George Washington Papers

The Virginia Plan, 29 May 1787

The Virginia Plan

[Philadelphia, c.29 May 1787]. GW’s Copy of the Original Plan for a New Government as Given into Convention by the State of Virginia appears in CD-ROM:GW.

AD, DLC:GW. It is not known when GW made his copy of the document, but as a member of the Virginia delegation, he probably made it before Edmund Randolph presented the Virginia Plan to the Convention on 29 May.

Randolph’s copy of the fifteen resolutions that he offered to the Convention on 29 May has never been found. GW’s copy of the Virginia Plan is almost identical to the one Madison made as printed in Rutland and Hobson, Madison Papers, description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds. The Papers of James Madison, Congressional Series. 17 vols. Chicago and Charlottesville, Va., 1962–91. description ends 10:12–18. There are slight variations between the two in spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. The wording also differs in several instances: in resolution 4, GW inserted “years” after each of the last two blank spaces; in resolution 6, he wrote “legislative powers” instead of “Legislative Rights”; in resolution 9, he inserted “a” before “fixed compensation” and wrote “peace or harmony” instead of “peace and harmony”; in resolution 11, he inadvertently omitted “of Government &” after “junction”; and in resolution 13, he wrote the words “and that the assent of the National legislature” twice. For a description of the other surviving copies made by delegates of Randolph’s resolutions, see Farrand, Records of the Federal Convention, description begins Max Farrand, ed. The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Rev. ed. 4 vols. New Haven, 1966. description ends 1:20–22.

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