Certificate by Ezra L’Hommedieu, Egbert Benson,
and Alexander Hamilton of a Statement by
Abraham Yates, Junior, Respecting His Vote
on the Constitution of the United States1
[New York, August 8, 1788]
We do certify that Mr Yates has delivered to us a Paper subscribed by him (of which the preceeding is a Copy)2 as declaritive of his Principles on which he will vote in Congress in the affirmative on the final Question on the Ordinance for putting the new Constitution for the United States into Operation.
Ezra L Hommedieu
DS, in the handwriting of Ezra L’Hommedieu, Abraham Yates Papers, MS Division, New York Public Library; copy, in the handwriting of Abraham Yates, Jr., Abraham Yates Papers, MS Division, New York Public Library.
1. L’Hommedieu, Benson, Yates, and H were New York delegates to the Continental Congress. See H’s “Appointment as Delegate to the Continental Congress,” February 2, 1788 (PAH description begins Harold C. Syrett, ed., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (New York and London, 1961– ). description ends , IV, 492–93).
L’Hommedieu, a lawyer from Suffolk County, served in the New York Assembly from 1777 to 1783, in the Continental Congress from 1779 to 1783, and the New York Senate from 1784 to 1792. Benson, a New York lawyer, was attorney general of New York from May 8, 1777, to May 14, 1788. Yates a resident of Albany, was a delegate to the Provincial Congress from 1775 to 1777 and a member of the New York Senate from 1778 to 1790.
2. The document printed above was written at the bottom of the draft of a statement by Yates in which he expressed his opposition to the Constitution but stated that he would vote to approve it if his vote were needed. (ADfS, Abraham Yates Papers, MS Division, New York Public Library; copy, Abraham Yates Papers, MS Division, New York Public Library). On September 12, 1788, when Congress voted to assemble and “commence Proceedings under the Said Constitution,” Yates did not vote (JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937; Reprinted, New York, 1968). description ends , XXIV, 516–19).