United States Constitution, Amendments (Bill of Rights)
Scope and Contents
Proposed twelve amendments to the United States Constitution forwarded to Rhode Island by Congress for ratification October, 1789. Signed by John Beckley, Clerk of the House of Representative, Samuel A. Otis, Secretary of State, Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, President of the House of Representatives & John Adams, Vice President of the United States. Transmittal letter of George Washington to Rhode Island General Assembly dated Oct. 2, 1789
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Biographical / Historical
United States Constitution ratified in convention at Philadelphia September 17, 1787. Rhode Island had been the only colony not represented having failed to send a delegate. Document as submitted to the freeman of Rhode Island by act of the General Assembly overwhelmingly rejected in town meetings held throughout the colony on March 24, 1788 (2,708 to 237). Despite rejection by Rhode Island the Constitution became the official governing document of the United States with ratification by New Hampshire on June 21, 1788. With inclusion of a proposed Bill of Rights the following year the General Assembly approved “An Act for calling a Convention, to take into Consideration the Constitution proposed for the United States, passed on the 17th of September, A.D. 1787, by the General Convention held in Philadelphia.” on January 17, 1790. Initially convened at South Kingstown the constitution was officially ratified in convention at Newport, Saturday, May 29, 1790, at 5:20 pm, with 34 delegates voting in the affirmative & 32 in the negative. Proposed Bill of Rights received October, 1789, approved by act of June 11, 1790 "An Act for ratifying certain Articles, as Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of American, and which were proposed by the Congress of the said United States, at their Session in March, A.D. 1789, to the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the Fifth Article of the aforesaid Constitution."
1 Sheets : Manuscript vellum, iron gall ink (graphite) ; 24 ¼ “ x 30”, encased
Engrossed copy of proposed first twelve articles of amendment to the United States Constitution, 1789
Rhode Island Digital Archives
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