"…as the great outlines are now marked, and have been detailed by a committee:the residue of the work will rather be tedious than difficult."
-W.R. Davie to James Iredell
The convention reconvened after a ten day recess and Chairman John Rutledge delivered the report of the Committee of Detail. It was mostly the work of James Wilson (PA).Copies of the report printed by Dunlap & Claypool were distributed to each member and the Convention adjourned for the rest of the day for members to study the report.
The printed report of the Committee of Detail presented this day consisted of a preamble and twenty-three articles covering seven large pages with a wide margin to the left of the text for the members to make notes on. Of the twenty-three articles, two were introductions, seven dealt with Congress and its powers, one covered the Executive, one the judiciary, three provided for interstate comity, and seven covered such miscellaneous topics as the admission of new states, amendment, ratification, and setting up the new government.
With this document, the provisions and phrases familiar to students of the completed Constitution begin to appear: a bicameral legislature composed of a House of Representatives and a Senate, an executive called the President, an independent judiciary, a list of powers granted the legislature, including the authority "to make all laws that shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers," and ratification by conventions in the states.
There were other provisions which would be changed and deleted in the month ahead.But, if much remained to be done, much had been accomplished.
Tuesday, August 7, 1787
Federal Property Requirements Defeated