Convention Proceedings. FRIDAY, 10 o’Clock, A. M.

The Convention met pursuant to adjournment, and resolved itself into a committee of the whole, on the report of the Convention of the States lately assembled in Philadelphia, and the resolutions and letter accompanying the same to Congress, and the resolution of Congress thereon…. [Convention Journal, 42–43]

——◆——

Convention Proceedings. met—in Committee.—

Proposition of Yesterday read [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

John Jay. rises—not to debate—yesterday gave the fullest Assurances that they meant to go hand in hand with us—& produces draft [of] a Letter intended to be sent to the several states— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes,NN]

* * * * * * *

Zephaniah Platt. for duties he owes himself. wishes to exp[lai]n when this proposition was broug[h]t forward it was supposed—it would bring us into the Union—What was the object? to come into the Union—fears this proposn. will not— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

Melancton Smith. this proposn. was submitted by him as a Middle Ground—& hoped both sides of the house would be pleased with it—but finding that neither will be pleased—that the plan itself will not ansr. the end—proposed as to the constitution—or the house—for it would make the breach worse—must be against it— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

Gilbert Livingston. said he was formerly for it but now has a doubt on Ac[coun]t of Congss. makeing treaties—which must endure perpetually & thinks congss cannot make a treaty for a longer time than they stand for, which doubt he wished to have removed by any Gent— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

[2301]

Convention Proceedings. That the question having been put on the amendment proposed by the motion of Mr. Lansing of yesterday, (and on motion of Mr. Schoonmaker the yeas and nays being taken) it passed in the negative in the manner following, viz.

For the Negative. [31]

  • Mr. Jay,
  • Mr. R. Morris,
  • Mr. Hobart,
  • Mr. Hamilton,
  • Mr. R. Livingston,
  • Mr. Roosevelt,
  • Mr. Duane,
  • Mr. Harison,
  • Mr. Low,
  • Mr. Scudder,
  • Mr. Havens,
  • Mr. J. Smith,
  • Mr. Jones,
  • Mr. Schenck,
  • Mr. Lawrence,
  • Mr. Lefferts,
  • Mr. Vandervoort,
  • Mr. Bancker,
  • Mr. Ryerss,
  • Mr. L. Morris,
  • Mr. P. Livingston,
  • Mr. Hatfield,
  • Mr. Van Cortlandt,
  • Mr. Crane,
  • Mr. Sarlls,
  • Mr. Woodhull,
  • Mr. Platt,
  • Mr. M. Smith,
  • Mr. Akins,
  • Mr. G. Livingston,
  • Mr. Hopkins.

For the Affirmative. [28]

  • Mr. R. Yates,
  • Mr. Lansing,
  • Mr. I. Thom[p]son,
  • Mr. Ten Eyck,
  • Mr. Tredwell,
  • Mr. President,
  • Mr. Cantine,
  • Mr. Schoonmaker,
  • Mr. Clark,
  • Mr. J. Clinton,
  • Mr. Wynkoop,
  • Mr. Carman,
  • Mr. Haring,
  • Mr. Wisner,
  • Mr. Wood,
  • Mr. Swartwout,
  • Mr. Harper,
  • Mr. C. Yates,
  • Mr. Frey,
  • Mr. Winn,
  • Mr. Veeder,
  • Mr. Staring,
  • Mr. Parker,
  • Mr. Williams,
  • Mr. Baker,
  • Mr. Van Ness,
  • Mr. Bay,
  • Mr. Adgate.
[Convention Journal, 70]

——◆——

Convention Proceedings. no person spoke before the questn.

On the question for adopting the amendment—

for it—  28—

against it—31— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

Samuel Jones. as it stands it [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

Convention Proceedings. That Mr. Tredwell then made a motion that the committee would reconsider that paragraph which respected the mode of introducing the declaration of rights and explanatory amendments. [Convention Journal, 70]

——◆——

Convention Proceedings. Tredwell. Movd. to have the introduction of the bill of rights altered— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

Samuel Jones. thinks it stands better as it is [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

[2302]

Thomas Tredwell. As it stands—not a single right—remains [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

James Duane. better as it stands— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

Nathaniel Lawrence. wishes to have the expressions as strong as possible— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

George Clinton. was content before—as it stood—but now from what Duane has said—he has doubts— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

William Harper. never expected to hear passive obedience preached in an Assembly of Americans—we will preserve our rights if we can, if we cannot, & must surrender at discretion we must abide the consequences— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

Melancton Smith. as it stands—it perfectly secures you as much—as any other words possibly can— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

Nathaniel Lawrence. a great difference between the words reservation & Confidence— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

Melancton Smith. still thinks it as secure in the one case as the other—the word confidence reservation[Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

Nathaniel Lawrence. [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

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George Clinton. wants to know if the rights are really secured or not—this he will insist on—not to depend on an illusion— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

Melancton Smith. what security can any one have respecting any right—but the confidence you put in the government which is to exercise the power [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

George Clinton. Smiths reasoning proves too much if it proves any thing—if the confidence we had in govt. was to be our only safety—[2303]why have we sat here so long—let us have these rights clearly expressed— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

Melancton Smith. did not by any means intend what the Hon[orabl]e Gent. supposed— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

John Jay. not very anctious—is willing to have it expressed as strongly as possible—

even expressly reserving all the rights not granted in the constitution— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

Convention Proceedings. That debates arose on the said motion, and that the question having been put thereon, it was carried in the affirmative in the manner following, viz.

For the Affirmative. [37]

  • Mr. R. Yates,
  • Mr. Lansing,
  • Mr. I. Thompson,
  • Mr. Scudder,
  • Mr. Havens,
  • Mr. Tredwell,
  • Mr. President,
  • Mr. Cantine,
  • Mr. Schoonmaker,
  • Mr. Clark,
  • Mr. J. Clinton,
  • Mr. Wynkoop,
  • Mr. Schenck,
  • Mr. Lawrence,
  • Mr. Carman,
  • Mr. Haring,
  • Mr. Woodhull,
  • Mr. Wisner,
  • Mr. Wood,
  • Mr. Platt,
  • Mr. Swartwout,
  • Mr. Akins,
  • Mr. G. Livingston,
  • Mr. D’Witt,
  • Mr. Harper,
  • Mr. C. Yates,
  • Mr. Frey,
  • Mr. Winn,
  • Mr. Veeder,
  • Mr. Staring,
  • Mr. Parker,
  • Mr. Williams,
  • Mr. Baker,
  • Mr. Hopkins,
  • Mr. Van Ness,
  • Mr. Bay,
  • Mr. Adgate.

For the Negative. [21]

  • Mr. Jay,
  • Mr. R. Morris,
  • Mr. Hobart,
  • Mr. Hamilton,
  • Mr. R. Livingston,
  • Mr. Roosevelt,
  • Mr. Duane,
  • Mr. Harison,
  • Mr. Low,
  • Mr. Jones,
  • Mr. Lefferts,
  • Mr. Vandervoort,
  • Mr. Bancker,
  • Mr. Ryerss,
  • Mr. L. Morris,
  • Mr. P. Livingston,
  • Mr. Hatfield,
  • Mr. Van Cortlandt,
  • Mr. Crane,
  • Mr. Sarlls,
  • Mr. M. Smith.
[Convention Journal, 71]

——◆——

Convention Proceedings. on the question for reconsideration on Mr. Tredwells Motion—

for it—  37—

against it—21— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

——◆——

Convention Proceedings. That the paragraph in Mr. Tredwell’s motion ⟨mentioned⟩ was accordingly reconsidered, amended and [2304]agreed to: and as amended and agreed to, is in the words following, viz.

“Under these impressions, and declaring that the rights aforesaid cannot be abridged or violated, and that the explanations aforesaid are consistent with the said Constitution, and in confidence that the amendments which shall have been proposed to the said Constitution will receive an early and mature consideration, WE the said Delegates in the name and in the behalf of the People of the State of New-York, DO by these presents assent to, and ratify the said Constitution.” [Convention Journal, 71]

* * * * * * *

Convention Proceedings. —on the motion— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

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Samuel Jones. Wishes to know what greater security we have under one word, than another word— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

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Thomas Tredwell. the difference between words—is greater in one case than the other— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

John Lansing, Jr. movd. an amendment—[– – –]— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

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William Harper. dont like it as well, as it stood—yet we seem to be so fluctuating—as that we must vote for it— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

Thomas Tredwell. cant vote for it—& yet dont like to vote for it wishes to have it altered— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

Melancton Smith. 2 things may be consistant—and yet not have all the things expressed in both [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

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Convention Proceedings. the question on Lansings Motion—put—and carried unanimously— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

* * * * * * *

Convention Proceedings. That the draft of the Declaration of Rights, Ratification of the Constitution and Explanatory Amendments being read, as amended, are in the words following, viz.

[2305]

WE the Delegates of the People of the State of New-York, duly elected and met in Convention, having maturely considered the Constitution for the United States of America, agreed to on the 17th day of September, in the year 1787, by the Convention then assembled at Philadelphia, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (a copy whereof precedes these presents) and having also seriously and deliberately considered the present situation of the United States, Do declare and make known,

That all power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from the people; and that government is instituted by them for their common interest, protection and security: That the enjoyment of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, are essential rights, which every government ought to respect and preserve.

That the powers of government may be re-assumed by the people, whensoever it shall become necessary to their happiness: That every power, jurisdiction and right, which is not by the said Constitution clearly delegated to the Congress of the United States, or the departments of the government thereof, remains to the people of the several States, or to their respective State Governments, to whom they may have granted the same: And that those clauses in the said Constitution, which declare that Congress shall not have or exercise certain powers, do not imply that Congress is entitled to any powers not given by the said Constitution; but such clauses are to be construed either as exceptions to certain specified powers, or as inserted merely for greater caution.

That the people have an equal, natural, and unalienable right freely and peaceably to exercise their religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that no religious sect or society ought to be favoured or established by law in preference of others.

That the people have a right to keep and bear arms: That a well regulated militia, including the body of the people capable of bearing arms, is the proper, natural and safe defence of a free State: That the militia should not be subject to martial law, except in time of war, rebellion or insurrection.

That standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be kept up, except in cases of necessity; and that at all times the military should be under strict subordination to the civil power.

That in time of peace no soldier ought to be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, and in time of war only by the civil Magistrate, in such manner as the laws may direct.

That no person ought to be taken, imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, or be exiled, or deprived of his privileges, franchises, life, liberty, or property, but by due process of law.

[2306]

That no person ought to be put twice in jeopardy of life or limb for one and the same offence, nor unless in case of impeachment, be punished more than once for the same offence.

That every person restrained of his liberty is entitled to an enquiry into the lawfulness of such restraint, and to a removal thereof, if unlawful; and that such inquiry and removal ought not to be denied or delayed, except when on account of public danger, the Congress shall suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishments inflicted.

That (except in the government of the land and naval forces, and of the militia when in actual service, and in cases of impeachment) a presentment or indictment by a Grand Jury, ought to be observed as a necessary preliminary to the trial of all crimes cognizable by the Judiciary of the United States; and such trial should be speedy, public, and by an impartial Jury of the county where the crime was committed; and that no person can be found guilty, without the unanimous consent of such Jury. But in cases of crimes not committed within any county of any of the United States, and in cases of crimes committed within any county in which a general insurrection may prevail, or which may be in the possession of a foreign enemy, the enquiry and trial may be in such county as the Congress shall by law direct; which county, in the two cases last mentioned, should be as near as conveniently may be to that county in which the crime may have been committed: And that in all criminal prosecutions the accused ought to be informed of the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with his accusers and the witnesses against him, to have the means of producing his witnesses, and the assistance of counsel for his defence, and should not be compelled to give evidence against himself.

That the trial by Jury, in the extent that it obtains by the common law of England, is one of the greatest securities to the rights of a free people, and ought to remain inviolate.

That every freeman has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seizures of his person, his papers, or his property; and therefore that all warrants to search suspected places, or seize any freeman, his papers or property, without information upon oath, or affirmation of sufficient cause, are grievous and oppressive; and that all general warrants (or such in which the place or person suspected, are not particularly designated) are dangerous and ought not to be granted.

That the people have a right peaceably to assemble together to consult for their common good, or to instruct their representatives, and [2307]that every person has a right to petition or apply to the Legislature for redress of grievances.

That the freedom of the press ought not to be violated or restrained.

That there should be once in four years an election of the President and Vice-President, so that no officer who may be appointed by the Congress to act as President in case of the removal, death, resignation or inability of the President and Vice-President can in any case continue to act beyond the termination of the period for which the last President and Vice-President were elected.

That nothing contained in the said Constitution is to be construed to prevent the Legislature of any State from passing laws at its discretion from time to time, to divide such State into convenient districts, and to apportion its representatives to and amongst such districts.

That the prohibition contained in the said Constitution against ex post facto laws, extends only to laws concerning crimes.

That all appeals in causes determinable according to the course of the common law, ought to be by writ of error, and not otherwise.

That the judicial power of the United States, in cases in which a State may be a party, does not extend to criminal prosecutions, or to authorize any suit by any person against a State.

That the judicial power of the United States, as to controversies between citizens of the same State claiming lands under grants of different States, is not to be construed to extend to any other controversies between them, except those which relate to such lands, so claimed under grants of different States.

That the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the United States, or of any other Court to be instituted by the Congress, is not in any case to be encreased, enlarged or extended by any fiction, collusion or mere suggestion:

And that no treaty is to be construed so to operate as to alter the Constitution of any State.

Under these impressions, and declaring that the rights aforesaid cannot be abridged or violated, and that the explanations aforesaid are consistent with the said Constitution; and in confidence that the amendments which shall have been proposed to the said Constitution, will receive an early and mature consideration; WE the said Delegates in the name, and in the behalf of the people of the State of New-York, DO by these presents assent to, and ratify the said Constitution. In full confidence nevertheless, that until a Convention shall be called and convened for proposing amendments to the said Constitution, the militia of this State will not be continued in service out of this State for a longer term than six weeks without the consent of the Legislature[2308]thereof. That the Congress will not make or alter any regulation in this State respecting the times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators or Representatives, unless the Legislature of this State shall neglect or refuse to make laws or regulations for the purpose, or from any circumstance be incapable of making the same; and that in those cases such power will only be exercised until the Legislature of this State shall make provision in the premises. That no excise will be imposed on any article of the growth, production or manufacture of the United States or any of them, within this State, ardent spirits excepted: And that Congress will not lay direct Taxes within this State, but when the monies arising from the Impost and Excise shall be insufficient for the public exigencies, nor then until Congress shall first have made a requisition upon this State to assess, levy and pay the amount of such requisition, made agreeably to the census fixed in the said Constitution, in such way and manner as the Legislature of this State shall judge best; but that in such case, if the State shall neglect or refuse to pay its proportion pursuant to such requisition, then the Congress may assess and levy this State’s proportion, together with interest at the rate of six per centum per annum, from the time at which the same was required to be paid.

Done in Convention at Poughkeepsie, in the County of Dutchess, in the State of New-York, the twenty-  day of July, in the year of our Lord, 1788.

By Order of the Convention.

That the question having been put, whether the Committee did agree to the said Declaration of Rights, form of a Ratification of the Constitution and explanatory Amendments, (and on motion of Mr. Lansing the yeas and nays being taken) it was carried in the affirmative in the manner following, viz.

For the Affirmative. [31]

  • Mr. Jay,
  • Mr. R. Morris,
  • Mr. Hobart,
  • Mr. Hamilton,
  • Mr. R. Livingston,
  • Mr. Roosevelt,
  • Mr. Duane,
  • Mr. Harison,
  • Mr. Low,
  • Mr. Scudder,
  • Mr. Havens,
  • Mr. Jones,
  • Mr. Schenck,
  • Mr. Lawrence,
  • Mr. Carman,
  • Mr. Lefferts,
  • Mr. Vandervoort,
  • Mr. Bancker,
  • Mr. Ryerss,
  • Mr. L. Morris,
  • Mr. P. Livingston,
  • Mr. Hatfield,
  • Mr. Van Cortlandt,
  • Mr. Crane,
  • Mr. Sarlls,
  • Mr. Woodhull,
  • Mr. Wisner,
  • Mr. Platt,
  • Mr. M. Smith,
  • Mr. G. Livingston,
  • Mr. D’Witt.

For the Negative. [28]

  • Mr. R. Yates,
  • Mr. Lansing,
  • Mr. I. Thompson,
  • [2309]
  • Mr. Ten Eyck,
  • Mr. Tredwell,
  • Mr. President,
  • Mr. Cantine,
  • Mr. Schoonmaker,
  • Mr. Clark,
  • Mr. J. Clinton,
  • Mr. Wynkoop,
  • Mr. Haring,
  • Mr. Wood,
  • Mr. Swartwout,
  • Mr. Akins,
  • Mr. Harper,
  • Mr. C. Yates,
  • Mr. Frey,
  • Mr. Winn,
  • Mr. Veeder,
  • Mr. Staring,
  • Mr. Parker,
  • Mr. Williams,
  • Mr. Baker,
  • Mr. Hopkins,
  • Mr. Van Ness,
  • Mr. Bay,
  • Mr. Adgate.
[Convention Journal, 72–76]

——◆——

Convention Proceedings. The Ratification read—with the amends.

The question put, on the form of the ratification—

for it—  31—

against it—28—[Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

——◆——

Convention Proceedings…. after some time spent therein [in committee of the whole], Mr. President re-assumed the Chair, and Mr. Oothoudt reported, that the committee had considered and debated the said Report of the Convention of the States by clauses, and agreed to a declaration of Rights, a form of a Ratification of the said Report of the Convention of the States, with explanatory amendments, to be made to the said Report of the Convention of the States, or form of a Constitution; which he was directed to report to this Convention. Mr. Oothoudt read the report in his place, and delivered the same in at the table, where it was again read, and is in the words following, viz. [Convention Journal, 43]

[Editors’ Note: Summary of the Committee of the Whole Report, 25 July 1788]

The report of the committee of the whole tracing the Convention’s proceedings respecting the manner in which the Constitution was to be ratified may be found on pages 43–76 of the Convention Journal. It consists of the following actions that took place on ten different days.

  • 19 June: On motion of Robert R. Livingston, the Committee resolved that no vote be taken until the entire Constitution and any proposed amendments were considered clause by clause (RCS:N.Y., 1688).
  • 11 July: John Jay moved that the Constitution be ratified with certain doubtful parts explained and that amendments ought to be recommended (RCS:N.Y., 2130).
  • 15 July: Melancton Smith moved to amend Jay’s proposal by limiting the implementation of certain parts of the Constitution “Upon condition nevertheless” that a second general convention of the states shall be convened to amend the Constitution (RCS:N.Y., 2177–78).
  • 17 July: James Duane moved that Smith’s proposal be postponed to consider a form of ratification proposed by Alexander Hamilton that recognized the limited extent of Congress’ delegated powers and thus[2310]the reserved powers left to the states and people. The form also construed various provisions of the Constitution and called upon Congress to recognize these constructions by “a declaratory act.” Finally the form included thirteen amendments to be considered and ratified as provided by Article V of the Constitution. The motion to postpone was defeated by a roll-call vote of 41–20 (RCS:N.Y., 2205–8, 2210).
  • 19 July: John Lansing, Jr., moved to postpone the several other propositions to consider a draft of a form of ratification which included conditional and recommendatory amendments. The proposal was adopted by a roll-call vote of 41–18 (RCS:N.Y., 2234–42, 2243).
  • 21 July: Lansing’s amendments were considered during which seven roll-call votes were taken (RCS:N.Y., 2255–61).
  • 22 July: Lansing’s amendments were further considered during which four roll-call votes were taken (RCS:N.Y., 2266–72).
  • 23 July: Two alterations in the final Form of Ratification eliminating conditions were considered and approved by roll-call votes (RCS:N.Y., 2278–79, 2280–81).
  • 24 July: Four of Lansing’s amendments were considered and passed (one by a roll-call vote). Lansing then moved another amendment allowing New York to recede from the Union if after an unspecified number of years a convention had not yet considered New York’s proposed amendments. Debates on this amendment continued to the next day (RCS:N.Y., 2288–90, 2296).
  • 25 July: Lansing’s proposed amendment was rejected by a roll-call vote of 31–28 (RCS:N.Y., 2301). Thomas Tredwell proposed that the paragraph introducing the Declaration of Rights and explanatory amendments be reconsidered. His proposal was approved by a roll-call vote of 37–21. The introductory paragraph was agreed to as amended (RCS:N.Y., 2301, 2303–4). The committee of the whole then approved the Declaration of Rights, the Form of Ratification, and the explanatory amendments by a roll-call vote of 31–28 (RCS:N.Y., 2304–9).

——◆———

Convention Proceedings. Mr. Oothoudt farther reported, that he was directed by the said Committee to move for leave to sit again.

[Convention Journal, 76]

——◆——

Convention Proceedings. committee rose—and reported the form of the ratification agreed on in committee— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

——◆——

Convention Proceedings. The said report having been heard and considered, Mr. President put the question, whether the Convention did [2311]agree with the Committee in the said report, (and the yeas and nays being taken) it was carried in the affirmative in the manner following, viz.

For the Affirmative. [30]

  • Mr. Jay,
  • Mr. R. Morris,
  • Mr. Hobart,
  • Mr. Hamilton,
  • Mr. R. Livingston,
  • Mr. Roosevelt,
  • Mr. Duane,
  • Mr. Harison,
  • Mr. Low,
  • Mr. Havens,
  • Mr. Jones,
  • Mr. Schenck,
  • Mr. Lawrence,
  • Mr. Carman,
  • Mr. Lefferts,
  • Mr. Vandervoort,
  • Mr. Bancker,
  • Mr. Ryerss,
  • Mr. L. Morris,
  • Mr. P. Livingston,
  • Mr. Hatfield,
  • Mr. Van Cortlandt,
  • Mr. Crane,
  • Mr. Sarlls,
  • Mr. Woodhull,
  • Mr. Wisner,
  • Mr. Platt,
  • Mr. M. Smith,
  • Mr. G. Livingston,
  • Mr. D’Witt.

For the Negative. [25]

  • Mr. R. Yates,
  • Mr. Lansing,
  • Mr. Oothoudt,
  • Mr. I. Thompson,
  • Mr. Ten Eyck,
  • Mr. Tredwell,
  • Mr. Schoonmaker,
  • Mr. Clark,
  • Mr. J. Clinton,
  • Mr. Wynkoop,
  • Mr. Wood,
  • Mr. Swartwout,
  • Mr. Harper,
  • Mr. C. Yates,
  • Mr. Frey,
  • Mr. Winn,
  • Mr. Veeder,
  • Mr. Staring,
  • Mr. Parker,
  • Mr. Williams,
  • Mr. Baker,
  • Mr. Hopkins,
  • Mr. Van Ness,
  • Mr. Bay,
  • Mr. Adgate.

Thereupon Ordered, That Duplicates of the said Draft of Ratification, as reported by the Committee, be engrossed.

Ordered, That the said Committee have leave to sit again.

On motion of Mr. Duane,

Resolved unanimously, That a circular Letter be prepared to be laid before the different Legislatures of the United States, pressing in the most earnest manner, the necessity of a general Convention to take into their consideration the amendments to the Constitution, proposed by the several State Conventions.

Ordered, That a Committee of three members be appointed by ballot, to prepare and report the draft of a Letter accordingly.

The ballots being taken and told, it appeared that Mr. Jay, Mr. Lansing and Mr. M. Smith, were elected.

Ordered, That those three gentlemen be a Committee for that purpose.

Then the Convention adjourned until five of the clock in the afternoon. [Convention Journal, 76–77]

——◆——

Convention Proceedings. President in the Chair—

On the question wheather the convention agree to the report of the committee—

for it—30—

against it—25—

[2312]

Ordered the report be engrossed—

Motion that a commee. be appointed to take into considn. a prepare a circular Letter &t

agreed unanimously—

Mr Jay
Mr Lansing
Mr Smith
Commitee

Convention adjourned till 5 oClock this afternoon— [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

——◆——

Convention Proceedings.

5 o’Clock, P. M.

The Convention met pursuant to adjournment, and resolved itself into a Committee of the whole on the report of the Convention of the States lately assembled in Philadelphia, and the resolution and letter accompanying the same to Congress, and the resolution of Congress thereon; after some time spent therein, Mr.President reassumed the chair, and Mr. Oothoudt from the said Committee, reported, that the Committee had proceeded farther to consider the Recommendatory Amendments proposed to the said Constitution, and that in proceeding therein, Mr. Jay made a motion for an amendment in the words following, viz.

“That no person, except natural born citizens, or such as were citizens on or before the fourth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, or such as held commissions under the United States during the war, and have at any time since the fourth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and seventy six, become citizens of one or other of the United States, and who shall be freeholders, shall be eligible to the places of President, Vice-President or members of either House of the Congress of the United States.”

That Mr. Lansing then made a motion, that the words and who shall be freeholders, should be obliterated.

That debates arose on the said motion, and that the question having been put thereon, it passed in the negative in the manner following, viz.

For the Negative. [34]

  • Mr. Jay,
  • Mr. R. Morris,
  • Mr. Hobart,
  • Mr. R. Livingston,
  • Mr. Roosevelt,
  • Mr. Harison,
  • Mr. R. Yates,
  • Mr. Havens,
  • Mr. President,
  • Mr. Schoonmaker,
  • Mr. Clark,
  • Mr. J. Clinton,
  • Mr. Wynkoop,
  • Mr. Jones,
  • Mr. Schenck,
  • Mr. Lawrence,
  • Mr. Lefferts,
  • Mr. Vandervoort,
  • Mr. Bancker,
  • Mr. Ryerss,
  • Mr. P. Livingston,
  • Mr. Hatfield,
  • Mr. Van Cortlandt,
  • Mr. Crane,
  • Mr. Sarlls,
  • Mr. Woodhull,
  • Mr. Wisner,
  • Mr. Wood,
  • Mr. Platt,
  • Mr. M. Smith,
  • Mr. Akins,
  • Mr. G. Livingston,
  • Mr. Parker,
  • Mr. Baker.

For the Affirmative. [18]

  • Mr. Hamilton,
  • Mr. Low,
  • Mr. Lansing,
  • Mr. I. Thom[p]son,
  • Mr. Scudder,
  • Mr. Tredwell,
  • Mr. Carman,
  • Mr. Haring,
  • Mr. Swartwout,
  • Mr. D’Witt,
  • Mr. Harper,
  • Mr. Frey,
  • Mr. Winn,
  • Mr. Williams,
  • Mr. Hopkins,
  • Mr. Van Ness,
  • Mr. Bay,
  • Mr. Adgate.

That the question having been then put, whether the Committee did agree to the amendment proposed by the motion of Mr. Jay, it was carried in the affirmative.

That the Committee had considered of, and agreed to sundry amendments to be recommended to be made to the said Constitution, and which are in the words following, viz.

And the Convention do in the name and behalf of the people of the State of New-York, enjoin it upon their representatives in the Congress, to exert all their influence and use all reasonable means to obtain a ratification of the following amendments to the said Constitution in the manner prescribed therein, and in all laws to be passed by the Congress in the mean time, to conform to the spirit of the said amendments as far as the Constitution will admit.

That there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand inhabitants, according to the enumeration or census mentioned in the Constitution, until the whole number of Representatives amounts to two hundred; after which that number shall be continued or increased, but not diminished, as Congress shall direct, and according to such ratio as the Congress shall fix, in conformity to the rule prescribed for the appointment of Representatives and direct taxes.

That the Congress do not impose any excise on any article (except ardent spirits) of the growth, production or Manufacture of the United States, or any of them.

That Congress will not lay direct taxes but when the monies arising from the Impost and Excise shall be insufficient for the public exigencies, nor then, until Congress shall first have made a requisition upon the States to assess, levy and pay their respective proportions of such requisition, agreeably to the census fixed in the said Constitution, in such way and manner as the Legislatures of the respective States shall judge best; and in such Case if any State shall neglect or refuse to pay its proportion pursuant to such requisition, then Congress may assess and levy such State’s proportion, together with interest at the rate of [2314]six per Centum per annum, from the time of payment prescribed in such requisition.

That the Congress shall not make or alter any regulation in any State respecting the times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators or Representatives, unless the Legislature of such State shall neglect or refuse to make laws or regulations for the purpose, or from any circumstance be incapable of making the same, and then only until the Legislature of such State shall make provision in the premises; provided, that the Congress may prescribe the time for the election of Representatives.

That no persons except natural born citizens, or such as were citizens on or before the fourth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, or such as held commissions under the United States during the war, and have at any time since the fourth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, become citizens of one or other of the United States, and who shall be freeholders, shall be eligible to the places of President, Vice-President, or members of either House of the Congress of the United States.

That the Congress do not grant monopolies, or erect any company with exclusive advantages of commerce.

That no standing army or regular troops shall be raised, or kept up in time of peace, without the consent of two-thirds of the Senators and Representatives present in each House.

That no money be borrowed on the credit of the United States, without the assent of two-thirds of the Senators and Representatives present in each House.

That the Congress shall not declare war without the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators and Representatives present in each House.

That the privilege of the Habeas Corpus shall not by any law, be suspended for a longer term than six months, or until twenty days after the meeting of the Congress, next following the passing of the act for such suspension.

That the right of the Congress to exercise exclusive legislation over such district, not exceeding ten miles square, as may by cession of a particular State and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, shall not be so exercised as to exempt the inhabitants of such district from paying the like taxes, imposts, duties and excises as shall be imposed on the other inhabitants of the State in which such district may be; and that no person shall be privileged within the said district from arrest, for crimes committed or debts contracted out of the said district.

[2315]

That the right of exclusive legislation, with respect to such places as may be purchased for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock yards, and other needful buildings, shall not authorize the Congress to make any law to prevent the laws of the States respectively in which they may be from extending to such places in all civil and criminal matters, except as to such persons as shall be in the service of the United States, nor to them, with respect to crimes committed without such places.

That the compensation for the Senators and Representatives be ascertained by standing laws, and that no alteration of the existing rate of compensation shall operate for the benefit of the Representatives, until after a subsequent election shall have been had.

That the journals of the Congress shall be published at least once a year, with the exceptions of such parts relating to treaties or military operations as in the judgment of either House shall require secrecy; and that both Houses of Congress shall always keep their doors open during their sessions, unless the business may in their opinion require secrecy. That the yeas and nays shall be entered on the journals whenever two members in either House may require it.

That no capitation tax shall ever be laid by the Congress.

That no person be eligible as a Senator for more than six years in any term of twelve years; and that the Legislatures of the respective States may recal their Senators, or either of them, and elect others in their stead, to serve the remainder of the time for which the Senators so recalled, were appointed.

That no Senator or Representative shall during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any office under the authority of the United States.

That the authority given to the executives of the States to fill the vacancies of Senators be abolished, and that such vacancies be filled by the respective Legislatures.

That the power of Congress to pass uniform laws concerning bankruptcy, shall only extend to merchants and other traders, and that the States respectively may pass laws for the relief of other insolvent debtors.

That no person shall be eligible to the office of President of the United States a third time.

That the Executive shall not grant pardons for treason, unless with the consent of the Congress, but may, at his discretion, grant reprieves to persons convicted of treason, until their cases can be laid before the Congress.

That the President, or person exercising his powers for the time being, shall not command an army in the field, in person, without the previous desire of the Congress.

[2316]

That all letters patent, commissions, pardons, writs and process of the United States, shall run in the name ofthe people of the United States, and be tested in the name of the President of the United States, or the person exercising his powers for the time being, or the first Judge of the Court out of which the same shall issue, as the case may be.

That the Congress shall not constitute, ordain, or establish any tribunals or inferior Courts with any other than appellate jurisdiction, except such as may be necessary for the trial of causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, and for the trial of piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and in all other cases to which the judicial power of the United States extends, and in which the Supreme Court of the United States has not original jurisdiction, the causes shall be heard, tried, and determined, in some one of the State Courts, with the right of appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, or other proper Tribunal to be established for that purpose by the Congress, with such exceptions and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.

That the Court for the trial of Impeachments, shall consist of the Senate, the Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, and the first or senior Judge for the time being, of the highest Court of the general and ordinary common law jurisdiction in each State: That the Congress shall by standing laws, designate the Courts in the respective States, answering this description, and in States having no Courts exactly answering this description, shall designate some other Court prefering such, if any there be, whose Judge or Judges may hold their places during good behaviour: Provided, that no more than one Judge, other than Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, shall come from one State: That the Congress be authorised to pass laws for compensating the said Judges for such services, and for compelling their attendance; and that a majority, at least, of the said Judges shall be requisite to constitute the said Court: That no person impeached shall sit as a member thereof: That each member shall, previous to the entering upon any trial, take an oath or affirmation, honesty and impartially to hear and determine the cause; and that a majority of the members present shall be necessary to a conviction.

That persons aggrieved by any judgment, sentence or decree of the Supreme Court of the United States in any cause in which that Court has original jurisdiction, with such exceptions, and under such regulations, as the Congress shall make concerning the same, shall upon application have a commission, to be issued by the President of the United States, to such men learned in the law as he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint not less than seven, authorising such Commissioners, or any seven or more of[2317]them, to correct the errors in such judgment, or to review such sentence and decree, as the case may be, and to do justice to the parties in the premises.

That no Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States shall hold any other office under the United States or any of them.

That the judicial power of the United States shall extend to no controversies respecting land, unless it relate to claims of territory or jurisdiction between States, or to claims of lands between individuals, or between States and individuals, under the grants of different States.

That the militia of any State shall not be compelled to serve without the limits of the State for a longer term than six weeks, without the consent of the Legislature thereof.

That the words without the consent of the Congress in the 7th clause of the 9th section of the first article of the Constitution, be expunged.

That the Senators and Representatives, and all executive and judicial officers of the United States, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, not to infringe or violate the Constitutions or Rights of the respective States.

That the Legislatures of the respective States may make provision by law, that the Electors of the Election District to be by them appointed, shall chuse a citizen of the United States, who shall have been an inhabitant of such District for the term of one year immediately preceding the time of his election for one of the Representatives of such State.

Done in Convention, at Poughkeepsie in the County of Dutchess, in the State of New-York, the _____ day of July, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight.

By Order of the Convention.

Mr. Oothoudt read the report in his place, and delivered the same in at the table, where it was again read.

Mr. President then put the question, whether the Convention did agree with the Committee in the last report, and it was unanimously carried in the affirmative. Thereupon

Ordered, That Duplicates of the said report of Amendments to be recommended to be made to the said Constitution, be engrossed.

Then the Convention adjourned until nine of the clock to-morrow morning. [Convention Journal, 77–82]

——◆——

Convention Proceedings. Met—in Comee

went thro the amendments—

Adjourned till 9 oClock tomorrow Morng [Gilbert Livingston, Notes, NN]

The proceedings from the Convention Journal for 25 July that are printed here and throughout this entry for the morning session represent the last part of the report of [2318]the committee of the whole that traced the Convention’s proceedings respecting the manner in which the Constitution was to be ratified. (For a description of what is in the committee of the whole report, see RCS:N.Y., 2309–10.)

The proceedings for 25 July—excepting the text of the Declaration of Rights and Explanatory Amendments, Form of Ratification, and Recommendatory Amendments—were printed in the Country Journal on 30 September and 7 October. With respect to the missing material, the Country Journal referred its readers to its issues of 29 July and 12 August. TheCountry Journal reprinted the entire report of the committee of the whole serially between 29 July and 7 October.

The proposition is Lansing’s motion reserving a right to recede after a number of years. This motion was a renewal of Melancton Smith’s second proposal of 17 July (see Convention Debates and Proceedings, 17 July, at note 22, above), which Zephaniah Platt had seconded.

Livingston probably means that there was no further debate once the question was called. For earlier debate on the motion, see 24 July and above on 25 July.

The word in angle brackets was not typeset in the Convention Journal but was written in by hand in the copies of the Journal in the New York Public Library (Evans 21313) and New York State Library. It also appears in the manuscript journal and the “Extracts from the Journals” printed in the Country Journal, 30 September.

Pleased by this vote, Federalist Philip Schuyler was optimistic about the coming vote on ratification in the Convention. “Thus,” Schuyler concluded, “perseverence, patience and abilities have prevailed against numbers and prejudice” (to Peter Van Schaack, 25 July, VI, below).

In the manuscript roll-call votes found in the McKesson Papers (NHi), the last names of four “absent” delegates are placed alongside the “Affirmative” and “Negative” columns approximately at the places where the names would have been listed had the absent delegates voted. The name of Henry Scudder (Suffolk County) is found next to the “Affirmative” column, while the names of John Cantine (Ulster County), John Haring (Orange County), and Jonathan Akin (Dutchess County) are found next to the “Negative” column. Scudder’s name also appears next to the negative column but it is crossed out. Had the absent members voted this way, the vote would have been 31 to 28 for the Convention adopting the committee of the whole report. This vote is identical to the previous vote in the committee of the whole to adopt the report, except in two respects. Henry Oothoudt as chairman of the committee of the whole did not vote in the first roll-call vote, and George Clinton as president of the Convention did not vote in the second.

Two manuscript versions of this amendment are in the McKesson Papers at the New-York Historical Society. On one of them is the notation “Not to be inserted until 25 July P.M.” See Mfm:N.Y. for facsimiles and transcriptions of these two manuscript versions.

Newspaper Report of Convention Debates, 25 July 1788

New York Independent Journal, 28 July 1788 (Supplement Extraordinary) (excerpt)

Copy of a Letter from Poughkeepsie, dated Friday, July 25, 1788.

“… The question was brought on this morning. M. Smith made a short speech, declaring his object in originally bringing forward the proposition.2 He hoped it would unite both sides; but as he found it would not, and that there was no alternative between adopting and rejecting the Constitution, he should vote against the proposition. It was carried against it by a majority of 3. Thank God we have now got the Constitution; I congratulate you.

[2319]

“I will give you the Yeas and Nays and you may rely on the accuracy of it.

Y  E  A  S.
  6 from Ulster County.
  3 Columbia
  6 Montgomery
Wesner
Wood
Herring
Orange
Swartwout Dutchess
Yates
Lansing
Ten-Eyck
Thompson
Albany
Carman Queens
Tredwell Suffolk
Williams
Baker
Parker
Washington
—————
Total 28.
N  A  Y  S.
19 Old Federalists.
Havens
J. Smith
Scudder
Suffolk County.
Jones
Schenck
Lawrence
Queens
Platt
M. Smith
G. Livingston
Akin
Dutchess
Woodhul Orange
Hopkins Washington
—————
Total 31.[”]

[2320]

Extract of another Letter from the same Gentleman wrote Friday afternoon, shortly after he had closed the foregoing.

“The Committee just this moment rose and reported; the President in the chair; the question called, and the House agreed to the report by a majority of five, 30 for it, 25 against it. There were several members out of doors, but they were all for us. Let us mingle an ejaculation to Heaven for our success. All they have to do, is to engross the Ratification.”

Extract of another Letter from a Member of the Convention at Poughkeepsie, to his Correspondent in Staten-Island, dated half past three o’clock Friday afternoon.

“The Convention has this minute adjourned to meet again at 5 o’clock, and, in the intermediate space have but just time to communicate to you our success. The Constitution has, comparatively speaking, undergone an ordeal [by] torture, and been preserved, as by fire. We have this day completed an unconditional Adoption of it—Yeas 30, Nays 25. Let all around you, and particularly Mr. B——, partake of this information, that they may likewise partake of the general joy, which must animate every lover of his country, and friend to Union, on the tidings of so auspicious an event.

“We are in hopes to be with you by Tuesday next. We will say no more until we meet. May the God of Heaven protect and preserve you all; this is our wish flowing from the purest affection.”

This item represents the concluding part of a letter from Poughkeepsie, dated 25 July, that was first printed on 28 July in the Independent Journal (broadside Supplement Extraordinary) and the Daily Advertiser. The letter covered the Convention’s proceedings for 23, 24, and 25 July; the proceedings for the 23rd and 24th appear above under those dates. (For a further discussion of the Independent Journal’s printing, see RCS:N.Y., 2285.) Immediately below the 25 July letter, the Independent Journal and the Daily Advertiser printed two brief letter extracts also written on Friday, 25 July. See notes 3–4, below, for more on these extracts.

The excerpt from the copy of the 25 July letter (printed here) was reprinted in the New York Packet and New York Museum, 29 July, New York Journal, 31 July, and Hudson Weekly Gazette, 5 August, and in whole or in part in sixteen newspapers outside New York by 14 August: N.H. (1), Mass. (3), R.I. (2), Conn. (2), Pa. (4), Md. (1), Va. (2), S.C. (1).

For the “proposition” and Melancton Smith’s role in bringing it forward, see Convention Debates and Proceedings, 25 July, note 2 (above).

This extract of a letter also appeared in the Daily Advertiser, 28 July, and was reprinted in the New York Packet andNew York Museum, 29 July, New York Journal, 31 July, Lansing-burgh Federal Herald, 4 August, and Hudson Weekly Gazette, 5 August, and in thirteen newspapers outside New York by 13 August: Mass. (1), R.I. (2), Conn. (2), Pa. (4), Md. (1), Va. (3).

In reprinting this extract of a letter on 29 July the New Brunswick, N.J., Brunswick Gazette and Pennsylvania Packettold their readers that it was written by Gozen Ryerss and [2321]Abraham Bancker—Richmond County’s two delegates to the New York Convention. The Pennsylvania Packet claimed that it had received a “Copy” of the letter from a Philadelphia gentleman who had arrived from New York on the evening of 28 July. The Brunswick Gazette, like thePacket, described this as a copy of a letter but did not reveal its source. Two newspapers that reprinted the letter extract from the Pennsylvania Packet also mentioned Ryerss and Bancker. This letter extract was reprinted in the New York Packetand New York Museum, 29 July, and in whole or in part in nineteen newspapers outside New York by 23 August: Mass. (2), R.I. (2), Conn. (5), Pa. (5), N.J. (1), Va. (1), S.C. (1), Ga. (2).

Possibly Adrian Bancker, Abraham Bancker’s father.

Source: The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution Digital Edition, ed. John P. Kaminski, Gaspare J. Saladino, Richard Leffler, Charles H. Schoenleber and Margaret A. Hogan. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009.