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Constitutional Convention. Nomination of William Jackson as Secretary of the Constitutional Convention, 25 May 1787

Constitutional Convention. Nomination of
William Jackson as Secretary of the
Constitutional Convention1

Philadelphia, May 25, 1787. On this date Hamilton nominated Major William Jackson2 as secretary of the Constitutional Convention.3

Gaillard Hunt and James Brown Scott, eds., The Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 Which Framed the Constitution of the United States of America. Reported by James Madison (New York, 1920), 18.

1Of the many editions of Madison’s notes of debates in the Convention the most reliable are: Hunt, Writings of Madison description begins Gaillard Hunt, ed., The Writings of James Madison (New York, 1902). description ends , III, IV; Max Farrand, ed., The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 (New Haven, 1911), I, II; Documentary History of the Constitution of the United States of America (Washington, 1900), III; and Hunt and Scott, Debates description begins Gaillard Hunt and James Brown Scott, eds., The Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 Which Framed the Constitution of the United States of America. Reported by James Madison (New York, 1920). description ends . As the edition by Hunt and Scott is as accurate a transcription of Madison’s notes as can be made, it has been cited rather than earlier editions of Madison’s notes or the MS notes which are in the James Madison Papers, Library of Congress.

There are four detailed accounts of the debates in the Constitutional Convention: the notes of James Madison (described above); John Lansing, Jr. (Joseph R. Strayer, ed., The Delegate from New York or Proceedings of the Federal Convention of 1787 from the Notes of John Lansing, Jr. [Princeton, 1939], cited hereafter as Notes of John Lansing description begins Joseph R. Strayer, ed., The Delegate from New York or Proceedings of the Federal Convention of 1787 from the Notes of John Lansing, Jr. (Princeton, 1939). description ends ); Robert Yates (Secret Proceedings and Debates of the Convention Assembled at Philadelphia, in the Year 1787, For the Purpose of Forming the Constitution [Albany, 1821], cited hereafter as Yates, Secret Proceedings and Debates description begins Robert Yates, Secret Proceedings and Debates of the Convention Assembled at Philadelphia, in the Year 1787, For the Purpose of Forming the Constitution of The United States of America (Albany, 1821). description ends ); and Rufus King (Charles R. King, ed., The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King [New York, 1894], I, cited hereafter as King, The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King description begins Charles R. King, The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King (New York, 1894). description ends ).

Since the notes of Madison are indubitably the most complete (for a comparative study of the notes made by Madison and Yates see Arnold A. Rogow, “The Federal Convention: Madison and Yates,” The American Historical Review, LX [January, 1955], 323–35) and probably the most accurate, they have been used as the source of Hamilton’s motions, speeches, and reports. Whenever another account presents a version of H’s remarks which differs from that given by Madison, the difference is indicated in notes.

H, Robert Yates, and John Lansing, Jr., were appointed on March 6, 1787, to represent New York State at the Constitutional Convention. See “Appointment as Delegate to the Constitutional Convention,” March 6, 1787. H did not arrive on May 14, the day appointed for the convening of the Convention, but reached Philadelphia on May 18. The proceedings of the Convention began on May 25, 1787, the date on which a quorum of delegates was first present.

2Jackson had served as assistant Secretary at War.

3On May 25, the first day of the Convention, James Wilson, delegate from Pennsylvania, moved “that a Secretary be appointed, and nominated Mr. Temple Franklin” (Hunt and Scott, Debates description begins Gaillard Hunt and James Brown Scott, eds., The Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 Which Framed the Constitution of the United States of America. Reported by James Madison (New York, 1920). description ends , 18). H’s substitute nomination of William Jackson was accepted by the Convention.

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