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Fringe Meetings at the U.S. Consitutional Convention

Record of an Unofficial Meeting - 22 May 1787

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Madison records on 28 May 1787 that prior to the arrival of enough states for the Convention to be considered quorate and commence its business (25 May) a discussion took place between those delegates present from the larger states.

Fringe Meetings at the U.S. Consitutional Convention

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Madison records on 28 May 1787 that prior to the arrival of enough states for the Convention to be considered quorate and commence its business (25 May) a discussion took place between those delegates present from the larger states.

Content

Previous to the arrival of a majority of the States, the rule by which they ought to vote in the Convention had been made a subject of conversation among the members present. It was pressed by Gouverneur Morris and favored by Robert Morris and others from Pennsylvania, that the large States should unite in firmly refusing to the small States an equal vote, as unreasonable, and as enabling the small States to negative every good system of Government, which must in the nature of things, be founded on a violation of that equality. The members from Virginia, conceiving that such an attempt might beget fatal altercations between the large & small States, and that it would be easier to prevail on the latter, in the course of the deliberations, to give up their equality for the sake of an effective Government, than on taking the field of discussion, to disarm themselves of the right & thereby throw themselves on the mercy of the large States, discountenanced & stifled the project.

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Madison's Notes (Max Farrand, 1911)