A Done Deal Almost

George Washington
George Washington, delegate from Virginia
James Peale, 1787-1790

Independence National Historical Park

A Done Deal (Almost)

"Concluded the Business of [the] Convention, all to signing the proceedings; to effect which the house sat till 6 O'clock; and adjourned till Monday that the Constitution it was proposed to offer to the People might be engrossed and a number of printed copies be struck off."

- George Washington's Diary

Daniel Carroll moved for a committee to prepare an address to the people to accompany the Constitution. Rutledge and Sherman pointed out that such an address would be improper before Congress acted on the document. The motion lost.

Langdon then moved to add another Representative each for North Carolina and Rhode Island

(until a census determined exact populations). Sherman supported one for NC. King was against changing and said he wouldn't sign if Rhode Island's representation was increased. Charles Pinckney and Gunning Bedford favored the motion. RI and NC were voted on separately. Each lost, 5 ay, 6 no.

During a long day the Convention worked through the document, debating and making changes, completing the process by early evening. Randolph, Mason and Gerry then stated their objections, and Randolph moved for a second convention to respond to the issues raised during ratification. At that point, Madison records:

"On the question of the proposition of Mr. Randolph: All the States answered - no.

On the question to agree to the Constitution as amended: All the States ay."

John Dickinson sent two notes to fellow Delawarean George Read. In the first he announced that a headache had kept him from attending the Convention Friday and that he was about to leave for home. A little later, he had another thought, and wrote asking Read if the members were to sign the document, to sign for him: "…Mr. Read will be so good as to subscribe Mr. Dickinson's name - his indisposition and some particular circumstances requiring him to return home."

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Sunday, September 16, 1787
The Final Sunday Recess

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Last updated: February 26, 2015

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