Monday, June 11, 1787 - History

Monday, June 11, 1787 - History

Mr. ABRAHAM BALDWIN, from Georgia, took his seat.

In Committee of the Whole, —The clause concerning the rule of suffruge in the National Legislature, postponed on Saturday, was resumed.

Mr. SHERMAN proposed, that the proportion of suffrage in the first branch should be according to the respective numbers of free inhabitants; and that in the second branch, or Senate, each State should have one vote and no more. He said, as the States would remain possessed of certain individual rights, each State ought to be able to protect itself; otherwise, a few large States will rule the rest. The House of Lords in England, he observed, had certain particular rights under the Constitution, and hence they have an equal vote with the House of Commons, that they may be able to defend their rights.

Mr. RUTLEDGE proposed, that the proportion of suffrage in the first branch should be according to the quotas of contribution. The justice of this rule, he said, could not be contested. Mr. BUTLER urged the same idea; adding that money was power; and that the States ought to have weight in the government in proportion to their wealth.

Mr. KING and Mr. WILSON, in order to bring the question to a point, moved, " that the right of suffrage in the first branch of the National Legislature ought not to be according to the rule established in the Articles of Confederation, but according to some equitable ratio of representation." The clause, so far as it related to suffrage in the first branch, was postponed, in order to consider this motion. _

Mr. DICKINSON contended for the actual contributions of the States, as the rule of their representation and suffrage in the first branch. By thus connecting the interests of the States with their duty, the latter would be sure to be performed.

Mr. KING remarked, that it was uncertain what made might be used in levying a national revenue; but that it was probable, imposts would be one source of it. If the actual contributions were to be the rule, the non. importing States, as Connecticut and New Jersey, would be in a bad situation, indeed. It might so happen that they would have no representation. This situation of particular States had been always one powerful argument in favor of the five per cent. impost.

The question being about to be put, Doctor FRANKLIN said, he had thrown his ideas of the matter on a paper, which Mr. WILSON read to the Committee, in the words following:

Mr. CHAIRMAN—It has given me great pleasure to observe, that, till this point, the proportion of representation, came before us, our debates were carried on with great coolness and temper. If any thing of a contrary kind has on this occasion appeared, I hope it will not be repeated; for we-are sent here to consult, not to contend, with each other; and declarations of a fixed opinion, and of determined resolution never to change it, neither enlighten nor convince us. Positiveness and warmth on one side naturally beget their like on the other, and tend to create and augment discord and division, in a great concern wherein harmony and union are extremely necessary to give weight to our councils, and render them effectual in promoting and securing the common good.

" I must own, that I was originally of opinion it would be better if every member of Congress, or our national Council, were to consider himself rather as a representative of the whole, than an agent for the interests of a particular State; in which case the proportion of members for each State would be of less consequence, and it would not be very material whether they voted by States or individually. But as I find this is not to be expected, I now think the number of representatives should bear some proportion to the number of the represented; and that the decisions should be by the majority of members, not by the majority of the States. This is objected to from an apprehension that the greater States would then swallow up the smaller. I do not at present clearly see what advantage the greater States could propose to themselves by swallowing up the smaller, and therefore do not apprehend they would attempt it. I recollect that, in the beginning of this century, when the union was proposed of the two kingdoms, England and Scotland, the Scotch patriots were full of fears, that unless they had an equal number of representatives in Parliament, they should be ruined by the superiority of the English. They finally agreed, however, that the different proportions of importance in the union of the two nations should be attended to, whereby they were to have only forty members in the House of Commons, and only sixteen in the House of Lords. A very great inferiority of members! And yet to this day I do not recollect that anything has been done in the Parliament of Great Britain to the prejudice of Scotland; and whoever looks over the lists of public officers, civil and military, of that nation, will find, I believe, that the North Britons enjoy at least their full proportion of emolument.

" But, sir, in the present mode of voting by States, it is equally in the power of the lesser States to swallow up the greater; and this is mathematically demonstrable. Suppose, for example, that seven smaller States had each three members in the House, and the six larger to have, one with another six members, end that, upon a question, two members of each smaller State should be in the affirmative, and one in the negative, they would make: —affirmatives, 14; negatives, 7; and that all the larger States should be unanimously in the negative, they would make, negatives, 36; in all, affirmatives, 14, negatives, 43.

" It is, then, apparent, that the fourteen carry the question against the forty-three, and the minority overpowers the majority, contrary to the common practice of assemblies in all countries and ages.

"The greater States, sir, are naturally as unwilling to have their property left in the disposition of the smaller, as the smaller are to have theirs in the disposition of the greater. An honorable gentleman has, to avoid this difficulty, hinted a proposition of equalizing the States. It appears to me an equitable one, and I should, for my own part, not be against such a measure, if it might be found practicable. Formerly, indeed, when almost every province had a different constitution, some with greater, others with fewer, privileges, it was of importance to the borderers, when their boundaries were contested, whether, by running tbe division lines, they were placed on one side or the other. At present, when such differences are done away, it is less material. The interest of a State is made up of the interests of its individual members. If they are not injured, the State is not injured. Small States are, more easily well and happily governed that large ones. If, therefore, in such an division, it should be found necessary to diminish Pennsylvania, I should not be averse to the giving u part of it to New Jersey, and another to Delaware. But as there would probably be considerable difficulties in adjusting such a division; and, however equally made at first, it would be continually varying by the augmentation of inhabitants in some States, and their fixed proportion in others, and thence frequently occasion new divisions I beg leave to propose, for the consideration of the Committee, another mode, which appears to me to be as equitable, more easily carried into practice, and more permanent in its nature.

" Let the weakest State say what proportion of money or force it is able and willing to furnish for the general purposes of the Union:

" Let all the others oblige themselves to furnish each an equal proportion:

" The whole of these joint supplies to be absolutely in the disposition of Congress;

" The Congress in this case to be composed of an equal number of delegates from each State:

" And their decisions to be by the majority of individual members voting.

" If these joint and equal supplies should, on particular occasions, not be sufficient, let Congress make requisitions on the richer and more powerful States for further aids, to be voluntarily afforded, leaving to each State the right of considering the necessity and utility of the aid desired, and of giving more or less as it should be found proper.

" This mode is not new. It was formerly practiced with success by the British government with respect to Ireland and the Colonies. We sometimes gave even more than they expected, or thought just to accept; and in the last war, carried on while we were united, they gave us back in five years a million sterling. We should probably have continued such voluntary contributions, whenever the; l occasions appeared to require, them for the common good of the Empire. It was not till they chose to force us, and to deprive us of the merit and pleasure of voluntary contributions, that we refused and resisted. These contributions, however, were to be disposed of at the pleasure of a government in which we had no representative. I am, therefore, persuaded, that they will not be refused to one in which the representation shall be equal.

"My learned colleague (Mr. WILSON) has already mentioned, that the present method of voting by States was submitted to originally by Congress under a conviction of its impropriety, inequality, and injustice. This appears in the words of their resolution. It is of the sixth of September, 1774 The words are:

"Resolved, that in determining questions in this Congress each Colony or Province shall have one vote; the Congress not being possessed of, or at present able to procure, materials for ascertaining the importance of each Colony."

On the question for agreeing to Mr. KING'S and Mr. WILSON'S motion, it passed in the affirmative, —Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye—7; New York, New Jersey, Delaware, no—3; Maryland, divided.

It was then moved by Mr. RUTLEDGE, seconded by Mr. BUTLER, to add to the words, " equitable ratio of representation," at the end of the motion just agreed to, the words "according to the quotas of contribution." On motion of Mr. WILSON, seconded by Mr. PINCKNEY, this was postponed; in order to add, after the words, " equitable ratio of representation," the words following: " in proportion to the whole number of white and other free citizens and inhabitants of every age, sex and condition, including those bound to servitude for a term of years, and three-fifths of all other persons not comprehended in the foregoing description, except Indians not paying taxes, in each State " this being the rule in the act of Congress, agreed to by eleven States, for apportioning quotas of revenue on the States, and requiring a census only every five, seven, or ten years.

Mr. GERRY thought property not the rule o£ representation. Why, then, should the blacks, who were property in the South, be in the rule of representation more than the cattle and horses of the North?

On the question, —Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia; aye—9; New Jersey, Delaware, no—2.

Mr. SHERMAN moved, that a question be taken, whether each State shall have one vote in the second branch. Every thing, he said, depended on this. The smaller States would never agree to the plan on any other principle than an equality of suffrage in this branch. ELLSWORTH seconded the motion. On the question for allowing each State one vote in the second branch, —Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, aye—5; Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no—6.

Mr. WILSON and Mr. HAMILTON moved, that the right of suffrage in the second branch ought to be according to the same rule as in the first branch.

On this question for making the ratio of representation, the same in the second as in the first branch, it passed in the affirmative, —Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye—6; Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, no—5.

The eleventh Resolution, for guaranteeing republican government and territory to each State, being considered, the words " or partition," were, on motion of Mr. MADISON, added after the words "voluntary junction," —Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye—7; Connecticut, New Jersey,, Delaware, Maryland, no—4.

Mr. READ disliked the idea of guaranteeing territory. I It abetted the idea of distinct States, which would be a perpetual source of discord There can be no cure for this evil but in doing away States altogether, all into one great society.

Alterations having been made in the Resolution, maLing it read, " that a Republican constitution, and its existing laws, ought to be guaranteed to each State by the United States," the whole was agreed to, nem. com.

The thirteenth Resolution, for amending the national Constitution, hereafter, without consent of the national Legislature, being considered, several members did not see the necessity of the Resolution at all, nor the propriety of making the consent of the National Legislature unnecessary.

Col. MASON urged the necessity of such a provision. The plan now to be formed will certainly be defective, as the Confederation has been found on trial to be. Amendments, therefore, will be necessary; and it will be better to provide for them in an easy, regular and constitutiona1 way, than to trust to chance and violence. It would be improper to require the consent of the National Legislature, because they may abuse their power, and refuse their assent on that very account. The opportunity for such an abuse may be the fault of the Constitution calling for amendment.

Mr. RANDOLPH enforced these arguments.

The words, "without requiring the consent of the National Legislature," were postponed. The other provision in the clause passed, nem. con.

The fourteenth resolution, requiring oaths from the members of the State Governments to observe the national Constitution and laws, being considered, —

Mr. SHERMAN opposed it, as unnecessarily intruding into the State jurisdictions.

Mr. RANDOLPH considered it necessary to prevent that competition between the national Constitution and laws, and those of the particular The officers of the States are already under oath to the and uniting them States. To preserve a due impartiality they ought to be equally bound to the National Government. The national authority needs every support we can give it. The Executive and Judiciary of the States, notwithstanding their nominal independence on the State Legislatures, are in fact so dependent on them, that unless they be brought under some tie to the National System, they will always lean too much to the State systems, whenever a contest arises between the two.

Mr. GERRY did not like the clause. He thought there was as much reason for requiring an oath of fidelity to the States from national officers, as vice versa.

Mr. LUTHER MARTIN moved to strike out the words requiring such an oath from the State officers, viz: "within the several States," observing, that if the new oath should be contrary to that already taken by them, it would be improper; if coincident, the oaths already taken will be sufficient.

On the question for striking out as proposed by Mr. L. MARTIN, —Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, aye—4; Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no—7.

Question on the whole Resolution as proposed by Mr, RANDOLPH, —Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye—6; Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, --Maryland, no—5.

The Committee rose, and the House adjourned.

The Madison County Historical Society is deeply concerned about the potential demolition of the Miller Building and the Old Creamery. Both were constructed in the early 19th century and have been Richmond landmarks on the Courthouse Square to this day. To lose these buildings would be to lose a part of city and county history. Both buildings deserve a new life in the 21st century through restoration work and a new purpose to enhance the culture of Madison County.

You are cordially invited by the Madison County Historical Society to attend a public meeting at the Central Bank Community Room on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss the preservation of the Miller Building and the Old Creamery. Please help us preserve the heritage of Madison County!


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June 14th is Flag Day, commemorating the official adoption of the US flag by the Second Continental Congress in 1777. It celebrates the history and symbolic meaning of the American flag, and is also an opportunity to remember those who fight to protect it and the nation for which it stands. Although it has been celebrated since the Civil War, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that it would be celebrated on June 14th in 1916. However, it is not officially a federal holiday, and only Pennsylvania has adopted it as a state holiday.

Independence Day marks the adoption by the first Continental Congress of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Every July 4th, Americans celebrate this federal holiday with parades, fireworks, games, and patriotic music, following Thomas Jefferson's injunction that,


Moroccan Recognition of the United States, 1786 .

Morocco recognized the United States on June 23, 1786, when a treaty of peace and friendship was signed by U.S. Minister Thomas Barclay and Sidi Muhammad , Sultan of Morocco, at Marrakech .

Morocco Under French and Spanish Control, 1912-1956 .

In 1912, Morocco became a French protectorate. Certain portions of Morocco also came under Spanish control, including the province of Tangier. However, the United States did not recognize the French and Spanish protectorates until October 20, 1917, when Secretary of State Robert Lansing sent a letter formally acknowledging the protectorate to Jean Jules Jusserand , French Ambassador to the United States.

U.S. Recognition of Moroccan Independence, 1956 .

The United States recognized Moroccan independence from French sovereignty on March 7, 1956, in a statement of congratulations regarding the Franco-Moroccan declaration of March 2, wherein France had recognized Moroccan independence.

The Debate Over Amendments to the Constitution

Throughout the Revolutionary era Americans drafted and adopted new constitutions. Some state constitutions provided no explicit method for amendments, while others provided a variety of measures for change. The Articles of Confederation, sent to the state legislatures for their unanimous approval in November 1777, provided that any amendments had to be approved by Congress and then ratified by all of the state legislatures. In the process of adopting the Articles, state legislatures proposed many amendments to the Articles. Congress rejected all of them. Beginning in February 1781, Congress proposed half a dozen amendments none of which were adopted by all of the states.

The delegates to the Constitutional Convention gave serious consideration to a method of amending the new Constitution. In the end, Article V provides two methods to propose amendments and two methods to ratify amendments. Amendments could be proposed either by a vote of two-thirds of each branch of Congress or, upon the request of two-thirds of the state legislatures, Congress must call a constitutional convention to consider amendments. When submitting amendments to the states, Congress was to determine which of two ratification procedures would be followed—either by the approval of three-fourths of the state legislatures or by the approval of three-fourths of specially-elected state ratifying conventions.

When the Constitution was promulgated on 17 September 1787, it met with widespread approval. Yet, because it was a document of compromises, no one approved it in its entirety. Even the strongest Federalists such as James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and James Wilson objected to some parts of the Constitution. Hamilton, for instance, wrote that “no man’s ideas were more remote from the plan than [mine] were known to be,” while James Wilson publically confessed “that I am not a blind admirer of this plan of government, and that there are some parts of it, which, if my wish had prevailed, would certainly have been altered.” Federalists, however, saw that the Constitution, defective as it was, was far superior to the Articles of Confederation, consequently they energetically supported it.

During the ratification debate, much of the argument centered over how and when to amend the Constitution. Antifederalists wanted to amend the Constitution before it was implemented while Federalists argued that amendments could best be considered only after experience under the Constitution demonstrated the need for change. Federalists argued that any attempt to obtain amendments prior to the ratification of the Constitution would be foolhardy and perhaps endanger the Union.

Perhaps surprisingly, Antifederalists almost unanimously agreed to follow the procedure for ratification recommended by the Constitutional Convention and the Confederation Congress. Congress was to submit the Constitution to the state legislatures, which, in turn, would call specially-elected conventions that would ratify the Constitution. Article VII of the Constitution provided that once nine state conventions ratified, the new Constitution would go into effect among the ratifying states. Antifederalists wanted the state conventions to consider amendments to the Constitution that would be submitted to the Confederation Congress, which would call a new general convention before the Constitution was put into effect. Only those amendments accepted by the general convention would be incorporated into the Constitution.

The first hurdle in the ratification debate occurred in the Confederation Congress. After some discussion as to whether the plan could be amended, Congress “resolved unanimously” to transmit the Constitution to the state legislatures without approbation. All mention of objections was deleted from the Journals (see The Confederation Congress and the Constitution).

In the first five state conventions that considered the Constitution, Federalists with large majorities argued that amendments should not be considered. Most Antifederalists acquiesced and did not propose amendments. In Pennsylvania, however, an adamant minority recommended amendments, which Federalists would not allow to appear on the Journals. Antifederalists therefore had their amendments printed in newspapers and as a broadside as part of the Dissent of the Minority of the Pennsylvania Convention.

All of this would change in Massachusetts. After three weeks of debates, Federalists realized that the Constitution would be defeated if a vote were to be taken. Federalist leaders ingeniously met the challenge. They proposed to ratify the Constitution without any prior conditions, but with nine recommendatory amendments. The state’s members of the first federal Congress would be instructed to strive to obtain congressional approval of the Convention’s amendments under the provisions of Article V of the Constitution. Six of the remaining seven states that ratified the Constitution followed this procedure. (For a complete list of all the recommendatory amendments, see here.) New York’s Convention took another step. In addition to recommending more than forty amendments, it recommended that the first federal Congress call a second general convention to consider the recommendatory amendments. Federalists greatly feared such a convention. And, since the legislatures of New York and Virginia were the only states to submit formal requests for a second general convention, Congress did not call a general convention (see The Idea of a Second Convention).

Despite the recommendation of amendments by five of the first eleven state conventions, amendments were denigrated during the first federal elections for the House of Representatives. Federalists labeled advocates for amendments as “amendmenites” or “amendment mongers,” who endangered the Constitution and the Union. Thus, even though George Washington called for the proposal of a bill of rights in his presidential inaugural address on 30 April 1789, Congress did nothing of substance to propose amendments until James Madison argued for amendments in a speech in the House of Representatives on 8 June 1789. After approval by two-thirds of the House, Madison’s amendments were considered and altered somewhat by the Senate. In September 1789, a conference committee proposed twelve amendments that were sent to the states. By 15 December 1791 three-fourths of the state legislatures adopted ten of the amendments. For an excellent article detailing the process of creating the Bill of Rights, see Kenneth R. Bowling’s “A Tub to the Whale: The Founding Fathers and the Adoption of the Federal Bill of Rights.”

The Debate Over a Bill of Rights

Antifederalists argued that in a state of nature people were entirely free. In society some rights were yielded for the common good. But, there were some rights so fundamental that to give them up would be contrary to the common good. These rights, which should always be retained by the people, needed to be explicitly stated in a bill of rights that would clearly define the limits of government. A bill of rights would serve as a fire bell for the people, enabling them to immediately know when their rights were threatened.

Additionally, some Antifederalists argued that the protections of a bill of rights was especially important under the Constitution, which was an original compact with the people. State bills of rights offered no protection from oppressive acts of the federal government because the Constitution, treaties and laws made in pursuance of the Constitution were declared to be the supreme law of the land. Antifederalists argued that a bill of rights was necessary because, the supremacy clause in combination with the necessary and proper and general welfare clauses would allow implied powers that could endanger rights.

Celebrating Mr. Rogers at the National Archives

Fred Rogers was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush on July 9, 2002, for his service to the nation and dedication to the education of children.(National Archives Identifier 7431400)

Fred McFeely Rogers' World War II draft card has been digitized through a partnership with (National Archives at St. Louis image)

Side two of Fred McFeely Rogers' World War II draft card. (National Archives at St. Louis image)

The first page of a Selective Service roster lists Fred McFeely Rogers as number 122. When he registered for the military draft in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Rogers was just 20 years old. (National Archives at St. Louis image)


January 23: Georgetown University becomes the first Catholic university founded in the United States.

April 30: George Washington is inaugurated in New York as the first President. He is sworn in by Robert Livingston and then delivers his inaugural address to Congress. A week later, the first inaugural ball is held.

July 14: The French Revolution begins when revolutionaries stormed the Bastille Prison, events witnessed by the American minister Thomas Jefferson.

July 27: The Department of State (called the Department of Foreign Affairs at first) is established with Thomas Jefferson as his head.

August 7: The War Department is also established with Henry Knox as its head.

September 2: The new Treasury Department is headed by Alexander Hamilton. Samuel Osgood is named the first Postmaster General under the new constitution.

September 24: The Federal Judiciary Act creates a six-man Supreme Court. John Jay is named the Chief Justice.

September 29: Congress establishes the U.S. Army before adjourning.

November 26: The first national Thanksgiving Day is proclaimed by George Washington at the request of Congress.

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