Constitutional Convention

The Federal Convention convened in the State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia on May 14, 1787, to revise the Articles of Confederation. Because the delegations from only two states were at first present, the members adjourned from day to day until a quorum of seven states was obtained on May 25. Through discussion and debate it became clear by mid-June that, rather than amend the existing Articles, the Convention would draft an entirely new frame of government. All through the summer, in closed sessions, the delegates debated, and redrafted the articles of the new Constitution. Among the chief points at issue were how much power to allow the central government, how many representatives in Congress to allow each state, and how these representatives should be elected-directly by the people or by the state legislators. The work of many minds, the Constitution stands as a model of cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise. - US National Archives



Y/M/D Description Place
1787/00/00 Roger Sherman and James Wilson propose the Three-Fifths Compromise, which counted three-fifths of the slave population for the purposes of representation in the United States House of Representatives and the Electoral College. Independence Hall, Philadelphia
1787/00/00 Pierce Butler proposes the Fugitive Slave Clause (Article 4, Section 2) for the US Constitution. Persons "held to service" in one state who escapes to another, shall be "delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labour may be due". Independence Hall, Philadelphia
1787/05/25 Nominated by Alexander Hamilton, William Jackson is appointed secretary to the United States Constitutional Convention on the first day of business. Independence Hall, Philadelphia
1787/05/29 Edmund Randolph submits The Virginia Plan Independence Hall, Philadelphia
1787/09/17 Federal Convention adopts the US Constitution. Independence Hall, Philadelphia

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