Tuesday, July 30, 2013

US Constitution of 1787


The US Constitution of 1787


Created September 17, 1787
Ratified June 21, 1788
Implemented March 4, 1789


The United States Constitution of 1787
A Brief History


The Philadelphia Convention, called to revise the Articles of Confederation, convened with a seven state quorum at Independence Hall on May 25, 1787. Delegates from 12 States discarded the Articles and framed a new US Constitution that was submitted to The United States in Congress Assembled (USCA) on September 17th, 1787. The USCA, on September 28th, 1787, debated and agreed to submit the Constitution, unchanged, to the 13 States.  The Constitution was ratified by the required nine States on June 21, 1788, and enacted by 11 States on March 4, 1789.

In 1787 Philadelphia a seven quorum of States assembled in convention to “revise” the Articles of Confederation. James Madison reports:

Friday 25 of May … Mr Robert Morris informed the members assembled that by the instruction & in behalf, of the deputation of Pena. he proposed George Washington Esqr. late Commander in chief for president of the Convention. Mr. Jno. Rutlidge seconded the motion; expressing his confidence that the choice would be unanimous, and observing that the presence of Genl Washington forbade any observations on the occasion which might otherwise be proper.

General (Washington) was accordingly unanimously elected by ballot, and conducted to the chair by Mr. R. Morris and Mr. Rutlidge; from which in a very emphatic manner he thanked the Convention for the honor they had conferred on him, reminded them of the novelty of the scene of business in which he was to act, lamented his want of (better qualifications), and claimed the indulgence of the House towards the involuntary errors which his inexperience might occasion.

The “more or less” United States’ Assembly was eventually attended by 12 States[1] whose delegates elected George Washington as the Philadelphia Convention’s president.  Washington began the first session by adopting rules of order which included the provision of secrecy.  No paper could be removed from the Convention without the majority leave of the members.  The yeas and nays of the members were not recorded and it was the unwritten understanding that no disclosure of the proceedings would be made during the lives of its delegates.  At the end of the convention Washington ordered that every record be burned except the Journals which were merely minutes, of which he took personal possession.  “We the People of the United States, therefore, knew very little about the Convention until the Journals were finally published in 1819.  It was not until the death of President James Madison that his wife, Dolley, revealed she possessed his account of the convention.  Dolley Madison sold these journals to the Library of Congress in 1843.

The delegates of the convention were given no authority by the USCA to scrap the Articles of Confederation and construct a new constitution in its place.  Throughout the proceedings this fact was addressed in debate and federally-minded delegates led by George Washington, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and Charles Pinckney all stood firm on formulating an entirely new constitution. The larger states (by population), especially, were determined to change the one state one vote system adopted under the Articles of Confederation to enact legislation and construct a strong central governmental authority.   The smaller states sought to preserve independent state sovereignty and the USCA system of casting votes equally. The two sides, as they did in the York Courthouse[2] formulating the Articles of Confederation in 1777, clashed once again on issue of States rights over federalism. 

Edmund Randolph submitted the large states’ “Virginia Plan” that was primarily drafted by James Madison. There were other plans, most just seeking revisions to the Articles of Confederation.  Surprisingly, the 29 year old delegate from South Carolina, Charles Pinckney, provided a plan of a federal structure and powers that was more tangible than any other plan.  Pinckney's plan was actually a nascent form of the constitution that would be eventually be passed by the Philadelphia convention of States.  

The small states formed a sub-committee in an attempt to develop an alternate plan for a newly-proposed bicameral legislature only to emerge still insistent that the one-state one-vote unicameral USCA be retained. The “New Jersey Plan”[3] proposed improvements called for a weak federal executive and judiciary branches. The federal government was to remain a confederation with the requirement of at least nine states voting in the positive to enforce their decrees.  Although there were many challenges, none was more crucial than the acceptance of a bicameral legislature and how the representatives and senators would be finally numbered in the two newly proposed congressional bodies. The impasse loomed over the proceeding with the large States insisting that all members, in both the House and Senate, be selected based on population. The small States disagreed, but with Rhode Island absent, they lost the convention vote 7-5 on this matter to the large State voting bloc.

State
1776 US Population*
1790 US Census
Virginia
540,000
747,610
Pennsylvania
310,000
434,373
North Carolina
280,000
393,751
Massachusetts
270,000
378,787
New York
240,000
340,120
Maryland
230,000
319,728
South Carolina
180,000
249,073
Connecticut
170,000
237,946
New Jersey
130,000
184,139
New Hampshire
105,000
141,885
Georgia
60,000
82,548
Rhode Island
50,000
68,825
Delaware
45,000
59,096
United States
2,610,000
3,637,881
* Author Estimates

By: Stanley Yavneh Klos                                        Edited By:  Naomi Yavneh Klos, Ph. D.

  • First United American Republic: United Colonies of North America: 13 British Colonies United in Congress was founded by 12 colonies on September 5th, 1774 (Georgia joined in 1775)  and governed through a British Colonial Continental Congress.  Peyton Randolph and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief;
  • Second United American Republic: The United States of America: 13 Independent States United in Congress was founded by 12 states on July 2nd, 1776 (New York abstained until July 9th), and governed through the United States Continental CongressJohn Hancock and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Third United American Republic: The United States of America: A Perpetual Union was founded by 13 States on March 1st, 1781, with the enactment of the first U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and governed through the United States in Congress Assembled.  Samuel Huntington and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Fourth United American Republic: The United States of America: We the People  was formed by 11 states on March 4th, 1789 (North Carolina and Rhode Island joined in November 1789 and May 1790, respectively), with the enactment of the U.S. Constitution of 1787. The fourth and current United States Republic governs through  the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in Congress Assembled, the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  George Washington served as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief.

This embittered many of the small state members. James Madison wrote of one small State delegate:

Mr. L. MARTIN resumed his discourse, contending that the Genl. Govt. ought to be formed for the States, not for individuals: that if the States were to have votes in proportion to their numbers of people, it would be the same thing whether their representatives were chosen by the Legislatures or the people; the smaller States would be equally enslaved; that if the large States have the same interest with the smaller as was urged, there could be no danger in giving them an equal vote; they would not injure themselves, and they could not injure the large ones on that supposition without injuring themselves and if the interests, were not the same, the inequality of suffrage wd. be dangerous to the smaller States: that it will be in vain to propose any plan offensive to the rulers of the States, whose influence over the people will certainly prevent their adopting it: that the large States were weak at present in proportion to their extent: & could only be made formidable to the small ones, by the weight of their votes; that in case a dissolution of the Union should take place, the small States would have nothing to fear from their power; that if in such a case the three great States should league themselves together, the other ten could do so too: & that he had rather see partial confederacies take place, than the plan on the table. This was the substance of the residue of his discourse which was delivered with much diffuseness & considerable vehemence.[4]

On June 28, 1787 the small States gave an ultimatum to the convention that, unless representation in both branches of the proposed legislature was on the basis of equality, one-state one-vote, they would forthwith leave the proceedings.  With tempers flaring, Benjamin Franklin rose and called for a recess with the understanding that the delegates should confer with those with whom they disagreed rather than with those with whom they agreed.  This recess resulted in a crucial compromise of the convention:  The House of Representatives was to be elected by the people based on population, thus providing more representation in the new federal government to the large states.  This House, however, was to be checked by the Senate where each state, regardless of size, would have two votes.  This resolution to the great Philadelphia Convention crisis enabled the delegates to labor another two months to create one of the most elastic forms of government in human history.  And the convention’s new plan for the federal government that scrapped the Articles of Confederation consisted of less than four thousand words.

By September 8, 1787 the work had progressed far enough for the members to appoint a Committee of Style and Arrangement "to revise and place several parts under their proper heads" of what was already being referred to as a constitution. The committee consisted of William Samuel Johnson (CT), Alexander Hamilton (NY), Gouverneur Morris (PA), James Madison, Jr. (VA), and Rufus King (MA).  Working with a seven page proof of August 6th and the subsequent records, the committee on September 12th, reported "the Constitution as revised was arranged" and it was "ordered that the members be furnished with printed copies thereof." The Convention continued a second reading procedure on provisions of the constitution and the Committee of Style and Arrangement proceeded to revise and refine the language until Saturday, September 15, 1787. On the 15th, the Convention unanimously "Ordered to be engrossed and 500 copies struck," as James McHenry (MD) recorded in his notes of the proceedings or as Washington put in his diary:  
"Adjourned till Monday that the constitution which it was proposed to offer to the People might be engrossed and a number of printed copies struck."
The engrossed copy was written by Jacob Shallus, assistant clerk of the Pennsylvania General Assembly (see History of the Formation of the Union under the Constitution page 770) on four 13 1/2 x 15 1/2 parchment sheets.  The Constitution was laid before the Convention on the 17th and read through Article VII.  Delegate Benjamin Franklin made a speech and offered the enacting conclusion read "Done in Convention by the unanimous consent of the States present ..."   A last minute amendment, that was added to the engrossed copy by an erasure changed Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 from forty to thirty thousand.   All the members present, except three, signed the engrossed constitution.  Their last acts of the Convention were to lift the injunction of secrecy and have it carried to the United States in Congress Assembled convening in New York City.  

Once the ban was lifted, printings of the new Constitution could be found in the Philadelphia Newspapers and as Broadsides.  This early printing by Robert Smith is titled the  Plan of The New Federal Government, and is believed to be one of the earliest private printings of the Constitution of 1787 -    Image Courtesy of  Stan Klos  Collection.

The innovative Plan of the New Federal Government was rushed to New York by stagecoach by William Jackson, the Secretary of the Convention, "to lay the great result of their proceeding before the United States in Congress Assembled." as reported by the Pennsylvania Packet on September 18th.  Jackson left Philadelphia by stage on the 18th at 10 am and arrived in New York at 2 pm September 19th.  The following day, Jackson delivered the Constitution of 1787 along with a letter from the convention’s President, George Washington to USCA President Arthur St. Clair .  

 Philadelphia Convention Constitution of 1787 printing delivered to the United States in Congress Assembled in New York of September 20th, 1787 by Convention Secretary  William Jackson. This was put into type at the Philadelphia John Dunlap and David Claypoole print shop.  The original printing began when the Committee of Style and Arrangement set up the Constitution draft on September 12th.  The "report of the Convention" was corrected from the text under the direction of the committee after the changed were made from the 13th-17th.  500 copies printed for the Convention were on 6 pages measuring 26 x 40.5 centimenters and were distributed on September 18th.  The print included the resolution of the Convention and President Washington's letter of transmittal  - image from the  Library of Congress.

Dunlap and Claypoole reset the preamble in 36-point type and made up the type in 4 pages for publication in Number 2690 of the September 19th issue of the Pennsylvania Packet.   

The engrossed copy was placed in the files, while the members of Congress studied the printed copies also brought by Jackson.     Washington's letter read:
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 adviseable. 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 encreased 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 American, the consolidation 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 indispensible. 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 interests 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 and humble Servants,
George Washington, President. 

By unanimous Order of the CONVENTION.
HIS EXCELLENCY 
The President of Congress  [5]
USCA Delegate William Bingham wrote to Thomas Fitzsimons on September 21st of the Constitution of 1787's delivery:

Dear Sir, You expressed a Desire of Knowing what reception the Conventional Government would meet with in Congress, & whether there was a Prospect of its passing thro' the necessary Formalities in Congress, previous to the Adjournment of our legislature. 
It was yesterday received & read in Congress,(1) & Wednesday next fixed as the Day for its Consideration. If I had been present, I Should certainly have opposed its Postponement to So distant a Day. As from Enquiry I find that every State on the Floor of Congress is disposed to adopt it, I will endeavor to bring on the Question immediately. I Shall urge as an Argument the favorable Disposition of our Assembly, which is now in Sessions. I will inform you of the result, as Soon as possible.
I am with Regard, D Sir, Your obedt hble serv, Wm Bingham
The Convention delegates called for the Plan of The New Federal Government to be sent to the states for their consideration with only 2/3rds of their legislatures being required to discard the Articles of Confederation for the new constitution.   The convention overstepped the authority granted by the seventh USCA on February 21st, 1787, by first discarding the Articles instead of revising that constitution and second, by completely dismissing the modification requirements set forth in Article XIII of the federal constitution that stated:

Every State shall abide by the determination of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation are submitted to them. And the Articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the Union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State.[6]

The proposed obliteration of the Articles of Confederation by convention was to be accomplished without the unanimous approval by the States. It was a constitutional crisis that, to this day, has not been equaled in the United States save by the southern secession of the 1860’s forming the Confederate States of America.[7]

Only sketches of the great debate that ensued in the 1787 USCA exist due to the veil of secrecy that surrounded the sessions. We do know from the notes of New York delegate Melancton Smith, which became available to the public in 1959, that most USCA Delegates believed they had the authority to alter the new proposed Constitution of 1787 before it was sent on to the States. James Madison, Rufus King, and Nathaniel Gorham argued, however, to the contrary.

Click Here to view the US Mint & Coin Acts 1782-1792

Since there was no Supreme Court, the USCA was the final authority on the new constitution judicially as well as legislatively.  Virginia Delegate Richard Henry Lee would lead the “9-13 opposition” that insisted on unanimous State convention ratification.  Lee also sought to amend the new constitution. Melancton Smith writes of Lee:

RH LEE -- The convention had not proceeded as this house were bound; it is to be agreed to by the States & means the 13; but this recommends  a new Confederation of nine; the Convention has no more powers than Congress, yet if nine States agree becomes supreme Law. Knows no instance on the Journals as he remembers, opposing the Confederation the impost was to be adopted by 13.

This is to be adopted & no other with alteration Why so? good things in it; but many bad; so much so that he says here as he will say everywhere that if adopted civil Liberty will be in eminent danger.[8]

Despite such arguments, Rufus King, James Madison, and Nathaniel Gorham – all  delegates to both the Philadelphia Convention and the USCA – maintained that Congress must keep the new constitution intact, sending it on to the States without any changes or amendments despite the unanimous requirement in Article XIII.  Smith records Richard Henry Lee’s reaction to their position:

Strangest doctrine he ever heard, that referring a matter of report, that no alterations should be made. The Idea the common sense of Man. The States & Congress he thinks had the Idea that congress was to amend if they thought proper. He wishes to give it a candid enquiry, and proposes such alterations as are necessary; if the General wishes it should go forth with the amendment.; let it go with all its imperfections on its head & the amendments by themselves; to insist that it should go as it is without amendments, is like presenting a hungry man 50 dishes and insisting he should eat all or none.[9]

Virginia delegate James Madison’s response was:

The proper question is whether any amendments shall be made and that the house should decide; suppose altercations sent to the State, the Acts require the Delegates to the Constitutional Convention to report to them; there will be two plans; some will accept one & some another this will create confusion and proves it was not the intent of the States.[10]

Massachusetts Delegate Nathaniel Gorham, who served as Deputy Chairman of the Philadelphia convention, is reported to have argued against USCA amendments to the new constitution:

Gorham thinks not necessary to take up by paragraphs, every Gentn. may propose amendments; no necessity of a Bill of rights; because a Bill of Rights in state Govts. was intended to retain certain powers, as the [state] legislatures had unlimited  powers.[11]

Gorham, although correct in his counsel for the USCA not to amend the constitution, was wrong in his assertion that States’ retained enforcement of their “unlimited powers.”   Even the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution enacted passed in the 1790’s failed in preserving the “unlimited powers”   of the Articles of Confederation state legislatures.

In addition to the discussions of whether or not the USCA should alter or amend the Constitution, the question: “If not altered how should it be submitted to the States?” was also debated.    Smith reports on New Jersey Delegate Abraham Clark:

Clark don’t like any proposal yet made; he cant approve it; but thinks it will answer no purpose to alter it; will not oppose it in any place; prefers a resolution to postpone to take up one, barely to forward a copy to the States, to be laid before the Legislatures to be referred to conventions.[12]

It was reported of Virginia Delegate William Grayson:

This is in a curious situation, it is urged all alterations are precluded, has not made up his mind; and thinks it precipitous to urge a decision in two days on a subject that took four Months. If we have no right to amend, then we ought to give a silent passage; for if we cannot alter, why should we deliberate. His opinion they should stand solely upon the opinion of Convention.[13]

Clark argued:

The motion by Mr. Lee for amendments will do injury by coming on the Journal, and therefore the house upon cool reflection, will think it best to agree to send it out without agreeing. [14]

The opinions of James Madison and Rufus King won out in the end and they were earnestly supported by President Arthur St. Clair who, surprisingly, was and remains the only foreign-born President of the United States —a circumstance   outlawed by the new constitution. On September 30th, 1787, James Madison wrote George Washington, summing up the debate that occurred in the United States in Congress Assembled’s U.S. Constitution sessions:

It was first urged that as the new Constitution was more than an alteration of the Articles of Confederation under which Congress acted, and even subverted these articles altogether, there was a Constitutional impropriety in their taking any positive agency in the work.(1) The answer given was that the Resolution of Congress in February had recommended the Convention as the best mean of obtaining a firm national Government; that as the powers of the Convention were defined by their Commissions in nearly the same terms with the powers of Congress given by the Confederation on the subject of alterations, Congress were not more restrained from acceding to the new plan, than the Convention were from proposing it. If the plan was within the powers of the Convention it was within those of Congress; if beyond those powers, the same necessity which justified the Convention would justify Congress; and a failure of Congress to Concur in what was done, would imply either that the Convention had done wrong in exceeding their powers, or that the Government proposed was in itself liable to insuperable objections; that such an inference would be the more natural, as Congress had never scrupled to recommend measures foreign to their Constitutional functions, whenever the Public good seemed to require it; and had in several instances, particularly in the establishment of the new Western Governments, exercised assumed powers of a very high & delicate nature, under motives infinitely less urgent than the present state of our affairs, if any faith were due to the representations made by Congress themselves, echoed by 12 States in the Union, and confirmed by the general voice of the People. An attempt was made in the next place by Richard Henry Lee to amend the Act of the Convention before it should go forth from Congress. He proposed a bill of Rights ; provision for juries in civil cases & several other things corresponding with the ideas of Col. M---;---;.(2) He was supported by Mr. Meriwether (3) Smith of this State. It was contended that Congress had an undoubted right to insert amendments, and that it was their duty to make use of it in a case where the essential guards of liberty had been omitted.

On the other side the right of Congress was not denied, but the inexpediency of exerting it was urged on the following grounds. 1. That every circumstance indicated that the introduction of Congress as a party to the reform was intended by the States merely as a matter of form and respect 2. that it was evident from the contradictory objections which had been expressed by the different members who had animadverted on the plan, that a discussion of its merits would consume much time, without producing agreement even among its adversaries. 3. that it was clearly the intention of the States that the plan to be proposed should be the act of the Convention with the assent of Congress, which could not be the case, if alterations were made, the Convention being no longer in existence to adopt them. 4. that as the Act of the Convention, when altered would instantly become the mere act of Congress, and must be proposed by them as such, and of course be addressed to the Legislatures, not conventions of the States, and require the ratification of thirteen instead of nine States, and as the unaltered act would go forth to the States directly from the Convention under the auspices of that Body---;Some States might ratify one & some the other of the plans, and confusion & disappointment be the least evils that could ensue.

These difficulties which at one time threatened a serious division in Congress and popular alterations with the yeas & nays on the journals, were at length fortunately terminated by the following Resolution---;"Congress having recd. the Report of the Convention lately assembled in Philadelphia, Resolved unanimously that the said Report, (4) with the Resolutions & 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 & provided in that case.[15]


Click Here to view the US Mint & Coin Acts 1782-1792

This summary, especially in point four, exemplifies James Madison’s legal position on why it was constitutional to circumvent Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation.   I would argue, however, that George Washington’s signature on the new constitution carried more weight with the USCA and fellow Revolutionary War General Arthur St. Clair’s Chair than the somewhat specious arguments made by James Madison and  his fellow delegates. The September 28th, 1787, resolution passed by President Arthur St. Clair’s USCA is recorded as:

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. [16]

In the final days of the USCA, Arthur St. Clair would be named the first Northwest Territorial Governor under the Ordinance of 1787.  Arthur St. Clair’s service as Revolutionary War General, USCA President, and now Northwest Territorial Governor, would all but be forgotten, however, by future generations of his fellow Pennsylvanians. Ironically, on February 2nd (the anniversary of St. Clair’s Presidency) Western Pennsylvanians do expertly market a groundhog burrow emergence, less than 50 miles from the patriot’s 18th century home. These citizen efforts have resulted in Punxsutawney Phil’s unprecedented international rodent celebrity.  It is suggested here, to the mayor of Punxsutawney Pennsylvania, that perhaps a beam of Phil’s national February 2nd spotlight might be shined on a forgotten U.S. Presidency that just happened to birth the current Constitution of the United States of America. 

The historic 1787 USCA continued to conduct the nation’s business into late October, voting to sell 1,000,000 acres of the Northwest Territory to the Ohio Company. In its final November 1-2 session days, the 1787 USCA failed to achieve a quorum. On November 5th, 1787 Secretary Charles Thomson called the new USCA to quorum but only five delegates, representing three states, attended.  It was not until January 22, 1788 that the last USCA would form a quorum electing Virginia Delegate Cyrus Griffin, President.  

We the Deputies of the People of the Delaware State, in Convention met, having taken into our serious consideration the Federal Constitution proposed and agreed upon by the Deputies of the United States in a General Convention held at the City of Philadelphia on the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven, Have approved, assented to, ratified, and confirmed, and by these Presents, Do, in virtue of the Power and Authority to us given for that purpose, for and in behalf of ourselves and our Constituents, fully, freely, and entirely approve of, assent to, ratify, and confirm the said Constitution.
Done in Convention at Dover this seventh day of December in the year aforesaid, and in the year of the Independence of the United States of America the twelfth. In Testimony whereof we have hereunto subscribed our Names- 
Delaware Constitution of 1787 Ratification Resolution Manuscript  - December 7th, 1787 - Image courtesy of the National Archives

Sussex County
JOHN INGRAM , JOHN JONES , WILLIAM MOORE, WILLIAM HALL, THOMAS LAWS, ISAAC COOPER, WOODMAN STORKLY, JOHN LAWS, THOMAS EVANS, ISRAEL HOLLAND Kent County
NICHOLAS RIDGELEY, RICHARD SMITH, GEORGE TRUITT , RICHARD BASSETT, JAMES SYKES, ALLEN MCLANE, DANIEL CUMMINS, Sr., JOSEPH BARKER, EDWARD WHITE, GEORGE MANLOVE New Castle County
JAs LATIMER, President , JAMES BLACK, JNo JAMES , GUNNING BEDFORD, SR, KENSEY JOHNS ,THOMAS WATSON ,SOLOMON MAXWELL, NICHOLAS WAY , THOMASDUFF, GUNNG BEDFORD , Jr.
To all whom these Presents shall come Greeting, I Thomas Collins President of the Delaware State do hereby certify, that the above instrument of writing is a true copy of the original ratification of the Federal Constitution by the Convention of the Delaware State, which original ratification is now in my possession. In Testimony whereof I have caused the seal of the Delaware State to be hereunto an'exed.  -- THOMAS COLLINS


In the Name of the People of Pennsylvania
Be it Known unto all Men that We the Delegates of the People of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in general Convention assembled Have assented to, and ratified, and by these presents Do in the Name and by the authority of the Same People, and for ourselves, assent to, and ratify the foregoing Constitution for the United States of America. Done in Convention at Philadelphia the twelfth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the twelfth. In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names.  
FREDERICK AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERG President 
JNo ALLISON, JONATHAN ROBERTS, JOHN RICHARDS, JAMES MORRIS, TIMOTHY PICKERING, BENJN ELLIOT, STEPHEN BALLIET, JOSEPH HORSFIELD, DAVID DASHLERWILLIAM WILSON, JOHN BOYD, THO SCOTT, JOHN NEVILL, JASPER YEATES, HENY SLAGLE, THOMAS CAMPBELL, THOMAS HARTLEY, DAVID GRIER, JOHN BLACK, BENJAMIN PEDAN, JOHN ARNDT, WILLIAM GIBBONS, RICHARD DOWNING, THOMAS CHEYN.JOHN HANNUM, STEPHEN CHAMBERS, ROBERT COLEMAN, SEBASTIAN GRAFFJOHN HUBLEY, SAMUEL ASHMEAD, ENOCH EDWARDS, HENRY WYNKOOP. JOHN BARCLAY, THOS YARDLEY, ABRAHAM STOUT, THOMAS BULL, ANTHONY WAYNE, GEORGE LATIMER, BENJN RUSH, HILARY BAKER, JAMES WILSON, THOMAS McKEANW MACPHERSON, JOHN HUNN, GEORGE GRAY
Attest : JAMES CAMPBELL Secretary

In Convention of the State of New Jersey
Now be it known that we the Delegates of the State of New-Jersey chosen by the People thereof for the purposes aforesaid having maturely deliberated on, and considered the aforesaid proposed Constitution, do hereby for and on the behalf of the People of the said State of New-Jersey agree to, ratify and confirm the same and every part thereof.
Done in Convention by the unanimous consent of the members present, this eighteenth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the twelfth.-In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names.
Note, Before the Signing hereof, the following words, viz, " Cession of " were interlined between the fifteenth and sixteenth lines on the second sheet.
JOHN STEVENS President- and Delegate from the County of Hunterdon 
Last page of the New Jersey Constitution of 1787 Ratification Resolution - December 18th, 1787 - image courtesy of the New Jersey State Archives
County of Bergen: JOHN FELL, PETER ZABRISKIE, CORNELIUS HENNION, - County of Essex: JOHN CHETWOOD, SAMUEL HAY, DAVID CRANE - County of Middlesex: JOHN NEILSON, JOHN BEATTY, BENJAMIN MANNING, County of Monmouth: ELISHA LAWRENCE, SAMUEL BREESE, WILLIAM CRAWFORD, County of Somersett: JNo WITHERSPOON, JACOB R HARDENBERGH, FREDERICK FRELINGHUYSEN - County of Burlington: THOMAS REYNOLDS, GEO. ANDERSON, JOSHUA M. WALLACE - County of Gloucester: RD HOWELS, ANDW HUNTER, BENJAMIN WHITALL - County of Salem: WHITTEN CRIPPS, EDMUND WETHERBY - County of Cape-May: JESSE HAND, JEREMIAH ELDREDGE, MATTHEW WHILLDIN - County of Hunterdon: DAVID BREARLEY, JOSHUA CORSHON - County of Morris: WILLIAM WINDES, WILLIAM WOODHULL, JOHN JACOB FAESCH - County of Cumberland: DAVD POTTER, JONATHAN BOWEN, ELI ELMER - County of Sussex: ROBERT OGDEN, THOMS ANDERSON, ROBT HOOPS
Attest. SAML W. STOCKTON Secy.

Georgia Constitution of 1787 Ratification Resolution Manuscript dated January 2nd, 1788 - image courtesy of the Georgia State Archives
In Convention; Wednesday, January the second, one thousand seven hundred and eighty eight:

To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting.

Whereas the form of a Constitution for the Government of the United States of America, was, on the seventeenth day of September, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, agreed upon and reported to Congress by the Deputies of the said United States convened in Philadelphia; which said Constitution is written in the words following, to wit;

And Whereas the United States in Congress assembled did, on the twenty-eighth day of September, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, Resolve, 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.

And Whereas the Legislature of the State of Georgia did, on the twenty-sixth day of October, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, in pursuance of the above recited resolution of Congress,

Resolve, That a convention be elected on the day of the next General Election, and in the same manner as representatives are elected; and that the said Convention consist of not more than three members from each County. And that the said Convention should meet at Augusta, on the fourth Tuesday in December then next, and as soon thereafter as convenient, proceed to consider the said Report, letter and resolutions, and to adopt or reject any part or the whole thereof.

Now Know Ye, That We, the Delegates of the People of the State of Georgia in Convention met, pursuant to the Resolutions of the Legislature aforesaid, having taken into our serious consideration the said Constitution, Have assented to, ratified and adopted, and by these presents DO, in virtue of the powers and authority to Us given by the People of the said State for that purpose, for, and in behalf of ourselves and our Constituents, fully and entirely assent to, ratify and adopt the said Constitution.

Done in Convention, at Augusta in the said State, on the second day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty eight, and of the Independence of the United States the twelfth. In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names.

JOHN WEREAT, President, and Delegate for the County of Richmond, Chatham W. Stephens, Joseph Habersham, Effingham Jenkin Davis, N. Brownson, Burke Edwd. Telfair, H. Todd, Richmond William Few, James M'Neil, Wilkes Geo. Mathews, Florce. Sullivan, John King, Liberty Jas. Powell John Elliott James Maxwell Glynn Geo. Handley, Chris. Hillary, J. Milton, Camden Henry Osborne, James Seagrove, Jacob Weed, Washington Jared Irwin John Rutherford, Greene Robt . Christmas, Thomas Daniell, R. Middleton.

Attest. ISAAC BRIGGS, Secretary.


In the Name of the People of the State of Connecticut.
We the Delegates of the People of sd. State in general Convention assembled, pursuant to an Act of the Legislature in October last, Have assented to and ratified, and by these presents do assent to, ratify and adopt the Constitution, reported by the Convention of Delegates in Philadelphia, on the 17th day of September AD. 1787. For the United States of America.
Done in Convention this 9th. day of January AD. 1788. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands.
Matthew Griswold President:,
Jereh Wadsworth, Jesse Root, Isaac Lee, Selah Heart, Zebulon Peck jur, Elisha Pitkin, Erastus Wolcott, John Watson, John Treadwell, William Judd, Joseph Mosely, Wait Goodrich, John Curtiss, Asa Barns, Stephen Mix Mitchell, John Chester, Oliv Ellsworth, Roger Newberry, Roger Sherman, Pierpont Edwards, Samuel Beach, Daniel Holbrook, John Holbrook, Gideon Buckingham, Lewis Mallet Jr. ,Joseph Hopkins, John Welton, Richd Law, Amasa Learned, Saml. Huntington, Jed Huntington, Isaac Huntington, Robert Robbins, Danll Foot, Eli Hyde, Joseph Woodbridge, Stephen Billings, Andrew Lee, William Noyes, Joshua Raymond Junr., Jerh. Halsey, Wheeler Coit, Charles Phelps, Nathaniel Miner, Jonathan Sturges, Thaddeus Burr, Elisha Whittelsey, Joseph Moss White, Amos Mead, Jabez Fitch, Nehemiah Beardsley, James Potter, John Chandler, John Beach, Hezh. Rogers, Leml. Sanford, William Heron, Philip Burr Bradley, Nathan Dauchy, James Davenport, John Davenport Junr, Wm. Saml. Johnson, Elisha Mills, Elipht Dyer, Jeda: Elderkin, Simeon Smith, Hendrick Dow, Seth Paine, Asa Witter, Moses Cleaveland, Samson Howe, Willm Danielson, Wm. Williams, James Bradford, Joshua Dunlop, Daniel Learned, Moses Campbell, Benjamin Dow, Oliver Wolcott, Jedidiah Strong, Moses Hawley, Charles Burrall, Nathan Hale, Daniel Miles, Asaph Hall, Isaac Burnham, John Wilder, Mark Prindle, Jedidiah Hubbel, Aaron Austin, Samuel Canfield, Daniel Everitt, Hez: Fitch, Joshua Porter, Benjn Hinman, Epaphras Sheldon, Eleazer Curtiss, John Whittlesey, Danl Nathl Brinsmade, Thomas Fenn, David Smith, Robert McCune, Daniel Sherman, Samuel Orton, Asher Miller, Saml H. Parsons, Ebenr White, Hezh Goodrich, Dyar Throop, Jabez Chapman, Cornelius Higgins, Hezekiah Brainerd, Theophilus Morgan, Hezh. Lane, William Hart, Saml. Shipman, Jeremiah West, Samuel Chapman, Ichabod Warner, Samuel Carver, Jeremiah Ripley, Ephraim Root, John Phelps, Isaac Foot, Abijah Sessions, Caleb Holt, Seth Crocker
State of Connecticut, ss. Hartford January ninth Anno Domini one thousand, seven hundred and eighty eight. The foregoing Ratifica¬tion was agreed to, and signed as above, by one hundred and twenty eight, and dissented to by forty Delegates in Convention, which is a Majority of eighty eight.
Certified by Matthew Griswold President.Teste Jedidiah Strong Secretary


Upon the convening of the  1788 USCA session, the delegates were already aware that five states (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut) had approved the Constitution of 1787.  The “Federalist Papers,”[17] authored by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, made a most persuasive case for ratification. Massachusetts would ratify the constitution on February 6th, 1788, but included recommendations for amendments, which later would be debated by the First Federal Bicameral Congress in their Bill of Rights framing session. 

Massachusetts  Constitution of 1787 Ratification Resolution - February 7th, 1788

In Convention of the delegates of the People of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts February 6th 1788

The Convention have impartially discussed, & fully considered the Constitution for the United States of America, reported to Congress by the Convention of Delegates from the United States of America, & submitted to us by a resolution of the General Court of the said Commonwealth, passed the twenty fifth day of October last past, & acknowledging with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Supreme Ruler of the Universe in affording the People of the United States in the course of his providence an opportunity deliberately & peaceably without fraud or surprize of entering into an explicit & solemn Compact with each other by assenting to & ratifying a New Constitution in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure Domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare & secure the blessings of Liberty to themselves & their posterity; Do in the name & in behalf of the People of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts assent to & ratify the said Constitution for the United States of America.

And as it is the opinion of this Convention that certain amendments & alterations in the said Constitution would remove the fears & quiet the apprehensions of many of the good people of this Commonwealth & more effectually guard against an undue administration of the Federal Government, The Convention do therefore recommend that the following alterations & provisions be introduced into the said Constitution.

First, That it be explicitly declared that all Powers not expressly delegated by the aforesaid Constitution are reserved to the several States to be by them exercised.

Secondly, That there shall be one representative to every thirty thousand persons according to the Census mentioned in the Constitution until the whole number of the Representatives amounts to Two hundred.

Thirdly, That Congress do not exercise the powers vested in them by the fourth Section of the first article, but in cases when a State shall neglect or refuse to make the regulations therein mentioned or shall make regulations subversive of the rights of the People to a free & equal representation in Congress agreeably to the Constitution.

Fourthly, That Congress do not lay direct Taxes but when the Monies arising from the Impost & Excise are insufficient for the publick exigencies nor then until Congress shall have first made a requisition upon the States to assess levy & pay their respective proportions of such Requisition agreeably to the Census fixed in the said Constitution; in such way & manner as the Legislature of the States shall think best, & in such case if any State shall neglect or refuse to pay its proportion pursuant to such requisition then Congress may assess & levy such State's proportion together with interest thereon at the rate of Six per cent per annum from the time of payment prescribed in such requisition

Fifthly, That Congress erect no Company of Merchants with exclusive advantages of commerce.

Sixthly, That no person shall be tried for any Crime by which he may incur an infamous punishment or loss of life until he be first indicted by a Grand Jury, except in such cases as may arise in the Government & regulation of the Land & Naval forces.

Seventhly, The Supreme Judicial Federal Court shall have no jurisdiction of Causes between Citizens of different States unless the matter in dispute whether it concerns the realty or personally be of the value of three thousand dollars at the least. nor shall the Federal Judicial Powers extend to any actions between Citizens of different States where the matter in dispute whether it concerns the Realty or personally is not of the value of Fifteen hundred dollars at the least.

Eighthly, In civil actions between Citizens of different States every issue of fact arising in Actions at common law shall be tried by a Jury if the parties or either of them request it.

Ninthly, Congress shall at no time consent that any person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States shall accept of a title of Nobility or any other title or office from any King, prince or Foreign State.

And the Convention do in the name & in behalf of the People of this Commonwealth enjoin it upon their Representatives in Congress at all times until the alterations & provisions aforesaid have been considered agreeably to the Fifth article of the said Constitution to exert all their influence & use all reasonable & legal methods to obtain a ratification of the said alterations & provisions in such manner as is provided in the said Article.

And that the United States in Congress Assembled may have due notice of the Assent & Ratification of the said Constitution by this Convention it is, Resolved, that the Assent & Ratification aforesaid be engrossed on Parchment together with the recommendation & injunction aforesaid & with this resolution & that His Excellency John Hancock Esqr President & the Hong William Cushing Esqr Vice President, of this Convention transmit the same, counter-signed by the Secretary of the Convention under their hands & seals to the United States in Congress Assembled

JOHN HANCOCK President

WM CUSHING Vice President

GEORGE RICHARDS MINOT, Secretary.

Pursuant to the Resolution aforesaid WE the President & Vice President abovenamed Do hereby transmit to the United States in Congress Assembled, the same Resolution with the above Assent and Ratification of the Constitution aforesaid for the United States, And the recommendation & injunction above specified.

In Witness whereof We have hereunto set our hands & Seals at Boston in the Commonwealth aforesaid this Seventh day of February Anno Domini, one thousand Seven Hundred & Eighty eight, and in the Twelfth year of the Independence of the United States of America.
JOHN HANCOCK President [SEAL.]
Wm CUSHING Vice President [SEAL.]

 Rhode Island, a month later, rejected ratification by popular referendum. Maryland and South Carolina, however, stayed the federalist course and voted for ratification.  

Maryland  Constitution of 1787 Ratification Resolution - April 28th, 1788 - Image Courtesy of  Historic.us
In Convention of the Delegates of the People of the State of Maryland 28 April 1788.
We the Delegates of the people of the State of Maryland having fully considered the Constitution of the United States of America reported to Congress by the Convention of Deputies from the United States of America held in Philadelphia on the seventeenth Day of September in the Year Seventeen hundred and eighty seven of which the annexed is a Copy and submitted to us by a Resolution of the General Assembly of Maryland in November Session Seventeen hundred and eighty seven do for ourselves and in the Name and on the behalf of the People of this State assent to and ratify the said Constitution.

In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our Names:

GEO: PLATER President

RICHARD BARNES, CHARGES CHILTON, N LEWIS SEWALL, WM TILGHMAN, DONALDSON YEATES, ISAAC PERKINS, WILLIAM GRANGER, JOSEPH WILKINSON, CHARLES GRAHAME, JNo CHESLEY Junr, W. SMITH, G. R. BROWN, J PARNHAM, ZEPH. TURNER, MICHAEL JENEFER STONE, R. GOLDSBOROUGH junr, EDWD LLOYD, JOHN STEVENS, GEORGE GALE, HENRY WAGGAMAN, JOHN STEWART, JOHN GALE, Ns HAMMOND, ABRAHAM FAW, WM PACA, J RICHARDSON, WILLIAM RICHARDSON, MATT: DRIVER, PETER EDMONDSON, JAMES McHENRY, JOHN COULTER, DANIEL SULLIVAN, JAMES SHAW, JOS: GILPIN, H HOLLINGSWORTH, JAMES GORDON HERON, SAML EVANS, FIELDER BOWIE, OSB SPRIGG, BENJAMIN HALL, GEORGE DIGGES, NICHOLAS CARROLL,  C. HANSON, JA. TILGHMAN, JNo SENEY, JAMES HOLLYDAY, WILLIAM HEMSLEY, PETER CHAILLE, JAMES MARTIN, WILLIAM MORRIS, JOHN DONE, THS JOHNSON,

THO. S. LEE, RICHARD POTTS, THOMAS SPRIGG, JOHN STULL, MOSES RAWLINGS, HENRY SHRYOCK, THOS CRAMPHIN, RICHD THOMAS, WILL DEAKINS Junr, BEN: EDWARDS,

South Carolina Constitution of 1787 Ratification Resolution - May 23rd, 1788 - Image Courtesy of  Historic.us 
In Convention of the people of the state of South Carolina by their Representatives held in the city of Charleston on Monday the twelfth day of May and continued by divers Adjournments to friday the twenty third day of May Anno Domini One thousand seven hundred and eighty eight, and in the twelfth Year of the Independence of the United States of America.

The Convention having maturely considered the constitution or form of Government reported to Congress by the Convention of Delegates from the United states of America and submitted to them by a Resolution of the Legislature of this State passed the seventeenth and eighteenth days of February last in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure Domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare and secure the blessings of Liberty to the people of the said United States and their posterity DO in the name and behalf of the people of this State hereby assent to and ratify the said Constitution.

Done in Convention the twenty third day of May in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and eighty eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the twelfth.-

THOMAS PINCKNEY, President 

JOHN SANDFORD DART, Secretary 

And Whereas it is essential to the preservation of the rights reserved to the several states, and the freedom of the people under the operations of a General government that the right of prescribing the manner time and places of holding the Elections to the Federal Legislature, should be for ever inseparably annexed to the sovereignty of the several states. This convention doth declare that the same ought to remain to all posterity a perpetual and fundamental right in the local, exclusive of the interference of the General Government except in cases where the Legislatures of the States, shall refuse or neglect to perform and fulfil the same according to the tenor of the said Constitution.

This Convention doth also declare that no Section or paragraph of the said Constitution warrants a Construction that the states do not retain every power not expressly relinquished by them and vested in the General Government of the Union.



Resolved that the general Government of the United States ought never to impose direct taxes, but where the monies arising from the duties, imposts and excise are insufficient for the public exigencies nor then until Congress shall have made a requisition upon the states to Assess levy and pay their respective proportions of such requisitions And in case 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 thereon at the rate of six per centum per annum from the time of payment prescribed by such requisition-

Resolved that the third section of the Sixth Article ought to be amended by inserting the word " other " between the words " no " and " religious "

Resolved that it be a standing instruction to all such delegates as may hereafter be elected to represent this State in the general Government to exert their utmost abilities and influence to effect an Alteration of the Constitution conformably to the foregoing Resolutions.

Done in Convention the twenty third day of May in the year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and eighty eight and of the Independence of the United States of America the twelfth 

THOMAS PINCKNEY, President 

JOHN SANFORD DART, Secretary 
This set the stage for New Hampshire,[18] which became the ninth state to ratify the new constitution on June 21, 1788, to lay claim to the 57 to 47 vote that effectively terminated the Articles of Confederation and its government. 
New Hampshire Constitution of 1787 Ratification Resolution - June 21st, 1788 - Image Courtesy of  Historic.us 
In Convention of the Delegates of the People of the State of New-Hampshire June the Twenty first 1788.

The Convention having Impartially discussed and fully considered the Constitution for the United States of America, reported to Congress by the Convention of Delegates from the United States of America & submitted to us by a Resolution of the General Court of said State passed the fourteenth Day of December last past and acknowledging with grateful Hearts the goodness of the Supreme ruler of the Universe in affording the People of the United States in the Course of his Providence an Opportunity, deliberately & peaceably without fraud or surprise of entering into an Explicit and solemn compact with each other by assenting to & ratifying a new Constitution, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, Insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to themselves & their Posterity-Do In the Name & behalf of the People of the State of New-Hampshire assent to & ratify the said Constitution for the United States of America. And as it is the Opinion of this Convention that certain amendments & alterations in the said Constitution would remove the fears & quiet the apprehensions of many of the good People of this State & more Effectually guard against an undue Administration of the Federal Government- The Convention do therefore recommend that the following alterations & provisions be introduced into the said Constitution.

First That it be Explicitly declared that all Powers not expressly & particularly Delegated by the aforesaid Constitution are reserved to the several States to be, by them Exercised.

Secondly, That there shall be one Representative to every Thirty thousand Persons according to the Census mentioned in the Constitution, until the whole number of Representatives amount to Two hundred.

Thirdly That Congress do not Exercise the Powers vested in them, by the fourth Section of the first Article, but in Cases when a State shall neglect or refuse to make the Regulations therein mentioned, or shall make regulations Subversive of the rights of the People to a free and equal Representation in Congress. Nor shall Congress in any Case make regulations contrary to a free and equal Representation.-

Fourthly That Congress do not lay direct Taxes but when the money arising from Impost, Excise and their other resources are insufficient for the Publick Exigencies; nor then, untill Congress shall have first made a Requisition upon the States, to Assess, Levy, & pay their respective proportions, of such requisitions agreeably to the Census fixed in the said Constitution in such way & manner as the Legislature of the State shall think best and in such Case if any State shall neglect, then Congress may Assess & Levy such States proportion together with the Interest thereon at the rate of six per Cent per Annum from the Time of payment prescribed in such requisition

Fifthly That Congress shall erect no Company of Merchants with exclusive advantages of Commerce.-

Sixthly That no Person shall be Tryed for any Crime by which he may incur an Infamous Punishment, or loss of Life, untill he first be indicted by a Grand Jury except in such Cases as may arise in the Government and regulation of the Land & Naval Forces.-

Seventhly All Common Law Cases between Citizens of different States shall be commenced in the Common Law-Courts of the respective States & no appeal shall be allowed to the Federal Court in such Cases unless the sum or value of the thing in Controversy amount to three Thousand Dollars.

Eighthly In Civil Actions between Citizens of different States every Issue of Fact arising in Actions at Common Law shall be Tried by Jury, if the Parties, or either of them request it.

Ninthly-Congress shall at no Time consent that any Person holding an Office of Trust or profit under the United States shall accept any Title of Nobility or any other Title or Office from any King, Prince, or Foreign State.

Tenth - That no standing Army shall be Kept up in time of Peace unless with the consent of three fourths of the Members of each branch of Congress, nor shall Soldiers in Time of Peace be quartered upon private Houses without the consent-of the Owners.-

Eleventh - Congress shall make no Laws touching Religion, or to infringe the rights of Conscience-

Twelfth - Congress shall never disarm any Citizen unless such as are or have been in Actual Rebellion.
New Hampshire Constitution of 1787 Ratification Resolution - June 21st, 1788  from Record Group 11: General Records of the U.S. Government
And the Convention Do. In the Name & behalf of the People of this State enjoin it upon their Representatives in Congress, at all Times until the alterations and provisions aforesaid have been Considered agreeably to the fifth Article of the said Constitution to exert all their Influence & use all reasonable & Legal methods to obtain a ratification of the said alterations & Provisions, in such manner as is provided in the said article-And That the United States in Congress Assembled may have due notice of the assent & Ratification of the said Constitution by this Convention.-It is resolved that the Assent & Ratification aforesaid be engrossed on Parchment, together with the Recommendation & injunction aforesaid & with this Resolution-And that John Sullivan Esquire President of Convention, & John Langdon Esquire President of the State Transmit the same Countersigned by the Secretary of Convention & the Secretary of the State under their hands & Seals to the United States in Congress Assembled.

JOHN SULLIVAN, president of the Convention
JOHN LANGDON, President of State  
By order: JOHN CALVE Secy of Convention 

JOSEPH PEARSON Sect of State
Despite New Hampshire’s ratification meeting the new constitution’s 2/3rds requirement, theUSCA was unable to implement the new government the following day as the Continental Congress did on March 2nd, 1781 after it had adopted the Articles of Confederation.  The unicameral USCA was to be replaced by a complex tripartite government with new officials. The ratifying states, by virtue of the Constitution of 1787’s mechanisms, required action by the USCA to establish a plan for the national election of President as well as state elections of U.S Senators and House of Representative members.  Additionally, a start date and location for the new Constitution of 1787 government had to be established by the USCA. The plan to dissolve the confederation and implement the Constitution of 1787 government became the primary objective of the now lame-duck USCA government.   Meanwhile three states (Virginia, New York, and North Carolina) had yet to vote on ratification so the USCA bided its time adopting the 9th state’s ratification of the new constitution.

In the Virginia ratification convention, James Madison found himself in direct opposition to Patrick Henry, George Mason, William Grayson, and future President James Monroe. These men and other anti-federalists believed that the new constitution did not protect the individual rights of citizens and created a central government that was too powerful.  On June 26, 1788 Madison and his colleagues were able to secure the necessary votes by including  in the ratification resolution “That there be a Declaration or Bill of Rights asserting and securing from encroachment the essential and unalienable Rights of the People in some such manner as the following…”.[19] These recommended Virginia amendments to the   U.S. Constitution, along with the other states ratifying amendment proposals, would eventually become the framework for what we now call the “Bill of Rights,[20] the first ten amendments to the Constitution.

Virginia "Constitution of 1787" Ratification Resolution - June 26th, 1788 - Image Courtesy of  Historic.us  
Virginia to wit:  We the Delegates of the People of Virginia duly elected in pursuance of a recommendation from the General Assembly and now met in Convention having fully and freely investigated and discussed the proceedings of the Federal Convention and being prepared as well as the most mature deliberation hath enabled us to decide thereon Do in the name and in behalf of the People of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will: that therefore no right of any denomination can be cancelled abridged restrained or modified by the Congress by the Senate or House of Representatives acting in any Capacity by the President or any Department or Officer of the United States except in those instances in which power is given by the Constitution for those purposes: & that among other essential rights the liberty of Conscience and of the Press cannot be cancelled abridged restrained or modified by any authority of the United States. With these impressions with a solemn appeal to the Searcher of hearts for the purity of our intentions and under the conviction that whatsoever imperfections may exist in the Constitution ought rather to be examined in the mode prescribed therein than to bring the Union into danger by a delay with a hope of obtaining Amendments previous to the Ratification, We the said Delegates in the name and in behalf of the People of Virginia do by these presents assent to and ratify the Constitution recommended on the seventeenth day of September one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven by the Federal Convention for the Government of the United States hereby announcing to all those whom it may concern that the said Constitution is binding upon the said People according to an authentic Copy hereto annexed in the Words following; .
Done in Convention this twenty Sixth day of June one thousand seven hundred and eighty eight:  By Order of the Convention,  EDMD PENDLETON President  
Virginia "Constitution of 1787" Ratification Resolution - June 26th, 1788 - Image Courtesy of  Historic.us  
Virginia to wit:

Subsequent Amendments agreed to in Convention as necessary to the proposed Constitution of Government for the United States, recommended to the consideration of the Congress which shall first assemble under the said Constitution to be acted upon according to the mode prescribed in the fifth article thereof:

Videlicet;
That there be a Declaration or Bill of Rights asserting and securing from encroachment the essential and unalienable Rights of the People in some such manner as the following;

First, That there are certain natural rights of which men, when they form a social compact cannot deprive or divest their posterity, among which are the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. Second. That all power is naturally vested in and consequently derived from the people; that Magistrates, therefore, are their trustees and agents and at all times amenable to them. Third, That Government ought to be instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the People; and that the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind. Fourth, That no man or set of Men are entitled to exclusive or seperate public emoluments or privileges from the community, but in Consideration of public services; which not being descendible, neither ought the offices of Magistrate, Legislator or Judge, or any other public office to be hereditary. Fifth, That the legislative, executive, and judiciary powers of Government should be seperate and distinct, and that the members of the two first may be restrained from oppression by feeling and participating the public burthens, they should, at fixt periods be reduced to a private station, return into the mass of the people; and the vacancies be supplied by certain and regular elections; in which all or any part of the former members to be elegible or ineligible, as the rules of the Constitution of Government, and the laws shall direct. Sixth, That elections of representatives in the legislature ought to be free and frequent, and all men having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with and attachment to the Community ought to have the right of suffrage: and no aid, charge, tax or fee can be set, rated, or levied upon the people without their own consent, or that of their representatives so elected, nor can they be bound by any law to which they have not in like manner assented for the public good. Seventh, That all power of suspending laws or the execution of laws by any authority, without the consent of the representatives of the people in the legislature is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised. Eighth, That in all capital and criminal prosecutions, a man hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence and be allowed counsel in his favor, and to a fair and speedy trial by an impartial Jury of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty, (except in the government of the land and naval forces) nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself. Ninth. That no freeman ought to be taken, imprisoned, or disseised of his freehold, liberties, privileges or franchises, or outlawed or exiled, or in any manner destroyed or deprived of his life, liberty or property but by the law of the land. Tenth. That every freeman restrained of his liberty is entitled to a remedy to enquire into the lawfulness thereof, and to remove the same, if unlawful, and that such remedy ought not to be denied nor delayed. Eleventh. That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by Jury is one of the greatest Securities to the rights of the people, and ought to remain sacred and inviolable. Twelfth. That every freeman ought to find a certain remedy by recourse to the laws for all injuries and wrongs he may receive in his person, property or character. He ought to obtain right and justice freely without sale, compleatly and without denial, promptly and without delay, and that all establishments or regulations contravening these rights, are oppressive and unjust. Thirteenth, That excessive Bail ought not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. Fourteenth, That every freeman has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and siezures of his person, his papers and his property; all warrants, therefore, to search suspected places, or sieze any freeman, his papers or property, without information upon Oath (or affirmation of a person religiously scrupulous of taking an oath) of legal and sufficient cause, are grievous and oppressive; and all general Warrants to search suspected places, or to apprehend any suspected person, without specially naming or describing the place or person, are dangerous and ought not to be granted. Fifteenth, That the people have a right peaceably to assemble together to consult for the common good, or to instruct their Representatives; and that every freeman has a right to petition or apply to the legislature for redress of grievances. Sixteenth, That the people have a right to freedom of speech, and of writing and publishing their Sentiments; but the freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty and ought not to be violated. Seventeenth, That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well regulated Militia composed of the body of the people trained to arms is the proper, natural and safe defence of a free State. That standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the Community will admit; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to and governed by the Civil power. Eighteenth, That no Soldier in time of peace ought to be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, and in time of war in such manner only as the laws direct. Nineteenth, That any person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms ought to be exempted upon payment of an equivalent to employ another to bear arms in his stead. Twentieth, That religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence, and therefore all men have an equal, natural and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion according to the dictates of conscience, and that no particular religious sect or society ought to be favored or established by Law in preference to others.

AMENDMENTS TO THE BODY OF THE CONSTITUTION

First, That each State in the Union shall respectively retain every power, jurisdiction and right which is not by this Constitution delegated to the Congress of the United States or to the departments of the Federal Government. Second, That there shall be one representative for every thirty thousand, 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 encreased as the Congress shall direct, upon the principles fixed by the Constitution by apportioning the Representatives of each State to some greater number of people from time to time as population encreases. Third, When Congress shall lay direct taxes or excises, they shall immediately inform the Executive power of each State of the quota of such state according to the Census herein directed, which is proposed to be thereby raised; And if the Legislature of any State shall pass a law which shall be effectual for raising such quota at the time required by Congress, the taxes and excises laid by Congress shall not be collected, in such State. Fourth, That the members of the Senate and House of Representatives shall be ineligible to, and incapable of holding, any civil office under the authority of the United States, during the time for which they shall respectively be elected. Fifth, That the Journals of the proceedings of the Senate and House of Representatives shall be published at least once in every year, except such parts thereof relating to treaties, alliances or military operations, as in their judgment require secrecy. Sixth, That a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published at least once in every year. Seventh, That no commercial treaty shall be ratified without the concurrence of two thirds of the whole number of the members of the Senate; and no Treaty ceding, contracting, restraining or suspending the territorial rights or claims of the United States, or any of them or their, or any of their rights or claims to fishing in the American seas, or navigating the American rivers shall be but in cases of the most urgent and extreme necessity, nor shall any such treaty be ratified without the concurrence of three fourths of the whole number of the members of both houses respectively. Eighth, That no navigation law, or law regulating Commerce shall be passed without the consent of two thirds of the Members present in both houses. Ninth, 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 members present in both houses. Tenth, That no soldier shall be inlisted for any longer term than four years, except in time of war, and then for no longer term than the continuance of the war. Eleventh, That each State respectively shall have the power to provide for organizing, arming and disciplining it's own Militia, whensoever Congress shall omit or neglect to provide for the same. That the Militia shall not be subject to Martial law, except when in actual service in time of war, invasion, or rebellion; and when not in the actual service of the United States, shall be subject only to such fines, penalties and punishments as shall be directed or inflicted by the laws of its own State. Twelfth That the exclusive power of legislation given to Congress over the Federal Town and its adjacent District and other places purchased or to be purchased by Congress of any of the States shall extend only to such regulations as respect the police and good government thereof. Thirteenth, That no person shall be capable of being President of the United States for more than eight years in any term of sixteen years. Fourteenth That the judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such courts of Admiralty as Congress may from time to time ordain and establish in any of the different States: The Judicial power shall extend to all cases in Law and Equity arising under treaties made, or which shall be made under the authority of the United States; to all cases affecting ambassadors other foreign ministers and consuls; to all cases of Admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to which the United States shall be a party; to controversies between two or States, and between parties claiming lands under the grants of different States. In all cases affecting ambassadors, other foreign ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be a party, the supreme court shall have original jurisdiction; in all other cases before mentioned the supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction as to matters of law only: except in cases of equity, and of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, in which the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction both as to law and fact, with such exceptions and under such regulations as the Congress shall make. But the judicial power of the United States shall extend to no case where the cause of action shall have originated before the ratification of this Constitution; except in disputes between States about their Territory, disputes between persons claiming lands under the grants of different States, and suits for debts due to the United States. Fifteenth, That in criminal prosecutions no man shall be restrained in the exercise of the usual and accustomed right of challenging or excepting to the Jury. Sixteenth, That Congress shall not alter, modify or interfere in the times, places, or manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives or either of them, except when the legislature of any State shall neglect, refuse or be disabled by invasion or rebellion to prescribe the same. Seventeenth, That those clauses which declare that Congress shall not exercise certain powers be not interpreted in any manner whatsoever to extend the powers of Congress. But that they may be construed either as making exceptions to the specified powers where this shall be the case, or otherwise as inserted merely for greater caution. Eighteenth, That the laws ascertaining the compensation to Senators and Representatives for their services be postponed in their operation, until after the election of Representatives immediately succeeding the passing thereof; that excepted, which shall first be passed on the Subject. Nineteenth, That some Tribunal other than the Senate be provided for trying impeachments of Senators. Twentieth, That the Salary of a Judge shall not be encreased or diminished during his continuance in Office, otherwise than by general regulations of Salary which may take place on a revision of the subject at stated periods of not less than seven years to commence from the time such Salaries shall be first ascertained by Congress. And the Convention do, in the name and behalf of the People of this Commonwealth enjoin it upon their Representatives in Congress to exert all their influence and use all reasonable and legal methods to obtain a Ratification of the foregoing alterations and provisions in the manner provided by the fifth article of the said Constitution; and in all Congressional laws to be passed in the mean time, to conform to the spirit of those Amendments as far as the said Constitution will admit.

Done in Convention this twenty seventh day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty eight.

By order of the Convention. 
EDMD PENDLETON President  
Shortly after receiving the good news of the Virginia ratification, the largest and  10th state to adopt the new constitution, the USCA acted on New Hampshire’s ratification resolution, resolving on July 2nd, 1788:

The State of New Hampshire having ratified the constitution transmitted to them by the Act of the 28 of Septr last and transmitted to Congress their ratification and the same being read, the president reminded Congress that this was the ninth ratification transmitted and laid before them, whereupon, on Motion of Mr. Clarke seconded by Mr. Edwards - Ordered That the ratifications of the constitution of the United States transmitted to Congress be referred to a comee to examine the same and report an Act to Congress for putting the said constitution into operation in pursuance of the resolutions of the late federal Convention.[21]

The committee consisted of Edward Carrington, Pierpont Edwards, Abraham Baldwin, Samuel Allyne Otis and Thomas Tudor Tucker.  They reported and made recommendations to Congress on July 8th, 9th, 14th and 28th but no plan was adopted for the transition. The July USCA deliberations on how to implement the new U.S. Constitution were overshadowed by their host state’s ratifying convention being held in Poughkeepsie, New York.  If the convention failed to ratify the Constitution of 1787, the USCA could not consider convening the new government in their current seat, New York City.  Thus a plan could not be debated, let alone adopted, until the ratification votes from the New York Convention were tallied.

Federalist leaders, John Jay, Robert R. Livingston, and Alexander Hamilton encountered stiff opposition to the new constitution in Poughkeepsie.  Jay advocated ratification, reminding the Convention that:

… the direction of general and national affairs is submitted to a single body of men, viz. the congress. They may make war; but are not empowered to raise men or money to carry it on. They may make peace; but without power to see the terms of it observed. They may form alliances, but without ability to comply with the stipulations on their part. They may enter into treaties of commerce; but without power to enforce them at home or abroad. They may borrow money; but without having the means of re-payment. They may partly regulate commerce; but without authority to execute their ordinances. They may appoint ministers and other officers of trust; but without power to try or punish them for misdemeanors. They may resolve; but cannot execute either with dispatch or with secrecy. In short, they may consul and deliberate and recommend and make requisitions; and they who please, may read them.  From this new and wonderful system of government, it has come to pass, that almost every national object of every kind is, at this day, unprovided for; and other nations, taking the advantage of its imbecility, are daily multiplying commercial restraints upon us. [22] 

Livingston, upon learning of New Hampshire’s ratification remarked, “The Confederation was now dissolved. The question before the committee was now a question of policy and expediency.”[23] News that Virginia, the home state of George Washington, had also ratified the new constitution all but assured the demise of the Articles of Confederation Republic with or without New York.  Jay, Livingston, Hamilton, and their supporters therefore were able to eke out a razor thin victory with a 30 to 27 ratification vote whose convention also proposed amendments to the new constitution including:

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 People have a right peaceably to assemble together to consult for their common good, or to instruct their Representatives; and 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.[24]

During the New York Convention, North Carolina delegates had assembled in Hillsborough to consider ratifying the Constitution of 1787. Federalists, led by James Iredell, Sr., struggled to mitigate Antifederalists' fears that the Constitution of 1787 would ultimately concentrate power at the national level permitting the federal government to chip away at states' rights and individual liberties. The abuse of power arising from empowering a central government to levy taxes, appoint government officials, and institute a strong court system was of particular concern to Antifederalists leaders Willie Jones, Samuel Spencer, and Timothy Bloodworth. Antifederalist William Gowdy of Guilford County summed up the majority’s opinion in the debates, stating:

Its intent is a concession of power, on the part of the people, to their rulers. We know that private interest governs mankind generally. Power belongs originally to the people; but if rulers be not well guarded, that power may be usurped from them. People ought to be cautious in giving away power.[25]

America's Four Republics

The North Carolina delegates, who overwhelming distrusted the proposed centralized authority, adjourned on August 4th after they had drafted a "Declaration of Rights" and a list of"Amendments to the Constitution."  Unlike New York and Virginia, these members voted"neither to ratify nor reject the Constitution proposed for the government of the United States."  James Madison reported to his father:

We just learn the fate of the Constitution in N. Carolina. Rho. Island is however her only associate in the opposition and it will be hard indeed if those two States should endanger a system which has been ratified by the eleven others. Congress has not yet finally settled the arrangements for putting the new Government in operation. The place for its first meeting creates the difficulty. The Eastern States with N. York contend for this City. Most of the other States insist on a more central position.[26] 

The dies were now cast, eleven states, not thirteen, would form a new United American Republic, We The People of the United States of America.

August 1788 Printing of the “More or Less” 11 United States Ratification Statistics

All throughout August and into September, the USCA debated the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution.  James Madison wrote Thomas Jefferson, who was serving in France as U.S. Minister:

Congress have not yet decided on the arrangements for inaugurating the new Government. The place of its first meeting continues to divide the Northern & Southern members, though with a few exceptions to this general description of the parties. The departure of Rhode Island, and the refusal of North Carolina in consequence of the late event there to vote in the question, threatens a disagreeable issue to the business, there being now an apparent impossibility of obtaining seven States for any one place. The three Eastern States & New York, reinforced by South Carolina, and as yet by New Jersey, give a plurality of votes in favor of this City [New York]. The advocates for a more central position however though less numerous, seemed very determined not to yield to what they call a shameful partiality to one extremity of the Continent.[27]

The start date for the Fourth United American Republic also eludes the test of general acceptance by the political and academic communities. After challenging Robert C. Byrd for his U.S. Senate Seat in 1994, he and I came together on his idea of marking September 17th, each year, as the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of 1787. Byrd’s bill was enacted by Congress with a provision requiring schools and federal agencies to set aside time to study the Constitution on or about the anniversary date.  September 17th, as noted in the last chapter, marks the Philadelphia Convention’s completion of the Constitution of 1787 which was curried to New York, debated by the USCA and sent to the states on September 28, 1787, unchanged by delegates.   These events, however, do not mark the start of theFourth American United Republic.   The Constitution of 1787, which ultimately formed the current American United Republic, required ratification by nine states before the USCA would be forced to dissolve itself and implement a plan of installing the new tripartite federal government.

On September 13th, 1788 the USCA finally agreed to keep the Constitution of 1787 United States seat of government in New York.  The USCA then approved a plan to dissolve itself and implement the Constitution of 1787.  Congress resolved that March 4th, 1789 would be the starting date of the current and Fourth United American Republic:

Whereas the Convention assembled in Philadelphia pursuant to the resolution of Congress of the 21st of Feby, 1787 did on the 17th. of Sept of the same year report to the United States in Congress assembled a constitution for the people of the United States, whereupon Congress on the 28 of the same Sept did resolve 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" And whereas the constitution so reported by the Convention and by Congress transmitted to the several legislatures has been ratified in the manner therein declared to be sufficient for the establishment of the same and such ratifications duly authenticated have been received by Congress and are filed in the Office of the Secretary therefore Resolved That the first Wednesday in Jany next be the day for appointing Electors in the several states, which before the said day shall have ratified the said constitution; that the first Wednesday in feby  next be the day for the electors to assemble in their respective states and vote for a president; and that the first Wednesday in March next be the time and the present seat of Congress the place for commencing proceedings under the said constitution.[28]

On October 2nd Congress debated where to relocate Secretary Thomson’s office and the nation’s records.  The USCA, in an arrangement to keep the seat of government in New York, exacted an agreement from Mayor James Duane and the New York City council to completely renovate the building they were currently occupying for the new tripartite government.  The extensive work that was planned required the USCA to find other quarters for Thomson, federal staff, congressional meetings, and the nation’s records.  The War Office and Department of Foreign Affairs had occupied six rooms at Fraunces Tavern since 1785. The initial two year lease had expired in May, 1787, but the USCA had renewed the space for another year, and had added some Treasury Offices.  Incredibly, the USCA whose republic was founded by a Congress that first caucused in a Philadelphia Tavern was considering leasing this New York Tavern as the final seat of their failed unicameral government experiment.   On October 2nd, 1788, the USCA resolved:

The committee consisting of Mr [Thomas Tudor] Tucker, Mr [John] Parker, and Mr [Abraham] Clark to whom was referred a letter from the Mayor of the city of New York to the Delegates having reported, That it appears from the letter referred to them, that the repairs and alterations intended to be made in the buildings in which Congress at present Assemble, will render it highly inconvenient for them to continue business therein, that it will therefore be necessary to provide some other place for their accommodation, the committee having made enquiry find no place more proper for this purpose than the two Apartments now appropriated for the Office of Foreign Affairs. They therefore recommend that the said Apartments be immediately prepared for the reception of Congress and the papers of the Secretary. Resolved, that Congress agree to the said report. [29]

On October 6, 1788, renovations began on the building that would be called thereafter, Federal Hall. The USCA moved their offices to Fraunces Tavern and reconvened on October 8th and on motion by Henry Lee that was seconded by John Armstrong Congress resolved:

That considering the peculiar circumstances attending the case of Muscoe Livingston, late a Lieutenant in the navy of the United States, in the settlement of his accounts, Resolved, that the Commissioner for the marine department adjust the said account, any resolution of Congress to the contrary notwithstanding.[30] 
The rest of the session was spent reviewing Governor Arthur St. Clair’s letter and five enclosures from the Northwest Territory. On the 9th they assembled as before and passed a resolution  permitting the Board of Treasury to satisfy a lottery claim providing that the beneficiaries “do give security that no further Claim on account of said Prize Ticket shall be made upon the United States by the Heirs, Executors or Administrators of the said deceased, Gail, or either of them.”[31]

 On October 10th, 1788, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina assembled along with only under representation (one delegate) from New Hampshire, from Rhode Island Delaware and Maryland in a USCA quorum for the last time.   Only Georgia, as with the first 1774 Continental Congress, failed to send delegates.   The USCA in their last official act suspended the work of the commissioners who had been appointed to settle the states' federal accounts.   The USCA’s last motion was made by Abraham Clark and seconded by Hugh Williamson,

That the Secretary at War be and he hereby is directed to forbear issuing warrants for bounties of land to such of the officers of the late army who have neglected to account for monies by them received as pay masters of Regiments, or for recruiting or other public service, until such officers respectively shall have settled their accounts with the commissioner of army accounts, or others legally authorized to settle the same, and have paid the balances that may be found due from them, into the treasury of the United States, anything in the land ordinance passed the 9th . day of July 1788 to the contrary notwithstanding.

The Delegates tabled the measure, “the question was lost” and USCA adjourned.  Despite the adjournment and several unsuccessful attempts to form more quorums, it was necessary for some delegates to serve in New York, including President Griffin, and conduct the nation's business until the new government took office on March 4th, 1789. Cyrus Griffin, John Brown, John Dawson, James Madison, and Mann Page were elected on October 31st, 1788 as Delegates to the USCA from Virginia. Griffin wrote in November:

Be so obliging to inform the House of Delegates that I shall continue in New York to execute the important Trust with which the general Assembly is pleased to honor me. I receive this further Mark of their Confidence with gratitude and pleasure & will endeavor to answer the expectations of my Country.[32]  

The USCA Journals report the final days of the Third United American Republic as thus: 

October 13-16 fails to achieve quorum. October 21, 1788 Two states attended namely Massachusetts and South Carolina and from New Hampshire Nicholas Gilman from Connecticut Benjamin Huntington from Pennsylvania William Irvine from Maryland Benjamin Contee from Virginia Cyrus Griffin and from North Carolina Hugh Williamson. October 22-November 1, 1788 there appear attended occasionally from New Hampshire Nicholas Gilman, from Massachusetts Samuel A Otis and George Thatcher, from Rhode island Peleg Arnold, from Connecticut Benjamin Huntington and Pierpont Edwards, from New Jersey Jonathan Dayton, from Pennsylvania William Irvine, from Maryland Benjamin Contee, from Virginia Cyrus Griffin, from North Carolina Hugh Williamson, and from South Carolina Daniel Huger John Parker and Thomas Tudor Tucker. November 3, 1788 Pursuant to the Articles of the Confederation only two Gentlemen attended Benjamin Contee for Maryland and Hugh Williamson for North Carolina. November 15, 1788 Cyrus Griffin from Virginia attended; December 1, 1788 John Dawson from Virginia and; December 6, 1788 Nicholas Eveleigh from South Carolina attended; December 11, 1788 Jonathan Dayton from New Jersey attended; December 15, 1788 Thomas Tudor Tucker from South Carolina; December 30, 1788 Samuel A Otis from Massachusetts; January 1, 1789 James R. Reid from Pennsylvania, Robert Barnwell from South Carolina; January 8, 1789 Abraham Clarke from New Jersey; January 10, 1789 Trenche Coxe from Pennsylvania; January 26, 1789 Nathaniel Gorham from Massachusetts;  January 29, 1789 George Thatcher from Massachusetts; February 6, 1789 David Ross from Maryland; February 12, 1789 John Gardner from Rhode island. February 18, 1789 David Gelston from New York February 19, 1789 Nicholas Gilman from New Hampshire; March 2 Philip Pell from New York.

Although the start date of the Fourth American Republic was set by the USCA as March 4th, 1789, the first bicameral congress of the new republic did not convene due to quorum challenges.  It would not be until April 1st, 1789, that the U.S. House of Representatives was able to achieve a quorum.  Five days later, on April 6th, the U.S. Senate achieved a quorum and elected its officers.  The Senate also tallied and certified the electoral votes from ten states[33] for President and Vice President.   Washington vote counts in Delaware (John Jay), Maryland (Robert H. Harrison), New Hampshire (John Adams) and Massachusetts (John Adams) all resulted in a tie because each elector was able to vote for two Presidents. Washington, however, handily won the election with 69 electoral votes.  John Adams came in second with 34 votes and under the Constitution of 1787 was awarded the office of Vice President.[34]   



On July 25th, 1789, President George Washington instructed United States in Congress Assembled Secretary Charles Thomson to deliver to his former Deputy secretary, Roger Allen "the books, records and papers of the late Congress," which include the "Report of the Convention lately assembled in Philadelphia."  A July 27th, 1789 Act re-established the Department of Foreign Affairs and ordered that the Secretary "shall forthwith after his appointment, be entitled to have custody and charge of all records, books, and papers."   


Act for establishing an Executive Department to be denominated the Department of Foreign Affairs - July 27, 1789 
An Act of September 15th, 1789 changed the name of the department to the Department of State. Former Foreign Secretary John Jay, assumed the role of acting Secretary of State, until March 11, 1790.  Under the new Act, Jay made his Under Secretary, Henry Remsen, Jr., his chief clerk in charge of foreign affairs and appointed Roger Alden, on January 1, 1790, chief clerk to the department of the "records, books and papers of the Congress."  Here the engrossed constitution remained throughout the early days of the republic.


Act to provide for the safe-keeping of the Acts, records, and Seal ofthe United States and for other purposes.  "That the Executive Department  denominated the Department of Foreign Affairs, shall hereinafter be denominated the Department of State, and the principal officer therein shall hereafter be called the Secretary of State - September 15th, 1789
A second North Carolina ratifying convention was held in Fayetteville in November 1789 while the First Federal Bicameral Congress was debating trade legislation treating North Carolina and Rhode Island as foreign countries. Almost all expected North Carolina to ratify the Constitution because the State’s major objection, a Bill of Rights, was in the process of being finalized in the Bicameral Congress.  The prospects of a second Anti-Federalist victory was so bleak that their most outspoken leader, Willie Jones, refused even to attend the Convention.  Debate was minimal at the Convention and the Delegates voted overwhelmingly for ratification which occurred on November 21, 1789.

North Carolina "Constitution of 1787" Ratification Resolution - November 21st, 1789 - Image Courtesy of  Historic.us  
In Convention, August 1st, 1788 and November 21st, 1789.

Resolved, That a Declaration of Rights, asserting and securing from encroachment the great Principles of civil and religious Liberty, and the unalienable Rights of the People, together with Amendments to the most ambiguous and exceptional Parts of the said Constitution of Government, ought to be laid before Congress, and the Convention of the States that shall or may be called for the Purpose of Amending the said Constitution, for their consideration, previous to the Ratification of the Constitution aforesaid, on the part of the State of North Carolina.

DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

1st That there are certain natural rights of which men, when they form a social compact, cannot deprive or divest their posterity, among which are the enjoyment of life, and liberty, with the means of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

2d. That all power is naturally vested in, and consequently derived from the people; that magistrates therefore are their trustees, and agents, and at all times amenable to them.

3d. That Government ought to be instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people; and that the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive to the good and happiness of mankind.

4th That no man or set of men are entitled to exclusive or separate public emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services; which not being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator or judge, or any other public office to be hereditary.

5th. That the legislative, executive and judiciary powers of government should be separate and distinct, and that the members of the two first may be restrained from oppression by feeling and participating the public burthens, they should at fixed periods be reduced to a private station, return into the mass of the people; and the vacancies be supplied by certain and regular elections; in which all or any part of the former members to be eligible or ineligible, as the rules of the Constitution of Government, and the laws shall direct.

6th. That elections of Representatives in the legislature ought to be free and frequent, and all men having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to the community, ought to have the right of suffrage: and no aid, charge, tax or fee can be set, rated, or levied upon the people without their own consent, or that of their representatives, so elected, nor can they be bound by any law, to which they have not in like manner assented for the public good.

7th. That all power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws by any authority without the consent of the representatives, of the people in the Legislature, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.
8th. That in all capital and criminal prosecutions, a man hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence and be allowed counsel in his favor, and to a fair and speedy trial by an impartial jury of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty (except in the government of the land and naval forces) nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself.
9th That no freeman ought to be taken, imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, liberties, privileges or franchises, or outlawed or exiled, or in any manner destroyed or deprived of his life, liberty, or property but by the law of the land.
10th. That every freeman restrained of his liberty is entitled to a remedy to inquire into the lawfulness thereof, and to remove the same, if unlawful, and that such remedy ought not to be denied nor delayed.
11th. That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury is one of the greatest securities to the rights of the people, and ought to remain sacred and inviolable.
12th. That every freeman ought to find a certain remedy by recourse to the laws for all injuries and wrongs he may receive in his person, property, or character. He ought to obtain right and justice freely without sale, completely and without denial, promptly and without delay, and that all establishments, or regulations contravening these rights, are oppressive and unjust.
13th. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted,
14. That every freeman has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches, and seizures of his person, his papers, and property: all warrants therefore to search suspected places, or seize any freeman, his papers or property, without information upon oath (or affirmation of a person religiously scrupulous of taking an oath) of legal and sufficient cause, are grievous and oppressive, and all general warrants to search suspected places, or to apprehend any suspected person without specially naming or describing the place or person, are dangerous and ought not to be granted.
15th. That the people have a right peaceably to assemble together to consult for the common good, or to instruct their representatives; and that every freeman has a right to petition or apply to the Legislature for redress of grievances.
16th. That the people have a right to freedom of speech, and of writing and publishing their sentiments; that the freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of Liberty, and ought not to be violated.
17th. That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well regulated militia composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free state. That standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to Liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided, as far as the circumstances and protection of the community will admit; and that in all cases, the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by the civil power.
18th. That no soldier in time of peace ought to be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, and in time of war in such manner only as the Laws direct
19th. That any person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms ought to be exempted upon payment of an equivalent to employ another to bear arms in his stead.
10. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence, and therefore all men have an equal, natural and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion according to the dictates of conscience, and that no particular religious sect or society ought to be favored or established by law in preference to others.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
I. THAT each state in the union shall, respectively, retain every power, jurisdiction and right, which is not by this constitution delegated to the Congress of the United States, or to the departments of the Federal Government.
II. That there shall be one representative for every 30.000, 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, as Congress shall direct, upon the principles fixed in the constitution, by apportioning the representatives of each state to some greater number of people from time to time, as population encreases.
III. When Congress shall lay direct taxes or excises, they shall immediately inform the executive power of each state, of the quota of such State, according to the census herein directed, which is proposed to be thereby raised: And if the legislature of any state shall pass a law, which shall be effectual for raising such quota at the time required by Congress, the taxes and excises laid by Congress shall not be collected in such state.
IV. That the members of the senate and house of representatives shall be ineligible to, and incapable of holding any civil office under the authority of the United States, during the time for which they shall, respectively, be elected.
V. That the journals of the proceedings of the senate and house of representatives shall be published at least once in every year, except such parts thereof relating to treaties, alliances, or military operations, as in their judgment require secrecy.
VI. That a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of the public money shall be published at least once in every year.
VII. That no commercial treaty shall be ratified without the concurrence of two-thirds of the whole number of the members of the Senate: And no treaty, ceding, contracting, or restraining or suspending the territorial rights or claims of the United States, or any of them or their, or any of their rights or claims to fishing in the American seas, or navigating the American rivers shall be made, but in cases of the most urgent and extreme necessity; nor shall any such treaty be ratified without the concurrence of three-fourths of the whole number of the members of both houses respectively.
VIII. That no navigation law, or law regulating commerce shall be passed without the consent of two-thirds of the members present in both houses.
IX 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 members present in both houses.
X. That no soldier shall be enlisted for any longer term than four years, except in time of war, and then for no longer term than the continuance of the war
XI. That each state, respectively, shall have the power to provide for organizing, arming and disciplining its own militia whensoever Congress shall omit or neglect to provide for the same. That the militia shall not be subject to martial law, except when in actual service in time of war, invasion or rebellion: And when not in the actual service of the United States, shall be subject only to such fines, penalties, and punishments as shall be directed or inflicted by the laws of its own state.
XII. That Congress shall not declare any state to be in rebellion without the consent of at least two-thirds of all the members present of both houses.
XIII. That the exclusive power of Legislation given to Congress over the federal town and its adjacent district, and other places, purchased or to be purchased by Congress, of any of the states, shall extend only to such regulations as respect the police and good government thereof.
XIV. That no person shall be capable of being president of the United States for more than eight years in any term of sixteen years.
XV. That the judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme court, and in such courts of admiralty as Congress may from time to time ordain and establish in any of the different states. The judicial power shall extend to all cases in law and equity, arising under treaties made, or which shall be made under the authority of the United States; to all cases affecting ambassadors, other foreign ministers and consuls; to all cases of admiralty, and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to which the United States shall be a party; to controversies between two or more stares, and between parties claiming lands under the grants of different states. In all cases affecting ambassadors, other foreign ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be a party; the supreme court shall have original jurisdiction, in all other cases before mentioned; the supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction as to matters of law only, except in cases of equity, and of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, in which the supreme court shall have appellate jurisdiction both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make. But the judicial power of the United States shall extend to no case where the cause of action shall have originated before the ratification of this constitution, except in disputes between states about their territory; disputes between persons claiming lands under the grants of different states, and suits for debts due to the united states.
XVI That in criminal prosecutions, no man shall be restrained in the exercise of the usual and accustomed right of challenging or excepting to the jury.
XVII. That Congress shall not alter, modify, or interfere in the times, places, or manner of holding elections for senators and representatives, or either of them, except when the legislature of any state shall neglect, refuse or be disabled by invasion or rebellion, to prescribe the same.
XVIII. That those clauses which declare that Congress shall not exercise certain powers, be not interpreted in any manner whatsoever to extend the powers of Congress; but that they be construed either as making exceptions to the specified powers where this shall be the case, or otherwise, as inserted merely for greater caution.
XIX That the laws ascertaining the compensation of senators and representatives for their services be postponed in their operation, until after the election of representatives immediately succeeding the passing thereof, that excepted, which shall first be passed on the subject,
XX. That some tribunal, other than the senate, be provided for trying impeachments of senators.
XXI That the salary of a judge shall not be increased or diminished during his continuance in once, otherwise than by general regulations of salary which may take place, on a revision of the subject at stated periods of not less than seven years, to commence from the time such salaries shall be first ascertained by Congress.
XXII. That Congress erect no company of merchants with exclusive advantages of commerce.
XXIII. That no treaties which shall be directly opposed to the existing laws of the United States in Congress assembled, shall be valid until such laws shall be repealed, or made conformable to such Meaty; nor shall any Meaty be valid which is contradictory to the constitution of the United States.
XXIV. That the latter part of the fifth paragraph of the 9th section of the first article be altered to read thus,-Nor shall vessels bound to a particular state be obliged to enter or pay duties in any other; nor when bound from any one of the States be obliged to clear in another.
XXV. That Congress shall not directly or indirectly, either by themselves or thro' the judiciary, interfere with any one of the states in the redemption of paper money already emitted and now in circulation, or in liquidating and discharging the public securities of any one of the states: But each and every state shall have the exclusive right of making such laws and regulations for the above purposes as they shall think proper.
XXVI That Congress shall not introduce foreign troops into the United States without the consent of two-thirds of the members present of both houses.
SAM JOHNSTON, President,
By order
J HUNT Secretary . . .
IN CONVENTION Whereas The General Convention which met in Philadelphia in Pursuance of a recommendation of Congress, did recommend to the Citizens of the United States a Constitution or form of Government in the following words Vizt.
Resolved, that this Convention in behalf of the freemen, citizens and inhabitants of the State of North Carolina, do adopt and ratify the said Constitution and form of Government. Done in Convention this 21 day of November 1789.
SAM JOHNSTON, President of the Convention
J HUNT Secretaries
JAMES TAYLOR

Five months later, Rhode Island Governor John Collins would cast the tie-breaking vote to convene a Constitution of 1787 ratifying convention. The state was still bitterly divided over Rhode Island joining the new union and Collins vote was unpopular with the legislature. The General Assembly refused to back Collins for another term as Governor, thus the vote ultimately ended his political career. Arthur Fenner, an avid Anti-Federalist was proposed by the Newport Committee as Collins' replacement and on May 5, 1790, the general assembly declared Fenner governor. Following Fenner's election, the Rhode Island ratification Convention convened and concluded with a vote 34 to 32 in favor of adopting the US Constitution.   On May 29th, 1790, Rhode Island became the last of the 13th original colonies to join the Fourth United American Republic formed under the United States Constitution of 1787.

Rhode Island "Constitution of 1787" Ratification Resolution - May 29th, 1790 - Image Courtesy of  Historic.us  
Ratification of the Constitution, by the Convention of the State of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations

We the Delegates of the People of the State of Rhode-Island, and Providence Plantations, duly elected and met in Convention, having maturely considered the Constitution for the United States of America, agreed to on the seventeenth day of September, in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven, 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 this State, do declare and make known

In That there are certain natural rights, of which men when they form a social compact, cannot deprive or divest their posterity, among which are the enjoyment of Life and Liberty, with the means of acquiring, possessing and protecting Property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

2d That all power is naturally vested in, and consequently derived from the People; that magistrates therefore are their trustees and agents, and at all times amenable to them.

3d That the powers of government may be reassumed by the people, whensoever it shall become necessary to their happiness:- That the rights of the States respectively, to nominate and appoint all State Officers, and every other power, jurisdiction and right, which is not by the said constitution clearly delegated to the Congress of the United States or to the departments of government thereof, remain to the people of the several states, or 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 as exceptions to certain specified powers, or as inserted merely for greater caution.

4th That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, and not by force or violence, and therefore all men, have an equal, natural and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience, and that no particular religious sect or society ought to be favoured, or established by law in preference to others.
5th That the legislative, executive and judiciary powers of government, should be separate and distinct, and that the members of the two first may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the publick burthens, they should at fixed periods be reduced to a private station, return into the mass of the people, and the vacancies be supplied by certain and regular elections, in which all, or any part of the former members, to be eligible or ineligible, as the rules of the constitution of government and the laws shall direct.
6th That elections of representatives in legislature ought to be free and frequent, and all men having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to the community ought to have the right of suffrage, and no aid, charge tax or fee can be set, rated or levied upon the people, without their own consent or that of their representatives so elected, nor can they be bound by any law, to which they have not in like manner assented for the publick good.
7th That all power of suspending laws or the execution of laws, by any authority without the consent of the representatives of the people in the legislature, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.
8th That in all capital and criminal prosecutions, a man hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence and be allowed counsel in his favour, and to a fair and speedy trial by an impartial jury of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty; (except in the government of the land and naval forces) nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself. 
9th That no freeman ought to be taken, imprisoned or disseised of his freehold, liberties, privileges, or franchises, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any manner destroyed or deprived of his life, liberty or property but by the trial by jury, or by the law of the land.
10th That every freeman restrained of his liberty, is intitled to a remedy, to enquire into the lawfulness thereof, and to remove the same if unlawful, and that such remedy ought not to be denied or delayed.
11th That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man the antient trial by jury, as bath been exercised by us and our ancestors, from the time whereof the memory of man is not to the contrary, is one of the greatest securities to the rights of the people, and ought to remain sacred and inviolate.
12th That every freeman ought to obtain right and justice, freely and without sale, completely and without denial, promptly and without delay, and that all establishments or regulations contravening these rights, are oppressive and unjust.

13th That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishments inflicted.

14th That every person has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seisures of his person, his papers or his property, and therefore that all warrants to search suspected places or seise any person, his papers or his property, without information upon oath, or affirmation, of sufficient cause, are grievous and oppressive, and that all general warrants for such in which the place or person suspected, are not particularly designated,) are dangerous, and ought not to be granted.

15th That the people have a right peaceably to assemble together, to consult for their common good, or to instruct their representatives; and that every person has a right to petition or apply to the legislature for redress of grievances.

16th That the people have a right to freedom of speech and of writing, and publishing their sentiments, that freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty, and ought not to be violated.

17th 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 shall 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 law directs.

18th That any person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, ought to be exempted, upon payment of an equivalent, to employ another to bear arms in his stead.
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 hereafter mentioned, will receive an early and mature consideration, and conformably to the fifth article of said constitution, speedily become a part thereof; We the said delegates, in the name, and in the behalf of the People, of the State of Rhode-Island and Providence-Plantations, do by these Presents, assent to, and ratify the said Constitution. In full confidence nevertheless, that until the amendments hereafter proposed and undermentioned shall be agreed to and ratified, pursuant to the aforesaid fifth article, 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 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 n those cases, such power will only be exercised, until the legislature of this State shall make provision in the Premises, that the Congress will not lay direct taxes within this State, but when the monies arising from the Impost, Tonnage and Excise shall be insufficient for the publick exigencies, nor until the Congress shall have first made a requisition upon this State to assess, levy and pay the amount of such requisition, made agreeable to the census fixed in the said constitution, in such way and manner, as the legislature of this State shall judge best, and that the Congress will not lay any capitation or poll tax.
Done in Convention, at Newport in the County of Newport, in the State of Rhode-Island and Providence-Plantations, the twenty ninth day of May, in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety, and in the fourteenth year of the Independence of the United States of America.
By order of the Convention,
DANIEL OWEN President
Attest, DANIEL UPDIKE Secty
And the Convention, do in the name and behalf of the People of the State of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, enjoin it upon their Senators and Representative or Representatives, which may be elected to represent this State in 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.
AMENDMENTS
1st The United States shall guarantee to each State its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right, which is not by this constitution expressly delegated to the United States.
2d That Congress shall not alter, modify or interfere in the times, places or manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, or either of them, except when the legislature of any state shall neglect, refuse or be disabled by invasion or rebellion to prescribe the same; or in case when the provision made by the states, is so imperfect as that no consequent election is had, and then only until the legislature of such state, shall make provision in the premises.
3d It is declared by the Convention, 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; but to remove all doubts or controversies respecting the same, that it be especially expressed as a part of the constitution of the United States, that Congress shall not directly or indirectly, either by themselves or through the judiciary, interfere with any one of the states, in the redemption of paper money already emitted and now in circulation, or in liquidating or discharging the public securities of any one state: that each and every state shall have the exclusive right of making such laws and regulations for the before mentioned purpose, as they shall think proper.
4th That no amendments to the constitution of the United States hereafter to be made, pursuant to the fifth article, shall take effect, or become a part of the constitution of the United States after the Year one thousand seven hundred and ninety three, without the consent of eleven of the states, heretofore united under one confederation.
5th That the judicial powers of the United States shall extend to no possible case, where the cause of action shall have originated before the ratification of this constitution, except in disputes between states about their territory, disputes between persons claiming lands under grants of different states, and debts due to the United States.
6th That no person shall be compelled to do military duty, otherwise than by voluntary enlistment, except in cases of general invasion; any thing in the second paragraph of the sixth article of the constitution, or any law made under the constitution to the contrary notwithstanding.
7th That no capitation or poll-tax shall ever be laid by Congress.
8th In cases of direct taxes, Congress shall first make requisitions on the several states to assess, levy and pay their respective proportions of such requisitions, in such way and manner, as the legislatures of the several states shall judge best; and in case 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 six per cent. per annum, from the time prescribed in such requisition.
9th That Congress shall lay no direct taxes, without the consent of the legislatures of three fourths of the states in the Union.
10th That the journals of the proceedings of the Senate and house of Representatives shall be published as soon as conveniently may be, at least once in every year, except such parts thereof relating to treaties, alliances or military operations, as in their judgment require secrecy.
11th That regular statements of the receipts and expenditures of all public monies, shall be published at least once a year.
12th As standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty and ought not to be kept up, except in cases of necessity; and as at all times the military should be under strict subordination to the civil power, that therefore no standing army, or regular toops shall be raised, or kept up in time of peace.
13th That no monies be borrowed on the credit of the United States without the assent of two thirds of the Senators and Representatives present in each house.
14th That the Congress shall not declare war, without the concurrence of two thirds of the Senators and Representatives present in each house.
15th That the words " without the consent of Congress " in the seventh clause in the ninth section of the first article of the constitution be expunged.
16th That no judge of the supreme court of the United States, shall hold any other office under the United States, or any of them; nor shall any officer appointed by Congress, or by the President and Senate of the United States, be permitted to hold any office under the appointment of any of the states.
17th As a traffick tending to establish or continue the slavery of any part of the human species, is disgraceful to the cause of liberty and humanity, that Congress shall, as soon as may be, promote and establish such laws and regulations, as may effectually prevent the importation of slaves of very description into the United States.
18th That the State Legislatures have power to recall, when they think it expedient, their federal senators, and to send others in their stead.
19th That Congress have power to establish a uniform rule of inhabitancy, or settlement of the poor of the different States throughout the United States.
20th That Congress erect no company with exclusive advantages of commerce.
21st That when two members shall move or call for the ayes and nays on any question, they shall be entered on the journals of the houses respectively.
Done in Convention at Newport, in the County of Newport in the State of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, the twenty ninth day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety, and the fourteenth year of the independence of the United States of America. By order of the Convention,

DANIEL OWEN President.

Attest DANIEL UPDIKE. Secty.
The original records of the Philadelphia Convention, however, remained with President Washington as the Constitutional Convention had resolved that its President "retain the Journal and other papers, subject to the order of Congress, if ever formed under the Constitution".   Washington, in complying with that direction until 1786 when they were turned over by order of Congress to Secretary of State Timothy Pickering who issued the President a March 19th, 1796 receipt.  The papers contained the August 6th, 1787 printed draft of the Constitution but no copy of the final September 18th, 1787 printing.

On March 27th, 1818 the 15th Congress ordered 
"that the journal of the convention which formed the present constitution of the United States, now remaining in the Office of Secretary of State, and all acts and proceedings of that convention, which are in possession of the government of the United States, be published under the direction of the President of the United States."  

Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, was charged with the task by President Monroe.  In October 1819, Thomas B. Wait at Boston published 1000 copies of the "Journal, Acts and Proceedings of the Convention, Assembled at Philadelphia, Monday, May 14, and Dissolved Monday, September 17, 1787, Which Formed the Constitution of the United States" as per the Order of Congress and Secretary of State Adams.  This document ended with the ratifications by the States of the Constitution and the full Constitution of 1787 printing  with its 12 ratified amendments.

Shortly after this printing, the Department of State issued an edition of the engrossed parchment "copied from and compared with the roll" because the search for the Journals also uncovered the four parchments of the US Constitution to the attention of the Secretary.


List of the legislation passed by 1st Federal Bicameral Congress and and signed by President Washington in 1789 included:



  • On June 1st, 1789: An Act to regulate the Time and Manner of administering certain Oaths was the first law passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President George Washington after the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Parts of the law still remain on the books;
  • On July 4th, 1789 An Act for laying a Duty on Goods, Wares, and Merchandises imported into the United States was passed to immediately establish the tariff as a regular source of revenue for the federal government and as a protection of domestic manufacture;
  • July 20th., 1789 An Act imposing Duties on Tonnage is passed and laid out various rates of duty on the tonnage of ships and vessels entered in the United States from foreign countries;
  • On July 27th, 1789 An Act for Establishing an Executive Department, to be Denominated The Department of Foreign Affairs was passed. John JayArticles of Confederation Secretary of Foreign Affairs turned down reappointment but agreed to serve as acting Secretary until a Presidential appointment was confirmed. During the enactment of this bill a debate arose as to the power of removal of the Foreign Secretary. One side contended that the power belonged to the President, by virtue of the executive powers of the Government vested in him by the constitution. The other side maintained that the power of removal should be exercised by the President, conjointly with the Senate. The important question was decided by Congress in favor of the President's power to remove the heads of all these Departments, on the ground that they are Executive Departments;
  • On July 31st, 1789 An Act to regulate the Collection of the Duties imposed by law on the tonnage of ships or vessels, and on goods, wares and merchandises imported into the United States was passed establishing ports of entry in each of the eleven states where duties were to be collected. North Carolina and Rhode Island, who had not ratified the new constitution, were subject to same goods’ duties as from foreign countries. Be it therefore further enacted, That all goods, wares and merchandise not of their own growth or manufacture, which shall be imported from either of the said two States of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, or North Carolina, into any other port or place within the limits of the United States, as settled by the late treaty of peace, shall be subject to the like duties, seizures and forfeitures, as goods, wares or merchandise imported from any State or country without the said limits;
  • On August 5th, 1789 An Act for settling the Accounts between the United States and individual States was passed appointing and paying commissioners to carry into effect the May 7th, 1787 ordinance and subsequent resolutions established by the USCA “… for the settlement of accounts between the United States and individual States;”
  • On August 7th, 1789 An Act to establish an Executive Department, to be denominated the Department of War was passed. Former USCA Secretary of War Henry Knox was re-appointed by President Washington and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The Department of War oversaw all military affairs until Congress created a separate Navy Department in 1798. The National Security Act, passed by Congress in 1947, designated departments for the Army, Navy, and the Air Force. A National Military Establishment, renamed the Department of Defense in 1949, administered these departments; 
  • Also on August 7th, 1789 An Act to provide for the Government of the Territory Northwest of the river Ohio was passed. This bill was the reenactment of the Northwest Ordinance passed by the USCA in July 1787 so that “… may continue to have full effect, it is requisite that certain provisions should be made, so as to adapt the same to the present Constitution of the United States.” Former USCA Governor Arthur St. Clair was re-appointed by President Washington and confirmed by the U.S. Senate;
  • On August 20th, 1789 An Act providing for the Expenses which may attend Negotiations or Treaties with the Indian Tribes, and the appointment of Commissioners for managing the same was passed;
  • On September 1st, 1789 An Act for Registering and Clearing Vessels, Regulating the Coasting Trade, and for other purposes was passed providing for the licensing and enrollment of vessels engaged in navigation and trade;
  • On September 2nd, 1789 An Act to establish the Treasury Department was passed. The act assigns duties to the Secretary, Comptroller, Auditor, Treasurer, Register, and Assistant to the Secretary. It prohibits persons appointed under the act from engaging in specified business transactions and prescribes penalties for so doing. It also provides that if information from a person other than a public prosecutor is the basis for the conviction, that person shall receive half the fine. Alexander Hamilton was appointed Secretary of the Treasury by President Washington and was confirmed the same day by the U.S. Senate;
  • On September 11th, 1789 An Act for establishing the Salaries of the Executive Officers of Government, with their Assistants and Clerks was passed; 
  • On September 15th, 1789 An Act to provide for the safe-keeping of the Acts, Records and Seal of the United States, and for other purposes was passed. This law changed the name of the Department of Foreign Affairs to the Department of State because certain domestic duties were assigned to the agency. These included: Receipt, publication, distribution, and preservation of the laws of the United States; Preparation, sealing, and recording of the commissions of Presidential appointees; Preparation and authentication of copies of records and authentication of copies under the Department's seal; Custody of the Great Seal of the United States; Custody of the records of the former Secretary of the Continental Congress, except for those of the Treasury and War Departments. Thomas Jefferson was appointed by President Washington September 25, 1789 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate the following day. Chief Justice John Jay served as Acting Secretary of State until Secretary Jefferson returned from France. Other domestic duties for which the Department was responsible at various times included issuance of patents on inventions, publication of the census returns, management of the mint, control of copyrights, and regulation of immigration;
  • On September 22nd, 1789 An Act for the temporary establishment of the Post-Office was passed. “That there shall be appointed a Postmaster General; his powers and salary and the compensation to the assistant or clerk and deputies which he may appoint, and the regulations of the post-office shall be the same as they last were under the resolutions and ordinances of the late Congress.” Samuel Osgood was appointed Postmaster General by President Washington on September 26th, 1789 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate the following day;
  • Also on September 22nd, 1789 An Act for allowing Compensation to the Members of the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, and to the Officers of both Houses was passed. Unlike the USCA, whose members were paid by their respective states, the congressmen were paid $6.00 a day from the new federal treasury; 
  • On September 23rd, 1789 An Act for allowing certain Compensation to the Judges of the Supreme and other Courts, and to the Attorney General of the United States was passed with salaries ranging from $4,000 for the Chief Justice to $800 for the Delaware Federal District Judge. The Attorney General’s salary was set at $1,500 while Associate Justices of the Supreme Court were paid $3,500;
  • On September 24th, 1789 An Act for allowing a compensation to the President and Vice President of the United States was passed with the salaries of $25,000[3] and $5,000 respectively.
  • On September 24th, 1789 the Judiciary Act was established. The Act calls for the organization of the U.S. federal court system, which had been sketched only in general terms in the U.S. Constitution. The act established a three-part judiciary that was made up of district courts, circuit courts, and the Supreme Court. The act also outlined the structure and jurisdiction of each branch. John Jay was appointed U.S. Chief Justice and Edmond Randolph appointed Attorney General by President Washington on September 24th, 1789 and the two were confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 26th. 
  • On September 25th, Congress proposed the Bill of Rights.  The amendments were introduced by James Madison as a series of legislative articles. They were adopted by the House of Representatives on August 21, 1789, formally proposed by joint resolution of Congress on September 25, 1789, and came into effect as Constitutional Amendments on December 15, 1791, through the process of ratification by three-fourths of the states. While twelve amendments were proposed by Congress, only ten were originally ratified by the states. Of the remaining two, one was adopted 203 years later as the Twenty-seventh Amendment, and the other technically remains pending before the states.
  • On September 29th, 1789 An Act to regulate Processes in the Courts of the United States was passed authorizing the courts of the United States to issue writs of execution as well as other writs; 
  • On September 29th, 1789 An Act making Appropriations for the Service of the present year was passed. Specifically the bill provided for “a sum not exceeding two hundred and sixteen thousand dollars for defraying the expenses of the civil list, under the late and present government; a sum not exceeding one hundred and thirty-seven thousand dollars for defraying the expenses of the department of war; a sum not exceeding one hundred and ninety thousand dollars for discharging the warrants issued by the late board of treasury, and remaining unsatisfied; and a sum not exceeding ninety-six thousand dollars for paying the pensions to invalids”;
  • On September 29th, 1789 An Act providing for the payment of the Invalid Pensioners of the United States was passed. The act specified “that the military pensions which have been granted and paid by the states respectively, in pursuance of the acts of the United States in Congress assembled, to the invalids who were wounded and disabled during the late war, shall be continued and paid by the United States, from the fourth day of March last, for the space of one year, under such regulations as the President of the United States may direct”;
  • On September 29th, 1789 An Act to recognize and adapt the Constitution of the United States the establishment of the Troops raised under the Resolves of the United States in Congress assembled, and for other purposes therein mentioned was passed. The act specified “that the establishment contained in the resolve of the late Congress of the third day of October, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, except as to the mode of appointing the officers, and also as is herein after provided, be, and the same is hereby recognized to be the establishment for the troops in the service of the United States;”
  • On September 29th, 1789 An Act to alter the Time for the Next Meeting of Congress was passed adjourning the 1st Federal Bicameral Congress until January 5, 1790



The First United American Republic
Continental Congress of the United Colonies Presidents 
Sept. 5, 1774 to July 1, 1776


September 5, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 26, 1774
May 20, 1775
May 24, 1775
May 25, 1775
July 1, 1776


The Second United American Republic
Continental Congress of the United States Presidents 
July 2, 1776 to February 28, 1781

July 2, 1776
October 29, 1777
November 1, 1777
December 9, 1778
December 10, 1778
September 28, 1779
September 29, 1779
February 28, 1781


Commander-in-Chief United Colonies & States of America

George Washington: June 15, 1775 - December 23, 1783


The Third United American Republic
Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled
March 1, 1781 to March 3, 1789

March 1, 1781
July 6, 1781
July 10, 1781
Declined Office
July 10, 1781
November 4, 1781
November 5, 1781
November 3, 1782
November 4, 1782
November 2, 1783
November 3, 1783
June 3, 1784
November 30, 1784
November 22, 1785
November 23, 1785
June 5, 1786
June 6, 1786
February 1, 1787
February 2, 1787
January 21, 1788
January 22, 1788
January 21, 1789





The Fourth United American Republic
Presidents of the United States of America








[1] Rhode Island sent no delegates.
[2] South Carolina Delegate Henry Laurens, in a final constitutional act, voted against Virginia's attempt to gain more power in the federal government based on population. Specifically, Virginia's amendment to the Articles of Confederation proposed that the nine votes necessary to determine matters of importance in the USCA must come from only the states that contained a majority of the white population.  
[3] The New Jersey Plan was the developed by the small States and named after N.J. Delegate William Paterson who presented it on the convention floor.
[4] Max Farrand, The records of the Federal convention of 1787, Volume 1.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911, p. 444
[5] George Washington, Convention President,  Plan of the New Federal Government, Printed by Robert Smith, Philadelphia: 1787, Original Document, Stan Klos Collection.
[6] JCC, 1774-1789, November 15, 1777, the Articles of Confederation
[7] The Confederate States of America (1861-1865) was a government created by eleven Southern states that had declared their secession from the United States. Secessionists argued that the United States Constitution was a compact among states, an agreement which each state could abandon without consultation. The Union government rejected secession as illegal. A War ensued and the Confederacy was tactically lost with General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 9, 1865.  President Jefferson Davis was capture the following month and by the end of June 1865 all CSA forces had surrendered.
[8] LDC, 1774-1789, Melancton Smith's Notes of Debates
[9] LDC, 1774-1789, Melancton Smith's Notes of Debates
[10] Ibid.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Ibid.
[13] Ibid.
[14] Ibid.
[15] LDC, 1774-1789, James Madison to George Washington, September 30, 1787.
[16] JCC, 1774-1789, September 28, 1787
[17] The Federalist Papers are a series of 85 essays promoting the ratification of the U.S. Constitution of 1787.  They were written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison. Seventy-seven of the essays were published serially as articles in theIndependent Journal and the New York Packet between October 1787 and August 1788. A compilation of these and eight others, called The Federalist was published by J. and A. McLean in 1788.  The title "Federalist Papers" did not emerge in the U.S. lexicon until the early twentieth century.
[18] Philip Robert Dillon, American Anniversaries: Every Day in the Year, Presenting Seven Hundred and Fifty Events in United States History, from the Discovery of America to the Present Day,  The Philip R. Dillon: New York  1918
[19] Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Virginia; June 26, 1788, Avalon project, Yale University, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/ratva.asp 2011
[20] The Bill of Rights was the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. They were introduced by Representative James Madison to the U.S. House in 1789 as a series of 17 articles. Twelve amendments were approved by Congress but only ten came into effect on December 15, 1791, when they were ratified by three-fourths of the States.
[21] JCC, 1774-1789, July 2, 17888
[22] James Hardie, The Description of the City of New York, A Brief Account and Most Remarkable Events, Which Have Occurred in Its History, New York: S. Marks Publisher, : 1827, p. 113
[23]Jonathan Elliot and James Madison, The debates in the several State conventions on the adoption of the federal Constitution, as recommended by the general convention at Philadelphia, in 1787: Together with the Journal of the federal convention, Luther Martin's letter, Yates's minutes, Congressional opinions, Virginia and Kentucky resolutions of '98-'99, and other illustrations of the Constitution, J. B. Lippincott company, 1891, Volume II, P. 320.
[24] Ratification of the Constitution by the State of New York; July 26, 1788, Avalon project, Yale University, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/ratny.asp 2012
[25]Jonathan Elliot and James Madison, The debates in the several State conventions on the adoption of the federal Constitution, as recommended by the general convention at Philadelphia, in 1787: Together with the Journal of the federal convention, Luther Martin's letter, Yates's minutes, Congressional opinions, Virginia and Kentucky resolutions of '98-'99, and other illustrations of the Constitution, J. B. Lippincott company, 1891, Volume IV, Page 13.
[26] LDC, 1774-1789, James Madison, Jr. to James Madison, August 18, 1788
[27] LDC, 1774-1789, James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, August 23, 1788.
[28] JCC, 1774-1789, September 13, 1789
[29] JCC, 1774-1789, October 2, 1788
[30] Ibid, October 8, 1788
[31] Ibid, October 9, 1788
[32] LDC 1774-1789. Cyrus Griffin to Thomas Matthews, November 22, 1788
[33] Rhode Island and North Carolina still had not ratified the Constitution of 1787. The New York legislature could not agree on a method for choosing electors and did not participate in the first presidential election. 
[34] In 1789 the electors voted only for the office of President rather than for both President and Vice President. Each elector was allowed to vote for two people for the U.S. Presidency. The person receiving the greatest number of votes became President while the second largest vote candidate became Vice President. If no candidate received a majority of votes, then the House of Representatives would choose among the five highest top candidates, with each state getting one vote. In the presidential election of 1800 Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied at 73 votes. It took the House of Representatives 36 ballots to finally choose Jefferson over Burr who became Vice President.  This contentious affair resulted in the adoption of the Twelfth Amendment in 1804, which directed the electors to use separate ballots to vote for the President and Vice President. While this solved the problem at hand, it ultimately had the effect of lowering the prestige of the Vice Presidency, as the office was no longer for the leading challenger for the Presidency.    


Dad, why are you a Republican?




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