James Madison Papers
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Election of the First Branch of the Legislature, [21 June] 1787

Election of the First Branch of the Legislature

[21 June 1787]

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney moved that the members of the first branch of the legislature “‘instead of being elected by the people, shd. be elected in such manner as the Legislature of each State should direct’” (Farrand, Records description begins Max Farrand, ed., The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 (4 vols.; New Haven, 1911–37). description ends , I, 358).

Wilson & Madison

Agt. the Election by the Legislatures and in favor of one by the People—the Election by the States will introduce a State Influence, their interest will oppose that of the Genl. Govt: the Legislators will be not only Electors of the members of the House—but they will manage the affairs of the States—The mode of Election may be essential to the Election, this may be different in the several States—if the Legislatures appt. they will instruct, and thereby embarrass the Delegate—not so if the Election is by the people—there will be no difficulty in their Election. The Returns may be made to the Legislatures of the several States—They may judge of contested Elections.1

Farrand, Records description begins Max Farrand, ed., The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 (4 vols.; New Haven, 1911–37). description ends , I, 367 (King).

1Yates’s version:

“Mr. Madison. I oppose the motion—there are difficulties, but they may be obviated in the details connected with the subject” (ibid., I, 364).

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