Documents Illustrative of the Formation of the Union of the American States

By Charles C. Tansill; Library of Congress Legislative Reference Service | Go to book overview

NOTES OF WILLIAM PATERSON IN THE FEDERAL CONVENTION OF 1787.1

I. NOTES OF THE VIRGINIA PLAN, MAY 29.2
Gov Randolph--Propositions founded upon republican Principles.
1. The Articles of the Confdṇ should be so enlarged and corrected as to answer the Purposes of the Inst
2. That the Rights of Suffrage shall be ascertained by the Quantum of Property or Number of Souls--This the Basis upon which the larger States can assent to any Reform.
Obj--Sovereignty is an integral Thing--We ought to be one Nations3--
3. That the national Leg should consist of two Branches--
4. That the Members of the first Branch should be elected by the People, etc. This the democratick Branch--Perhaps, if inconvenient, may be elected by the several Legrṣ--
5. Members of the 2 Branch to be elected out of the first--to continue for a certain Length of Time, etc. To be elected by Electors appointed for that Purpose--
6. The Powers to be vested in the national Leg--A negative upon particular acts, etc. contravening the Articles of the Union-- Force--
7. A national Executive to be elected by the national Leg Checks upon the Leg and Ex. Powers--
A Council of Revision to be selected out of the ex. and judy. Departments, etc.4
____________________
Text and notes reprinted from the American Historical Review, Vol. IX ( Washington, 1904), pp. 312-340.
Cf. Documentary Risky of the Constitution, III17-20. The original of this paper is in the possession of Miss Emily K. Paterson, of Perth Amboy, New Jersey. It is evidently a condensation, perhaps hastily made, of Randolph's plan presented to the convention May 29.
3
The purport of this interpolated comment is not plain; but it would seem to be the center of what Paterson afterward contended for viz. the convention could not divide up the sovereignty of the states; if there was to be one nation, the states must be thrown together.
4
Beginning with this note the remaining eight resolutions of the fifteen are summed up, though not numbered as in the plan.

-879-

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