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Wednesday, September 05, 2018

It Was The First Day Of The Rest Of Their Lives

Monday, September 5, 1774:

A number of the Delegates chosen and appointed by the Several Colonies and Provinces in North America to meet and hold a Congress at Philadelphia assembled at the Carpenters' Hall...


A motion was made1 and seconded that a Committee be appointed to draw up some rules of conduct to be observed by the Congress in debating and determining questions that come under consideration, But after some debate another motion was made and seconded that the farther consideration of this question be deferred untill tomorrow, which was carried by a large majority. Whereupon a motion was made to adjourn, and the vote (?) being put, agreed that the Congress be adjourned to meet at this place tomorrow morning 10 o Clock.

John Adams recorded the day thus:

At Ten, The Delegates all met at the City Tavern, and walked to the Carpenters Hall, where they took a View of the Room, and of the Chamber where is an excellent Library. There is also a long Entry, where Gentlemen may walk, and a convenient Chamber opposite to the Library. The General Cry was, that this was a good Room, and the Question was put, whether We were satisfyed with this Room, and it passed in the Affirmative. A very few were for the Negative and they were chiefly from Pensylvania and New York.
Mr. Duane then moved that a Committee should be appointed, to prepare Regulations for this Congress. Several Gentlemen objected. I then arose and asked Leave of the President to request of the Gentleman from New York, an Explanation, and that he would point out some particular Regulations which he had in his Mind. He mentioned particularly the Method of voting -- whether it should be by Colonies, or by the Poll, or by Interests.
This is a Question of great Importance. -- If We vote by Colonies, this Method will be liable to great Inequality and Injustice, for 5 small Colonies, with 100,000 People in each may outvote 4 large ones, each of which has 500,000 Inhabitants. If We vote by the Poll, some Colonies have more than their Proportion of Members, and others have less. If We vote by Interests, it will be attended with insuperable Difficulties, to ascertain the true Importance of each Colony. -- Is the Weight of a Colony to be ascertained by the Number of Inhabitants merely -- or by the Amount of their Trade, the Quantity of their Exports and Imports, or by any compound Ratio of both.

This will lead us into such a Field of Controversy as will greatly perplex us. Besides I question whether it is possible to ascertain, at this Time, the Numbers of our People or the Value of our Trade. It will not do in such a Case, to take each other's Words. 



September 5, 2018 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink


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