Electing the Executive

Hugh Williamson
Hugh Williamson, delegate from North Carolina

The New York Public Library.  www.nypl.org

Electing the Executive

"Another objection agst. a single Magistrate is that he will be an elective King... He will spare no pains to keep himself in for life, and will then lay a train for the succession of his children."

-Hugh Williamson as recorded in James Madison's Notes on the Convention

The Convention spent the day discussing how the President should be elected, and made little progress.

The Presidency - how to fill it, how long a term, should a second term be allowed - was one of the most challenging issues faced by the Convention. Hugh Williamson's remarks, as noted by James Madison, reflect some of the sectional issues: "Mr. Williamson was for going back to the original ground; to elect the Executive for 7 years and render him ineligible a 2d time… He did not like the Unity in the Executive. He had wished the executive power to be lodged in three men taken from three districts into which the States should be divided."

The Convention chose five delegates to serve on the "Committee to report a Constitution conformable to the Resolutions passed by the Convention":Rutledge (SC), Randolph (VA), Gorham (MA), Ellsworth (CT) and Williamson (NC).

Wednesday, July 25, 1787
Debate Continues on Electing the Executive

HOME The 225th Anniversary of the Constitution Convention


Last updated: February 26, 2015

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