George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Pennsylvania Legislature, 11 March 1790

From the Pennsylvania Legislature

[(]Copy)

SirIn Assembly of Pennsylvania March 11. 1790

I have the honour to transmit an exemplified copy of the act declaring the assent of this State to certain amendments to the Constitution of the United States that you may be pleased to lay it before Congress.1 With the greatest respect I have the honour to be Your obedt Servt

Richard Peters. Speaker

Copy, DNA: RG 46, First Congress, 1789–91, Records of Legislative Proceedings, President’s Messages.

1The enclosure was a copy of “An act declaring the assent of this State to certain amendments to the Constitution of the United States” passed by the Pennsylvania legislature on 10 Mar. 1790. The legislature ratified the third through the twelfth articles proposed by Congress as amendments to the federal Constitution, including all of those that formed the Bill of Rights (for the complete text of the proposed amendments, see DHFC, description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972—. description ends 4:1–3). It voted not to approve the first two proposed amendments. The second of these specified that “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened” (ibid., 1). Pennsylvania was not among the states that subsequently ratified this article, which became the twenty-seventh amendment to the Constitution in 1992. Lear presented the Pennsylvania act to Congress on 16 Mar. 1790 (see GW to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, 16 Mar. 1790). For the complete text of the act and related documents, see DHFC, description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972—. description ends 3:330–32.

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