The Final Sunday Recess

George Mason
George Mason, delegate from Virginia

Steven Brooke Studios

The Final Sunday Recess

" There is no Declaration of Rights, and the laws of the general government being paramount to the laws and constitution of the several states, the Declaration of rights in the separate states are no security."

- From George Mason's pamphlet "Objections of the Hon. George Mason, One of the Delegates from Virginia in the late Continental Convention…" October 1787

The convention was in recess as its members prepared for the trip home, and Secretary Jackson sorted his papers.

Jacob Shallus, assistant clerk to the General Assembly of Pennsylvania, spent much of the day engrossing the Constitution on parchment for the delegates to sign.

There was general agreement among the exhausted delegates that this work was a good Constitution for the United States. But, not all the men agreed. Ratification would be difficult even if nine states only were necessary to begin a union. Several delegates had left in opposition during the debates. These included New York delegates Robert Yates and John Lansing who would oppose Alexander Hamilton in New York over ratification. Hamilton responded by building the case for ratification in the press (enlisting John Jay and even James Madison of Virginia) in what are known now as the Federalist Papers.

In the Convention, Edmund Randolph kept calling for the state ratifying conventions to propose changes to a second convention. Randolph did not get his second convention, but the state conventions in critical states did propose amendments. The first Congress addressed these concerns by proposing amendments to the states for ratification. On December 15, 1791, ten amendments were added to the U.S. Constitution - now called the Bill of Rights.

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Monday, September 17, 1787
Signing the Constitution
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Last updated: February 26, 2015

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