Elliot’s Debates: Volume 1

Journal of the Federal Convention

Saturday, September 15, 1787.

It was moved and seconded to appoint a committee to prepare an address to the people of the United States, to accompany the Constitution; which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to reconsider the 3d clause, 2d section, 1st article; which passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to—

[N. B. The volume containing the Journal of the Convention, deposited in the department of state by President Washington, terminates thus, leaving the Journal imperfect, and the Minutes of Saturday, September 15, crossed out with a pen. It has been completed in the following manner, by Minutes furnished, at the request of President Monroe, by Mr. Madison:—]

— add one member to the representatives of North Carolina, and of Rhode Island.

On the question as to Rhode Island, it passed in the negative.

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

On the question as to North Carolina, it passed in the negative.

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

It was moved to set aside article 1st, section 10th, clause 2d, and substitute,—

“No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws; and the net produce of all duties and imposts laid by any state on imports or exports shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress.”

It was moved to strike out the words “and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress;” which passed in the negative.

It was moved and seconded to strike out “and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of Congress;” which passed in the negative.

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

The substitute was then agreed to.

It was moved and seconded to substitute, for 1st part of clause 2d, section 10th, article 1st, the words,—

“No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be indispensably necessary for executing its inspection laws; and the net produce of all duties and imposts laid by any state on imports or exports shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress;”

which passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved,—

“That no state shall be restrained from laying duties on tonnage for the purpose of clearing harbors and erecting lighthouses.”

It was moved,—

“That no state shall lay any duty on tonnage without the consent of Congress;”

which last motion passed in the affirmative. Yeas: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina, 6. Nays: Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, 4. Divided: Connecticut, 1.

The clause was then agreed to in the following form:—

“No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty on tonnage; keep troops or ships of war in time of peace; enter into any agreement or compact with another state or with a foreign power; or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.”

Article 2d, section 1st, clause 6th. On motion to strike out the words “the period for choosing another President arrive,” and insert “a President shall be elected,” it passed in the affirmative.

It was moved to annex to clause 7th, section 1st, article 2d,—

“and he shall not receive, within that period, any other emolument from the United States, or any of them;”

which passed in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to annex to clause 7th, section 1st, article 2d, the words,—

“and he [the President] shall not receive, within that period, any other emolument from the United States, or any of them;”

which passed in the affirmative.

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

Article 2d, section 2d. It was moved to insert “except in cases of treason;” which passed in the negative.

It was moved and seconded to insert the words “except in cases of treason,” article 2d, section 2d; which passed in the negative.

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

Article 2d, section 2d, clause 2d. It was moved to add,—

“but the Congress may, by law, vest the appointment of such inferior officers as they think proper in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments;”

which passed in the affirmative.

[The following verbal amendments to the 2d and 3d articles of the revised draft were also adopted.]

Article 2d, section 1st, clause 1st. Strike out the words “in the following manner,” and insert in their stead the words “as follows.”

Section 1st, clause 2d. Transpose the words “shall be appointed an elector,” to the end of the clause; and instead of the word “nor” read “or.”

Section 1st, clause 3d. Strike out the words “and not per capita,” and the words “by the representatives.”

Section 1st, clause 4th. Strike out the words “time in,” and insert the words “day on;” strike out “but the election shall be on the same day,” and insert “which day shall be the same.”

Section 1st, clause 7th. Instead of “receive a fixed compensation for his services,” read “receive for his services a compensation.”

In the oath to be taken by the President, strike out the word “judgment,” and insert “abilities.”

Section 2d, clause 1st. After the words “militia of the several states,” add the words “when called into the actual service of the United States.”

Section 2d, clause 2d. After the words “provided for,” add “and which shall be established by law.”

Article 3d, section 1st. Strike out the words “both in law and equity.”

Section 2d, clause 1st. Strike out the word “both.”

Article 3d, section 2d, clause 3d. It was moved to add the words “and a trial by jury shall be preserved, as usual, in civil cases;” which passed in the negative.

It was moved and seconded to annex,—

“but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers as they think proper in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.”

Article 2d, section 2d, clause 1st, passed in the negative.

Yeas: New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, 5. Nays: Massachusetts, Delaware, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, 5. Divided: Maryland, 1.

Article 4th, section 2d, clause 2d. Instead of “and removed,” read “to be removed.”

Section 2d, clause 3d. For “of regulations subsisting,” read “of any law or regulation.”

Article 4th, section 2d, clause 3d. It was moved to strike out the word “legally,” and insert, after the word “state,” the words “under the laws thereof.”

Passed in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to strike out “legally,” &c., article 4th, section 2d, clause 3d; which passed in the affirmative.

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

Article 4th, section 3d. It was moved to insert, after the words “or parts of states,” the words “or a state, and part of a state; which passed in the negative.

Article 4th, section 4th. After the word “executive,” insert “when the legislature cannot be convened.”

Article 5th. It was moved to amend the article so as to require a convention on application of two thirds of the states; which passed in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded to amend article 5th, so as to require a convention on the application of two thirds of the states. Passed in the affirmative.

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

It was moved and seconded to insert in article 4th, section 3d, after the words “or parts of states,” the words “or a state and part of a state.” Passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to strike out, after “legislatures,” the words “of three fourths,” and so after the word “conventions,” article 5th—[leaving future conventions to proceed like the present.] Passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to strike out the words “or by conventions in three fourths thereof.” Passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to annex to the end of article 5th a proviso,—

“that no state shall, without its consent, be affected in its internal police, or deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.”

Passed in the negative.

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

It was moved and seconded to strike out article 5th. Passed in the negative.

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

It was moved to strike out of article 5th, after the word “legislatures,” the words “of three fourths,” and also, after the word “conventions,” so as to leave future conventions to act like the present Convention, according to circumstances; which passed in the negative.

It was moved to strike out the words “or by conventions in three fourths thereof;” which passed in the negative.

It was moved to annex to the article a further proviso,—

“that no state shall, without its consent, be affected in its internal police, or deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.”

Passed in the negative.

It was moved to strike out the 5th article altogether; which passed in the negative.

It was moved to add a proviso,—

“that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate;”

which passed in the affirmative.

It was moved, as a further proviso,—

“that no law, in nature of a navigation act, be passed, prior to the year 1808, without the consent of two thirds of each branch of the legislature;”

which passed in the negative.

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

It was moved,—

“that amendments to the plan might be offered by the conventions, which should be submitted to, and finally decided on, by another General Convention;”

which passed in the negative—all the states concurring.

It was moved and seconded,—

“that amendments to the plan might be offered by the state conventions, which should be submitted to, and finally decided on, by another General Convention.”

Passed unanimously in the negative.

The blanks in the 5th article of the revised draft were filled up; and it was otherwise amended to read as follows:—

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress: Provided, that no amendment which may be made prior to the year 1808 shall in any manner affect the 1st and 4th clauses in the 9th section of the 1st article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.”

On the question to agree to the Constitution as amended, it passed in the affirmative—ALL THE STATES CONCURRING.

Ordered, That the Constitution be engrossed. 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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