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1
New Hampshire / Text
« Last post by Rick Bulow on February 24, 2017, 04:40:10 AM »
Credentials of the members of the Federal Convention : State of New Hampshire; June 27, 1787 (1)

In the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven.

An Act for appointing Deputies from this State to the Convention, proposed to be holden in the City of Philadelphia in May 1787 for the purpose of revising the federal Constitution.

Whereas in the formation of the federal Compact, which frames the bond of Union of the American States, it was not possible in the infant state of our Republic to devise a system which in the course of time and experience, would not manifest imperfections that it would be necessary to reform.

And Whereas the limited powers, which by the Articles of Confederation, are vested in the Congress of the United States, have been found far inadequate, to the enlarged purposes which they were intended to produce. And Whereas Congress hath, by repeated and most urgent representations, endeavoured to awaken this, and other States of the Union, to a sense of the truly critical and alarming situation in which they may inevitably be involved, unless timely measures be taken to enlarge the powers of Congress, that they may be thereby enabled to avert the dangers which threaten our existence as a free and independent People. And Whereas this State hath been ever desirous to act upon the liberal system of the general good of the United States, without circumscribing its views, to the narrow and selfish objects of partial convenience; and has been at all times ready to make every concession to the safety and happiness of the whole, which justice and sound policy could vindicate.

BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED, by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened that JOHN LANGDON, JOHN PICKERING, NICHOLAS GILMAN & BENJAMIN WEST ESQUIRES be and hereby are appointed Commissioners, they or any two of them, are hereby authorized, and empowered, as Deputies from this State to meet at Philadelphia said Convention or any other place, to which the Convention may be adjourned, for the purposes aforesaid, there to confer with such Deputies, as are, or may be appointed by the other States for similar purposes; and with them to discuss and decide upon the most effectual means to remedy the defects of our federal Union; and to procure, and secure, the enlarged purposes which it was intended to effect, and to report such an Act, to the United States in Congress, as when agreed to by them, and duly confirmed by the several States, will effectually provide for the same.
State of New
Hampshire    }    In the House of Representatives
June 27th 1787.
The foregoing Bill having been read a third time, Voted that it pass to be enacted.

Sent up for Concurrence

JOHN SPARHAWK Speaker

In Senate, the same day-This Bill having been read a third time,-Voted that the same be enacted.

JNO SULLIVAN President.

Copy Examined.

Pr JOSEPH PEARSON Secy. (Seal appendt.)

Notes:

(1) Reprinted from Documentary History of the Constitution, Vol. I (1894), pp. 9, 10.
2
New Jersey / Text
« Last post by Rick Bulow on February 24, 2017, 04:30:03 AM »
Credentials of the State of New Jersey (1)

To the Honorable David Brearly, William Churchill Houston, William Patterson and John Neilson Esquires. Greeting.

The Council and Assembly reposing especial trust and confidence in your integrity, prudence and ability, have at a joint meeting appointed you the said David Brearly, William Churchill Houston, William Patterson and John Neilson Esquires, or any three of you, Commissioners to meet such Commissioners, as have been or may be appointed by the other States in the Union, at the City of Philadelphia in the Commonwealth of Pensylvania, on the second Monday in May next for the purpose of taking into Consideration the state of the Union, as to trade and other important objects, and of devising such other Provisions as shall appear to be necessary to render the Constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies thereof.

In testimony whereof the Great Seal of the State is hereunto affixed. Witness William Livingston Esquire, Governor, Captain General and Commander in Chief in and over the State of New Jersey and Territories thereunto belonging Chancellor and Ordinary in the same, at Trenton the Twenty third day of November in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and Eighty six and of our Sovereignty and Independence the Eleventh.

WIL: LIVINGSTON.
By His Excellency's Command
BOWES REED Secy.
The STATE OF NEW JERSEY.
To His Excellency William Livingston and the Honorable Abraham Clark Esquires Greeting.

The Council and Assembly reposing especial trust and Confidence in your integrity, prudence and ability have at a joint Meeting appointed You the said William Livingston and Abraham Clark Esquires, in conjunction with the Honorable David Brearley, William Churchill Houston & William Patterson Esquires, or any three of you, Commissioners to meet such Commissioners as have been appointed by the other States in the Union at the City of Philadelphia in the Commonwealth of Pensylvania on the second Monday of this present Month for the purpose of taking into consideration the state of the Union as to trade and other important Objects, and of devising such other Provisions as shall appear to be necessary to render the Constitution of the federal Government adequate to the exigencies thereof.

In Testimony whereof the Great Seal of the State is hereunto affixed. Witness William Livingston Esquire, Governor, Captain General and Commander in Chief in and over the State of New Jersey and Territories thereunto belonging Chancellor and Ordinary in the same at Burlington the Eighteenth day of May in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of our Sovereignty and Independence the Eleventh.

WIL: LIVINGSTON
By His Excellency's Command
BOWES REED Secy.
The STATE OF NEW JERSEY.
To the Honorable Jonathan Dayton Esquire

The Council and Assembly reposing especial trust and confidence in your integrity, prudence and ability have at a joint Meeting appointed You the said Jonathan Dayton Esquire, in conjunction with His Excellency William Livingston, the Honorable David Brearley, William Churchill Houston, William Patterson and Abraham Clark Esquires, or any three of you, Commissioners to meet such Commissioners as have been appointed by the other States in the Union at the City of Philadelphia in the Commonwealth of Pensylvania, for the purposes of taking into consideration the state of the Union as to trade and other important objects, and of devising such other Provision as shall appear to be necessary to render the Constitution of the federal Government adequate to the exigencies thereof.

In Testimony whereof the Great Seal of the State is hereunto affixed: - Witness Robert Lettis Hooper Esquire, Vice-President, Captain General and Commander in Chief in and over the State of New Jersey and Territories thereunto belonging, Chancellor and Ordinary in the same at Burlington this fifth day of June in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of our Sovereignty and Independence the Eleventh.

ROBT L. HOOPER
By his Honor's Command
BOWES REED Secy.

1 Reprinted from Documentary History of the Constitution, Vol. I (1894), pp. 16-19.
3
Connecticut / Text
« Last post by Rick Bulow on February 24, 2017, 04:27:58 AM »
Credentials of the State of Connecticut (1)

At a General Assembly of the State of Connecticut in America, holden at Hartford on the second Thursday of May, Anno Domini 1787.

An Act for appointing Delegates to meet in a Convention of the States to be held at the City of Philadelphia on the second Monday of May instant.

Whereas the Congress of the United States by their Act of the twenty first of February 1787 have recommended that on the second Monday of May instant, a Convention of Delegates, who shall have been appointed by the several States, be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.

Be it enacted by the Governor, Council and Representatives in General Court Assembled and by the Authority of the same.

That the Honorable William Samuel Johnson, Roger Sherman, and Oliver Ellsworth Esquires, be and they hereby are appointed Delegates to attend the said Convention, and are requested to proceed to the City of Philadelphia for that purpose without delay; And the said Delegates, and in case of sickness or accident, such one or more of them as shall actually attend the said Convention, is and are hereby authorized and empowered to Represent this State therein, and to confer with such Delegates appointed by the several States, for the purposes mentioned in the said Act of Congress that may be present and duly empowered to act in said Convention, and to discuss upon such Alterations and Provisions agreeable to the general Principles of Republican Government as they shall think proper to render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government and, the preservation of the Union; And they are further directed, pursuant to the said Act of Congress to report such alterations and provisions as may be agreed to by a majority of the United States represented in Convention to the Congress of the United States, and to the General Assembly of this State.

A true Copy of Record

Examd

By GEORGE WYLLYS Secy.

1 Reprinted from Documentary History of the Constitution, Vol. I (1894), pp. 12, 13.

4
Massachusetts / Text
« Last post by Rick Bulow on February 24, 2017, 04:26:01 AM »
Credentials of the Members of the Federal Convention. Commonwealth of Massachusetts; April 9, 1787 (1)
(Seal appendt). By His Excellency James Bowdoin Esquire Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

To the Honorable Francis Dana, Elbridge Gerry, Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King and Caleb Strong Esquires. Greeting.

Whereas Congress did on the twenty first day of February Ao Di 1787, Resolve "that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of Delegates who shall have been appointed by the several States to be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several Legislatures, such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress, and confirmed by the States render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of government and the preservation of the Union." And Whereas the General Court have constituted and appointed you their Delegates to attend and represent this Commonwealth in the said proposed Convention; and have by Resolution of theirs of the tenth of March last, requested me to Commission you for that purpose.

Now therefore Know Ye, that in pursuance of the resolutions aforesaid, I do by these presents, commission you the said Francis Dana, Elbridge Gerry Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King & Caleb Strong Esquires or any three of you to meet such Delegates as may be appointed by the other or any of the other States in the Union to meet in Convention at Philadelphia at the time and for the purposes aforesaid.

In Testimony whereof I have caused the Public Seal of the Commonwealth aforesaid to be hereunto affixed.

Given at the Council Chamber in Boston the Ninth day of April Ao Dom. 1787 and in the Eleventh Year of the Independence of the United States of America.

JAMES BOWDOIN

By His Excellency's Command.

JOHN AVERY JUNr., Secretary

Notes:

(1) Reprinted from Documentary History of the Constitution, Vol. I (1894), pp. 11, 12.
5
Pennsylvania / Text
« Last post by Rick Bulow on February 24, 2017, 04:24:53 AM »
Credentials of the State of Pennslyvania (1)

An Act appointing Deputies to the Convention intended to be held in the City of Philadelphia for the purpose of revising the foederal Constitution.

Section 1st Whereas the General Assembly of this Commonwealth taking into their serious Consideration the Representations heretofore made to the Legislatures of the several States in the Union by the United States in Congress Assembled, and also weighing the difficulties under which the Confederated States now labour, are fully convinced of the necessity of revising the federal Constitution for the purpose of making such Alterations and amendments as the exigencies of our Public Affairs require. And Whereas the Legislature of the State of Virginia have already passed an Act of that Commonwealth empowering certain Commissioners to meet at the City of Philadelphia in May next, a Convention of Commissioners or Deputies from the different States; And the Legislature of this State are fully sensible of the important advantages which may be derived to the United States, and every of them from co-operating with the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the other States of the Confederation in the said Design.

Section 2nd Be it enacted, and it is hereby enacted by the Representatives of the Freemen of the Commonwealth of Pensylvia in General Assembly met, and by the Authority of the same, That Thomas Mifflin, Robert Morris, George Clymer, Jared Ingersoll, Thomas Fitzsimmons, James Wilson and Governeur Morris Esquires, are hereby appointed Deputies from this State to meet in the Convention of the Deputies of the respective States of North America to be held at the City of Philadelphia on the second day of the Month of May next; And the said Thomas Mifflin, Robert Morris, George Clymer, Jared Ingersoll, Thomas Fitzsimmons, James Wilson and Governeur Morris Esquires, or any four of them, are hereby constituted and appointed Deputies from this State, with Powers to meet such Deputies as may be appointed and authorized by the other States, to assemble in the said Convention at the City aforesaid, and to join with them in devising, deliberating on, and discussing, all such alterations and further Provisions, as may be necessary to render the foederal Constitution fully adequate to the exigencies of the Union, and in reporting such Act or Acts for that purpose to the United States in Congress Assembled, as when agreed to by them and duly confirmed by the several States, will effectually provide for the same.

Section 3d And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That in case any of the Sd Deputies hereby nominated, shall happen to die, or to resign his or their said Appointment or Appointments, the Supreme Executive Council shall be and hereby are empowered and required, to nominate and appoint other Persons or Persons in lieu of him or them so deceased, or who has or have so resigned, which Person or Persons, from and after such Nomination and Appointment, shall be and hereby are declared to be vested with the same Powers respectively, as any of the Deputies Nominated and Appointed by this Act, is vested with by the same: Provided Always, that the Council are not hereby authorised, nor shall they make any such Nomination or Appointment, except in Vacation and during the Recess of the General Assembly of this State.

Signed by Order of the House

Seal of the Laws of Pensylvania

THOMAS MIFFLIN Speaker

Enacted into a Law at Philadelphia on Saturday December the thirtieth in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty six.

PETER ZACHARY LLOYD

Clerk of the General Assembly.

I Mathew Irwin Esquire Master of the Rolls for the State of Pensylvania Do Certify the Preceding Writing to be a true Copy (or Exemplification) of a certain Act of Assembly lodged in my Office.

In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal of Office the 15 May A. D. 1787.

MATHW. IRWINE

M. R.

A Supplement to the Act entitled "An Act appointing Deputies to the Convention intended to be held in the City of Philadelphia for the purpose of revising the Federal Consistitution.

Section 1st Whereas by the Act to which this Act is a Supplement, certain Persons were appointed as Deputies from this State to sit in the said Convention: And Whereas it is the desire of the General Assembly that His Excellency Benjamin Franklin Esquire, President of this State should also sit in the said Convention as a Deputy from this State-therefore

Section 2d Be it enacted and it is hereby enacted by the Representatives of the Freemen of the Commonwealth of Pensylvania, in General Assembly met, and by the Authority of the same, that His Excellency Benjamin Franklin Esquire, be, and he is hereby, appointed and authorised to sit in the said Convention as a Deputy from this State in addition to the Persons heretofore appointed; And that he be, and he hereby is invested with like Powers and authorities as are invested in the said Deputies or any of them.

Signed by Order of the House

THOMAS MIFFLIN Speaker.

Enacted into a Law at Philadelphia on Wednesday the twenty eighth day of March, in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & eighty seven.

PETER ZACHARY LLOYD

Clerk of the General Assembly.

I Mathew Irwine Esquire, Master of the Rolls for the State of Pensylvania Do Certify the above to be a true Copy (or Exemplification) of a Supplement to a certain Act of Assembly which Supplement is lodged in my Office

In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal of Office the 15 May A0 D. 1787.

MATHW IRWINE

M. R.

1 Reprinted from Documentary History of the Constitution, Vol. I (1894), pp. 19-23.
6
New York / Text
« Last post by Rick Bulow on February 24, 2017, 04:23:33 AM »
Credentials of the State of New York (1)

By His Excellency George Clinton Esquire Governor of the State of New York General and Commander in Chief of all the Militia and Admiral of the Navy of the same.

To all to whom these Presents shall come

It is by these Presents certified that John McKesson who has subscribed the annexed Copies of Resolutions is Clerk of the Assembly of this State.

In Testimony whereof I have caused the Privy Seal of the said State to be hereunto affixed this Ninth day of May in the Eleventh Year of the Independence of the said State.

GEO: CLINTON.

State of New York

In Assembly February 28th 1787.

A Copy of a Resolution of the honorable the Senate, delivered by Mr. Williams, was read, and is in the Words following, vizt.

Resolved, if the honorable the Assembly concur herein, that three Delegates be appointed on the part of this State, to meet such Delegates as may be appointed on the part of the other States respectively, on the second Monday in may next, at Philadelphia, for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation, and reporting to Congress, and to the several Legislatures, such alterations and Provisions therein, as shall, when agreed to in Congress, and confirmed by the several States, render the federal Constitution adequate to the Exigencies of Government, and the preservation of the Union; and that in case of such concurrence, the two Houses of the Legislature, will, on Tuesday next, proceed to nominate and appoint the said Delegates, in like manner as is directed by the Constitution of this State, for nominating and appointing Delegates to Congress.

Resolved, that this House do concur with the honorable the Senate, in the said Resolution.

In Assembly March 6th 1787.

Resolved, that the Honorable Robert Yates Esquire, and Alexander Hamilton and John Lansing, Junior Esquires, be, and they are hereby nominated by this House, Delegates on the part of this State, to meet such Delegates as may be appointed on the part of the other States respectively, on the second Monday in May next, at Philadelphia, pursuant to concurrent Resolutions of both Houses of the Legislature, on the 28th Ultimo.

Resolved, that this House will meet the Honorable the Senate, immediately, at such place as they shall appoint, to compare the Lists of Persons nominated by the Senate and Assembly respectively, as Delegates on the part of this State, to meet such Delegates as may be appointed on the part of the other States respectively, on the second Monday in May next, at Philadelphia, pursuant to concurrent Resolutions, of both Houses of the Legislature, on the 28t Ultimo.

Ordered That Mr. N. Smith deliver a Copy of the last preceding Resolution, to the Honorable the Senate.

A Copy of a Resolution of the Honorable the Senate, was delivered by Mr. Vanderbilt, that the Senate will immediately meet this House in the Assembly Chamber, to compare the Lists of Persons nominated by the Senate and Assembly respectively, as Delegates, pursuant to the Resolutions before mentioned.

The Honorable the Senate accordingly attended in the Assembly Chamber, to compare the Lists of Persons nominated for Delegates, as above mentioned.

The list of Persons nominated by the Honorable the Senate were the Honorable Robert Yates Esquire, and John Lansing Junior, and Alexander Hamilton Esquires; and on comparing the Lists of the Persons nominated by the Senate and Assembly respectively, it appeared that the same Persons were nominated in both Lists. Thereupon, Resolved that the Honorable Robert Yates, John Lansing Junior and Alexander Hamilton Esquires, be, and they are hereby declared duly nominated and appointed Delegates, on the part of this State, to meet such Delegates as may be appointed on the part of the other States respectively, on the second Monday in May next, at Philadelphia, for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation, and reporting to Congress, and to the several Legislatures, such alterations and provisions therein, as shall, when agreed to in Congress, and confirmed by the several States, render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government, and the preservation of the Union.

True Extracts from the Journals of the Assembly

JOHN McKESSON Clk.

1 Reprinted from Documentary History of the Constitution, Vol. I (1894), pp. 13-16
7
Report in Congress / Text
« Last post by Rick Bulow on February 24, 2017, 04:12:35 AM »
Report of Proceedings in Congress,(1)

Wednesday Feby. 21, 1787

Congress assembled as before.

The report of a grand comee consisting of Mr Dane Mr Varnum Mr S. M. Mitchell Mr Smith Mr Cadwallader Mr Irwine Mr N. Mitchell Mr Forrest Mr Grayson Mr Blount Mr Bull & Mr Few, to whom was referred a letter of I4 Septr 1786 from J. Dickinson written at the request of Commissioners from the States of Virginia Delaware Pensylvania New Jersey & New York assembled at the City of Annapolis together with a copy of the report of the said commissioners to the legislatures of the States by whom they were appointed, being an order of the day was called up & which is contained in the following resolution viz

"Congress having had under consideration the letter of John Dickinson esqr chairman of the Commissioners who assembled at Annapolis during the last year also the proceedings of the said commissioners and entirely coinciding with them as to the inefficiency of the federal government and the necessity of devising such farther provisions as shall render the same adequate to the exigencies of the Union do strongly recommend to the different legislatures to send forward delegates to meet the proposed convention on the second Monday in May next at the city of Philadelphia "

The delegates for the state of New York thereupon laid before Congress Instructions which they had received from their constituents, & in pursuance of the said instructions moved to postpone the farther consideration of the report in order to take up the following proposition to wit

" That it be recommended to the States composing the Union that a convention of representatives from the said States respectively be held at on for the purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the United States of America and reporting to the United States in Congress assembled and to the States respectively such alterations and amendments of the said Articles of Confederation as the representatives met in such convention shall judge proper and necessary to render them adequate to the preservation and support of the Union "

On the question to postpone for the purpose above mentioned the yeas & nays being required by the delegates for New York.

Massachusetts:
Mr. King ay
Mr. Dane ay
Connecticut:
Mr. Johnson ay
Mr. S. M. Mitchell no
New York:
Mr. Smith ay
Mr. Benson ay
New Jersey:
Mr. Cadwallader ay
Mr. Clarke no
Mr. Schurman no
Pensylvania:
Mr. Irwine no
Mr. Meredith ay
Mr. Bingham no
Delaware:
Mr. N. Mitchell no
Maryland:
Mr. Forest no
Virginia:
Mr. Grayson ay
Mr. Madison ay
North Carolina:
Mr. Blount no
Mr. Hawkins no
South Carolina:
Mr. Bull no
Mr. Kean no
Mr. Huger no
Mr. Parker no
Georgia:
Mr. Few ay
Mr. Pierce no

So the question was lost.

A motion was then made by the delegates for Massachusetts to postpone the farther consideration of the report in order to take into consideration a motion which they read in their place, this being agreed to, the motion of the delegates for Massachusetts as taken up and being amended was agreed to as follows

Whereas there is provision in the Articles of Confederation & perpetual Union for making alterations therein by the assent of a Congress of the United States and of the legislatures of the several States; And whereas experience hath evinced that there are defects in the present Confederation, as a mean to remedy which several of the States and particularly the State of New York by express instructions to their delegates in Congress have suggested a convention for the purposes expressed in the following resolution and such convention appearing to be the most probable mean of establishing in these states a firm national government.

Resolved that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several states be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the states render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government & the preservation of the Union.

(1) Journals of the Continental Congress, vol. 38 (manuscript), Library of Congress.
8
Proceedings of Annapolis convention / Text
« Last post by Rick Bulow on February 24, 2017, 04:10:57 AM »
Proceedings Of Commissioners To Remedy Defects Of The Federal Government(1)

Annapolis In The State Of Maryland

September 11th 1786

At a meeting of Commissioners, from the States of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia-

Present

New York
Alexander Hamilton
Egbert Benson

New Jersey
Abraham Clark
William C. Houston
James Schureman

Pennsylvania
Tench Coxe

Delaware
George Read
John Dickinson
Richard Bassett

Virginia
Edmund Randolph
James Madison, Junior
Saint George Tucker

Mr Dickinson was unanimously elected Chairman.

The Commissioners produced their Credentials from their respective States; which were read.

After a full communication of Sentiments, and deliberate consideration of what would be proper to be done by the Commissioners now assembled; it was unanimously agreed: that a Committee be appointed to prepare a draft of a Report to be made to the States having Commissioners attending at this meeting-Adjourned 'till Wednesday Morning.

Wednesday September 13th 1786

Met agreeable to Adjournment.

The Committee, appointed for that purpose, reported the draft of the report; which being read, the meeting proceeded to the consideration thereof, and after some time spent therein, Adjourned 'till tomorrow Morning.

Thursday September 14th 1786

Met agreeable to Adjournment.

The meeting resumed the consideration of the draft of the Report, and after some time spent therein, and amendments made, the same was unanimously agreed to, and is as follows, to wit.

To the Honorable, the Legislatures of Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York-

The Commissioners from the said States, respectively assembled at Annapolis, humbly beg leave to report.

That, pursuant to their several appointments, they met, at Annapolis in the State of Maryland, on the eleventh day of September Instant, and having proceeded to a Communication of their powers; they found that the States of New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, had, in substance, and nearly in the same terms, authorised their respective Commissioners " to meet such Commissioners as were, or might be, appointed by the other States in the Union, at such time and place, as should be agreed upon by the said Commissioners to take into consideration the trade and Commerce of the United States, to consider how far an uniform system in their commercial intercourse and regulations might be necessary to their common interest and permanent harmony, and to report to the several States such an Act, relative to this great object, as when unanimously ratified by them would enable the United States in Congress assembled effectually to provide for the same."

That the State of Delaware, had given similar powers to their Commissioners, with this difference only, that the Act to be framed in virtue of those powers, is required to be reported "to the United States in Congress assembled, to be agreed to by them, and confirmed by the Legislatures of every State."

That the State of New Jersey had enlarged the object of their appointment, empowering their Commissioners, " to consider how far an uniform system in their commercial regulations and other important matters, might be necessary to the common interest and permanent harmony of the several States," and to report such an Act on the subject, as when ratified by them " would enable the United States in Congress assembled, effectually to provide for the exigencies of the Union."

That appointments of Commissioners have also been made by the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and North Carolina, none of whom however have attended; but that no information has been received by your Commissioners, of any appointment having been made by the States of Connecticut, Maryland, South Carolina or Georgia.

That the express terms of the powers to your Commissioners supposing a deputation from all the States, and having for object the Trade and Commerce of the United States, Your Commissioners did not conceive it advisable to proceed on the business of their mission, under the Circumstance of so partial and defective a representation.

Deeply impressed however with the magnitude and importance of the object confided to them on this occasion, your Commissioners cannot forbear to indulge an expression of their earnest and unanimous wish, that speedy measures may be taken, to effect a general meeting, of the States, in a future Convention, for the same, and such other purposes, as the situation of public affairs, may be found to require.

If in expressing this wish, or in intimating any other sentiment, your Commissioners should seem to exceed the strict bounds of their appointment, they entertain a full confidence, that a conduct, dictated by an anxiety for the welfare, of the United States, will not fail to receive an indulgent construction.

In this persuasion, your Commissioners submit an opinion, that the Idea of extending the powers of their Deputies, to other objects, than those of Commerce, which has been adopted by the State of New Jersey, was an improvement on the original plan, and will de serve to be incorporated into that of a future Convention; they are the more naturally led to this conclusion, as in the course of their reflections on the subject, they have been induced to think, that the power of regulating trade is of such comprehensive extent, and will enter so far into the general System of the federal government, that to give it efficacy, and to obviate questions and doubts concerning its precise nature and limits, may require a correspondent adjustment of other parts of the Federal System.

That there are important defects in the system of the Federal Government is acknowledged by the Acts of all those States, which have concurred in the present Meeting; That the defects, upon a closer examination, may be found greater and more numerous, than even these acts imply, is at least so far probable, from the embarrassments which characterize the present State of our national affairs, foreign and domestic, as may reasonably be supposed to merit a deliberate and candid discussion, in some mode, which will unite the Sentiments and Council's of all the States. In the choice of the mode, your Commissioners are of opinion, that a Convention of Deputies from the different States, for the special and sole purpose of entering into this investigation, and digesting a plan for supplying such defects as may be discovered to exist, will be entitled to a preference from considerations, which will occur, without being particularized.

Your Commissioners decline an enumeration of those national circumstances on which their opinion respecting the propriety of a future Convention, with more enlarged powers, is founded; as it would be an useless intrusion of facts and observations, most of which have been frequently the subject of public discussion, and none of which can have escaped the penetration of those to whom they would in this instance be addressed. They are however of a nature so serious, as, in the view of your Commissioners to render the situation of the United States delicate and critical, calling for an exertion of the united virtue and wisdom of all the members of the Confederacy.

Under this impression, Your Commissioners, with the most respectful deference, beg leave to suggest their unanimous conviction, that it may essentially tend to advance the interests of the union, if the States, by whom they have been respectively delegated, would themselves concur, and use their endeavours to procure the concurrence of the other States, in the appointment of Commissioners, to meet at Philadelphia on the second Monday in May next, to take into consideration the situation of the United States, to devise such further provisions as shall appear to them necessary to render the constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union; and to report such an Act for that purpose to the United States in Congress assembled, as when agreed to, by them, and afterwards confirmed by the Legislatures of every State, will effectually provide for the same.

Though your Commissioners could not with propriety address these observations and sentiments to any but the States they have the honor to Represent, they have nevertheless concluded from motives of respect, to transmit Copies of this Report to the United States in Congress assembled, and to the executives of the other States.

By order of the Commissioners.
Dated at Annapolis
September 14th, 1786
Resolved, that the Chairman sign the Foregoing Report in behalf of the Commissioners.

Then adjourned without day-

New York
Egbt Benson
Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey
Abra: Clark
Wm Chll Houston
Ja Schureman

Pennsylvania
Tench Coxe

Delaware
Geo: Read
John Dickinson
Richard Bassett

Virginia
Edmund Randolph
Ja Madison Jr
St George Tucker
   
(1) From the original in the Library of Congress.

Notwithstanding the order to the chairman to sign the address it was signed by all the members of the Convention.
9
Anti-Federalist 23 / Text
« Last post by Rick Bulow on February 24, 2017, 03:36:16 AM »
Certain powers necessary for the common defense, can and should be limited

In Federalist No. 23, Alexander Hamilton spoke of the necessity for an energetic government. "BRUTUS" replied.
Taken from the 7th and 8th essays of "Brutus" in The New-York Journal, January 3 and 10, 1788.

In a confederated government, where the powers are divided between the general and the state government, it is essential . . . that the revenues of the country, without which no government can exist, should be divided between them, and so apportioned to each, as to answer their respective exigencies, as far as human wisdom can effect such a division and apportionment....

No such allotment is made in this constitution, but every source of revenue is under the control of Congress; it therefore follows, that if this system is intended to be a complex and not a simple, a confederate and not an entire consolidated government, it contains in it the sure seeds of its own dissolution. One of two things must happen. Either the new constitution will become a mere nudum pactum, and all the authority of the rulers under it be cried down, as has happened to the present confederacy. Or the authority of the individual states will be totally supplanted, and they will retain the mere form without any of the powers of government. To one or the other of these issues, I think, this new government, if it is adopted, will advance with great celerity.

It is said, I know, that such a separation of the sources of revenue, cannot be made without endangering the public safety-"unless (says a writer) [Alexander Hamilton] it can be shown that the circumstances which may affect the public safety are reducible within certain determinate limits; unless the contrary of this position can be fairly and rationally disputed, it must be admitted, as a necessary consequence, that there can be no limitation of that authority which is to provide for the defense and protection of the community, etc."(1)
(1 Federalist, No. 23.)

The pretended demonstration of this writer will instantly vanish, when it is considered, that the protection and defense of the community is not intended to be entrusted solely into the hands of the general government, and by his own confession it ought not to be. It is true this system commits to the general government the protection and defense of the community against foreign force and invasion, against piracies and felonies on the high seas, and against insurrection among ourselves. They are also authorized to provide for the administration of justice in certain matters of a general concern, and in some that I think are not so. But it ought to be left to the state governments to provide for the protection and defense of the citizen against the hand of private violence, and the wrongs done or attempted by individuals to each other. Protection and defense against the murderer, the robber, the thief, the cheat, and the unjust person, is to be derived from the respective state governments. The just way of reasoning therefore on this subject is this, the general government is to provide for the protection and defense of the community against foreign attacks, etc. They therefore ought to have authority sufficient to effect this, so far as is consistent with the providing for our internal protection and defense. The state governments are entrusted with the care of administering justice among its citizens, and the management of other internal concerns; they ought therefore to retain power adequate to that end. The preservation of internal peace and good order, and the due administration of law and justice, ought to be the first care of every government. The happiness of a people depends infinitely more on this than it does upon all that glory and respect which nations acquire by the most brilliant martial achievements. And I believe history will furnish but few examples of nations who have duly attended to these, who have been subdued by foreign invaders. If a proper respect and submission to the laws prevailed over all orders of men in our country; and if a spirit of public and private justice, economy, and industry influenced the people, we need not be under any apprehensions but what they would be ready to repel any invasion that might be made on the country. And more than this, I would not wish from them. A defensive war is the only one I think justifiable. I do not make these observations to prove, that a government ought not to be authorised to provide for the protection and defense of a country against external enemies, but to show that this is not the most important, much less the only object of their care.

The European governments are almost all of them framed, and administered with a view to arms, and war, as that in which their chief glory consists. They mistake the end of government. It was designed to save men's lives, not to destroy them. We ought to furnish the world with an example of a great people, who in their civil institutions hold chiefly in view, the attainment of virtue, and happiness among ourselves. Let the monarchs in Europe share among them the glory of depopulating countries, and butchering thousands of their innocent citizens, to revenge private quarrels, or to punish an insult offered to a wife, a mistress, or a favorite. I envy them not the honor, and I pray heaven this country may never be ambitious of it. The czar Peter the great, acquired great glory by his arms; but all this was nothing, compared with the true glory which he obtained, by civilizing his rude and barbarous subjects, diffusing among them knowledge, and establishing and cultivating the arts of life. By the former he desolated countries, and drenched the earth with human blood; by the latter he softened the ferocious nature of his people, and pointed them to the means of human happiness. The most important end of government then, is the proper direction of its internal police, and economy; this is the province of the state governments, and it is evident, and is indeed admitted, that these ought to be under their control. Is it not then preposterous, and in the highest degree absurd, when the state governments are vested with powers so essential to the peace and good order of society, to take from them the means of their own preservation?

The idea that the powers of congress in respect to revenue ought to be unlimited, because 'the circumstances which may affect the public safety are not reducible to certain determinate limits' is novel, as it relates to the government of the United States. The inconveniencies which resulted from the feebleness of the present confederation was discerned, and felt soon after its adoption. It was soon discovered, that a power to require money, without either the authority or means to enforce a collection of it, could not be relied upon either to provide for the common defense, discharge the national debt, or for support of government. Congress therefore, as early as February 1781, recommended to the states to invest them with a power to levy an impost of :five per cent ad valorem, on all imported goods, as a fund to be appropriated to discharge the debts already contracted, or which should hereafter be contracted for the support of the war, to be continued until the debts should be fully and finally discharged. There is not the most distant idea held out in this act, that an unlimited power to collect taxes, duties and excises was necessary to be vested in the United States, and yet this was a time of the most pressing danger and distress. The idea then was, that if certain definite funds were assigned to the union, which were certain in their natures, productive, and easy of collection, it would enable them to answer their engagements, and provide for their defense, and the impost of five per cent was fixed upon for the purpose.

This same subject was revived in the winter and spring of 1783, and after a long consideration of the subject, many schemes were proposed. The result was, a recommendation of the revenue system of April 1783; this system does not suggest an idea that it was necessary to grant the United States unlimited authority in matters of revenue. A variety of amendments were proposed to this system, some of which are upon the journals of Congress, but it does not appear that any of them proposed to invest the general government with discretionary power to raise money. On the contrary, all of them limit them to certain definite objects, and fix the bounds over which they could not pass. This recommendation was passed at the conclusion of the war, and was founded on an estimate of the whole national debt. It was computed, that one million and an half of dollars, in addition to the impost, was a sufficient sum to pay the annual interest of the debt, and gradually to abolish the principal. Events have proved that their estimate was sufficiently liberal, as the domestic debt appears upon its being adjusted to be less than it was computed; and since this period a considerable portion of the principal of the domestic debt has been discharged by the sale of the western lands. It has been constantly urged by Congress, and by individuals, ever since, until lately, that had this revenue been appropriated by the states, as it was recommended, it would have been adequate to every exigency of the union. Now indeed it is insisted, that all the treasures of the country are to be under the control of that body, whom we are to appoint to provide for our protection and defense against foreign enemies. The debts of the several states, and the support of the governments of them are to trust to fortune and accident. If the union should not have occasion for all the money they can raise, they will leave a portion for the state, but this must be a matter of mere grace and favor. Doctrines like these would not have been listened to by any state in the union, at a time when we were pressed on every side by a powerful enemy, and were called upon to make greater exertions than we have any reason to expect we shall ever be again. . . .

I may be asked to point out the sources, from which the general government could derive a sufficient revenue, to answer the demands of the union. ... There is one source of revenue, which it is agreed, the general government ought to have the sole control of. This is an impost upon all goods imported from foreign countries. This would, of itself, be very productive, and would be collected with ease and certainty. It will be a fund too, constantly increasing, for our commerce will grow with the productions of the country. And these, together with our consumption of foreign goods, wilt increase with our population. It is said, that the impost will not produce a sufficient sum to satisfy the demands of the general government; perhaps it would not.... My own opinion is, that the objects from which the general government should have authority to raise a revenue, should be of such a nature, that the tax should be raised by simple laws, with few officers, with certainty and expedition, and with the least interference with the internal police of the states. Of this nature is the impost on imported goods. And it appears to me that a duty on exports, would also be of this nature. Therefore, for ought I can discover, this would be the best source of revenue to grant the general government. I know neither the Congress nor the state legislatures will have authority under the new constitution to raise a revenue in this way. But I cannot perceive the reason of the restriction. It appears to me evident, that a tax on articles exported, would be as nearly equal as any that we can expect to lay, and it certainly would be collected with more ease and less expense than any direct tax. I do not however, contend for this mode; it may be liable to well founded objections that have not occurred to me. But this I do contend for, that some mode is practicable, and that limits must be marked between the general government, and the states on this head, or if they be not, either the Congress in the exercise of this power, will deprive the state legislatures of the means of their existence, or the states by resisting the constitutional authority of the general government, will render it nugatory....

The next powers vested by this Constitution in the general government, which we shall consider, are those which authorize them to "borrow money on the credit of the United States, and to raise and support armies." I take these two together and connect them with the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, because their extent, and the danger that will arise from the exercise of these powers, cannot be fully understood, unless they are viewed in relation to each other.

The power to borrow money is general and unlimited, and the clause so often before referred to, authorizes the passing [of] any laws proper and necessary to carry this into execution. Under this authority, Congress may mortgage any or all the revenues of the union, as a fund to loan money upon; and it is probable, in this way, they may borrow of foreign nations, a principal sum, the interest of which will be equal to the annual revenues of the country. By this means, they may create a national debt, so large, as to exceed the ability of the country ever to sink. I can scarcely contemplate a greater calamity that could befall this country, than to be loaded with a debt exceeding their ability ever to discharge. If this be a just remark, it is unwise and improvident to vest in the general government a power to borrow at discretion, without any limitation or restriction.

It may possibly happen that the safety and welfare of the country may require, that money be borrowed, and it is proper when such a necessity arises that the power should be exercised by the general government. But it certainly ought never to be exercised, but on the most urgent occasions, and then we should not borrow of foreigners if we could possibly avoid it.

The constitution should therefore have so restricted the exercise of this power as to have rendered it very difficult for the government to practice it. The present confederation requires the assent of nine states to exercise this, and a number of other important powers of the confederacy. It would certainly have been a wise provision in this constitution, to have made it necessary that two thirds of the members should assent to borrowing money. When the necessity was indispensable, this assent would always be given, and in no other cause ought it to be.

The power to raise armies is indefinite and unlimited, and authorises the raising [of] forces, as well in peace as in war. Whether the clause which empowers the Congress to pass all laws which are proper and necessary, to carry this into execution, will not authorise them to impress men for the army, is a question well worthy [of] consideration. If the general legislature deem it for the general welfare to raise a body of troops, and they cannot be procured by voluntary enlistments, it seems evident, that it will be proper and necessary to effect it, that men be impressed from the militia to make up the deficiency.

These powers taken in connection, amount to this: that the general government have unlimited authority and control over all the wealth and all the force of the union. The advocates for this scheme, would favor the world with a new discovery, if they would show, what kind of freedom or independency is left to the state governments, when they cannot command any part of the property or of the force of the country, but at the will of the Congress. It seems to me as absurd, as it would be to say, that I was free and independent, when I had conveyed all my property to another, and was tenant to him, and had beside, given an indenture of myself to serve him during life. . . .
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Anti-Federalist 22 / Text
« Last post by Rick Bulow on February 24, 2017, 03:35:20 AM »
Articles of confederation simply requires amendments, particularly for commercial power and judicial power; constitution goes too far

Benjamin Austin of Massachusetts used the pen-name "CANDIDUS." Taken from two letters by "Candidus" which appeared in the [Boston] Independent Chronicle, December 6 and 20, 1787.

.... Many people are sanguine for the Constitution, because they apprehend our commerce will be benefited. I would advise those persons to distinguish between the evils that arise from extraneous causes and our private imprudencies, and those that arise from our government. It does not appear that the embarrassments of our trade will be removed by the adoption of this Constitution. The powers of Europe do not lay any extraordinary duties on our oil, fish, or tobacco, because of our government; neither do they discourage our ship building on this account. I would ask what motive would induce Britain to repeal the duties on our oil, or France on our fish, if we should adopt the proposed Constitution? Those nations laid these duties to promote their own fishery, etc., and let us adopt what mode of government we please, they will pursue their own politics respecting our imports and exports, unless we can check them by some commercial regulations.

But it may be said, that such commercial regulations will take place after we have adopted the Constitution, and that the northern states would then become carriers for the southern. The great question then is, whether it is necessary in order to obtain these purposes, for every state to give up their whole power of legislation and taxation, and become an unwieldy republic, when it is probable the important object of our commerce could be effected by a uniform navigation act, giving Congress full power to regulate the whole commerce of the States? This power Congress have often said was sufficient to answer all their purposes. The circular letter from the Boston merchants and others, was urgent on this subject. Also the navigation act of this state [Massachusetts], was adopted upon similar principles, and . . . was declared by our Minister in England, to be the most effectual plan to promote our navigation, provided it had been adopted by the whole confederacy.

But it may be said, this regulation of commerce, without energy to enforce a compliance, is quite ideal. Coercion with some persons seems the principal object, but I believe we have more to expect from the affections of the people, than from an armed body of men. Provided a uniform commercial system was adopted, and each State felt its agreeable operations, we should have but little occasion to exercise force. But however, as power is thought necessary to raise an army, if required, to carry into effect any federal measure, I am willing to place it, where it is likely to be used with the utmost caution. This power I am willing to place among the confederated States, to be exercised when two thirds of them in their legislative capacities shall say the common good requires it. But to trust this power in the hands of a few men delegated for two, four and six years, is complimenting the ambition of human nature too highly, to risk the tranquility of these States on their absolute determination. Certain characters now on the stage, we have reason to venerate, but though this country is now blessed with a Washington, Franklin, Hancock and Adams, yet posterity may have reason to rue the day when their political welfare depends on the decision of men who may fill the places of these worthies....

The advocates for the Constitution, have always assumed an advantage by saying, that their opposers have never offered any plan as a substitute; the following outlines are therefore submitted, not as originating from an individual, but as copied from former resolutions of Congress, and united with some parts of the Constitution proposed by the respectable convention. This being the case, I presume it will not be invalidated by the cant term of antifederalism.

lst. That the Legislature of each state, empower Congress to frame a navigation act, to operate uniformly throughout the states; receiving to Congress all necessary powers to regulate our commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes. The revenue arising from the impost to be subject to their appropriations, "to enable them to fulfill their public engagements with foreign creditors."

2nd. That the Legislature of each state, instruct their delegates in Congress, to frame a treaty of AMITY for the purposes of discharging each state's proportion of the public debt, either foreign or domestic, and to enforce (if necessary) their immediate payment. Each state obligating themselves in the treaty of amity, to furnish (whenever required by Congress) a proportionate number of the Militia who are ever to be well organized and disciplined, for the purposes of repelling any invasion; suppressing any insurrection; or reducing any delinquent state within the confederacy, to a compliance with the federal treaty of commerce and amity. Such assistance to be furnished by the Supreme Executive of each state, on the application of Congress. The troops in cases of invasion to be under the command of the Supreme Executive of the state immediately in danger; but in cases of insurrection, and when employed against any delinquent state in the confederacy, the troops to be under the command of Congress.

3d. That such states as did not join the confederacy of commerce and amity, should be considered as aliens; and any goods brought from such state into any of the confederated states, together with their vessels, should be subject to heavy extra duties.

4th. The treaty of amity, agreed to by the several states, should expressly declare that no State (without the consent of Congress) should enter into any treaty, alliances, or confederacy; grant letters of marque and reprisal; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder or ex post facto law, or impair the obligations of contracts; engage in war, or declare peace.

5th. A Supreme Judicial Court to be constituted for the following federal purposes-to extend to all treaties made previous to, or which shall be made under the authority of the confederacy; all cases affecting Ambassadors, and other public Ministers and Consuls; controversies between two or more states; and between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states; to define and punish piracies, and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations.

6th. That it be recommended to Congress, that the said navigation act, and treaty of amity, be sent to the Legislatures (or people) of the several states, for their assenting to, and ratifying the same.

7th. A regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures, of all public monies, should be published from time to time.

The above plan it is humbly conceived-secures the internal government of the several states; promotes the commerce of the whole union; preserves a due degree of energy; lays restraints on aliens; secures the several states against invasions and insurrection by a MILITIA, rather than a STANDING ARMY; checks all ex post facto laws; cements the states by certain federal restrictions; confines the judiciary powers to national matters; and provides for the public information of receipts and expenditures. In a word, it places us in a complete federal state.

The resolves of Congress, 18th April, 1783, "recommends to the several States, to invest them with powers to levy for the use of the United States, certain duties upon goods, imported from any foreign port, island or plantation;" which measures is declared by them, "to be a system more free, from well founded exception, and is better calculated to receive the approbation of the several States, than any other, that the wisdom of Congress could devise; and if adopted, would enable them to fulfill their public engagements with their foreign creditors.". . . .

Should we adopt this plan, no extraordinary expenses would arise, and Congress having but one object to attend, every commercial regulation would be uniformly adopted; the duties of impost and excise, would operate equally throughout the states; our ship building and carrying trade, would claim their immediate attention; and in consequence thereof, our agriculture, trade and manufactures would revive and flourish. No acts of legislation, independent of this great business, would disaffect one State against the other; but the whole, . . . in one Federal System of commerce, would serve to remove all local attachments, and establish our navigation upon a most extensive basis. The powers of Europe, would be alarmed at our Union, and would fear lest we should retaliate on them by laying restrictions on their trade....

These states, by the blessing of Heaven, are now in a very tranquil state. This government, in particular, has produced an instance of ENERGY, in suppressing a late rebellion, which no absolute monarchy can boast. And notwithstanding the insinuations of a "small party," who are ever branding the PEOPLE with the most opprobrious epithets-representing them as aiming to level all distinctions; emit paper money; encourage the rebellion-yet the present General Court, the voice of that body, whom they have endeavored to stigmatize, have steadily pursued measures foreign from the suggestions of such revilers. And the public credit has been constantly appreciating since the present Administration.

Let us then be cautious how we disturb this general harmony. Every exertion is now making, by the people, to discharge their taxes. Industry and frugality prevail. Our commerce is every day increasing by the enterprise of our merchants. And above all, the PEOPLE of the several states are convinced of the necessity of adopting some Federal Commercial Plan....

CANDIDUS
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