Mason Constitution

During the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, two drafts of the federal Constitution were printed for discussion by the delegates, in editions of sixty copies each. The first draft was prepared by the Committee of Detail, and when that was revised, a second draft was prepared by the Committee of Style and Arrangement. The Chapin Library has a copy of the latter, one of only fourteen still extant, formerly owned and profusely annotated by George Mason of Virginia. His notes on the printed side of the four leaves record the changes made, and in some cases proposed by Mason, in the final days of debate. Mason, a longtime friend of George Washington, a noted statesman, author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776), and a principal speaker at the Constitutional Convention, was also one of three delegates who voted not to approve the final text of the Constitution. On the blank reverse side of two leaves of his draft copy, Mason wrote out his objections to the Constitution; these were later printed and circulated. (See here for a full transcription.) Mason returned to Virginia and worked against his state’s ratification of the Constitution, but did not succeed. His concerns, however, were valid, and for the most part have been addressed in amendments to the Constitution.
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ID Label Size Mimetype Created
OBJ DC2016_018_001.pdf 10.02 MiB application/pdf 2016-07-21
TN TN 3.9 KiB image/jpeg 2016-07-21
JPG JPEG page one 1.89 MiB image/jpeg 2017-08-24