Elliot’s Debates: Volume 1

Proposition of the General Assembly of Virginia

Virginia, ss. In the House of Delegates, January 21, 1786.

Resolved, That Edmund Randolph, James Madison, Jun., Walter Jones, St. George Tucker, Meriwether Smith, David Ross, William Ronald, and George Mason, Esquires, be appointed commissioners, who, or any five of whom, shall meet such commissioners as may be appointed by the other states in the Union, at a time and place to be agreed on, to take into consideration the trade of the United States; to examine the relative situation and trade of the said states; to consider how far a uniform system in their commercial regulations may be necessary to their common interest and their permanent harmony; and to report to the several states such an act relative to this great object as, when unanimously ratified by them, will enable the United States in Congress assembled effectually to provide for the same; that the said commissioners shall immediately transmit to the several states copies of the preceding resolution, with a circular letter requesting their concurrence therein, and proposing a time and place for the meeting aforesaid.

Test,                                    JOHN BECKLEY, C. H. D.

1786, January 21.

Agreed to by the Senate.                H. BROOKE, C. S.

By his excellency, Patrick Henry, Esquire, governor of the commonwealth of Virginia, it is hereby certified that John Beckley, the person subscribing the above resolve, is clerk of the House of Delegates, and that due faith and credit is, and ought to be, paid to all things done by him by virtue of his office.

Given under my hand as governor, and under the seal of the commonwealth, [L. S.] at Richmond, the 6th day of July, 1786.

P. HENRY.

[Certain other of the states came readily into the measure proposed, and a meeting of commissioners took place at Annapolis, whose proceedings are stated in the following report.]

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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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