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
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:--
||Mr. L'Hommedieu, 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
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.
Easy to print version.
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