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States of the Union to a sense of the truly critical and alarming situation in which they may inevitably be involved, unless timely measures be taken to enlarge the powers of Congress, that they may be thereby enabled to avert the danger which threaten our existence as a free and independent people. And whereas this State hath been ever desirous to act upon the liberal system of the general good of the United States, without circumscribing its views to the narrow and selfish objects of partial convenience, and has been at all times ready to make every concession to the safety and happiness of the whole, which justice and sound policy could vindicate.

Be it therefore enacted, by the Senate and House of Representatives in general court convened, that John Langdon, John Pickering, Nicholas Gilman, and Benjamin West, esqrs., be, and hereby are appointed commissioners; they, or any two of them, are hereby authorized and empowered, as deputies from this State, to meet at Philadelphia said convention, or any other place to which the convention may be adjourned, for the purposes aforesaid, there to confer with such deputies as are, or may be, appointed by the other States for similar purposes, and with them to discuss and decide upon the most effectual means to remedy the defects of our Federal Union, and to procure and secure the enlarged purposes which it was intended to effect, and to report such an act to the United States in Congress, as, when agreed to by them, and duly confirmed by the several States, will effectually provide for the same.


In the House of Representatives, June 27, 1787. The foregoing, bill having been read a third time-voted, that it pass to be enacted. Sent up for concurrence.

JOHN SPARHAWK, Speaker. In Senate, the same day: The bill having been read a third time, voted, that the same be enacted.

JOHN SULLIVAN, President. Copy examined, per

JOSEPH PEARSON, Secretary. [L. 9.)


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In pursuance of the foregoing powers, the Delegates met in Convention at Philadelphia on the 14th day, being the second Monday in May, A. D. 1787, and on the 17th of September, 1787, agreed to the Constitution as contained in the preceding part of this compilation, [from page 1 to 23,] which they transmitted to the United States in Congress assembled, together with the following resolutions and letter:

IN CONVENTION, Monday, September 17, 1787. Present: The States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connec

ticut, Mr. Hamilton from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Resolved, That the preceding Constitution be laid before the United States in Congress assembled, and that it is the opinion of this convention that it should afterwards be submitted to a convention of delegates, chosen in each State by the people thereof, under the recommendation of its legislature, for their assent and ratification; and that each convention, assenting to and ratifying the same, should give notice thereof to the United States in Congress assembled.

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this convention, that as soon as the conventions of nine States shall have ratified this Constitution, the United States in Congress assembled should fix a day on which electors should be appointed by the States which shall have ratified the same, and a day on which the electors should assemble to vote for the President, and the time and place for commencing proceedings under this Constitution. That after such publication the electors should be appointed, and the Senators and Representatives elected; that the electors should meet on the day fixed for the election of the President, and should transmit their votes certified, signed, sealed, and directed, as the Constitution requires, to the Secretary of the United States in Congress assembled; that the Senators and Representatives should convene at the time and place assigned; that the Senators should appoint a president of the Senate, for the sole purpose of receiving, opening, and counting the votes for President; and that, after he shall be chosen, the Congress, together with the President, should, without delay, proceed to execute this Constitution. By the unanimous order of the convention.


IN CONVENTION, September 17, 1787.

Sir: We have now the honor to submit to the consideration of the United States in Congress assembled, that Constitution which has appeared to us the most advisable.

The friends of our country have long seen and desired that the power of making war, peace, and treaties, that of levying money and regulating commerce, and the correspondent executive and judicial authorities, should be fully and effectually vested in the General Government of the Union: But the impropriety of delegating such extensive trust to one body of men is evident; hence results the necessity of a different organization.

It is obviously impracticable in the Federal Government of these States, to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all. Individuals entering into society, must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest. The magnitude of the sacrifice must depend as well on situation and circumstance, as on the object to be obtained. It is at all times difficult to draw with precision the line between those rights which must be surrendered, and those which may be reserved; and on the present occasion this difficulty was increased by a difference among the several States, as to their situation, extent, habits, and particular interests.

In all our deliberations on this subject, we kept steadily in our view that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true

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American—the onsolidation of our Union in which is involved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our national existence. This important consideration, seriously and deeply impressed on our minds, led each State in the convention to be less rigid on points of inferior magnitude, than might have been otherwise expected; and thus the Constitution, which we now present, is the result of a spirit of amity, and of that mutual deference and concession which the peculiarity of our political situation rendered indispensable.

That it will meet the full and entire approbation of every State, is not, perhaps, to be expected; but each will doubtless consider, that, had her interest been alone consulted, the consequences might have been particularly disagreeable or injurious to others; that it is liable to as few exceptions as could reasonably have been expected, we hope and believe; that it may promote the lasting welfare of that country so dear to us all, and secure her freedom and happiness, is our most ardent wish.

With great respect, we have the honor to be, sir, your excellency's most obedient humble servants. By unanimous order of the convention.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, President. His excellency the President oF CONGRESS.

Whereupon Congress passed the following resolution :

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Friday, September 28, 1787. Present: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York,

New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, and from Maryland Mr. Ross.

Congress having received the report of the convention lately assembled in Philadelphia

Resolved, unanimously, That the said report, with the resolutions and letter accompanying the same, be transmitted to the several legislatures, in order to be submitted to a convention of delegates chosen in each State by the people thereof, in conformity to the resolves of the convention made and provided in that case.

The States having accordingly passed acts for severally calling Conventions, and the Constitution having been submitted to them, was ratified by the Conventions of the several States at the dates

respectively, as stated on page 24 of this compilation.

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ay say


SATURDAY, September 13, 1788. Congress assembled: Present, New Hampshire, Massachusetts,

Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia; and from Rhode Island Mr. Arnold, and from Delaware Mr. Kearny.

On the question to agree to the proposition which was yesterday postponed by the State of Delaware, the yeas and nays being required by Mr. GilmanNew Hampshire.........Mr. Gilman,


ay} ay Massachusetts... ..Mr. Dana,

.Mr. Huntington,


Wadsworth, ay New York. .... .Mr. Hamilton,


New Jersey..
..Mr. Clarke,


ay Pennsylvania. .. .Mr. Irwine,

ау Meredith,

ay Armstrong,


ay Read,

ay Virginia. .. .Mr. Griffin,

ay Madison,

ay Carrington, ay Lee,

ay South Carolina. . .Mr. Parker,

ay) Tucker,

ay )

ay Georgia. ... Mr. Few,

ay Baldwin,

ay ау

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