Resource Collections

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."

Cite as: United States Constitution first manuscript draft by James Wilson, 1787, Quill Project at Pembroke College (Oxford, accessed 2022)



When arranging the Records of the Constitutional Convention, Max Farrand established a numerical sequence for documents relating to the committee of detail from I to IX. However, when the Historical Society of Pennsylvania digitized some of their Wilson papers, they did not conform to the sequence established by Farrand and retained by scholars such as William Ewald. Due to the complicated textual nature of this digital collection, it is necessary to break this "draft" of the constitution into its constituent parts as identified by Farrand and Ewald, while making clear the fact that it is digitized as an integrated whole.

Link to the whole item in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's digital library:

Online Library of Liberty transcription for Committee of Details documents (from Farrand):

What follows in the subsequent resource collections is a breakdown by page of which pages belong to which "document" as determined by Max Farrand and revisited by William Ewald. For further information about editorial choices, the historiography of these documents, and more details about what each page contains, please see the blog post titled "The Wilson Papers: Historiography Revisited (Again)" below and under the resource collection "Parchment: Quill Platform Weblog."

Collection associations (3)

U.S. Constitutional Convention 1787 (2019 Edition)

Committee of Detail

Committee of Detail

Resources (8)