Documents Illustrative of the Formation of the Union of the American States

Selected, Arranged, and Indexed by Charles C. Tansill

69th Congress, 1st Session — House Document No. 398
Government Printing Office, Washington, 1927

Prepared Under the General Supervision of
H. H. B. Meyer, Director, Legislative Reference Service, Library of Congress

Contents

Resolutions

Prefatory Note

Declaration and resolves of the First Continental Congress, October 14, 1774

Resolves adopted in Charlotte Town, Mecklenburg County, N.C., May 31, 1775

Declaration of the causes and necessity of taking up arms, July 6, 1775

Resolution of secrecy adopted by the Continental Congress, November 9, 1775

Preamble and resolution of the Virginia Convention, May 15, 1776, instructing the Virginia Delegates in the Continental Congress to “propose to that respectable body to declare the United Colonies free and independent States”

Resolution introduced in the Continental Congress by Richard Henry Lee (Virginia) proposing a Declaration of Independence, June 7, 1776

Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

Articles of Confederation, March 1, 1781

Resolution of the General Assembly of Virginia, January 21, 1786, proposing a joint meeting of commissioners from the States to consider and recommend a Federal plan for regulating commerce

Proceedings of commissioners to remedy defects of the Federal Government, Annapolis, Md., 1786

Report of proceedings in Congress, Wednesday, February 21, 1787

Ordinance of 1787, July 13, 1787

Credentials of the members of the Federal Convention

List of delegates appointed by the States represented in the Federal Convention

Notes of Major William Pierce (Georgia) in the Federal Convention of 1787:

a. Loose sketches and notes taken in the convention, May, 1787

b. Characters in the convention of the States held at Philadelphia, May, 1787

Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 as reported by James Madison

Secret proceedings and debates of the convention assembled at Philadelphia, in the year 1797, for the purpose of forming the Constitution of the United States of America. (From the notes taken by the late Robert Yates, Esq., Chief Justice of New York (Albany, 1821))

Notes of Rufus King in the Federal Convention of 1787

Notes of William Paterson in the Federal Convention of 1787

Notes of Alexander Hamilton in the Federal Convention of 1787

Papers of Dr. James McHenry on the Federal Convention of 1787

Variant texts of the Virginia plan presented by Edmund Randolph to the Federal Convention, May 29, 1787:

Text A

Text B

Text C

The plan of Charles Pinckney (South Carolina), presented to the Federal Convention, May 29, 1787

Variant texts of the plan presented by William Patterson (New Jersey), to the Federal Convention, June 15, 1787:

Text A

Text B

Text C

Variant texts of the plan presented by Alexander Hamilton to the Federal Convention, June 18, 1787:

Text A

Text B

Text C

Text D

Text E

The Constitution of the United States

Letter of the president of the Federal Convention, September 17, 1787, to the President of Congress, transmitting the Constitution

Resolution of the Federal Convention submitting the Constitution to Congress, September 17, 1787

Resolution of Congress, September 28, 1787, submitting the Constitution to the several States

Circular letter of the Secretary of Congress, September 28, 1787, transmitting copy of the Constitution to the several governors

Ratification of the Constitution by the several States, arranged in the order of their ratification

Delaware
Pennsylvania
New Jersey
Georgia
Connecticut
Massachusetts
Maryland
South Carolina
New Hampshire
Virginia
New York
North Carolina
Rhode Island

Resolution of Congress, July 2, 1788, submitting ratifications of the Constitution to a committee

Resolution of the Congress, September 13, 1788, fixing date for the election of a President, and the organization of the Government under the Constitution

Resolution of the First Congress submitting 12 amendments to the Constitution

The first 10 amendments to the Constitution

Subsequent amendments to the Constitution

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.

View Feature

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.

View Feature

Interactive Ratification Map

View interactive maps showing the breakdown of Federalist-Antifederalist strength at the state level during the Ratification debate.

View Interactive

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