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the same that the said commissioners shall immediately transmit to the several states copies of the preceding resolution, with a circular letter requesting their concurrence therein, and proposing a time and place for the meeting aforesaid.
Test, · JOHN BECKLEY, C. H. D. 1786, January 21.
Agreed to by the Senate. H. BROOKE, C. S. By his excellency, Patrick Henry, Esquire, governor of the commonwealth of Virginia, it is hereby certified that John Beckley, the person subscribing the above resolve, is clerk of the House of Delegates, and that due faith and credit is, and ought to be, paid to all things done by bim by virtue of his office.
Given under my hand as governor, and under the seal of the com[l. s.] monwealth, at Richmond, the 6th day of July, 1786.
[Certain other of the states came readily into the measure proposed, and a meeting of commissioners took place at Annapolis, whose proceedings are stated in the following report.]
PROCEEDINGS OF COMMISSIONERS TO REMEDY DE
FECTS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
ANNAPOLIS, IN THE STATE OF MARYLAND, September 11, 1786.--At a meeting of commissioners from the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia:
James Madison, Jun.,
St. George Tucker.
The commissioners produced their credentials from their respective states, which were read.
After a full communication of sentiments, and deliberate consideration of what would be proper to be done by the commissioners now assembled, it was unanimously agreed that a committee be appointed to prepare a draft of a report to be made to the states having commissioners attending at this meeting:
Adjourned till Wednesday morning.
The committee appointed for that purpose reported the draft of the report, which being read, the meeting proceeded to the consideration thereof; and, after some time spent therein, adjourned till to-morrow morning
THURSDAY, September 14, 1786.-Met agreeably to adjournment.
and, after some time spent therein, and amendments made, the same was unanimously agreed to, and is as follows, to wit:
"To the Honorable the Legislatures of Virginia, Delaware, Pennsyl vania, New Jersey, and New York, the commissioners from the said states respectively, assembled at Annapolis, humbly beg leave to report, —
“That, pursuant to their several appointments, they met at Annapolis in the state of Maryland, on the 11th day of September instant; and, having proceeded to a communication of their powers, they found that the states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, had, in substance, and nearly in the same terms, authorized their respective commissioners to meet such coinmissioners as were or might be appointed by the other states in the Union, at such time and place as should be agreed upon by the said commissioners, to take into consideration the trade and commerce of the United States ; to consider how far a uniform system in their commercial intercourse and regulations might be necessary to their common interest and permanent harmony; and to report to the several states such an act relative to this great object as, when unanimously ratified by them, would enable the United States in Congress assembled effectually to provide for the same.'
“ That the state of Delaware had given similar powers to their commissioners, with this difference only, that the act to be framed in virtue of these powers is required to be reported to the United States in Congress assembled, to be agreed to by them, and confirmed by the legislatures of every state.'
“That the state of New Jersey had enlarged the object of their appointment, empowering their commissioners to consider how far a uniform system in their commercial regulations and other important matters might be necessary to the common interest and permanent harmony of the several states;' and to report such an act on the subject as, when ratified by them, 'would enable the United States in Congress assembled effectually to provide for the exigencies of the Union.'
“ That appointments of commissioners have also been made by the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and North Carolina, none of whom, however, have attended; but that no information has been received, by your commissioners, of any appointment having been made by the states of Connecticut, Maryland, South Carolina, or Georgia.
“That the express terms of the powers to your commissioners supposing a deputation from all the states, and having for object the trade and commerce of the United States, your commissioners did not conceive it advisable to proceed on the business of their mission under the circumstance of so partial and defective a representation.
“Deeply impressed, however, with the magnitude and importance of the object confided to them on this occasion, your commissioners cannot for. bear to indulge an expression of their earnest and unanimous wish, that speedy measures may be taken to effect a general meeting of the states, in a future convention, for the same and such other purposes as the situation of public affairs may be found to require.
"If, in expressing this wish, or in intimating any other sentiment, your commissioners should seem to exceed the strict bounds of their appoint, ment, they entertain a full confidence that a conduct dictated by an anxi ety for the welfare of the United States will not fail to receive an indulgent construction.
" In this persuasion your commissioners submit an opinion, that the
idea of extending the powers of their deputies to other objects than those of commerce, which has been adopted by the state of New Jersey, was an improvement on the original plan, and will deserve to be incorporated into that of a future convention. They are the more naturally led to this conclusion, as, in the course of their reflections on the subject, they have been induced to think that the power of regulating trade is of such comprehensive extent, and will enter so far into the general system of the federal government, that, to give it efficacy, and to obviate questions and doubts concerning its precise nature and limits, may require a correspondent adjustment of other parts of the federal system.
“ That there are important defects in the system of the federal government, is acknowledged by the acts of all those states which have concurred in the present meeting; that the defects, upon a closer examination, may be found greater and more numerous than even these acts imply, is at least so far probable, from the embarrassments which characterize the present state of our national affairs, foreign and domestic, as may reasonably be supposed to merit a deliberate and candid discussion, in some mode which will unite the sentiments and councils of all the states. In the choice of the mode, your commissioners are of opinion that a convention of deputies from the different states, for the special and sole purpose of entering into this investigation, and digesting a plan for supplying such defects as may be discovered to exist, will be entitled to a preference, from considerations which will occur without being particularized.
“ Your commissioners decline an enumeration of those national circumstances on which their opinion respecting the propriety of a future conrention, with more enlarged powers, is founded; as it would be a useless intrusion of facts and observations, most of which have been frequently the subject of public discussion, and none of which can have escaped the pene tration of those to whom they would in this instance be addressed. They are, however, of a nature so serious, as, in the view of your commissioners, to render the situation of the United States delicate and critical, calling for an exertion of the united virtue and wisdom of all the members of the confederacy.
“Under this impression, your commissioners, with the most respectful deference, beg leave to suggest their unanimous conviction, that it may essentially tend to advance the interests of the Union, if the states, by whom they have been respectively delegated, would themselves concur, and use their endeavors to procure the concurrence of the other states, in the appointment of commissioners, to meet at Philadelphia on the second Monday in May next, to take into consideration the situation of the United States, to devise such further provisions as shall appear to them necessary to render the constitution of the federal government adequate to the exigencies of the Union; and to report such an act for that purpose to the United States in Congress assembled, as, when agreed to by them, and afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every state, will effectually provide for the same.
“ Though your commissioners could not with propriety address these observations and sentiments to any but the states they have the honor to represent, they have nevertheless concluded, from motives of respect, to transmit copies of this report to the United States in Congress assembled, and to the executive of the other states.
“By order of the Commissioners. " Dated at Ansapolis, September 14, 1786."
Resolved, That the chairman sign the aforegoing report in behalf of the commissioners. Then adjourned without day. Nero York.
James Madison, Jun.,
St. George Tucker.
REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS.
IN CONGRESS, WEDNESDAY, February 21, 1787. — T'he report of a grand committee, consisting of Mr. Dane, Mr. Varnum, Mr. s. M. Mitchell, Mr. Smith, Mr. Cadwallader, Mr. Irvine, Mr. N. Mitchell, Mr Forrest, Mr. Grayson, Mr. Blount, Mr. Bull, and Mr. Few, to whom was referred a letter of 14th September, 1786, from J. Dickinson, written at the request of commissioners from the states of Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, assembled at the city of Annapolis, together with a copy of the report of the said commissioners to the legislatures of the states by whom they were appointed, being an order of the day, was called up, and which is contained in the following resolution, viz. :
“ Congress having had under consideration the letter of John Dickinson, Esq., chairman of the commissioners who assembled at Annapolis during the last year; also the proceedings of the said commissioners; and entirely coinciding with them as to the inefficiency of the federal government, and the necessity of devising such further provisions as shall render the same adequate to the exigencies of the Union, do strongly recommend to the different legislatures to send forward delegates, to meet the proposed convention, on the second Monday in May next, at the city of Philadelphia.”
The delegates for the state of New York thereupon laid before Congress instructions which they had received from their constituents, and, in pursuance of the said instructions, moved to postpone the further consideration of the report in order to take up the following proposition, viz. :
“That it be recomiended to the states composing the Union, that a convention of representatives, from the said states respectively, be held at
for the purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union between the United States of America, and reporting to the United States in Congress assembled, and to the states respectively, such alterations and amendments of the said Articles of Confederation as the representatives met in such convention shall judge proper and necessary to render them adequate to the preservation and support of the Union."
On the question to postpone, for the purpose above mentioned, the yeas and nays being required by the delegates for New York: Massachusetts, Mr. King,
. Ay: No.
New Yo-ho....... Mr. Smith,.......
Mr. Grayson, .Ay.
Mr. Madison, .Ay.
A motion was then made, by the delegates for Massachusetts, to postpone the further consideration of the report, in order to take into consideration a motion which they read in their place. This being agreed to, the motion of the delegates for Massachusetts was taken up, and, being amended, was agreed to, as follows :
“Whereas there is provision, in the Articles of Confederation and Per. petual Union, for making alterations therein, by the assent of a Congress of the United States, and of the legislatures of the several states; and whereas experience hath evinced that there are defects in the present Confederation; as a mean to remedy which, several of the states, and particularly the state of New York, by express instructions to their delegates in Congress, have suggested a convention for the purposes expressed in the following resolution ; and such convention appearing to be the most probable mean of establishing in these states a firin national government, –
“Resolved, That, in the opinion of Congress, it is expedient that, on the second Monday in May next, a convention of delegates, who shall have been appointed by the several states, be held at Philadelphia, for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation, and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall, when agreed to in Congress, and confirmed by the states, render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of government and the preservation of the Union.”
The day appointed by this resolution for the meeting of the Convention was the 2d Monday in May, [1787 ;] but the 25th of that month was the first day upon which a sufficient number of members appeared to constitute a representation of a majority of the states. They then elected