Committee on Rules reported and 5 additional rules, including secrecy, were adopted. Randolph submitted and defended a set of Fifteen Resolutions, known as The Virginia Plan.
The Convention agreed to meet the following day as a Committee of The Whole.
Agreed (6 – 2 – 2) on election of First Branch by the people.
Defeated (7 – 3) Second Branch elected by the First Branch. Madison’s reaction: “a chasm (was) left in this part of the plan.” Sherman’s suggestion: “election of one member by each of the State Legislatures.”
Agreed that either house could initiate legislation.
Agreed to incompetence clause and negative on State laws.
Agreed to institute a national Executive with power to carry into effect the national laws and to appoint officers not otherwise provided for.
Agreed (5 – 4 – 1) on a seven-year term for Executive.
Postponed consideration of single or plural Executive.
Confusing day on the Executive.
Agreed to selection of Executive by Legislature.Agreed (8 – 2) on seven-year term, and ineligibility after one term (7 – 2 – 1).
Defeated (9 – 1) Dickinson’s motion that Executive be subject to impeachment. Franklin: Executive should receive no salary. (Motion postponed)
Defeated (8 – 3) motion to have State Legislature elect First Branch of National Legislature. Sherman: “The people are more happy in small than large states.” His argument invokes the traditional understanding of republicanism. Madison: We need to “enlarge the sphere.” His argument points back to “vices” and forward to Federalist 10.
Return to National Representation.
3/5 clause introduced.
Decided (9 – 2) that representation in First Branch of the National Legislature should be based on free population plus 3/5 of all other persons. Sherman and Ellsworth (both from Connecticut) propose one State one vote in Senate.Disagreed (6 – 5) that each state should be equally represented in Senate.
Agreed (6 – 5) that representation in the Second Branch should also be proportional plus 3/5 of all others persons.
Agreed (6 – 5) to require oaths to observe the National Constitution and National laws by State officers.
Agreed that the jurisdiction of the National Judiciary should extend to cases that respect the collection of the national revenue, impeachment of any national officers, and questions involving the national peace and harmony.
Agreed that the Supreme Court should be appointed by the Senate.
Rejected (8 – 3) a motion requiring money bills to originate in the first branch of the Legislature.
Agreed to vote on Amended Virginia Plan with 19 Resolutions.
Discussed “the right of suffrage in the first branch.”
Revised Resolution 8
Discussed “the right of suffrage in the second branch” to be the same as the first branch.
L. Martin delivers a three-hour “desultory” speech, the substance of which was “that an equal vote in each State was essential to the federal idea, and was founded in justice & freedom, not merely in policy.”
“That time may be given to the committee, and to such as chuse to attend to the celebrations of the Anniversary of Independence,” the Convention adjourned till Thursday.
Gerry Committee met to work on the questions of the previous day.
Independence Day observed.Delegates attend Race Street Church (also known as First Reformed Church) on Fourth and Race Streets to hear annual oration on the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence given by Mr. Mitchell, a student of law.
1. Representation in First Branch by population (1:40,000).
2. Representation in Second Branch to give each State an equal vote.
3. Money Bills to originate in First Branch and not subject to amendment in Second Branch.
Gerry justifies Report: “We were neither the same nation nor different nations.”Gerry Committee Report:
Agreed (7 – 3 – 1) to commit the question of 1:40,000 representation in the First Branch to the Morris Committee made up of G. Morris, Gorham, Randolph, Rutledge and King.
Agreed (5 – 3 – 3) to retain money bills provision.
Morris Committee suggested approval of the population formula (1:40,000).
Second paragraph of Gerry Committee Report was approved (9 – 2).
The first paragraph was referred to an eleven-man committee (9 – 2).
Received report from the Eleven Member Committee allocating 65 representatives among the 13 States for the House.
Delegates Yates and Lansing from New York left the Convention and explained their reasons to Governor Clinton of New York.
Inconclusive discussion on periodical censuses.
Defeated (7 – 3) motion to strike out “3/5” for “all.” G. Morris “could never agree to give such encouragement to the slave trade.”
Defeated (6 – 4) a motion “to include 3/5 of the blacks.”
Approved (5 – 4 – 1) a motion to have a census within 6 years of the First Congress.
Defeated (7 – 3) a motion for succeeding censuses every 20 years.
Agreed (8 – 2) on a census every 10 years.
Defeated (8 – 2) a motion “for rating blacks as equal to whites as of 3/5.”
Approved (6 – 2 – 2) a motion to proportion direct taxes, including 3/5, to representation.
Approved (5 – 4 – 1) a motion to proportion direct taxes to the number of representatives until the first census.
Agreed (9 – 0 – 1) that the Legislature can regulate the number of representatives in accordance with the number of inhabitants. G. Morris and Butler have a pointed exchange over slavery. Confederation Congress passes Northwest Ordinance.
Defeated (5 – 4 – 1) a motion to limit representation of new western states.
Discussed equal vote for each State in Second Branch with money bills originating in First Branch. Madison argues against the “partly federal, partly national” accommodation. C. Pinckney moved “that instead of an equality of votes” there should be proportional representation in Senate. Defeated (4 – 6).
Agreed (5 – 4 – 1) to Gerry Committee Report (House proportional, Senate equal representation for each State, and money bills originating in the First Branch and unamendable by the Second Branch. This is also known as the Connecticut Compromise.)
Revised Resolution 6b
Began consideration of the proposal to give Congress the authority in all cases to which the separate states are incompetent.
The delegates from large States caucused to decide whether to challenge equal representation in the Senate. They decided not to challenge the compromise.
Revised Resolution 6b
Resumed consideration of the powers to be given Congress. Agreed (6 – 4) to a motion to include the power to legislate in all cases for the general interests of the Union and in those cases where States are separately incompetent.
Revised Resolution 6c
Defeated (7 – 3) negative of State Laws. Madison thought the negative “essential,” L. Martin considered it “improper.”
Revised Resolution 6c
Motion by L. Martin to make laws and treaties supreme law of the respective States approved, nem con.
Revised Resolution 9
Began consideration of an independent Executive.
Agreed (10 – 0) on single Executive.
Defeated (9 – 1) election by citizens of the United States.
Defeated (8 – 2) election by electors appointed by State Legislatures.
Approved (10 – 0) election by Legislature.
Postponed decision on 7-year term.
Defeated (6 – 4) ineligibility requirement.
Defeated (6 – 4) a motion to substitute hold office “during good behavior” rather than 7 years.
Defeated (6 – 4) a motion to strike seven years.
Agreed to reconsider ineligibility of executive (8 – 0) (New Jersey and Georgia not voting).Agreed to Executive Veto with 2/3 override.
Revised Resolution 11
Began consideration of Judiciary.Defeated (6 – 2) motion for appointment by Executive.
Defeated (4 – 4) motion for Executive nomination and appointment on advice and consent of Second Branch.
Revised Resolution 12
Agreed (9 – 0) to let Legislature create inferior tribunals (New Jersey voting).
Agreed “that the jurisdiction shall extend to all cases arising under the national laws and to such other questions as may involve the national peace and harmony,” nem con.
12 – 16
Agreed to admit new States with the consent of less than the whole of the National Legislature.
Began consideration of continuing the Confederation during the transitional period.
Took up Guarantee of Republican Government for States.
Agreed (10 – 0) to a motion by G. Morris to reconsider the appointment, duration, and eligibility of the Executive.
Agreed to Ellsworth’s motions to appointment of Executive by electors (6 – 3 – 1) chosen by state legislatures (8 – 2).
Defeated (8 – 2) ineligibility for re-election.
Defeated (5 – 3 – 2) 7-year term.Agreed (9 – 1) to 6-year term.
Took up apportionment of electors among the states with a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 3 per state.
Defeated (7 – 3) motion to add an elector for New Hampshire and Georgia.
Agreed (6 – 4) to Gerry’s allocation of 1 to 3 per State.
Revised Resolution 9
Agreed (8 – 2) to make Executive removable by impeachment.
Franklin saw impeachment as the republican peaceful alternative to assassination under despotism.
Revised Resolution 9
Agreed on fixed compensation, nem con.
Agreed (9 – 1) to be paid out of National Treasury.
Wilson and Madison argued unsuccessfully on behalf of reinstating original Council of Revision.
Rejected (4 – 3 – 2) motion to join Judiciary with Executive in the exercise of veto power (New Jersey not voting, Pennsylvania and Georgia divided).
Agreed (9 – 0) on qualified Executive Veto.
Resumed consideration of Judicial appointment.
Defeated (6 – 3) Executive appointment unless Senate disagrees.
Approved (6 – 3) selection by Senate alone.
Agreed unanimously on requiring oaths by both national and state officials to support the Articles of Union.
Began discussion of ratification.
Discussed Resolution 19 of the Amended Virginia Plan of June 13: “The amendments which shall be offered to the Confederation by the Convention ought at a proper time or times, after the approbation of Congress to be submitted to an assembly or assemblies of representatives, recommended by the several Legislatures, to be expressly chosen by the People to consider and decide thereon.”
Defeated (7 – 3) motion by Ellsworth and Paterson to amend Resolution 19 to have new Constitution referred to State Legislatures for ratification.
Agreed (9 – 1) to referral to conventions of the people.
Agreed (7 – 3) to reconsider election of Executive.
Agreed to refer Revised Resolutions to a Committee of 5 members to be named tomorrow.
Began consideration of the Committee of Detail Report and covered the Preamble, Articles I, II, III, and part of IV.
Agreed (10 – 0) to Preamble and Articles I and II.
Took up Article III (two-house legislature):
Agreed (7 – 3) to delete reference to mutual veto between houses as already clear.
Discussed Congress meeting 1st Monday of December annually, and agreed (8 – 2) to add, “unless a different day shall be appointed by law.”
Defeated (8 – 2) motion for May meeting instead of December.
Agreed to Article III as amended.
Took up Article IV, Section 1 (House elections):
Ellsworth and Mason object to the attempt by G. Morris and Dickinson to impose electoral restrictions.
Defeated (7 – 1 – 1) more restrictive freehold qualifications on the electors.
Agreed unanimously to Article IV, Section 1 concerning qualifications of the electors: “the qualifications of the electors shall be the same… as those of the electors in the several states, of the most numerous branch of their own legislatures.”Proceeded to Article IV, Section 2 (qualifications of House members):
Agreed (10 – 1) to 7 instead of 3e years citizenship.
Agreed to substitute “inhabitant” instead of “resident;” defeated motions to require 3 years (9 – 2) and 1 year (6 – 4 – 1) of residence, and approved the section (11 – 0).
Agreed to Article IV, Section 3: 65 members in House from the first Congress until the first census.
Took up Article IV, Section 4 (future apportionment of House):
Agreed (9 – 2) to insert “not exceeding” before 40,000.
Considered the last clause of Section 4: “The Legislature shall… regulate the number of representatives by the number of inhabitants… at the rate of one for every forty thousand.”
Defeated (10 – 1) a motion by G. Morris to insert “free” before inhabitants: “Slavery… was a nefarious institution.”
Agreed to add provision by Dickinson for at least one representative in the House for each state.
Moved on to Article IV, Section 5 (money bills):
Approved motion to strike (7 – 4), thus challenging the Connecticut Compromise Pinckney, G. Morris, and Madison carry the day on this motion and Mason objects.
Took up Article IV, Section 6 (sole power of impeachment, choose its own speaker) and Section 7 (filling vacancies) and approved both.
Considered Article V, Section 1 (selection of Senators and provision for vacancies):
Defeated (8 – 1 – 1) motion to strike executive appointment to vacancies.
Agreed to give each Senator one vote and each state two members.
Article V, Section 2 agreed, nem con.
Article V, Section 3 (qualifications): 30 years old, citizen for 4 years, resident.
Defeated motions to require 14 years of citizenship (7 – 4) and 13 years of citizenship (7 – 4).
Defeated 10 years (7 – 4) and agreed to 9 years (6 – 4 – 1).
Substituted “inhabitant” for “resident.”
Article V, Section 4 (Senate shall choose its own officers) approved.
Took up Article VI, Section 1 (times and places of election) amended and approved.
Again, Randoplh objects to defeat of Article IV, Section 5 (Money Bills).
Reheard Article IV, Section 2 (giving Legislature authority to establish property qualification for members):
Motion by Pinckney to spell out property qualifications in the Constitution rejected on voice vote. Pinckney suggested $100,000 for President and $25,000 for Representatives.
Reconsidered (6 – 5) House residence requirement in Article IV, Section 2, and substituted 3 years for 7 at the request of James Wilson.
Took up Article VI, Section 3 (Quorum requirements):
Added power to compel attendance of absent members (10 – 0 – 1).
Agreed to Section 4 (each House to judge qualifications and elections of its members).
Section 5 (freedom of debate), passed nem con.
Took up Section 6 (rules, punishment for disorderly behavior, expulsion of members):
Agreed (10 – 0 – 1) to require 2/3 vote for expulsion.
Took up Article VI, Section 7 (Requiring journal and a record of each vote at request of 1/5 of members present), passed (7 – 3 – 1).
Reconsidered Article IV, Section 2 (House age and citizenship):
Defeated (7 – 4) Hamilton’s proposal to eliminate 7-year citizenship requirement.
Defeated 9 years (8 – 3), defeated 4 years (8 – 3), defeated 5 years (7 – 3 – 1), and agreed to the section as reported.
Reconsidered Article V, Section 3 (age and citizenship for Senators), and defeated (8 – 3) motion to reduce 9 years to 7.
Reconsidered Article IV, Section 5 (money bills):
After extensive debate, defeated (7 – 4) Randolph’s motion to reinstate exclusive power to originate in House. Washington supported Randolph on prudential grounds.
Defeated (4 – 7) proposition that money bills originate in House and amended in Senate. Dickinson suggested, “Experience must be our only guide. Reason may mislead us.”
Approved Article VI, Section 11 (enacting style for bills).Took up Article VI, Section 12 (either House may originate bills):
Postponed (6 – 5) pending determination of powers to be given Senate.
Took up Article VI, Section 13 (Presidential veto) (see coverage on June 4, June 6, and July 21):
Defeated (8 – 3) a motion that all bills should be submitted to the Executive and Judiciary before they become law. Madison’s provision for the Committee of Revision was defeated for the fourth and final time.
Agreed (6 – 4 – 1) to 3/4 vote to override Presidential veto.
Agreed (9 – 2) to 10 days instead of 7 for the President to return bills.
Took up Article VII, Section 1 (enumeration of Congressional powers):
Agreed, nem con, to power to lay and collect taxes, regulate international and interstate commerce, coin money, regulate foreign coin, and fix standards of weights and measures.
Approved (6 – 5) adding “and post roads” to power to “establish Post offices.”
Agreed (9 – 2) to strike out the words “and emit bills” in the 8th clause of Article VII, Section 1.
Resumed discussion of Article VII, Section 1 (enumeration of Congressional powers):
Agreed (7 – 3) to elect Treasurer by joint ballot (New Jersey not voting).
Agreed to “establish inferior courts, and make rules on captures.”
Agreed (7 – 3) to “define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas.”
Agreed similarly to “counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States, and offenses against the law of nations.”
Changed the clause Congress shall “make” war to Congress shall “declare war” (8 – 1).
“Separate questions having been taken on the 9, 10, 11, 12, and 14 clauses of the 1st section, 7 article as amended. They passed in the affirmative.”
Referred a list of suggested additional Congressional powers to the Committee of Detail.Agreed (6 – 4 – 1) to a Committee of 1 per state, chaired by William Livingston, to consider assumption of state debts.
Agreed (9 – 2) to meet daily, except Sunday, from 10:00 until 4:00, with no earlier adjournment allowed.
Continued discussion of Article VII, Section 1 (enumeration of Congressional powers):
Agreed to add “and support” to power to raise armies and agreed to strike “build and equip” in favor of “provide and maintain” Navy.
Agreed to add power to make rules for government and regulation of land and naval forces.
Considered different motions giving authority over militia and referred them (8 – 2 – 1) to a committee.
Pinckney introduces a bill of rights and the list of 12 is sent to the Committee of Detail:
Included in this list are liberty of the press, restrictions on the removal of the Writ of Habeus Corpus, subordination of the military to the civil power, and that “no religious test or qualification shall ever be annexed to any oath of office under the authority of the U. S.”
G. Morris proposes the foundations for a Presidential Cabinet:
Council of State, Domestic Affairs, Commerce and Finance, Foreign Affairs, War, and Marine
These are referred to the Committee of Detail.
Returned to Article VII, Section 1 (enumeration of Congressional powers):
Necessary and Proper Clause passed.
Defeated (8 – 3) Mason’s proposal to give Congress power to enact sumptuary laws.
Took up Article VII, Section 2 (defining treason):
After debate and numerous amendments, Section 2 was approved.
Took up Article VII, Section 3 (direct tax, House apportionment and census):
Agreed (9 – 2) to have first census within 3 years.
Heard a report from the Committee of State Debt Assumption and Militia Regulation, and laid it on the table:
Included assuming debts incurred “for the common defense and general welfare.”
Resumed discussion of Article VII, Section 3, and agreed to it (10 – 1).
Continued discussion of Article VI, Section 12 (origination of Bills):
Defeated (8 – 2 – 1) motion to apportion direct taxes to the number of representatives pending the first census.
Took up Article VII, Section 4 (no export taxes by States):
“The proportions of direct taxation shall be regulated by the whole number of white and other free citizens and inhabitants, of every age, sex and condition… and three-fifths of all other persons.”
Defeated (7 – 3) move to allow export taxes for revenue only.
Defeated (6 – 5) motion to permit export taxes with 2/3 majority vote.
Approved Section 3 (7 – 4).
Took up Article VII, Section 4 (no interference with the slave trade):
L. Martin, supported by George Mason, suggests that the slave trade be prohibited or at least taxed. He argued that the importation of slaves “was inconsistent with the principles of the revolution.” Rutledge rejoined, “Interest alone is the sovereign principle with Nations.” Ellsworth: “The morality or wisdom of slavery are considerations belonging to the states themselves.”
C. Pinckney stated, “if slavery be wrong, it is justified by the example of all the world.” Rutledge warns that North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia will not sign the Constitution without certain slavery protection clauses. Dickinson considered the importation of slaves “as inadmissible on every principle of honor and safety.” Randolph added that he “could never agree to the clause as it stands” and urged that the entire section be referred to a committee to seek a compromise solution.
Voted (7 – 3) to commit Article VII, Sections 4 and 5 to an 11-member committee chaired by William Livingston which included Dickinson and Luther Martin and excluded C. Pinckney and Rutledge. Section 6 was also committed to this committee.
Took up Article VII, Section 2 (prohibit bills of attainder and ex post facto laws):
Agreed (7 – 3 – 1).
The report of the Committee of 5 was postponed (6 – 5).
The report of the Committee of 11 on Assumption of State Debts was taken up:
After brief discussion it was agreed (11 – 0), “The Legislature shall discharge the debts and fulfill the obligations of the United States.”
Heard a report from the Committee of 11 on Slave Trade Article VII, Sections 4, 5, and 6 (no interference with slave trade, capitation taxes in proportion to census, no navigation acts without 2/3 vote in each House):
Committee recommended prohibiting interference with slave trade until 1800, keeping Section 5, striking section 6 and permitting a tax to be imposed on migration.
Agreed to reconsider debt provisions and interstate commerce clause (Article VII, Section 1).
Took up Article IX, Sections 2 and 3 (controversies among states, controversies arising from conflicting land grants):
Agreed (8 – 2) to strike both sections.
Took up Article X, Section 1 (Executive):
Agreed on one Executive but defeated four different methods of electing the President including by the people (9 – 2) and by electors (6 – 5).
Took up Article X, Section 2 (Executive powers and duties):
Ordered adjournment at 3:00pm for the future.
Approved (10 – 1) debt provision.
Defeated (10 – 1) motion to include common defense and general welfare clause in Article VII, Section 1, Clause 1.
Took up Article VII, Section 4 (slave trade) (see also July 23, August 8, 21, 22, 26, and 29):
Agreed (7 – 4) to change from 1800 to 1808 the prohibition on Congress (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia voting against).
Approved (7 – 4) “The migration or importation of such persons as the several states now existing should think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Legislature prior to the year 1808.” Madison stated, “twenty years will produce all the mischief that can be apprehended from the liberty to import slaves.” He also “thought it wrong to admit into the Constitution the idea that there could be property in men.”
Approved import tax not to exceed $10.00 per person.
Approved Article VII, Section 5 as reported.
Postponed Article VII, Section 6.
Continued on Executive powers in Article X.
Defeated (6 – 3 – 1) motion allowing appointment to Federal offices by State Executives in Article X, Section 2.
Continued on Executive powers in Article X.
Agreed (6 – 2) that President would be “commander chief… of the militia when called into the actual service of the United States” (Massachusetts, New Jersey, and North Carolina absent).
Began discussion of Article XI (Judicial powers):
Took up Section 1: “The Judicial Power of the United States…”:
Agreed (6 – 2) to Johnson’s motion to add “both in law and equity” after the words “United States.” Three states absent.
Approved Section 1 (6 – 2).
Took up Section 2:
Defeated (7 – 1) removal of justices by Executive on request of Legislature.
Approved Section 2 (6 – 2).
Took up Section 3:
Postponed clause considering the impeachment of judges.
Discussed distinction between original and appellate jurisdiction.
Agreed to add, “to which the United States is a Party” to “controversies.”
Approved (8 – 2) several other perfecting amendments. Johnson moved to insert the words “this Constitution and the” before the word “laws” in “The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall extend to all cases arising under the laws passed by the Legislature of the United States.”
This passed nem con on the understanding that the jurisdiction was “limited to cases of a Judiciary nature.”
Massachusetts, New Jersey, and North Carolina experienced difficulties meeting quorum requirements.
Heard a report from August 25th committee (regulation of commerce).
Continued discussion of Article XI:
Took up Section 3 (appellate jurisdiction):
Approved Section 3 (9 – 1).
Took up Section 4 (local trial by jury and Writ of Habeas Corpus):
Amended to provide for crimes committed outside any state.
Agreed (7 – 3) to add that the privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless where in cases of Rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.
Agreed to Section 4.
Agreed to Section 5 (limit punishment under impeachment):
Took up Article XII (limits on State powers):
Agreed (8 – 1 – 1) to add prohibition on emitting bills of credit, or making anything but gold or silver legal tender.
Agreed (7 – 3) that no State could pass bills of attainder or ex post facto laws.
Defeated (8 – 3) prohibiting laying of embargoes.
Agreed to Article XII as amended.
Took up Article XIII (additional prohibition on States):
Agreed (6 – 5) to prohibit States from taxing exports as well as imports without consent of Congress.
Agreed (9 – 2) that net receipts of State taxation of imports and exports go into Federal Treasury.
Agreed to Article XIII.
Took up Article XIV (mutual privileges and immunities):
Approved it (9 – 1 – 1).
Took up Article XV (extradition): “Any person charged with treason, felony, or high misdemeanor in any State, who shall flee from justice, and shall be found in any other State, shall, on demand of the Executive power of the State from which he fled, be delivered up and removed to the State having jurisdiction of the offence.”
“High misdemeanors” replaced by “other crimes.” Butler and Pinckney suggest that the extradition clause be extended to include run away slaves. They argue that “fugitive slaves (should) be delivered up like criminals.”
Agreed to Article XV, nem con.
Heard motion to establish uniform bankruptcy laws.
Committed both Article XVI and motion to Committee on State Commitments with 5 members, chaired by John Rutledge.
Took up recommendation by the Livingston Committee on Slave Trade to strike out Article VII, Section 6 (2/3 vote needed to approve Congressional regulation of international and interstate commerce):
Committee report approved (7 – 4).
Returned to Article XV and passed a fugitive slave clause (11 – 0) to be added at the end of the Article: “If any person bound to service or labor in any of the United States shall escape into another State, he or she shall not be discharged from such service or labor in consequence of any regulations susbsisting in the State to which they escape; but shall be delivered up to the person justly claiming their service or labor.”
Took up Article XVII (admission of new states) and passed (6 – 5).
Continued discussion on Article XVII (admission of new states):
Agreed (8 – 3) to permit the admission of new States on equal terms, prohibit dividing or combining states without consent of State Legislatures, and grant Congress authority to govern public lands, territory or other property of the United States.
Took up Article XVIII (guarantee of republican form of government): “The United States shall guaranty to each State a Republican form of Government; and shall protect each State against foreign invasion, and, on the application of its Legislature, against domestic violence.”
Dropped “foreign” and retained “domestic violence” over “insurrection” (6 – 5):
Amended and agreed (9 – 2).
Took up Article XIX (amending process) and agreed.
Took up Article XX (oath for officers of the government):
Added “or Affirmation.”
Added, “no religious test shall ever be required,” which passed nem con.
Agreed to Article XX (8 – 1 – 2).
Discussed Article XXI (mode of ratification of the Constitution): “The ratifications of the Conventions of ___ States shall be sufficient for organizing this Constitution.”
Continued discussing Article XXI (mode of ratification of the Constitution):
Shall the blank be filled with the number 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 13?
Agreed (9 – 1), to add “between the said states,” to limit effect of ratification to states actually ratifying.
Rejected (6 – 4) attempt to overturn provision requiring ratification by specially elected conventions rather than ratification by State Legislatures.
Debated number of states required to secure ratification of the Constitution:
Defeated (9 – 1) motion requiring all 13 states to ratify.
Defeated (7 – 4) motion requiring 10 states to ratify
Agreed (8 – 3) to motion requiring 9 states to ratify.
Agreed (10 – 1) to Article XXI as amended.
Took up Article XXII (Authorization of the Constitution by Confederation Congress):
Agreed (8 – 3) to strike provision requiring Confederation Congress approval of the Constitution.
Defeated (7 – 4) proposal in effect permitting Confederation Congress to rewrite the Constitution.
Defeated (8 – 3) motion to postpone discussion on Article XXII.
Agreed (10 – 1) to Article XXII as amended.
Discussed Article XXIII (transition from Confederation Government to Constitutional Government):
Agreed with amendments.
Took up Committee of 11 Report of Article VII, Section 4 (Export taxes and duties):
Agreed to provision not to give preference to one state over another.
Agreed (8 – 2) to proposal to prohibit requiring ships bound for one state to enter, clear, or pay duties in another.
Agreed on uniformity clause.
Conclusion of discussion on Committee of Detail Report.
Referred all leftover proposals to a Committee of one delegate from each state:
Discussed 4 out of 9 proposals submitted by Brearly Committee.
Approved Brearly Committee proposal #1 giving Federal Legislature authority to lay and collect taxes, duties, and imposts and provide for “the common defense and general welfare.”
Agreed to proposal #2 to amend Article VII, Section 1, interstate commerce clause, to include Congressional regulation of commerce “with the Indian tribes.”
Postponed proposal #3 to amend Article IX, Section 1. The proposal reads:
“The Senate of the United States shall have the power to try all impeachments; but no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.”
Took up proposal #4 to amend Article X, Section 1 (Election of Executive):
A.) And with the Vice President, “He shall hold his office during the term of 4 years.”
B.) “Each state shall appoint in such a manner as its Legislature shall 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.”
C.) “The person having the greatest number of (Electoral College) votes shall be the President.”
D.) “If no person have a majority, then from the 5 highest on the list the Senate shall choose by ballot the President.”
E.) “And in every case after the choice of the President, the person having the greatest number of votes shall be vice-president: but if there should remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate shall choose from them the vice-president.”
F.) “The Legislature may determine the time of choosing and assembling the Electors, and the manner of certifying and transmitting their votes.”
Received #5: Qualifications for President including “natural born citizen” clause.
Received #6: The Vice-President.
Received #7: Advice and consent of the Senate.
Received #8: Opinion in writing.
Received #9: Removal from office.
Agreed (7 – 3) to postpone consideration of #4-#9.
Received 5 additional proposals from the Brearly Committee, which were considered immediately.
Considered proposals #10, 11, 13, & 14, to amend Article VII, Section 1:
#10 – Added “and grant letters of marquee and reprisal” to the war powers clause, nem con.
#11 – Limited military appropriations to two years, nem con.
#13 – Granted exclusive jurisdiction over Federal land to Congress, nem con.
#14 – Provided limited patents to promote science and arts, nem con.
Agreed (9 – 2) to postpone proposal #12 concerning Article IV: A reconsideration of the Connecticut Compromise, namely, to now permit the Senate to amend money bills that originate in the House.
Gerry gave notice that he wanted to reconsider Articles XIX (amending), XX (oath), XXI (ratification), and XXII (blessing of Confedration Congress).
Returned to consideration of the 6 proposals left over from the September 4th submission of 9 proposals by the Brearly Committee (#4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).
Extensive discussion of proposal #4 to amend Article X, Section 1 (Election of Executive):
Defeated several motions concerning the election of the Executive:
Defeated (7 – 3 – 1) motion to overcome non-majoritarian outcomes in the Electoral College in the whole Congress instead of just the Senate.
Randolph “We have in some revolutions of this plan made a bold stroke for monarchy. We are now doing the same for an aristocracy.” Mason agreed.
Defeated (9 – 2) motion to limit choice in the Senate to the top 3 candidates instead of the top 5 candidates.
Wilson: “This subject…is in truth the most difficult of all of which we have had to decide.”
Agreed to request Congress to pay Convention expenses.
Continued discussion of proposal #4 to amend Article X, Section 1 (election of Executive):
Agreed (10 – 1) that the President and Vice-President to be elected to a term of 4 years.
Agreed (10 – 1) after discussion and amending to authorize the Senate to choose the Executive from top 4 candidates.
Agreed (10 – 1) to a motion by Williamson to substitute the House, with voting by states, for the Senate, or the whole Legislature, in electing the Executive from the top 4 candidates in the event of a break down of the Electoral College. Mason liked this because it reduced “the aristocratic influence of the Senate.”
Agreed Senate shall choose the Vice-President in the event of a tie for the Vice-Presidency.
Continued discussion on proposal #4 to amend Article X, Section 1 (election of Executive):
Agreed (8 – 3) on Electoral College with majority of electoral votes needed for the election of the Executive.
Decided (10 – 1) that the House, rather than the Senate, shall decide in such circumstances but each State shall have one vote.
Approved (6 – 4 – 1) motion to let Legislature determine who shall act in cases of disability of President and Vice-President.
Took up Proposal #5: Qualifications of the President:
Agreed (nem con) that the President should be a natural-born citizen, resident for 14 years and be 35 years of age.
Took up Proposal #6: Vice-President as President of Senate:
Agreed (8 – 2) that the Vice-President would serve as President of the Senate (North Carolina not voting).
Took up Proposal #7: Powers of the Executive:
Defeated (10 – 1) motion to include House in treaty-making.
Agreed to Presidential nomination and Senate concurrence of ambassadors, ministers, consuls, and other officers.
Approved treaty-making with “the advice and consent” of 2/3 of Senate present.
Defeated (8 – 3) motion for Council of Advisors to President.
Resumed discussion on Proposal #7: Powers of the Executive:
Reconsidered treaty power and engaged in lengthy discussion of role of the Senate especially the 2/3 approved rule.
Defeated (6 – 5) Sherman’s motion that “no treaty be made without a Majority of the whole number of the Senate.”
Agreed (8 – 3) to Brearly Committee Proposal #8 (President can request opinions of government officials in writing).
Took up Proposal #9: Impeachment of the President:
Mason wanted to add “maladministration” to “treason and bribery.”
Agreed (8 – 3) to replace “maladministration” with “other high crimes and misdemeanors against the State.”
Defeated (9 – 2) motion to strike Senate as body to judge on impeachment.
Agreed (11 – 0) to addition of Vice-President and other Civil Officers as subject to impeachment.
Returned to Proposal #12: Consideration of Money Bills:
Agreed (9 – 2) to Proposal #12: Origination of money bills in the House, subject to Senate amendment (This vote removes that feature of the Connecticut Compromise deemed vital by Mason, Gerry, and Randolph).
Balloted for a Committee of Style (Johnson, Hamilton, G. Morris, Madison, and King) to revise the style and arrange the articles which had been agreed to.”
Defeated (6 – 5) motion supported by Madison, and Hamilton to increase the size of House membership.
Reconsidered (9 – 1 – 1) Article XIX of the Committee of Detail report: Process to amend the Constitution (2/3 of State Legislatures requesting an amendment, the Congress shall call a Convention):
Madison wondered: “How was a Convention to be formed? By what rule decide? What is the force of its acts?”
Agreed (11 – 0) that an amendment proposal becomes part of the Constitution upon ratification of 3/4 of the State Legislatures or State Conventions. Rutledge: Exclude changes to 1808 agreement on slave trade.
Agreed (9 – 1 – 1) to permit 2/3 House and 2/3 Senate to request an amendment.
Agreed (7 – 3 – 1) to reconsider Article XXII of the Committee of Detail Report.
Approved (11 – 0) Article XXI:
This Constitution becomes effective on the approbation of 9 state ratifying conventions and “binding and conclusive” on those states “assenting thereto.”
Took up Article XXII:
Randolph and Gerry explain their reservations about signing the Constitution if “approbation by Congress” is not required. “Mr. Randolph took this opportunity to state his objection to the system.”
Rejected nem con a motion to require the approval of the Constitution by the Confederation Congress.
Committee of Detail Report, as revised, and Brearly Committee report, as revised, sent to the Committee of Style.
Resumed consideration of Report of Committee of Style:
Took up Article I and focused on Sections 2 & 7.
Agreed unanimously to substitute “service” for “servitude.”
Agreed (7 – 3) to allow State duties to defray costs of storage and inspection. Mason bemoans the absence of “a power to make sumptuary regulations.”
Named Mason, Franklin, Dickinson, Johnson, and Livingston to a committee to suggest measures for encouraging economy, frugality, and American manufactures (this committee never made a report). Johnson from the Committee of Style reported a substitute for Articles XXIII of the Committee of Detail Report.
Took up Article I, Section 8 (Powers of Congress):
Agreed (8 – 3) to strike election of Treasurer by Legislature.
Agreed (11 – 0) to add uniformity requirement to taxing power. Madison, Randolph, Wilson, G. Morris, and Mason debate meaning of “necessary and proper clause.”
Defeated (6 – 4 – 1) motion to give Congress power to establish a university. Pinckney, Gerry, and Sherman debate whether Congress has the power to interfere with freedom of the press.
Defeated (6 – 5) motion to insert “The Liberty of the Press shall be inviolably preserved.”
Took up Article I, Section 9 (Restraints on Congressional powers):
Defeated Mason’s motion “that an account of the public expenditures should be annually published.”
Adopted Madison’s suggestion nem con to change “annual” publications to “from time to time.”
Agreed to the Section with minimal debate.
Took up Article I, Section 10 (Restraints on the powers of the States):
Gerry’s motion to extend to the Federal Government “the restraint put on the states from impairing the obligations of contracts” failed to obtain a second.
Does the regulatory power of Congress restrain state commerce authority?
Agreed (6 – 4 – 1) that “no state shall lay any duty on tonnage with out the consent of Congress.”
Took up Article II, Section 1 (General structure of Executive Office):
Agreed (7 – 4) that the President shall not receive “any other emolument from the United States or any of them” during his term of office.
Took up Article II, Section 2 (Powers of the President):
Defeated (8 – 2 – 1) motion to extend the power “to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment” to include “cases of treason.”
Agreed (after debate, nem con) to G,. Morris’s “Inferior Officer’s” clause (Allows Congress to bypass the “advice and consent of the Senate” and vest/delegate the appointment of “inferior officers” to the President alone, the Courts of Law alone or the Heads of Departments alone). This motion was initially defeated (5 – 5 – 1).
Took up Article III, Section 2 (Trial by jury):
Defeated (nem con) an attempt to extend the “trial by jury” clause covering criminal cases to include civil cases.
Took up Article IV, Section 2 (Fugitive Slave clause):
Struck out “no person legally held to service or labor in one state escaping into another” and replaced it with “no person held to service or labor in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another” (emphasis added).
Addition of “under the laws thereof” removes the idea “that slavery was legal in a moral view.”
Agreed to Article IV, Section 3 (Admittance of new states).
Agreed to Article IV, Section 4 (Republican guarantee).
Took up Article V (Amending the Constitution).
Agreed (nem con) that Congress shall call a convention on the application for amendments by 2/3 of the State Legislatures.
Agreed (8 – 3) that a state cannot be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate without its own consent.
Unanimously rejected a call by Randolph, Mason, and Gerry “that amendments to the plan might be offered by the States Conventions, which should be submitted to and finally decided on by another general convention.”
Approved (10 – 0) the document as amended (North Carolina did not meet quorum call).
The Constitution was presented and read aloud; several delegates expressed concerns yet restrained their reservations in order to achieve a sense of unanimity.Randolph’s prediction: “Nine states will fail to ratify the plan and confusion must ensue.”Changed the base of representation in the House of Representatives from 1:40,000 to 1:30,000 with the support of Washington.Voted (10 – 1) to deposit the Journals (Secretary Jackson’s notes) with the President, subject to the orders of Congress.Heard Franklin’s “Rising Sun” speech.Signed the Constitution and adjourned, Mason, Randolph and Gerry refused to sign; Read signed Dickinson’s name in his absence.“The business being thus closed, the Members adjourned to the City Tavern, dined together and took a cordial leave of each other.”