

“All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments, as on other bills. No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law;”

which passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to amend the 3d clause of the report entered on the Journal of the 4th inst., to read as follows:—

In the place of the 1st section, 9th article, insert,—

“The Senate of the United States shall have power to try all impeachments; but no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present; and every member shall be on oath;”

which passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to agree to the following clause:—

“The legislature shall have the sole right of establishing offices not herein provided for;”

which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to amend the said clause of the 2d section, 10th article, to read,—

“he may convene both or either of the houses on extraordinary occasions;”

which passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to appoint a committee of five to revise the style of, and arrange, the articles agreed to by the house; which passed in the affirmative.

And a committee was appointed, by ballot, of the Hon. Mr. Johnston, Mr. Hamilton, Mr. G. Morris, Mr. Madison, and Mr. King.

The house adjourned.

Monday, September 10, 1787.

It was moved and seconded to reconsider the 3d section of the 4th article, which prescribes the number of the House of Representatives; which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to reconsider the 19th article; which passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to amend the 19th article, by adding the following clause:—

“or the legislature may propose amendments to the several states, for their approbation; but no amendment shall be binding until consented to by the several states.”

It was moved and seconded to insert the words “two thirds of” before the words “the several states;” which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to insert the words “three fourths;” which passed unanimously in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the amendment, in order to take up the following:—

“The legislature of the United States, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem necessary, or on the application of two thirds of the legislature of the several states, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, which shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as parts thereof, when the same shall have been ratified by three fourths, at least, of the legislatures of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the legislature of the United States; provided that no amendments which may be made prior to the year 1808 shall in any manner affect the 4th and 5th sections of article the 7th.”

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

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

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

It was moved and seconded to reconsider the 21st and 22d articles; which (the question being separately put upon each article) passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to postpone the 21st article, in order to take up the following:—

Resolved, That the foregoing plan of the Constitution be transmitted to the United States, in Congress assembled, in order that, if the same shall be agreed to by them, it may be communicated to the legislatures of the several states, to the end that they may provide for its final ratification, by referring the same to the consideration of a convention of deputies in each state, to be chosen by the people thereof; and that it be recommended to the said legislatures, in their respective acts for organizing such convention, to declare that, if the said convention shall approve of the said Constitution, such approbation shall be binding and conclusive upon the state; and further, that, if the said convention should be of opinion that the same, upon the assent of any new states thereto, ought to take effect between the states so assenting, such opinion shall thereupon be also binding upon each state; and the said Constitution shall take effect between the states assenting thereto.”

On the question to postpone, it passed in the negative.

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

On the question to agree to the 21st article, it passed unanimously in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to restore the words “for their approbation” to the 22d article. Passed in the negative.

It was moved and seconded to refer the following to the committee of revision:—

“That it be an instruction to the committee to prepare an address to the people, to accompany the present Constitution, and to be laid, with the same, before the United States in Congress;”

which passed in the affirmative.

Tuesday, September 11, 1787.

The house met; but the committee of revision not having reported, and there being no business before the Convention, 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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