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Lot 119: ADAMS, JOHN QUINCY. Letter Signed, as Secretary of State, to President James Madison, requesting documents to complete George Washingto
November 1, 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: ADAMS RECONSTRUCTS THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION ADAMS, JOHN QUINCY. Letter Signed, as Secretary of State, to President James Madison, requesting documents to complete George Washington's journal of the proceedings of the 1787 Constitutional Convention. 2 1/2 pages, folio, written on the first three pages of a folded sheet; short closed separations at horizontal fold, some foxing to upper portion of terminal and signature pages (not affecting signature), docketing on terminal page in Madison's hand ("Adams J.Q. / Oc'r 22. 1818"). (MRS) Washington, 22 October 1818
"A Resolution of Congress . . . directs the publication of the Journal of the Convention which formed the present Constitution of the United States . . . .
"On the 19th of March 1796 there were deposited in this Office by President Washington—a Volume in Manuscript containing the Journal of the proceedings of the Convention—a second Volume containing their proceedings in Committee of the whole—A third, containing lists of yeas and nays on various questions—and nine separate papers—Two of which are copies of Resolutions submitted by Mr Randolph and discussed in Convention, one is a printed draft of the Constitution as reported, with manuscript minutes of amendments to it adopted after debate . . . .
"General Bloomfield transmitted to me . . . a plan of Constitution, offered by Coll: Hamilton. . . . I find throughout the Journal no mention made of the plan of Coll. Hamilton. The Journal does mention a plan of Constitution offered by Mr Charles Pinckney . . . .
"The Volume containing the Journal of the Convention, is incomplete. The record closes with the proceedings of Friday 14 September 1787. Those of Saturday the 15th and of Monday the 17th the day of final adjournment, are not entered in the book, which if published in its present condition will be a fragment. . . . The chasm is remarkable . . . .
"Under these circumstances, the President has directed me to write to you, and enquire if you can without inconvenience furnish the means of completing the Journal, by a Note, which may indicate the transactions of the Convention on the last two days of their Session, and if you have any additional documents relating to the proceedings of the Convention, which you think it might be useful to add to the publication directed by Congress, and which you would have the goodness to communicate for that purpose."