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Founding the Federal Union

Founding the Federal Union aims to capture the processes of negotiation surrounding the drafting of the United States Constitution. The collection consists of digital models of the 1787 Constitutional Convention and the 1789 Bill of Rights and collated archival materials. Cutting edge visualizations extract the narrative contained the archive materials in order to demonstrate how constitutional text was created and enacted on the word level and, amendment by amendment, arrived at the United States’ foundational text.

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26 July- 4 August, 1787: The Meeting of the Committee of Detail

A collection of handwritten primary source material pertaining to the deliberations of the Committee of Detail. People include John Jay, George Washington, Richard Caswell, R.D. Spaight, Alexander Martin, James Monroe, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James McClurg.

Archive.org copy of the 1819 Journal Publication

In 1819 John Quincy Adams oversaw a printed publication of the Journal of the Convention. This collection holds links to the Archive.org copy.

Fringe Meetings at the U.S. Consitutional Convention

Details of unofficial meetings, discussions and social events held by delegates to the Convention.

Journal of the House of Representatives

Printed version of the Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States: anno M,DCC,LXXXIX, and of the independence of the United States the thirteenth

Elliot's Debates

Jonathan Elliot, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, J.B. Lippincott & co. (Philadelphia: 1836-59).

Gazette of the United States

The Gazette of the United States was a Federalist newspaper in the years of the First Congress. Begun by John Fenno, who served as its editor, the Gazette was published twice weekly, beginning on April 15, 1789. Alexander Hamilton contributed to the paper, both financially and in written content. Senate Secretary Samuel Otis would eventual go on to contract with Fenno to publish various documents for the Senate.

Plans Presented to the U.S. Consitutional Convention

Transcriptions of the differing versions of the Virginia Plan, Pinckney Plan, New Jersey Plan, Hamilton Plan, and others, for comparison.

Annals of Congress

The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, First Congress, First Session, vol. 1

United States Constitution first manuscript draft by James Wilson, 1787

Analysis of Historical Society of Pennsylvania Item 1663: "United States Constitution first manuscript draft by James Wilson, 1787."

Population Statistics Used in the U.S. Constitutional Convention

A collection of tables of population for each state presented to the Convention to inform apportionment of representation.

The Congressional Register

Links to ConSource editions of Thomas Lloyd's stenographic record of the First House of Representatives.

Sherman's Proposed Report from the First Committee on Representation

Roger Sherman's proposal in the First Committee on Representation, which demonstrates how Madison's proposed amendments could be amended and included as a supplement to the Constitution.

Drafts and Editions of the Constitution, August-September, 1787

A collection of printed primary source material pertaining to drafts of the Constitution between August and September, 1787. This collection includes printed drafts with handwritten annotations produced by the convention; for handwritten drafts by the Committee of Detail, see "The Meeting of the Committee of Detail" resource collection.

Records of the Federal Convention (1911)

The PDF scans of the 1911 publication, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, edited by Max Farrand (New Haven: Yale University Press)

Senate Journal Scans

Scans of the handwritten Senate Journal for the First Session of the First Congress

14-25 May, 1787

A collection of primary source material detailing the state of the convention between 14 and 25 May, 1787. People include George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Richard Price, Thomas Jordan, Arthur Lee, John Dickinson, George Mason, Rufus King, Jeremiah Wadsworth, and George Read.

Journal of the Senate

The Journal of the Senate, First Congress, First Session, vol. 1

Library of Congress copy of Madison's Notes Manuscript

This collection holds links to the Library of Congress scan of its microfilm photographs of Madison's personal record recording the work of the Constitutional Convention.

Documentary Milestones in Framing the U.S. Constitution

Charts the main stages in drafting the Constitution, and contains the major documents produced by the Convention, allowing for quick comparison.

ConSource Materials on the Constitutional Convention

The ConSource.org edition of Madison's Notes and other papers.

Archive.org copy of the 1819 Journal Manuscript

In 1819 John Quincy Adams oversaw a printed publication of the Journal of the Convention.

This is a manuscript copy of the journal from that time, a draft of what was published.

Weather Reports During the U.S. Constitutional Convention

Contemporary reports of the weather during each day of the Convention in Philadelphia 1787

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