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Credentials - Virginia - October 16, 1786

General Assembly begun and held at the Public Buildings in the City of Richmond on Monday the sixteenth day of October in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty six

An Act for appointing Deputies from this Commonwealth to a Convention proposed to be held in the City of Philadelphia in May next for the purpose of revising the federal Constitution.

 

Whereas the Commissioners who assembled at Annapolis on the fourteenth day of September last for the purpose of devising and reporting the means of enabling Congress to provide effectually for the Commercial Interests of the United States have represented the necessity of extending the revision of the fœderal System to all it's defects and have recommended that Deputies for that purpose be appointed by the several Legislatures to meet in Convention in the City of Philadelphia on the second day of May next a provision which was preferable to a discussion of the subject in Congress where it might be too much interrupted by the ordinary business before them and where it would besides be deprived of the valuable Counsels of sundry Individuals who are disqualified by the Constitution or Laws of particular States or restrained by peculiar circumstances from a Seat in that Assembly: And Whereas the General Assembly of this Commonwealth taking into view the actual situation of the Confederacy as well as reflecting on the alarming representations made from time to time by the United States in Congress particularly in their Act of the fifteenth day of February last can no longer doubt that the Crisis is arrived at which the good People of America are to decide the solemn question whether they will by wise and magnanimous Efforts reap the just fruits of that Independence which they have so gloriously acquired and of that Union which they have cemented with so much of their common Blood, or whether by giving way to unmanly Jealousies and Prejudices or to partial and transitory Interests they will renounce the auspicious blessings prepared for them by the Revolution, and furnish to its Enemies an eventual Triumph over those by whose virtue and valor it has been accomplished: And Whereas the same noble and extended policy and the same fraternal and affectionate Sentiments which originally determined the Citizens of this Commonwealth to unite with their Bretheren of the other States in establishing a Fœderal Government cannot but be Felt with equal force now as motives to lay aside every inferior consideration and to concur in such farther concessions and Provisions as may be necessary to secure the great Objects for which that Government was instituted and to render the United States as happy in peace as they have been glorious in War Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia that seven Commissioners be appointed by joint Ballot of both Houses of Assembly who or any three of them are hereby authorized as Deputies from this Commonwealth to meet such Deputies as may be appointed and authorized by other States to assemble in Convention at Philadelphia as above recommended and to join with them in devising and discussing all such Alterations and farther Provisions as may be necessary to render the Fœderal Constitution adequate to the Exigencies of the Union and in reporting such an Act for that purpose to the United States in Congress as when agreed to by them and duly confirmed by the several States will effectually provide for the same. And be it further enacted that in case of the death of any of the said Deputies or of their declining their appointments the Executive are hereby authorized to supply such Vacancies. And the Governor is requested to transmit forthwith a Copy of this Act to the United States in Congress and to the Executives of each of the States in the Union.

Signed
John Jones, Speaker of the Senate
Joseph Prentis, Speaker of the House of Delegates.

A true Copy from the Inrollment
John Beckley Clk House Dels.

In the House of Delegates

Monday the 4th of December 1786.

The House according to the Order of the Day proceeded by joint Ballot with the Senate to the appointment of Seven Deputies from this Commonwealth to a Convention proposed to be held in the City of Philadelphia in May next for the purpose of revising the Fœderal Constitution, and the Members having prepared Tickets with the names of the Persons to be appointed, and deposited the same in the Ballot-boxes, Mr. Corbin, Mr. Matthews, Mr. David Stuart, Mr. George Nicholas, Mr. Richard Lee, Mr. Wills, Mr. Thomas Smith, Mr. Goodall and Mr. Turberville were nominated a Committee to meet a Committee from the Senate in the Conference-Chamber and jointly with them to examine the Ballot-boxes and report to the House on whom the Majority of Votes should fall. The Committee then withdrew and after some time returned into the House and reported that the Committee had, according to order, met a Committee from the Senate in the Conference-Chamber, and jointly with them examined the Ballot-boxes and found a majority of Votes in favor of George Washington, Patrick Henry, Edmund Randolph, John Blair, James Madison, George Mason and George Wythe Esquires.

Extract from the Journal,

John Beckley Clk House Dels.

Attest John Beckley Clk. H. Dels.

In the House of Senators

Monday the 4th of December 1786.

The Senate according to the Order of the Day proceeded by joint ballot with the House of Delegates to the Appointment of Seven Deputies from this Commonwealth to a Convention proposed to be held in the City of Philadelphia in May next for the purpose of revising the Fœderal Constitution, and the Members having prepared Tickets with the names of the Persons to be appointed, and deposited the same in the Ballot-boxes, Mr. Anderson, Mr. Nelson and Mr Lee were nominated a Committee to meet a Committee from the House of Delegates in the Conference-Chamber and joinly with them to examine the Ballot-boxes and report to the House on whom the Majority of Votes should fall. The Committee then withdrew and after some time returned into the House and reported that the Committee had, according to order, met a Committee from the House of Delegates in the Conference-Chamber, and jointly with them examined the Ballot-boxes and found a Majority of Votes in favor of George Washington, Patrick Henry, Edmund Randolph, John Blair, James Madison George Mason and George Wythe Esquires.

Extract from the Journal

John Beckley Clk. H. Ds.

Attest, H. Brook Clk S.

Virginia to wit

(Seal)

I do Certify and make known, to all whom it may Concern, that John Beckley Esquire, is Clerk of the House of Delegates for this Commonwealth, and the proper Officer for attesting the proceedings of the General Assembly of the said Commonwealth, And that full Faith and Credit ought to be given to all things attested by the said John Beckley Esquire, by Virtue of his Office aforesaid.

Given under my hand as Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia and under the Seal thereof, at Richmond this fourth day of May, one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven.

Edm: Randolph.

Virginia to wit

(Seal)

I do hereby Certify, that Patrick Henry, Esquire, one of the seven Commissioners appointed by joint ballot of both Houses of Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, authorized as a Deputy therefrom, to meet such Deputies as might be appointed and authorized by other States to assemble in Philadelphia and to join with them in devising and discussing all such Alterations and further provisions, as might be necessary to render the Fœderal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of the Union; and in reporting such an Act for that purpose to the United States in Congress, as when agreed to by them and duly confirmed by the several States, might effectually provide for the same, did decline his appointment aforesaid; and thereupon in pursuance of an Act of the General Assembly of the said Commonwealth intituled "An Act for appointing Deputies from this Commonwealth to a Convention proposed to be held in the City of Philadelphia in May next, for the purpose of revising the Fœderal Constitution" I do hereby with the advice of the Council of State, supply the said Vacancy by nominating James McClurg, Esquire, a Deputy for the Purposes aforesaid.

Given under my Hand as Governor of the said Commonwealth and under the Seal thereof this second day of May in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and eighty seven.

Edm: Randolph

Source: Documents Illustrative of the Formation of the Union of the American States, Ed. Charles C. Tansill. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1927, pages 55-84.