Article 7

Document 15

Act of Continental Congress Putting Constitution into Effect

13 Sept. 1788Elliot 1:332--33

The ratification of New Hampshire, being the ninth in order, was received by Congress on the 2d of July, 1788. The following is an extract from the Journal of that day:--

United States in Congress assembled.

Wednesday, July 2, 1788.

The state of New Hampshire having ratified this Constitution, transmitted to them by the act of the 28th of September last, and transmitted to Congress their ratification, and the same being read, the president reminded Congress that this was the ninth ratification transmitted and laid before them; whereupon,--

On motion of Mr. Clarke, seconded by Mr. Edwards,--

Ordered, That the ratifications of the Constitution of the United States, transmitted to Congress, be referred to a committee to examine the same, and report an act to Congress for putting the said Constitution into operation, in pursuance of the resolutions of the late Federal Convention.

On the question to agree to this order, the yeas and nays being required by Mr. Yates:--

New Hampshire, Mr. Gilman,Ay.
Mr. Wingate,Ay.
} Ay.
Massachusetts, Mr. Dane,Ay.
Mr. Otis,Ay.
} Ay.
Rhode Island, Mr. Arnold,
Mr. Hazard,
} Excused.
Connecticut, Mr. Huntington,Ay.
Mr. Edwards,Ay.
} Ay.
New York, Mr. L'Hommedieu, Ay.
Mr. Yates,No.
} Divided.
New Jersey, Mr. Clarke,Ay.
Mr. Elmer,Ay.
Mr. Dayton,Ay.
} Ay.
Pennsylvania, Mr. Bingham,Ay.
Mr. Read,Ay.
} Ay.
Maryland, Mr. Contee,Ay.
Virginia, Mr. Griffin,Ay.
Mr. Carrington,Ay.
Mr. Brown,Ay.
} Ay.
South Carolina, Mr. Huger,Ay.
Mr. Parker,Ay.
Mr. Tucker,Ay.
} Ay.
Georgia, Mr. Few,Ay.
Mr. Baldwin,Ay.
} Ay.

So it passed in the affirmative.

On the 14th of July, 1788, the committee reported an act for putting the Constitution into operation, which was debated until the 13th of September of the same year, when the following resolution was adopted:--

"Whereas the Convention assembled in Philadelphia, pursuant to the resolution of Congress of the 21st of February, 1787, did, on the 17th of September, in the same year, report to the United States in Congress assembled a Constitution for the people of the United States; whereupon Congress, on the 28th of the same September, did resolve, unanimously 'That the said report, with the resolutions and letter accompanying the same, be transmitted to the several legislatures, in order to be submitted 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;' and whereas the Constitution so reported by the Convention, and by Congress transmitted to the several legislatures, has been ratified in the manner therein declared to be sufficient for the establishment of the same, and such ratifications, duly authenticated, have been received by Congress, and are filed in the office of the secretary; therefore,--

"Resolved, That the first Wednesday in January next be the day for appointing electors in the several states which, before the said day, shall have ratified the said Constitution; that the first Wednesday in February next be the day for the electors to assemble in their respective states, and vote for a President: and that the first Wednesday in March next be the time, and the present seat of Congress the place, for commencing proceedings under the said Constitution."

The elections of the several states were held conformably to the above resolution. On Wednesday the 4th of March, 1789, proceedings commenced under the Constitution; and on the 30th of April, of the same year, George Washington, elected by the unanimous suffrage of the electors, was inaugurated as President of the United States.

The Founders' Constitution
Volume 4, Article 7, Document 15
The University of Chicago Press

Elliot, Jonathan, ed. The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution as Recommended by the General Convention at Philadelphia in 1787. . . . 5 vols. 2d ed. 1888. Reprint. New York: Burt Franklin, n.d.

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