U.S. Constitutional Convention 1787 (2019 Edition)

Grand Convention at Philadelphia, May to September, 1787, Quill Project 2019 Edition.

The Convention

The main chamber of the Constitutional Convention, consisting of all delegates.

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Session 2827: 1787-06-15 11:00:00

New Jersey Plan proposed. The Convention resolved itself into Committee of the Whole House.

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Resource Items (8):

New Jersey Plan - (text)

APPENDIX E: THE NEW JERSEY PLAN OR PATERSON RESOLUTIONS Farrand writes: "When the Convention, in Committee of the Whole was evidently coming to a favorable conclusion in its consideration of the Virginia Plan, various representatives of the opposition — mainly from the smaller states — met together and drafted a series of resolutions, which was presented to the Convention on June 15. Paterson of New Jersey had apparently taken the lead in this movement and he was chosen to present the resolutions to the Convention. These resolutions have accordingly been known as the New Jersey Plan, or the Paterson Resolutions. Several copies of the New Jersey Plan are in existence, containing the usual minor differences in wording, spelling, and punctuation. But they also differ in more important particulars: — The Madison and Washington copies are practically identical, but the other copies contain two additional resolutions: a sixth, “that the legislative, executive, and judiciary powers within the several States ought to be bound by oath to support the Articles of Union;” and a ninth, “that provision ought to be made for hearing and deciding upon all disputes arising between the United States and an individual State respecting territory.” Also in the fourth resolution, the Madison and Washington copies read, that the Executive shall be “removable by Congress on application by a majority of the executives of the several States,” while the Brearley and Paterson copies read “removable on impeachment and conviction for malpractice or neglect of duty by Congress on application by a majority of the executives of the several States.”"

New Jersey Plan (Draft) - (text)

APPENDIX E: THE NEW JERSEY PLAN OR PATERSON RESOLUTIONS Farrand writes: "When the Convention, in Committee of the Whole was evidently coming to a favorable conclusion in its consideration of the Virginia Plan, various representatives of the opposition — mainly from the smaller states — met together and drafted a series of resolutions, which was presented to the Convention on June 15. Paterson of New Jersey had apparently taken the lead in this movement and he was chosen to present the resolutions to the Convention. These resolutions have accordingly been known as the New Jersey Plan, or the Paterson Resolutions. Several copies of the New Jersey Plan are in existence, containing the usual minor differences in wording, spelling, and punctuation. But they also differ in more important particulars: — The Madison and Washington copies are practically identical, but the other copies contain two additional resolutions: a sixth, “that the legislative, executive, and judiciary powers within the several States ought to be bound by oath to support the Articles of Union;” and a ninth, “that provision ought to be made for hearing and deciding upon all disputes arising between the United States and an individual State respecting territory.” Also in the fourth resolution, the Madison and Washington copies read, that the Executive shall be “removable by Congress on application by a majority of the executives of the several States,” while the Brearley and Paterson copies read “removable on impeachment and conviction for malpractice or neglect of duty by Congress on application by a majority of the executives of the several States.” As already stated, the presentation of the New Jersey Plan resulted from a conference of several delegates, in which Paterson seemed to have been a leading spirit. Among the Paterson Papers, each in Paterson’s handwriting on a separate sheet of foolscap... These documents evidently represent preliminary sketches of the New Jersey Plan, and a careful study of the probable origin of the various provisions shows clearly that the completed New Jersey Plan was doubtless a joint product. Paterson’s copy of the plan is to be found in a little book into which he also copied the Virginia Plan, the Report of the Committee of the Whole, and Hamilton’s Plan. The resolutions are written on the right-hand pages; certain phrases omitted in copying or changes in wording are written on the left-hand pages with marks to show the places of their insertion. For example, in the doubtful reading of the fourth article, the right-hand page has the words “and removeable on Impeachment and Conviction for Mal-Practice, or Neglect of Duty,” and opposite them on the left-hand page “by Congress on Application by a Majority of the executives of the several States.” In this instance there are no asterisks, and the two phrases probably represent alternative proposals upon which no conclusion was reached. In copying, some of the members doubtless ran the two phrases together. It is probable that most of the other variations could be accounted for in a similar way. In his Genuine Information, Luther Martin states that a question was proposed and negatived “that a union of the States, merely federal, ought to be the sole object of the exercise of the powers vested in the convention.” Mr. Jameson identifies this with the action of the Convention on June 19 in rejecting the first of the resolutions presented by Paterson. He therefore concludes that we have in this the correct reading of the first article of the New Jersey Plan. Martin also stated in his Genuine Information that he had a copy of the New Jersey Plan, which he asked leave to read. Shortly afterward (February 15, 1788) there appeared in the Maryland Gazette and Baltimore Advertiser a copy of the “Resolves proposed to the Convention by the Honorable Mr. Paterson, and mentioned in Mr. Martin’s Information to the House of Assembly.” It is altogether probable that the printer obtained the document from Martin. This copy consists of sixteen articles. The first is identical with the resolution Martin stated was negatived in the Convention and which Mr. Jameson thinks was the first article of the New Jersey Plan. It is the same as the first resolution partially crossed out in Paterson’s first preliminary draft. The others correspond to those of the Paterson and Brearley copies, except that they differ in order and subdivisions and there is an extra article (“Resolved, that it is necessary to define what offences, committed in any State, shall be deemed high treason against the United States.”), which was included but crossed out in Paterson’s little book. Assuming that this is Martin’s copy, it would seem to have been compiled like those made by others of the group which formulated the New Jersey Plan, embodying various suggested articles and phrases which appealed to him personally. Instead of regarding Martin’s statement to be conclusive as to the identity of the first resolution of the New Jersey Plan, it would seem to be more likely that Martin had noted or remembered simply that the first resolution had been rejected, and had then turned to his own copy for the exact wording of it. The editor’s final conclusion is that the Madison copy fairly reproduces the original, and is probably the most accurate copy in existence of the New Jersey Plan presented to the Convention. This conclusion is confirmed by Madison’s line of argument when insisting upon the correctness of his text as compared with that in the Journal, and by King’s summary which seems to have been taken down hastily as the plan was read in the Convention."

Sherman's Proposals - (text)

Farrand writes: "Among the Sherman papers was found a document containing a series of propositions, which has been variously interpreted: The members of the Connecticut delegation to the Federal Convention had served upon several different committees of Congress that had proposed amendments to the Articles of Confederation, and this document embodies some of the amendments thus proposed. L. H. Boutell, in his Life of Roger Sherman, treats it as having been prepared in the latter part of Sherman’s service in Congress and “as embodying the amendments which he deemed necessary to be made to the existing government.” Bancroft, on the other hand, regards it as a plan of government presented to the Federal Convention “which in importance stands next to that of Virginia.” Neither of these interpretations is acceptable to the editor, who is inclined to consider this document as more probably presenting the ideas of the Connecticut delegation in forming the New Jersey Plan. It is accordingly reprinted here, and is as follows: —"


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