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With great respect, we have the honor to be, sir, your Excellency's most obedient and humble servants. By the unanimous order of the Convention.

GO. WASHINGTON, President His Excellency, the President of Congress.


Friday, September 28, 1787. Present - New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York,

New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia ; and from Maryland, Mr. Ross.

Congress having received the report of the Convention, lately assembled in Philadelphia,

Resolved, unanimously, That the said report, with the resolutions and letter accompanying the same, be transmitted to the several legislatures, in order to submit to a convention of delegates, chosen in each state by the people thereof, in conformity to the resolves of the Convention made and provided in that case.




Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.


No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

ARTICLE IV. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated ; and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirma tion, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.


No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in actual service, in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject, for the same offence, to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.


In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law; and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him ; to have compulsory process for obtaining wit nesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.


In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved ; and no fact tried by a jury shall be other

wise reëxamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.


Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

ARTICLE IX. The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

ARTICLE X. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

ARTICLE XI. The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign State.

ARTICLE XII. The electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President; and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each ; which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the

United States, directed to the President of the Senate , che President of the Senate shall, in presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted: the person having the greatest number of votes for President shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then, from the persons having the highest numbers, not exceeding three, on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose, immediately, by ballot, the President. But, in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each State having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. The person having the

greatest number of votes as VicePresident shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed ; and if no person have a majority, then, from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President: a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice.

But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President, shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.


(Condensed from Story's Commentaries.] Tue first permanent settlement made in America, under the auspices of England, was under a charter granted to Sir Thomas Gates and his associates, by James I. in the fourth year after his accession to the throne of England, (in 1606.) Thatcharter granted to them the territories in America then commonly called Virginia, lying on the sea-coast between the 34th and the 45th degrees of north latitude, and the islands adjacent within 100 miles, which were not belonging to or possessed by any Christian prince or people. The associates were divided into two companies, one of which was required to settle between the 34th and 41st degrees of north latitude, and the other between the 38th and 45th degrees of north latitude, but not within 100 miles of the prior colony. By degrees, the name of Virginia was confined to the first or south colony. The second assumed the name of the Plymouth Company, from the residence of the original grantees; and New England was founded under their auspices. Each colony had exclusive propriety in all the territory within fifty miles from the first seat of their plantation.

The companies were authorized to engage, as colonists, any of the subjects of England who should be disposed to emigrate. All persons, being English subjects and inhabiting in the colonies, and every of their children born therein, were declared to have and possess all liberties, franchises, and immunities, within any other of the dominions of the crown, to all intents and purposes, as if they had been abiding and born within the realm of England, or any other dominions of the crown. The patentees were to hold the lands, &c., in the colony, of the king, his heirs and successors, as of the manor of East Greenwich in the county of Kent, in free and common soccage only, and not in capite ; and were authorized to grant the same to the inhabitants of the colonies in such manner and form, and for such estates, as the council of the colony should direct.

In respect to political government, each colony was to be governed by a local council, appointed and removable at the pleasure of the crown, according to the royal instructions and ordinances from time to time promulgated. These councils were to be under the superior management and direction of another council sitting in England. A power was given to expel all intruders, and to lay a limited duty upon all persons trafficking with the colony; and a prohibition was imposed upon all the colonists against trafficking with foreign countries under the pretence of a trade from the mother country to the colonies.

The settlements in Virginia were earliest in point of date, and were fast advancing under a policy which subdivided the property among the settlers, instead of retaining it in common, and thus gave vigor to private enterprise. As the colony increased, the spirit of its members assumed more and more the tone of independence; and they grew restless and impatient for the privileges enjoyed under the government of their native country. To quiet this uneasiness, Sir George Yeardley, then the governor of the colony, in 1619 called a general assembly, composed of representatives from the various plantations in the colony, and permitted them to assume and exercise the high functions of legislation. Thus was

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