June 14, 1787: The Small States Prepare to Rebel

Black and white image of William Paterson on a cream background.
William Paterson

New York Public Library Digital Collections,

"Mr. Patterson observed to the convention that it was the wish of several deputations, particularly that of N. Jersey, that further time might be allowed them to contemplate the plan reported from the Committee of the Whole, and to digest one purely federal, and contradistinguished from the reported plan. He said they hoped to have such a one ready by tomorrow to be laid before the Convention..."

--James Madison in his Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention

Thursday, June 14, 1787: The Convention Today

The small states, suspicious from the beginning, were preparing to rebel against the Virginia Plan with New Jersey leading the way. Today they asked for more time to prepare a different plan. The Convention adjourned to allow them time for that work.

Until now, the Convention had been considering the plan for a government introduced on
May 29 by Governor Randolph of Virginia - the so-called "Virginia" or "Randolph" plan. In a
series of 15 resolutions, this plan proposed a government consisting of a legislative, executive and judiciary. The legislature would have two houses. In both houses the vote of each state would be proportioned to its population or contribution to the Federal Treasury - i.e., Virginia would have ten votes to Delaware's one instead of the equal vote they now had.

  • New Jersey requested time to prepare an alternative to the proposed Amended Virginia Plan

Delegates Today
  • Dr. Johnson (CT) dined at home, and then walked around the city looking for lodgings somewhat less expensive than City Tavern. His daily expenses were eight shillings.
  • General Washington (VA) dined at Major Moore's (probably Major Thomas Moore) and spent the evening at his lodgings.
  • Dr. Franklin (PA) attended a meeting of the Supreme Executive Council in the Council's Chamber in the State House. Later, Noah Webster and a Mr. Greenleaf called on him.
Philadelphia Today
  • State Treasurer David Rittenhouse paid Samuel Vaughan ten pounds, six shillings and nine pence in repayment of money Vaughn had spent on improving the State House yard (now Independence Square)

Part of a series of articles titled The Constitutional Convention: A Day by Day Account for June 1787.

Independence National Historical Park

Last updated: September 21, 2019