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United States Constitution - The first public printing - A Stanley L. Klos Exhibit

United States Constitution

The First Public Printing


 A Folio broadsheet entitled "New Plan for The Federal Government" which is a previous unrecorded is most likely the first public printing of the US Constitution. The broadsheet is dated three times in the text, September 17th 1787 and marked: Philadelphia by printer Robert Smith.  This rare printing, by the very nature of its content, is the ultimate testament of a citizen utilizing the newly won US political freedoms to save his fledgling business.  Smith, by printing the US Constitution on September 17 - 18th and distributing it as an insert in his regular scheduled The Evening Chronicle on the 18th.  Smith scooped all competitors.


Smith's "New Plan for the Federal Government" appeared in the Philadelphia streets before the Constitutional Convention's official Dunlap printing reached President St. Clair and the Delegates of the United States in Congress Assembled in New York City on September 20th.  Incredibly, the people of Philadelphia knew on the of evening of the 18th that that foreign born citizens such as the sitting President of the United States in Congress Assembled being born in Scotland, who wholeheartedly endorsed and supported the "Revisions of the Articles of Confederation", were now excluded from serving in new US Presidency proposed under this new constitution.  President St. Clair, as well as the delegates of The United States in Congress Assembled, to their revelation received not revisions to the Articles of Confederation but a whole new constitution on the 20th of September in New York City.


On the evening of September 17th, 1787 the Constitution was signed and the injunction of secrecy was lifted.  The race was on to print new constitution for their eager subscribers.  Five Philadelphia newspapers jointly followed Smith's September 18th Evening lead and the Constitution appeared in their papers on September 19th. Unfortunately, this constitutional “scoop” wasn't enough to save Smith's fledgling paper. Smith's Evening Chronicle went out of print in November 1787 despite taking on a partner in October 1787.







Robert Smith established "The Evening Chronicle; or, Philadelphia Advertiser" on February 6, 1787.  It was a tri-weekly newspaper of quarto size - 8 inches by 10 inches.  With the issue of May 5, 1787, the title was changed to the "Evening Chronicle."  On August 7, 1787 the paper became a semi-weekly, and the size was changed to folio - 11 inches by 14 inches.  In late October 1787 James Prange was taken into partnership due to Smith's growing insolvency.  The paper continued to do business under the firm name Robert Smith and James Prange, publishers.  We know for certain that "New Plan for the Federal Government" broadsheet was printed before the merger as its mark states: Philadelphia; by printer Robert Smith rather than Philadelphia; by publishers Robert Smith and James Prange. The last Evening Chronicle issue known to be printed is dated November 7, 1787, vol. 2, no.104 and can be found in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society. 


Very little is known about Robert Smith as he was a publisher, as indicated by Charles R. Hildeburn author of "Issues of the Press in Pennsylvania 1685 - 1784", and never a proprietor of a press. This is clearly the reason why Smith and his work has been overlooked in the histories of colonial printing which tend to focus on the "Life-size Names" such as Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin, Christopher Sauer, Dunlap and Claypoole - men who owned or operated independent presses.


We do know that Robert Smith was first listed as a printer in 1783 at "… the Back of the Fountain Inn between Second and Third Street." in downtown Philadelphia. On January 1, 1785 he joined Dunlap and Claypooles' Pennsylvania Packet and remained with them until late 1786.  In that same year Smith re-opened his business at the White-Horse and Fountain Inn.  It wasn't until February 1787, with the launch of the "The Evening Chronical; or, Philadelphia Advertiser", that  Smith moved again "Next to the Coffee-House in Front" according to "A Directory of the Book-Arts and Book Trade in Philadelphia to 1820. Including Painters and Engravers".  Finally, Smith business was relocated, during the Constitutional Convention, to "Below the Drawbridge, third door below Spruce, in Front and Water" less then one-mile from Independence Hall.


At Independence Hall on September 17th, 1787, the final day of the Constitutional Convention, the engrossed "We the People " copy, prepared by Jacob Sallus, was read to the delegates.  Just prior to the final vote of adoption of the Constitution, Nathaniel Gorham of Massachusetts asked if the ratio of representation in the House of Representatives could be changed from one in every forty-thousand inhabitants to one in every thirty thousand. Gorham's proposal was unanimously adopted and the engrossed copy was then signed by all members present except Elbridge Gerry, George Mason, and Edmund Randolph who refused to give their consent.


At 4pm the convention adjourned and Secretary Jackson was then ordered to carry the Engrossed Constitution along with the newly printed copies for distribution to the Confederation Congress assembled in New York City.  Dunlap & Claypoole, Smith's old employer, was contracted to complete the final printing of some 500 copies of the Constitution by the 10:00am departure of the New York stage coach on September 18. 


According to the Dispatch Book, Papers of the Continental Congress, No. 185, IV, p. 17, the report of the Constitutional Convention was delivered September 20, 1787 to President of the United States in Congress Assembled, Arthur St. Clair.  On that same day President St. Clair permitted Jackson to read the Constitution before Congress.  Jackson's report consisted of the Constitution, the resolution of the Constitutional Convention and the letter of Washington to the President Arthur St. Clair, transmitting the first two documents. According to a letter of William Bingham to Pennsylvania Signer Thomas Fitzsimons, dated September 21, 1787, the report of the Convention was received and read September 20, 1787 and Wednesday next (September 26) assigned for consideration.  It was not until September 27, 1787 finally resolved that:


Resolved that there be transmitted to the supreme executive of each State a copy of the report of the Convention of the States lately Assembled in the City of Philadelphia signed by their deputies the seventeenth instant including their resolutions, and their letter directed to the President of Congress. 


Meanwhile back in Philadelphia, with the injunction on secrecy lifted, a broadsheet of the new Constitution was being sold to Philadelphia citizens by Robert Smith. The text simultaneously appeared in five Philadelphia newspapers on the morning of the 19th of September.  Up until the contemporary discovery of Robert Smith's "New Plan for the Federal Government", The Pennsylvania Packet and these four other papers were acknowledged as the first public printings of the US Constitution. 


Since the discovery of "New Plan for the Federal Government" in 2001, scholars' initial research indicated that the September 19th printings of Constitution must include Robert Smith's September 17th - 18th printing. Further research on the actual printed text when compared to the other five newspapers indicates that Smith most likely trumped all competitors as the 1st public printing of the US Constitution by circulating his special printing of constitution as an insert to his regularly scheduled September 18th Evening Chronicle under the headline "New Plan for The Federal Government".  


It is important to note that Smith's crude broadsheet, unlike his competitors, was hastily typeset, and printed with three text dates of September 17, 1787 and the marking Philadelphia: Printed by Robert Smith on his standard paper and ink used in the Evening Chronicle.  The heading or any reference to the Evening Chronicle was omitted indicating this must have been an insert.


One of our researchers, Max E. Moeller, from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania noted: 


"Smith presumably felt his broadsheet would benefit by a headline.  But what should it read?  At this stage the US Constitution was a new proposal and not yet the law of the land.  In other words, it was a constitution and not yet become the US Constitution.  In 1787 there was an existing confederate system of government, set forth in the Articles of Confederation.  To avoid confusion and to simultaneously convey the import and political philosophy of the newly proposed constitution, Smith (as publisher) employed a more descriptive and informative title "New Plan for The Federal Government".  It is certainly a very effective headline, as it properly orients new readers to what they can expect from the document."



Brigham , Clarence S. "History and Bibliography of American Newspapers 1690 - 1820" American Antiquarian Society, Worchester, Massachusetts, 1947.


Brown , H. Glenn and Maude O, "A Directory of the Book-Arts and Book Trade in Philadelphia to 1820. Including Painters and Engravers" New York Public Library, NY 1950.


Dube, Ann Marie, "A Multitude of Amendments, Alterations and Additions": The Writing and Publicizing of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution of the United States."  Independence National Historical Park, May 1996.


Hildeburn , Charles R. "Issues of The Press in Pennsylvania 1685 - 1784" Burt Franklin, NY: 1968. Two volumes

Goodman, Roy - Curator of Printed Materials and Assistant Librarian, American Philosophical Society 105 S. 5th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-3386


Klos, Stanley L., "A Scottish Born US President?", Carnegie, PA 2000.


Journals of Congress, Thursday, September 20, 1787.


Journals of Congress, Thursday,  September 27, 1787.


Lefaivre-Rochester, Carole - Researcher, Friends of Franklin and Former American Philosophical Society editor







P  L  A  N



New Federal Government


WE, the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establifh Juftice, infure domeftic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and fecure the bleffings of liberty to ourselves and our pofterity, do ordain and establifh this conftitution for the United ftates of America. 

A R T I C L E  I.


Sec^t. 1. ALL legiflative powers herein granted fhall be vefted in a Congrefs of the United States, which fhall confift of a fenate and Houfe of Reprefentatives.

Sec^t. 2. The Houfe of Reprefentatives fhall be compofed of members chofen every fecond year by the people of the feveral ftates, and the elec^tors in each ftate fhall have the qualifications requifite for electors of the moft numerous branch of the ftate legiflature.

No perfon fhall be a representative, who fhall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and been feven years a citizen of the United States, and who fhall not, when elec^ted, be an inhabitant of that ftate in which he fhall be chofen.

Reprefentatives and direc^t Taxes fhall be apportioned among the feveral ftates which may be included within this Union, according to their refpec^tive numbers, which fhall be determined by adding to the whole number of free pefsons, including thofe  bound to fervice for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other perfons. The ac^tual Enumeration fhall be made within three Years after the firft Meeting of the Congrefs of the United States, and within every fubfequent term of ten years, in fuch manner as they fhall by law direct. The number of Reprefentatives fhall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each ftate fhall have at leaft one Reprefentative ; and until fuch enumeration fhall be made, the ftate of New-Hampshire fhall be entitled to chufe three, Massachufetts eight, Rhode-Ifland and Providence Plantations one, Connec^ticut five, New-York fix, New-Jersey four, Pennfylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland fix, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the reprefentation from any ftate, the Executive authority thereof fhall iffue writs of election to fill fuch vacancies.

The Houfe of Reprefentatives fhall chufe their Speaker and other officers; and fhall have the fole power of impeachment.

Sec^t. 3.  The fenate of the United States fhall be compofed of two fenators from each ftate, chofen by the legiflature thereof, for fix years ; and each fenator fhall have one vote.

Immediately after they fhall be affembled in confequence of the firft elec^tion, they fhall be divided as equally as may be into three claffes. The feats of the fenators of the firft clafs fhall be vacated at the xxpiration of the fecond year, of the fecond clafs at the expiration of the fourth year, and of the third clafs at the expiration of the fixth year, fo that one third may be chofen every fecond year ; and if vacancies happen by refignation, or otherwife, during the recefs of the Legiflature of any ftate, the Executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the Legiflature, which fhall then fill fuch Vacancies.

No Perfon fhall be a fenator, who fhall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States, and who fhall not, when elec^ted, be an inhabitant of that ftate for which he fhall be chofen.

The Vice-Prefident of the United States fhall be Prefident of the fenate, but fhall have no vote, unlefs they be equally divided.

The fenate fhall chufe their other Officers, and alfo a Prefident pro tempore, in the abfence of the Vice-Prefident, or when he fhall exercise the office of Prefident of the United States.

The fenate fhall have the fole power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that purpofe, they fhall be on oath or affirmation. When the Prefident of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice fhall preside : And no perfon fhall be convic^ted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the members prefent.

Judgment in cafes of impeachment fhall not extend further than to removal from office, and difqualification to hold and en-oy any office of honor, truft or profit under the United States ; but the Party convic^ted fhall neverthelefs be liable and fubjec^t to  ndictment, trial, judgment and punifhment, according to law.

Sec^t. 4. The times, places and manner of holding elec^tions for fenators and Reprefentatives, fhall be prescribed in each ftate by the legiflature thereof ; but the Congrfss may at any time by law make or alter fuch Regulations, except as to the places of chufing fenators.

The Congrefs fhall affemble at leaft once in every year, and fuch meeting fhall be on the first Monday in December, unlefs they fhall by law appoint a different day.

Sec^t. 5. Each houfe fhall be the judge of the elec^tions, returns and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each fhall conftitute a quorum to do bufinefs ; but a fmaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorifed to compel the attendance of abfent members, in fuch manner, and under fuch penalties, as each houfe may provide.

Each Houfe may determine the rules of its proceedings, punifh its members for disorderly behaviour, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.

Each Houfe fhall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publifh the fame, excepting fuch parts as may in their judgment require fecrecy ; and the yeas and nays of the members of either houfe on any question fhall, at the defire of one fifth of thofe prefent, be entered on the journal.

Neither houfe, during the feffion of Congrefs, fhall, without the confent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two houfes fhall be fitting.

Sec^t. 6. The fenators and Reprefentatives fhall receive a compenfation for their fervices, to be afcertained by law, and paid out of the treafury of the United States. They fhall in all cafes, except treafon, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from Arreft during their attendance at the feffion of their refpective houfes, and in going to and returning from the fame ; and for any fpeech or Debate in either houfe, they fhall not be queftioned in any other place.

No fenator or reprefentative fhall, during the time for which he was elec^ted, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the United States, which fhall have been created, or the emoluments whereof fhall have been encreafed during fuch time ; and no perfon holding any office under the United States, fhall be a member of either houfe during his continuance in office.

Sec^t. 7 All bills for raifing revenue fhall originate in the houfe of reprefentatives ; but the fenate may propose or concur with amendments, as on other bills.

Every bill which fhall have paffed the houfe of reprefentatives and the fenate, fhall, before it become a law, be prefented to the prefident of the United States ; if he approve he fhall fign it, but if not he fhall return it, with his object^tions to that houfe in which it fhall have originated, who fhall enter the object^tions at large on their journal, and proceed to re-confider it.  If after fuch reconfideration, two thirds of that houfe fhall agree to pafs the Bill, it fhall be fent, together with the object^tions, to the other houfe, by which it fhall likewise be reconfidered, and if approved by two thirds of that houfe, it fhall become a law. But in all fuch cafes the Votes of both houfes fhall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the perfons voting for and againft the bill fhall be entered on the Journal of each houfe respectively. If any bill fhall not be returned by the Prefident within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it fhall have been presented to him, the same fhall be a law, in like manner as if he had figned it, unlefs the Congrefs by their adjournment prevent its return, in which cafe it fhall not be a law.

every order, refolution or vote, to which the concurrence of the Senate and Houfe of Reprefentatives may be neceffary (except on a queftion of adjournment) fhall be presented to the Prefident of the United States ; and before the fame fhall take effect, fhall be approved by him, or, being difapproved by him, fhall be repaffed by two thirds of the Senate and Houfe of reprefentatives, according  according to the rules and limitations prefcribed in the cafe of a bill.

Sec^t. 8.  The Congrefs fhall have power

To lay and collec^t taxes, duties, impofts and excifes, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, impofts and excifes fhall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the feveral ftates, and with the Indian tribes;

To establifh an uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the fubjec^t of bankruptcies throughout the United States ;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and meafures ;

To provide for the punifhment of counterfeiting the fecurities and current coin of the United States ;

To establish poft offices and poft roads ;

To promote the progrefs of fcience and ufeful arts, by fecuring for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their refpec^tive writings and difcoveries ;

To constitute tribunals inferior to the fupreme court ;

To define and punifh piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations ;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprifal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water ;

To raife and fupport armies, but no appropriation of money to that ufe fhall be for a longer term than two years ;

To provide and maintain a navy ;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces ;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, fupprefs infurrec^tions and repel invafions ;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing fuch part of them as may be employed in the fervice of the United States, referving to the ftates refpectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the difcipline prefcribed by Congrefs ;

To exercife exclufive legiflation in all cafes whatsoever, over fuch diftric^t (not exceeding ten miles fquare) as may, by ceffion of particular ftates, and the acceptance of Congrefs, become the feat of the government of the United States, and to exercife like authority over all places purchafed by the confent of the legiflature of the ftate in which the same fhall be, for the erec^tion of forts, magazines, arfenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings ;-- And

To make all laws which fhall be neceffary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vefted by this conftitution in the government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Sec^t. 9. The migration or importation of fuch perfons as any of the ftates now existing fhall think proper to admit, fhall not be prohibited by the Congrefs prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on fuch importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each perfon.

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus fhall not be fufpended, unlefs when in cafes of rebellion or invafion the public safety may require it.

No bill of attainder or ex post fac^to law fhall be passed.

No capitation, or other direc^t, tax fhall be laid, unlefs in proportion to the cenfus or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No tax or duty fhall be laid on articles exported from any ftate.

No preference fhall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one ftate over thofe of another; nor fhall vessels bound to, or from, one ftate, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties in another.

No money fhall be drawn from the treafury, but in confequence of appropriations made by law ; and a regular ftatement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money fhall be published from time to time.

No title of nobility fhall be granted by the United States :---- And no perfon holding any office of profit or truft under them, fhall, without the confent of the Congrefs, accept of any prefent, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign ftate.

Sec^t. 10.

No ftate fhall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal ; coin money ; emit bills of credit ; make any thing but gold and filver coin a tender in payment of debts ; pafs any bill of attainder, ex poft fac^to law, or law impairing the obligation of contra^cts, or grant any title of nobility.

No ftate fhall, without the confent of the Congrefs, lay any impofts or duties on imports or expo ts, except what may be abfolutely neceffary for executing it's inspect^tion laws ; and the neat produce of all duties and impofts, laid by any ftate on imports or exports, fhall be for the ufe of the Treasury of the United States; and all fuch laws fhall be subject^t to the revifion and controul of the Congrefs.  No ftate fhall, without the confent of Congrefs, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or fhips of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another ftate, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unlefs ac^tually invaded, or in fuch imminent danger as will not admit of delay. 



Sec^t. 1.  The executive power fhall be vefted in a prefident of the United ftates of America. He fhall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the vice-prefident, chofen for the fame term, be elected, as follows:

Each ftate fhall appoint, in fuch manner as the legislature thereof may direc^t, a number of elec^tors, equal to the whole number of fenators and reprefentatives to which the ftate may be entitled in the Congrefs: but no fenator or reprefentative, or perfon holding an office of truft or profit under the United States, fhall be appointed an elec^tor.

The elec^tors fhall meet in their respect^tive ftates, and vote by ballot for two perfons, of whom one at least fhall not be an inhabitant of the fame ftate with themselves. and they fhall make a lift of all the perfons voted for, and of the number of votes for each ; which list they fhall sign and certify, and tranfmit sealed to the feal of the government of the United States, directed to the prefident of the fenate. the prefident of the fenate fhall, in the presence of the fenate and houfe of reprefentatives, open all the certificates, and the votes fhall then be counted. The perfon having the greatest number of votes fhall be the prefident, if fuch number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have fuch majority, and have an equal number of votes, then the houfe of reprefentatives fhall immediately chuse by ballot one of them for prefident; and if no perfon have a majority, then from the five highest on the list the said houfe fhall in like manner chuse the prefident. But in chusing the prefident, the votes fhall be taken by ftates, the representation from each ftate having one vote; a quorum for this purpose fhall consist of a member or members from two thirds of the ftates, and a m.jority of all the ftates fhall be neceffary to a choice. In every cafe, after the choice of the prefident, the perfon having the greatest number of votes of the electors fhall be the vice prefident. but if there fould remain two or more who have equal votes, the fenate fhall chuse from them by ballot the vice-prefident.

The Congrefs may determine the time of chusing the elec^tors, and the day on which they fhall give their votes ; which day fhall be the fame throughout the United States.

No Perfon except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this consfitution, fhall be eligible to the office of Prefident ; neither fhall any perfon be eligible to that office who fhall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.

In cafe of the removal of the prefident from office, or of his death, refignation, or inability to difcharge the powers and duties of the faid office, the same fhall devolve on the vice-prefident, and the Congrefs may by law provide for the cafe of removal, death, refignation or inability, both of the prefident and vice-prefident, declaring what officer fhall then ac^t as prefident, and fuch officer fhall ac^t accordingly, until the difability be removed, or a prefident fhall be elected.

The prefident fhall, at ftated times, receive for his fervices, a compenfation, which fhall neither be encreafed nor diminifhed during the period for which he fhall have been elected, and he fhall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the execution of his office, he fhall take the following oath or affirmation:--

"I do solemnly fwear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of prefident of the United States, and will to the beft of my ability, preferve, protect^t and defend the constitution of the United States."

Sec^t. 2.  The prefident fhall be commander in chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the feveral ftates, when called into the ac^tual service of the United States ; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any fubject relating to the duties of their refpec^tive offices, and he fhall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences againft the United States, except in cafes of impeachment.

He fhall have power, by and with the advice and confent of the fenate, to make treaties, provided two-thirds of the fenators prefent concur ; and he fhall nominate, and by and with the advice and confent of the fenate, fhall appoint ambaffadors, other public ministers and confuls, judges of the fupreme court, and all other officers of the United States, whofe appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which fhall be established by law. But the Congrefs may by law veft the appointment of fuch inferior officers, as they think proper, in the prefident alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.

The Prefident fhall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recefs of the fenate, by granting commiffions which fhall expire at the end of their next feffion.

Sec^t. 3.  He fhall from time to time give to the Congrefs information of the ftate of the union, and recommend to their consideration fuch meafures as he fhall judge neceffary and expedient ; he may, on extraordinary occafions, convene both houfes, or either of them, and in case of difagreement between them, with resfpec^t to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to fuch time as he fhall think proper ; he fhall receive ambaffadors and other public minifters ; he fhall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and fhall commiffion all the officers of the United States.

Sec^t. 4. The Prefident, Vice-Prefident and all civil Officers of the United States, fhall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. 



Sec^t. 1.  The judicial power of the United States fhall be vested in one fupreme court, and in fuch inferior courts as the congrefs may from time to time ordain and eftablish. The judges, both of the fupreme and inferior courts, fhall hold their offices during good behaviour, and fhall, at stated times, receive for their fervices a compenfation, which fhall not be diminifhed during their continuance in office.

Sec^t. 2.  The judicial power fhall extend to all cafes, in law and equity, arifing under this conftitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which fhall be made, under their authority ;  to all cafes affect^ting ambaffadors, other public minifters and consuls ; to all cafes of admiralty and maritime jurifdiction ; to controversies to which the United States fhall be a party ;  to controverfies between two or more States, between a ftate and citizens of another ftate, between citizens of different states, between citizens of the fame ftate claiming lands under grants of different States, and between a ftate, or the citizens thereof, and foreign States, citizens or fubjec^ts.

In all cases affecting ambaffadors, other public minifters and consuls, and thofe in which a ftate fhall be party, the fupreme court fhall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the fupreme court fhall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fac^t, with fuch exceptions, and under fuch regulations as the Congrefs fhall make.

The trial of all crimes, except in cafes of impeachment, fhall be by jury; and fuch trial fhall be held in the ftate where the faid crimes fhall have been committed ; but when not committed within any ftate, the trial fhall be at fuch place or places as the Congrefs may by law have direc^ted.

Sec^t. 3.  Treafon againft the United States, fhall confift only in levying war againft them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. no perfon fhall be convic^ted of treafon unlefs on the teftimony of two witneffes to the fame overt ac^t, or on confeffion in open court.

The Congrefs fhall have power to declare the punifhment of treafon, but no attainder of treafon fhall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the perfon attainted. 



Sec^t. 1. Full faith and credit fhall be given in each ftate to the public ac^ts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other ftate. And the Congrefs may by general laws prefcribe the manner in which fuch ac^ts, records and proceedings fhall be proved, and the effect^t thereof.

Sec^t. 2. The citizens of each ftate fhall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the feveral ftates.

A perfon charged in any ftate with treafon, felony, or other crime, who fhall flee from juftice, and be found in another ftate, fhall on demand of the executive authority of the ftate from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the ftate having jurifdic^tion of the crime.

No perfon held to fervice or labour in one ftate, under the laws thereof, efcaping into another, fhall, in confequence of any law or regulation therein, be difcharged from fuch service or labour, but fhall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom fuch fervice or labour may be due.

Sec^t. 3.  New ftates may be admitted by the Congrefs into this union ; but no new ftate fhall be formed or erec^ted within the jurisdic^tion of any other ftate ; nor any ftate be formed by the junc^tion of two or more states, or parts of ftates, without the confent of the legiflatures of the ftates concerned, as well as of the Congrefs.

The Congrefs fhall have power to difpofe of and make all needful rules and regulations respect^ting the territory or other property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this conftitution fhall be so conftrued as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular ftate.

Sec^t. 4.  The United States fhall guarantee to every ftate in this union a Republican form of government, and fhall protect^t each of them againft invafion ; and on application of the legiflature, or of the executive (when the legiflature cannot be convened), againft domeftic violence. 


The congrefs, whenever two-thirds of both houfes fhall deem it neceffary, fhall propofe amendments to this conftitution, or, on the application of the legiflatures of two thirds of the feveral states, fhall call a convention for propofing amendments, which, in either cafe, fhall be valid to all intents and purpofes, as part of this conftitution, when ratified by the legiflatures of three fourths of the feveral ftates, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be propofed by the Congrefs ; Provided, that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thoufand eight hundred and eight fhall in any manner affect^t the firft and fourth claufes in the ninth sec^tion of the firft article ; and that no ftate, without its confent, fhall be deprived of its equal fuffrage in the fenate. 


All debts contrac^ted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this conftitution, fhall be as valid againft the United States under this conftitution, as under the confederation.

This conftitution, and the laws of the United States which fhall be made in purfuance thereof ; and all treaties made, or which fhall be made, under the authority of the United States, fhall be the fupreme law of the land; and the judges in every ftate fhall be bound thereby, any thing in the conftitution or laws of any ftate to the contrary notwithftanding.

The fenators and reprefentatives beforementioned, and the members of the feveral ftate legiflatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the feveral States, fhall be bound, by oath or affirmation, to support this conftitution ; but no religious teft fhall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public truft under the United States.



The ratification of the conventions of nine ftates fhall be fufficient for the eftablishment of this conftitution between the ftates so ratifying the fame.

Done in Convention, by the unanimous confent of the ftates prefent the feventeenth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thoufand feven hundred and eighty-feven and of the Independence of the United States of America the twelfth, In witnefs whereof we have hereunto fubfcribed our names,
                                                   GEORGE WASHINGTON,  Prefident
                                                      And deputy from

John Langdon,
Nicholas Gilman,

Nathaniel Gorham,
Rufus King,

William Samuel Johnfon,
Roger Sherman,

Alexander Hamilton,

William Livingston,
David Brearley,
William Paterfon,
Jonathan Dayton,

Benjamin Franklin,
Thomas Mifflin,
Robert Morris,
George Clymer,
Thomas Fitzfimons,
Jared Ingerfoll,
James Wilfon,
Gouverneur Morris,

George Read,
Gunning Bedford, junior
John Dickinfon,
Richard Baffett,
Jacob Broom,

James McHenry,
Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer,
Daniel Carroll,

John Blair,
James Madifon, junior,

William Blount,
Richard Dobbs Spaight,
Hugh Williamfon,

John Rutledge,
Charles Cotefworth Pinckney,
Charles Pinckney,
Pierce Butler,

William Few,
Abraham Baldwin,

Atteft, WILLIAM JACKSON, Secretary,



IN CONVENTION, Monday, September 17th, 1787.

P  R  E  S  E  N  T

The States of New-Hampfhire, Maffachusetts, Connec^ticut, Mr. Hamilton from New- York, New Jerfey, Pennfylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina and Georgia :


That the preceding Conftitution be laid before the United States in Congress affembled, and that it is the opinion of this Convention, that it fould afterwards be fubmitted to a Convention of Delegates, chofen in each State by the People thereof, under the recommendation of its Legiflature, for their affent and ratification ; and that each Convention affenting to, and and ratifying the fame, fhould give notice thereof to the United States in Congrefs affembled.

Refolved, That it is the opinion of this Convention, that as foon as the Conventions of nine States fhall have ratified this Conftitution, the United States in Congrefs affembled fhould fix a day on which Elec^tors fhould be appointed by the States which fhall have ratified the fame, and a day on which the Elec^tors fhould affemble to vote for the Prefident, and the time and place for commencing Proceedings under this Conftitution. That after fuch publication the Elec^tors fhould be appointed, and the Senators and Reprefentatives elec^ted: That the Elec^tors fould meet on the day fixed for the Elec^tion of the Prefident, and fould tranfmit these votes, certified, figned, fealed, and direc^ted, as the Conftitution requires, to the Secretary of the United States in Congress affembled : that the Senators and Representatives fould convene at the time and place affigned ; that the Senators fould appoint a Prefident of the Senate, for the fole purpofe of receiving, opening and counting the Votes for Prefident ; and, after he fhall be chofen, the Congrefs, together with the Prefident, fould, without delay, proceed to execute this Conftitution.

By the unanimous Votes of the Convention

William Jackson, Secretary.




IN CONVENTION, Monday, September 17th, 1787.



We have now the honor to fubmit to the confideration of the United States in Congrefs affembled, that Conftitution which has appeared to us the moft advifable.

The friends of our country have long feen and defired, that the power of making war, peace, and treaties, that of leving money and regulating commerce, and the correfpondent executive and judicial authorities, fhould be fully and effect^tually vefted in the general government of the Union : but the impropriety of delegating fuch extenfive truft to one body of men is evident --- Hence refults the neceffity of a different organization.

It is obvioufly imprac^tical in the foederal government of thefe ftates, to fecure all rights of independent fovereignty to each, and yet provide for the intereft and fafety of all ---Individuals entering into fociety, muft give up a fhare of liberty, to preferve the reft. The magnitude of the facrifice muft depend as well on fituation and circumftances, as on the objec^t to be obtained. It is at all times difficult to draw with precifion the line between thofe rights which muft be furrendered, and thofe which may be referved ; and on the prefent occafion this difficulty was encreafed by a difference among the feveral ftates, as to their fituation, extent, habits, and particular interefts.

In all our deliberations on this fubject we kept fteadily in our view, that which appears to us the greateft interest of every true American, the confolidation of our union, in which is involved our profperity, felicity, fafety, perhaps our national exiftence. This important confideration, feriously and deeply impreffed on our minds, led each State in the Convention to be lefs rigid on points of inferior magnitude, than might have been otherwife expected ; and thus the Conftitution, which we now prefent, is the refult of a fpirit of amity, and of that mutual deference and conceffion which the peculiarity of our political fituation rendered indifpensable.

That it will meet the full and entire approbation of every State is not perhaps to be expec^ted ; but each will doubtlefs consider, that had her intereft been alone confulted, the confequences might have been particularly difagreeable or injurious to others ; that it is liable to as few exceptions as could reafonably have been expec^ted, we hope and believe ; that it may promote the lafting welfare of that country, fo dear to us all, and fecure her freedom and happinefs, is our moft ardent wifh.


           With great refpec^t,
                  We have the honor to be,
S I R,

                           Your EXCELLENCY'S moft
                             Obedient and humble Servant,

                      GEORGE WASHINGTON, Prefident

                           By unanimous Order of the Convention.


His Excellency
The P






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