CROWNING THE WORK
IT was on the 17th of September, 1787, that the Federal Convention broke up. For most of the delegates there was a long and tedious journey home before they could meet their fellow-citizens and explain what had been done at Philadelphia during this anxious summer. Not so, however, with Benjamin Franklin and the Pennsylvania delegation. At eleven o'clock on the next morning, radiant with delight at seeing one of the most cherished purposes of his life so nearly accomplished, the venerable philosopher, attended by his seven colleagues, presented to the legislature of Pennsylvania a copy of the Federal Constitution, and in a brief but pithy speech, characterized by his usual homely wisdom, begged for it their favourable consideration. His words fell upon willing ears, for nowhere was the disgust at the prevailing anarchy greater than in Philadelphia. But still it was not quite in order for the assembly to act upon the matter until word should come from the Continental Congress. Since its ignominious flight to Princeton, four years ago, that migratory body had not honoured Philadelphia with its presence. It had once flitted as far south as Annapolis, but at length had chosen for its abiding-place the city of New York, where it was now in session. To Congress the new Constitution must be submitted before it was in order for the several states to take action upon it. On the 20th of September the draft of the Constitution was laid before Congress, accompanied by a letter from Washington. The forces of the opposition were promptly mustered. At their head was Richard Henry Lee, who
The new Constitution is laid before Congress and submitted forthwith to the several states for ratification
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Publication information: Book title: The Critical Period of American History, 1783-1789. Contributors: John Fiske - Author. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin. Place of publication: Boston. Publication year: 1897. Page number: 327.