Monday May 14th 1787 was the day fixed for the meeting of the deputies in Convention for revising the federal system of
Government. On that day a small number only had assembled. Seven States were not convened till, Friday 25 of May, when
the following members appeared to wit: From Massachusetts Rufus King. New York Robert Yates, Alexander Hamilton. New
Jersey, David Brearly, William Churchill Houston, William Patterson. Pennsylvania, Robert Morris, Thomas Fitzsimmons,
James Wilson, Govurneur Morris. Delaware, George Read, Richard Basset, Jacob Broome. Virginia, George Washington,
Edmund Randolph, John Blair, James Madison, George Mason, George Wythe, James Mc Clurg. N. Carolina, Alexander
Martin, William Richardson Davie, Richard Dobbs Spaight, Hugh Williamson. S. Carolina, John Rutlidge, Charles Cotesworth
Pinckney, Charles Pinckney, Pierce Butler. Georgia, William Few.
Mr. ROBERT MORRIS informed the members assembled that by the instruction and in behalf, of the deputation of
Pennsylvania, he proposed George Washington Esq. late Commander in chief for president of the Convention. Mr. John
Rutlidge seconded the motion; expressing his confidence that the choice would be unanimous, and observing that the presence
of Gen. Washington forbade any observations on the occasion which might otherwise be proper. General Washington was
accordingly unanimously elected by ballot, and conducted to the Chair by Mr. R. Morris and Mr. Rutlidge; from which in a
very emphatic manner he thanked the Convention for the honor they had conferred on him, reminded them of the novelty of
the scene of business in which he was to act, lamented his want of better qualifications, and claimed the indulgence of the
House towards the involuntary errors which his inexperience might occasion. [The nomination came with particular grace
from Penna. as Dr. Franklin alone could have been thought of as a competitor. The Doctor was himself to have made the
nomination of General Washington, but the state of the weather and of his health confined him to his house.]
Mr. WILSON moved that a Secretary be appointed, and nominated Mr. Temple Franklin.
Col HAMILTON nominated Major Jackson. On the ballot Maj. Jackson had 5 votes & Mr. Franklin 2 votes. On reading the
credentials of the deputies it was noticed that those from Delaware were prohibited from changing the article in the
Confederation establishing an equality of votes among the States.
The appointment of a Committee, consisting of Messrs. Wythe, Hamilton & C. Pinckney, on the motion of Mr. C.
PINCKNEY, to prepare standing rules & orders was the only remaining step taken on this day.
|Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention
By James Madison
May 14, 1787, May 25, 1787
|The Illinois Conservative