Constitutional Convention. Motion that
Representation in the National Legislature
Ought to be Proportioned to the
Number of Free Inhabitants
Philadelphia, May 30, 1787. The Convention having before it a proposition by Edmund Randolph1 that “the rights of suffrage in the National Legislature ought to be proportioned to the quotas of contribution, or to the number of free inhabitants, as the one or the other rule may seem best in different cases,” Hamilton “moved to alter the resolution so as to read ‘that the rights of suffrage in the national Legislature ought to be proportioned to the number of free inhabitants.’”2
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 , 29–30; D, RG 360, Records of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Journal of the Proceedings of the Whole House, National Archives.
1. Edmund Randolph had proposed to the Convention on May 29, 1787, fifteen resolutions, known as the Virginia Plan, which contained his ideas on the proper plan to be adopted for a national government. The Convention on May 30 debated the first of his resolutions.
2. Consideration of H’s resolution, seconded by Richard Dobbs Spaight, delegate from North Carolina, was postponed.