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Historical Era



Voting Record of the Constitutional Convention: 1787

Voting Record of the Constitutional Convention: 1787

Records of the Continental and Confederation Congresses and the Constitutional Convention

For four months the delegates debated fundamental questions relating to government, power, and human nature. Each and every clause of the Constitution was painstakingly argued and resolved. The voting record reflects the countless diplomacies, concessions, and compromises that produced the Constitution. This page records the final vote taken September 15, 1787. Delegates to the Convention signed the proposed Constitution on September 17, 1787. William Jackson, who served as Secretary of the Convention, recorded the votes. Throughout the entire voting record, the column for Rhode Island is blank or blacked out, since that state chose not to participate in the Convention. The column for New York is blank only for the later stages of the Convention, as two of the three delegates from that state departed early.The voting record of the convention is in two bound volumes.

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The omission of a bill of rights from the Constitution was deliberate, not an oversight. George Mason proposed adding a bill of rights just five days before the Constitutional Convention ended. But after a short debate, the state delegations voted down the motion, 0–10. That became a problem during the ratification process when several states insisted on protection of rights. The fullness and emptiness of the columns on these charts show which states were fully represented during the Constitutional debates.

Document contains: 5 pages.

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