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Constitutional Convention, Week of 29 May 1787

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Wednesday, in committee of the whole house

Philadelphia, PA

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In a Committee of the whole House

Wednesday May 30, 1787

Agreeably to the order of the day the House resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House to consider of the State of the American Union %u2013 Mr. Gorham in the chair.

The proposition offered yesterday to the consideration of the House by Mr. Randolph were read %u2013 and on motion of Mr. Randolph, seconded by Mr. G. Morris:

That the consideration of the first resolution contained in the said proposition be postponed.

It passed in the affirmative.

It was then moved by Mr. Randolph and seconded by Mr. G Morris to substitute the following resolution in the place of the first resolution:

Resolved that an union of the States, merely federal, will not accomplish the objects proposed by the articles of confederation, namely "Common defence, security of liberty, and general welfare.

It was moved by Mr. Butler seconded by Mr. Randolph to postpone the consideration of the said resolution in order to take up the following resolution submitted by Mr. Randolph namely:

Resolved that a national government ought to be established consisting of a supreme legislative, judiciary, and executive.

It was moved by Mr. Read seconded by Mr. C. C. Pinckney to postpone the consideration of the last resolution in order to take up the following:

Resolved That in order to carry into execution the design of the State in forming this convention and to accomplish the objects proposed by the confederation "A more effective government consisting of a Legislative, Judiciary, and Executive ought to be established"

On the question to postpone, in order to take up the last resolution, the question was lost.

On motion to agree to the said resolution moved by Mr. Butler it passed in the affirmative %u2013 and the resolution, as agreed to, is as follows:

Resolved that it is in the opinion of this Committee that a national government ought to be established consisting of a supreme Legislative, Judiciary, and Executive

The following resolution was then moved by Mr. Randolph:

Resolved that the rights of suffrage in the national legislature ought to be proportioned to the quotas of contribution, or to the number of free inhabitants, as the one or the other rule may seem best in different cases.

It was moved by Mr. Hamilton seconded by Mr. Spaight that the resolution be altered so as to read:

Resolved that the rights of suffrage in the national legislature ought to be proportioned to the number of free inhabitants.

It was moved and seconded that the resolution be postponed %u2013 and on the question to postpone it passed in the affirmative.

The following resolution was moved by Mr. Randolph seconded by Mr. Madison:

Resolved that the rights of suffrage in the national legislature ought to be proportioned

It was moved and seconded to add the words "and not according to the present system"

On the question to agree to the amendment it passed in the affirmative.

It was then moved and seconded so to alter the resolution that it should read

Resolved that the rights of suffrage in the national legislature ought not to be according %u2026

It was then moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the last resolution %u2013 and, on the question to postpone, it passed in the affirmative

The following resolution was then moved by Mr. Madison seconded by Mr. G Morris.

Resolved that the equality of suffrage established by the articles of confederation ought not to prevail in the national legislature and that an equitable ratio of representation ought to be substituted

It was moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the last resolution

And on the question to postpone it passed in the affirmative.

It was moved and seconded that the Committee do now rise.

Wednesday, From the Journal of general proceedings

Philadelphia, PA

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Journal of the federal Convention – Wednesday May 30, 1787

The honorable Roger Sherman Esquire a Deputy of the State of Connecticut attended and took his seat.

The order of the date being read.

The House resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House to consider of the State of the American Union.

Mr President left the chair.  Mr Gorham, chosen by ballot, took the chair of the Committee.

Mr. President resumed the chair. 

Mr. Gorham reported from the Committee, that the committee had made a progress in the matter to them referred; and had directed him to move that they may have leave to sit again.

Resolved that this House will tomorrow again resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House to consider of the state of the American Union.

And then the House adjourned till tomorrow at 10’ o’clock A.M.

Thursday, From the Journal of the House

Philadelphia, PA

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The honorable William Pierce Esquire, a Deputy of the State of Georgia attended and took his seat.

The following credentials were produced and read.  (here insert the credentials of Mr. Few and Mr. Pierce)

The order of the day being read,

The House resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House to consider of the state of the American Union

Mr. President left the chair.

Mr. Gorham took the chair of the Committee

Mr. President resumed the chair

Mr. Gorham reported from the committee that the Committee had made a further progress in the matter to them referred; and had directed him to move that they may have leave to sit again.

Resolved that this House will tomorrow again resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House to consider of the state of the American Union.

And then the House adjourned till tomorrow at 10 o’clock A.M.

Thursday, From the Journal of the Committee of the Whole House

Philadelphia, PA

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In a Committee of the whole House -- Thursday May 31, 1787

Mr. Gorham in the chair

It was moved & seconded that the Committee proceed to the consideration of the following resolution (submitted by Mr. Randolph) namely

"Resolved that the national legislature ought to consist of two branches"

And on the question to agree to the said resolution it passed in the affirmative.

It was then moved & seconded to proceed to the consideration of the following clause of the fourth resolution (submitted by Mr. Randolph) namely

"Resolved that the members of the first branch of the national legislature ought to be elected by the people of the several states:"

And on the question to agree to the said clause of the fourth resolution it passed in the affirmative.

It was then moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the remaining clauses of the said fourth resolution

And on the question to postpone the remaining clauses of the said fourth resolution -- it passed in the affirmative

[resumed 12 June?]

It was then moved and seconded to proceed ?? the consideration of the following resolution (being the fifth submitted by Mr. Randolph)

Resolved that the members of the second branch of the national legislature ought to be elected by those of the first: out of ???

And on the question to agree to the said fifth resolution -- it passed in the negative

It was then moved and seconded to proceed to the consideration of the following resolution (being the sixth submitted by Mr. Randolph)

Resolved "that each branch ought to possess the right of originating acts:"

"That the national legislature ought to be impowered"To enjoy the legislative rights vested in Congress by the confederation; and moreover

To legislate in all cases, to which separate States ore incompetent: or

In which the harmony of the united States may be interrupted by the exercise of individual legislation

To negative all laws, passed by the several States, contravening, in the opinion of the national legislature, the articles of union: (the following words were added to this clause on motion of Mr. Franklin, "or any Treaties subsisting under the authority of the union...

Question being taken separately on the foregoing clauses of the sixth resolution they were agreed to.

It was then moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the last clause of the sixth resolution namely "to call forth the force of the union against any member of the union, failing to fulfil its’ duty under the articles thereof"

On the question to postpone the consideration of the said clause

It passed in the affirmative

Friday, From the Journal of the House

Philadelphia, PA

The honorable William Houstoun Esq, a Deputy of the State of Georgia, attended and took his seat.

The following credential was produced and read (here insert Mr. Houstoun’s credential)

The Order of the day being read,

The House resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House to consider of the state of the American Union

Mr. President left the Chair.

Mr. Gorham took the chair of the Committee

Mr. President resumed the chair

Mr. Gorham reported from the committee that the Committee had made a further progress in the matter to them referred; and had directed him to move that they may have leave to sit again

Resolved that this House will tomorrow again resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House to consider of the State of the American Union.

And then the House adjourned till tomorrow at 10 o’clock A.M.

Friday, From the Journal of the Committee of the whole House

Philadelphia, PA

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In a Committee of the whole House Friday June 1, 1787

Mr. Gorham in the Chair

It was moved and seconded to proceed to the consideration of the 7th resolution submitted by Mr. Randolph, namely

"Resolved that a national executive be instituted; to be chosed by the national legislature, for the term of [blank] years

"to receive punctually at stated times a fixed compenstation for the services rendered; in which no encrease or diminution shall be made so as to affect the magistracy existing at the time of said encrease or diminution; and

"to be ineligible a second time; and that besides a general authority to execute the national laws, it ought to enjoy the executive rights vested in Congress by the confederation"

On motion by Mr. Wilson seconded by Mr. C. Pinckney, to amend the first clause of the resolution by adding, after the word instituted, the words "to consist of a single person" -- so as to read

"Resolved "that a national executive to consist of a single person to be instituted"

It was moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the amendment -- and on the question to postpone

It passed in the affirmative

It was then moved and seconded to agree to the first clause of the resolution, namely

"Resolved that a national executive be instituted" and on the question to agree to the said clause

It passed in the affirmative

It was then moved, by Mr. Madison, seconded by Mr. Wilson, after the word instituted to add the words "with power to carry into execution the national laws, -- to appoint to offices in cases not otherwise provided for; and to execute such other powers, not legislative or judiciary in their nature, as may from time to time be delegated by the national legislatude"

And on a division of the amendment the following clauses were agreed to -- namely

"with power to carry into execution the national laws, to appoint to offices in cases not otherwise provided for."

On the question to continue the last clause of the amendment namely

"and to execute such other powers, not legislative or judiciary in their nature, as may from time to time be delegated by the national legislature"

It passed in the negative

It was then moved and seconded to fill up the blank with the word "seven", so as to read

"For the term of seven years"

And on the question to fill up the blank with the word "seven"

It passed in the affirmative

It was then moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the following words -- namely

"to be chosen by the national legislature"

And on the question to postpone it passed in the affirmative.

It was then moved and seconded that the committee do now rise -- and report a further progress

Saturday, From the Journal of the House

Philadelphia, PA

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June 2nd, 1787

The honorable William Samuel Johnson Esquire, a Deputy of the State of Connecticut and the honorable Daniel of St. Thomas Genifer, a Deputy of the State of Maryland, and the honorable John Lansing junior a Deputy of the State of New York attended and took their seats.

The following credentials were produced and read. (here insert the credentials of the Deputies of the State of Maryland)

The Order o the date being read,

The House resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House to consider of the State of the American Union.

Mr. President left the chair

Mr. Gorham took the Chair of the Committee

Mr. President reseumed the Chair

Mr. Gorham reported from the Committee that the Committee had made a further progress in the matter to them referred; and had directed him to move that they may have leave to sit again

Resolved that this House will on Monday again resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House to consider of the State of the American Union.

And then the House adjourned till Monday next at 11 o’clock A.M.

Saturday, From the Journal of the Committee of the whole House

Philadelphia, PA

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In a Committee of the whole House Saturday June 2nd, 1787

Mr. Gorham in the Chair.

It was moved and seconded to postpone the farther consideration of the resolution, submitted by Mr. Randolph, which respects the executive -- in order to take up the consideration of the resolution respecting the second branch of the legislature.

And on the question to postone

It passed in the negative

It was then moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of these words namely

In order to take up the following resolution submitted by Mr. Wilson namely

"Resolved that the executive magistracy shall be elected in manner following

"That the States be divided into Districts -- and that the persons qualified to vote in each District, elect ____ numbers for their respective Districts to be electors of the Executive Magistracy

"That the election of the Executive Magistracy meet and they or any ____ of them shall elect by ballot, but not out of their own Body, ____ Person in whom the Executive authority of the national government shall be vested.

And on the question to postpone

It passed in the negative

It was then moved and seconded to agree to the words in the resolution, submitted by Mr. Randolph so as to read

"To be chosen by the national legislature for the term of seven years"

And on the question to agree to these words

It passed in the affirmative

It was the moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of that part of the resolution, as submitted by Mr. Randolph, which respects the stipend of the Executive, in order to introduce the following motion made by Dr. Franklin namely

"Whose necessary expenses shall be defrayed, but who shall receive no salary, stipend, fee or reward whatsoever for their services."

And on the question to postpone

It passed in the affirmative

It was the moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the said motion offered by Dr. Franklin

And on the question to postpone

It passed in the affirmative

It was then moved by Mr. Dickinson seconded by Mr. Bedford to amend the resolution, before the Committee, by adding after the words "to be chosen by the national legislature for the term of seven years" the following words "to be removable by the national legislature upon request by a majority of the legislatures of the individual States"

It was moved and seconded to strike out the words "upon request by a majority of the legislatures of the individual States"

On the question to strike out

It passed in the negative

The question being taken to agree to the amendment, offered by Mr. Dickinson

It passed in the negative

The question being then taken on the word contained in the resolution submitted by Mr. Randolph namely "to be ineligible a second time"

It passed in the affirmative

It was then moved by Mr. Williamson seconded by Mr. Davie to add the following words to the last clause of the resolution respecting the Executive namely "and to be removable on impeachment and conviction of the mal-practice or neglect of duty"

One the question to add the words

It passed in the affirmative

It was then moved by Mr. Rutledge seconded by Mr. C. Pinckney to fill up the blank after the words "executive to conisist of ___ with the words "one person"

It was then moved and seconded to postpone the consideration of the last motion

And on the question to postpone

It passed in the affirmative

It was then moved and seconded that the Committee do now rise, report a further progress, and request leave to sit again

The Committee then rose.

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