Elliot’s Debates: Volume 1

Journal of the Federal Convention

Friday, September 14, 1787.

The report from the committee of revision, as corrected and amended yesterday, being taken up, was read, debated by paragraphs, amended, and agreed to, as far as the 1st clause of the 10th section, 1st article, inclusive.

Question—To strike out the words “may by joint ballot appoint a treasurer.—They,” from the 1st clause of the 8th section, 1st article; which passed in the affirmative.

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

Question—To reconsider the 10th clause, 8th section, 1st article; which passed in the affirmative.

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

Question—To strike out the word “punish;” which passed in the affirmative.

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

Question—To grant letters of incorporation for canals, &c.,—a clause proposed to be added to the 8th section of the 1st article. Passed in the negative.

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

Question—To establish a university,—an additional clause proposed to the 8th section of the 1st article. Passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to insert, before the words “to provide for organizing, arming,” &c., the words “and that the liberties of the people may be better secured against the danger of standing armies in time of peace,” article 1st, section 8th. Passed in the negative.

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

Question—To reconsider the ex post facto clause. Passed unanimously in the negative.

Question—To insert “the liberty of the press shall be inviolably preserved.” Passed in the negative.

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

Question—To insert the words “or enumeration,” after the word “census,” in the 4th clause of the 9th section, 1st article. Passed in the affirmative.

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

Question omitted. Passed unanimously in the affirmative.

[Probably upon one or all of the following three amendments, adopted.]

Add, at the end of the 1st clause of the 8th section, 1st article,—

“but all duties, imposts, and excises, shall be uniform throughout the United States.”

Add, at the end of the 5th clause of the 9th section, 1st article,—

“No preference shall be given, by any regulation of commerce or revenue, to the ports of one state over those of another; nor shall vessels bound to or from one state be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties, in another.”

Add, at the end of the 6th clause of the 9th section, 1st article,—

“and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.”

The following amendments to the revised draft were likewise adopted:—

Article 1st, section 2d, clause 5th. Strike out the word “they.”

Article 1st, section 3d, clause 2d. Add, at the end of the clause, after the word “legislature,” the words “which shall then fill such vacancies.”

Article 1st, section 3d, clause 4th. Strike out the words “ex officio.”

Article 1st, section 3d, clause 6th. After the word “oath,” insert “or affirmation.”

Article 1st, section 8th, clause 3d. After the word “nation,” insert the word “and.”

Article 1st, section 9th, clause 1st. Strike out the word “several,” and between the words “as” and “the,” insert the words “any of.”

Alter the 3d clause, so as to read, “no bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed.”

In the 4th clause, after the word “capitation,” insert the words “or other direct.”

Article 1st, section 10th, clause 1st, was variously amended, to read as follows:—

“No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation, grant letters of marque and reprisal, coin money, emit bills of credit, make any thing but gold or silver coin a tender in payment of debts, pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.”

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

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The Stages of Ratification: An Interactive Timeline

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Interactive Ratification Map

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