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title:“Convention Delegates' Credentials”
authors:Anonymous
date written:1787

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http://consource.org/document/convention-delegates-credentials-1787/20130122083717/
last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:37 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Aug. 17, 2017, 9:40 a.m. UTC

transcription
citation:
"Convention Delegates' Credentials." The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Vol. 3. Ed. Max Farrand. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911. Print.

Convention Delegates' Credentials (1787)

Arranged according to the date of legislative action, — Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Delaware, Georgia, New York, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland.
VIRGINIA
Virginia
General Assembly begun and held at the Public Buildings in the City of Richmond on Monday the sixteenth day of October in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty six
An Act for appointing Deputies from this Commonwealth to a Convention proposed to be held in the City of Philadelphia in May next for the purpose of revising the federal Constitution.
Whereas the Commissioners who assembled at Annapolis on the fourteenth day of September last for the purpose of devising and reporting the means of enabling Congress to provide effectually for the Commercial Interests of the United States have represented the necessity of extending the revision of the fœderal System to all it's defects and have recommended that Deputies for that purpose be appointed by the several Legislatures to meet in Convention in the City of Philadelphia on the second day of May next a provision which was preferable to a discussion of the subject in Congress where it might be too much interrupted by the ordinary business before them and where it would besides be deprived of the valuable Counsels of sundry Individuals who are disqualified by the Constitution or Laws of particular States or restrained by peculiar circumstances from a Seat in that Assembly: And Whereas the General Assembly of this Commonwealth taking into view the actual situation of the Confederacy as well as reflecting on the alarming representations made from time to time by the United States in Congress particularly in their Act of the fifteenth day of February last can no longer doubt that the Crisis is arrived at which the good People of America are to decide the solemn question whether they will by wise and magnanimous Efforts reap the just fruits of that Independence which they have so gloriously acquired and of that Union which they have cemented with so much of their common Blood, or whether by giving way to unmanly Jealousies and Prejudices or to partial and transitory Interests they will renounce the auspicious blessings prepared for them by the Revolution, and furnish to its Enemies an eventual Triumph over those by whose virtue and valor it has been accomplished: And Whereas the same noble and extended policy and the same fraternal and affectionate Sentiments which originally determined the Citizens of this Commonwealth to unite with their Bretheren of the other States in establishing a Fœderal Government cannot but be Felt with equal force now as motives to lay aside every inferior consideration and to concur in such farther concessions and Provisions as may be necessary to secure the great Objects for which that Government was instituted and to render the United States as happy in peace as they have been glorious in War Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia that seven Commissioners be appointed by joint Ballot of both Houses of Assembly who or any three of them are hereby authorized as Deputies from this Commonwealth to meet such Deputies as may be appointed and authorized by other States to assemble in Convention at Philadelphia as above recommended and to join with them in devising and discussing all such Alterations and farther Provisions as may be necessary to render the Fœderal Constitution adequate to the Exigencies of the Union and in reporting such an Act for that purpose to the United States in Congress as when agreed to by them and duly confirmed by the several States will effectually provide for the same. And be it further enacted that in case of the death of any of the said Deputies or of their declining their appointments the Executive are hereby authorized to supply such Vacancies. And the Governor is requested to transmit forthwith a Copy of this Act to the United States in Congress and to the Executives of each of the States in the Union.
Signed
John Jones, Speaker of the Senate
Joseph Prentis, Speaker of the House of Delegates.
A true Copy from the Inrollment
John Beckley Clk House Dels.
In the House of Delegates
Monday the 4th of December 1786.
The House according to the Order of the Day proceeded by joint Ballot with the Senate to the appointment of Seven Deputies from this Commonwealth to a Convention proposed to be held in the City of Philadelphia in May next for the purpose of revising the Fœderal Constitution, and the Members having prepared Tickets with the names of the Persons to be appointed, and deposited the same in the Ballot-boxes, Mr. Corbin, Mr. Matthews, Mr. David Stuart, Mr. George Nicholas, Mr. Richard Lee, Mr. Wills, Mr. Thomas Smith, Mr. Goodall and Mr. Turberville were nominated a Committee to meet a Committee from the Senate in the Conference-Chamber and jointly with them to examine the Ballot-boxes and report to the House on whom the Majority of Votes should fall. The Committee then withdrew and after some time returned into the House and reported that the Committee had, according to order, met a Committee from the Senate in the Conference-Chamber, and jointly with them examined the Ballot-boxes and found a majority of Votes in favor of George Washington, Patrick Henry, Edmund Randolph, John Blair, James Madison, George Mason and George Wythe Esquires.
Extract from the Journal,
John Beckley Clk House Dels.
Attest John Beckley Clk. H. Dels.
In the House of Senators
Monday the 4th of December 1786.
The Senate according to the Order of the Day proceeded by joint ballot with the House of Delegates to the Appointment of Seven Deputies from this Commonwealth to a Convention proposed to be held in the City of Philadelphia in May next for the purpose of revising the Fœderal Constitution, and the Members having prepared Tickets with the names of the Persons to be appointed, and deposited the same in the Ballot-boxes, Mr. Anderson, Mr. Nelson and Mr Lee were nominated a Committee to meet a Committee from the House of Delegates in the Conference-Chamber and joinly with them to examine the Ballot-boxes and report to the House on whom the Majority of Votes should fall. The Committee then withdrew and after some time returned into the House and reported that the Committee had, according to order, met a Committee from the House of Delegates in the Conference-Chamber, and jointly with them examined the Ballot-boxes and found a Majority of Votes in favor of George Washington, Patrick Henry, Edmund Randolph, John Blair, James Madison George Mason and George Wythe Esquires.
Extract from the Journal
John Beckley Clk. H. Ds.
Attest, H. Brook Clk S.
Virginia to wit
(Seal)
I do Certify and make known, to all whom it may Concern, that John Beckley Esquire, is Clerk of the House of Delegates for this Commonwealth, and the proper Officer for attesting the proceedings of the General Assembly of the said Commonwealth, And that full Faith and Credit ought to be given to all things attested by the said John Beckley Esquire, by Virtue of his Office aforesaid.
Given under my hand as Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia and under the Seal thereof, at Richmond this fourth day of May, one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven.
Edm: Randolph.
Virginia to wit
(Seal)
I do hereby Certify, that Patrick Henry, Esquire, one of the seven Commissioners appointed by joint ballot of both Houses of Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, authorized as a Deputy therefrom, to meet such Deputies as might be appointed and authorized by other States to assemble in Philadelphia and to join with them in devising and discussing all such Alterations and further provisions, as might be necessary to render the Fœderal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of the Union; and in reporting such an Act for that purpose to the United States in Congress, as when agreed to by them and duly confirmed by the several States, might effectually provide for the same, did decline his appointment aforesaid; and thereupon in pursuance of an Act of the General Assembly of the said Commonwealth intituled "An Act for appointing Deputies from this Commonwealth to a Convention proposed to be held in the City of Philadelphia in May next, for the purpose of revising the Fœderal Constitution" I do hereby with the advice of the Council of State, supply the said Vacancy by nominating James McClurg, Esquire, a Deputy for the Purposes aforesaid.
Given under my Hand as Governor of the said Commonwealth and under the Seal thereof this second day of May in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and eighty seven.
Edm: Randolph
NEW JERSEY
The State of New Jersey.
(Seal)
To the Honorable David Brearly, William Churchill Houston, William Patterson and John Neilson Esquires. Greeting.
The Council and Assembly reposing especial trust and confidence in your integrity, prudence and ability, have at a joint meeting appointed you the said David Brearley, William Churchill Houston, William Patterson and John Neilson Esquires, or any three of you, Commissioners to meet such Commissioners, as have been or may be appointed by the other States in the Union, at the City of Philadelphia in the Commonwealth of Pensylvania, on the second Monday in May next for the purpose of taking into Consideration the state of the Union, as to trade and other important objects, and of devising such other Provisions as shall appear to be necessary to render the Constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies thereof.
In testimony whereof the Great Seal of the State is hereunto affixed. Witness William Livingston Esquire, Governor, Captain General and Commander in Chief in and over the State of New Jersey and Territories thereunto belonging Chancellor and Ordinary in the same, at Trenton the Twenty third day of November in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and Eighty six and of our Sovereignty and Independence the Eleventh.
Wil: Livingston.
By His Excellency's Command
Bowes Reed Secy.
The State of New Jersey.
(Seal)
To His Excellency William Livingston and the Honorable Abraham Clark Esquires Greeting.
The Council and Assembly reposing especial trust and Confidence in your integrity, prudence and ability have at a joint Meeting appointed You the said William Livingston and Abraham Clark Esquires, in conjunction with the Honorable David Brearley, William Churchill Houston & William Patterson Esquires, or any three of you, Commissioners to meet such Commissioners as have been appointed by the other States in the Union at the City of Philadelphia in the Commonwealth of Pensylvania on the second Monday of this present month for the purpose of taking into consideration the state of the Union as to trade and other important Objects, and of devising such other Provisions as shall appear to be necessary to render the Constitution of the federal Government adequate to the exigencies thereof.
In Testimony whereof the Great Seal of the State is hereunto affixed. Witness William Livingston Esquire, Governor, Captain General and Commander in Chief in and over the State of New Jersey and Territories thereunto belonging Chancellor and Ordinary in the same at Burlington the Eighteenth day of May in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of our Sovereignty and Independence the Eleventh.
Wil: Livingston
By His Excellency's Command
Bowes Reed Secy.
The State of New Jersey.
To the Honorable Jonathan Dayton Esquire The Council and Assembly reposing especial trust and confidence in your integrity, prudence and ability have at a joint Meeting appointed You the said Jonathan Dayton Esquire, in conjunction with His Excellency William Livingston, the Honorable David Brearley, William Churchill Houston, William Patterson and Abraham Clark Esquires, or any three of you, Commissioners to meet such Commissioners as have been appointed by the other States in the Union at the City of Philadelphia in the Commonwealth of Pensylvania, for the purposes of taking into consideration the state of the Union as to trade and other important objects, and of devising such other Provision as shall appear to be necessary to render the Constitution of the federal Government adequate to the exigencies thereof.
In Testimony whereof the Great Seal of the State is hereunto affixed: — Witness Robert Lettis Hooper Esquire, Vice-President, Captain General and Commander in Chief in and over the State of New Jersey and Territories thereunto belonging, Chancellor and Ordinary in the same at Burlington the fifth day of June in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of our Sovereignty and Independence the Eleventh.
Robt L. Hooper.
By his Honor's Command
Bowes Reed Secy.
PENNSYLVANIA
Pensylvania An Act appointing Deputies to the Convention intended to be held in the City of Philadelphia for the purpose of revising the fœderal Constitution.
Section 1st Whereas the General Assembly of this Commonwealth taking into their serious Consideration the Representations heretofore made to the Legislatures of the several States in the Union by the United States in Congress Assembled, and also weighing the difficulties under which the Confederated States now labour, are fully convinced of the necessity of revising the federal Constitution for the purpose of making such Alterations and amendments as the exigencies of our Public Affairs require. And Whereas the Legislature of the State of Virginia have already passed an Act of that Commonwealth empowering certain Commissioners to meet at the City of Philadelphia in May next, a Convention of Commissioners or Deputies from the different States; And the Legislature of this State are fully sensible of the important advantages which may be derived to the United States, and every of them from co-operating with the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the other States of the Confederation in the said Design.
Section 2nd Be it enacted, and it is hereby enacted by the Representatives of the Freemen of the Commonwealth of Pensylvia in General Assembly met, and by the Authority of the same, That Thomas Mifflin, Robert Morris, George Clymer, Jared Ingersoll, Thomas Fitzsimmons, James Wilson and Governeur Morris Esquires, are hereby appointed Deputies from this State to meet in the Convention of the Deputies of the respective States of North America to be held at the City of Philadelphia on the second day of the Month of May next; And the said Thomas Mifflin, Robert Morris, George Clymer, Jared Ingersoll, Thomas Fitzsimmons, James Wilson and Governeur Morris Esquires, or any four of them, are hereby constituted and appointed Deputies from this State, with Powers to meet such Deputies as may be appointed and authorized by the other States, to assemble in the said Convention at the City aforesaid, and to join with them in devising, deliberating on, and discussing, all such alterations and further Provisions, as may be necessary to render the fœderal Constitution fully adequate to the exigencies of the Union, and in reporting such Act or Acts for that purpose to the United States in Congress Assembled, as when agreed to by them and duly confirmed by the several States, will effectually provide for the same.
Section 3d And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That in case any of the sd Deputies hereby nominated, shall happen to die, or to resign his or their said Appointment or Appointments, the Supreme Executive Council shall be and hereby are empowered and required, to nominate and appoint other Person or Persons in lieu of him or them so deceased, or who has or have so resigned, which Person or Persons, from and after such Nomination and Appointment, shall be and hereby are declared to be vested with the same Powers respectively, as any of the Deputies Nominated and Appointed by this Act, is vested with by the same: Provided Always, that the Council are not hereby authorised, nor shall they make any such Nomination or Appointment, except in Vacation and during the Recess of the General Assembly of this State.
Signed by Order of the House
Seal of the Laws of Pensylvania
Thomas Mifflin Speaker Enacted into a Law at Philadelphia on Saturday December the thirtieth in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty six.
Peter Zachary Lloyd
Clerk of the General Assembly.
I Mathew Irwin Esquire Master of the Rolls for the State of Pensylvania Do Certify the Preceding Writing to be a true Copy (or Exemplification) of a certain Act of Assembly lodged in my Office.
(Seal)
In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal of Office the 15 May 1787.
Mathw. Irwine
M. R.
(Seal)
A Supplement to the Act entitled "An Act appointing Deputies to the Convention intended to be held in the City of Philadelphia for the purpose of revising the Federal Constitution.
Section 1st Whereas by the Act to which this Act is a Supplement, certain Persons were appointed as Deputies from this State to sit in the said Convention: And Whereas it is the desire of the General Assembly that His Execellency Benjamin Franklin Esquire, President of this State should also sit in the said Convention as a Deputy from this State — therefore Section 2d Be it enacted and it is hereby enacted by the Representatives of the Freemen of the Commonwealth of Pensylvania, in General Assembly met, and by the Authority of the same, that His Excellency Benjamin Franklin Esquire, be, and he is hereby, appointed and authorised to sit in the said Convention as a Deputy from this State in addition to the Persons heretofore appointed; And that he be, and he hereby is invested with like Powers and authorities as are invested in the said Deputies or any of them.
Signed by Order of the House
Thomas Mifflin Speaker.
Enacted into a Law at Philadelphia on Wednesday the twenty eighth day of March, in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred & eighty seven.
/capcmcap Peter Zachary Lloyd
Clerk of the General Assembly.
I Mathew Irwine Esquire, Master of the Rolls for the State of Pensylvania Do Certify the above to be a true Copy (or Exemplification) of a Supplement to a certain Act of Assembly which Supplement is lodged in my Office
(Seal)
In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal of Office the 15 May 1787.
Mathw Irwine
M. R.
NORTH CAROLINA
The State of North Carolina To the Honorable Alexander Martin Esquire, Greeting.
Whereas our General Assembly, in their late session holden at Fayette-ville, by adjournment, in the Month of January last, did by joint ballot of the Senate and House of Commons, elect Richard Caswell, Alexander Martin, William Richardson Davie, Richard Dobbs Spaight, and Willie Jones, Esquires, Deputies to attend a Convention of Delegates from the several United States of America, proposed to be held at the City of Philadelphia in May next for the purpose of revising the Fœderal Constitution.
We do therefore by these Presents, nominate, Commissionate and appoint you the said Alexander Martin, one of the Deputies for and in our behalf to meet with our other Deputies at Philadelphia on the first day of May next and with them or any two of them to confer with such Deputies as may have been or shall be appointed by the other States, for the purpose aforesaid: To hold, exercise and enjoy the appointment aforesaid, with all Powers, Authorities and Emoluments to the same belonging or in any wise appertaining,1 You conforming, in every instance, to the Act of our said Assembly under which you are appointed.
Witness Richard Caswell Esquire, our Governor, Captain-General and Commander in Chief, under his Hand and our Great Seal at Kinston the 24th day of February in the XI Year of our Independence
Ricd
(Seal)
Caswell.
Ao Di 1787.
By His Excellency's Command.
Winston Caswell P. Secy The State of North-Carolina To the Honorable William Richardson Davie Esquire Greeting.
Whereas our General Assembly in their late session holden at Fayette-ville, by adjournment, in the Month of January last, did by joint-ballot of the Senate and House of Commons, elect Richard Caswell, Alexander Martin, William Richardson Davie, Richard Dobbs Spaight & Willie Jones Esquires, Deputies to attend a Convention of Delegates from the several United States of America proposed to be held in the City of Philadelphia in May next for the purpose of revising the Fœderal Constitution.
We do therefore, by these Presents, nominate Commissionate and appoint you the said William Richardson Davie one of the Deputies for and in our behalf to meet with our other Deputies at Philadelphia on the first day of May next and with them or any two of them to confer with such Deputies as may have been or shall be appointed by the other States for the Purposes aforesaid To hold, exercise and enjoy the said appointment with all Powers authorities and emoluments to the same belonging or in any wise appertaining, You conforming, in every instance, to the Act of our said Assembly under which you are appointed.
Witness Richard Caswell Esquire, our Governor, Captain-General and Commander in Chief under his Hand and our Great Seal at Kinston the 24th day of February in the XI. Year of our Independence, Anno. Dom. 1787:
Rd
(Seal.)
Caswell
By His Excellency's Command
Winston Caswell P. Secy.
The State of North Carolina To the Honorable Richard Dobbs Spaight Esquire, Greeting.
Whereas our General Assembly in their late session holden at Fayette-ville, by adjournment, in the month of January last, did elect you the said Richard Dobbs Spaight with Richard Caswell, Alexander Martin, William Richardson Davie, and Willie Jones Esquires, Deputies to attend a Convention of Delegates from the several United States of America proposed to be held in the City of Philadelphia in May next, for the purpose of revising the Fœderal Constitution.
We do therefore by these Presents nominate, Commissionate and appoint you the said Richard Dobbs Spaight one of the Deputies for and in behalf of us to meet with our other Deputies at Philadelphia on the first day of May next and with them or any two of them to confer with such Deputies as may have been or shall be appointed by the other States for the purpose aforesaid. To hold, exercise and enjoy the said Appointment with all Powers, Authorities and Emoluments to the same incident and belonging or in any wise appertaining. You conforming in every instance, to the Act of our said Assembly under which you are appointed.
Witness Richard Caswell Esquire, our Governor Captain-General and Commander in Chief under his Hand and our Great Seal at Kinston the 14th day of April in the XIth Year of our Independence Anno. Dom. 1787.
Rd.
(Seal)Caswell.
By His Excellency's Command
Winston Caswell P. Secy State of North-Carolina
His Excellency Richard Caswell Esquire Governor, Captain General and Commander in Chief in and over the State aforesaid.
To all to whom these Presents shall come Greeting.
Whereas by an Act of the General Assembly of the said State passed the sixth day of January last, entitled "An Act for appointing Deputies from this State, to a Convention proposed to be held in the City of Philadelphia in May next, for the purpose of Revising the Fœderal Constitution" among other things it is Enacted "That five Commissioners be appointed by joint-ballot of both Houses of Assembly who, or any three of them, are hereby authorized as Deputies from this State to meet at Philadelphia on the first day of May next, then and there to meet and confer with such Deputies as may be appointed by the other States for similar purposes, and with them to discuss and decide upon the most effectual means to remove the defects of our Fœderal Union, and to procure the enlarged Purposes which it was intended to effect, and that they report such an Act to the General Assembly of this State as when agreed to by them, will effectually provide for the same." And it is by the said Act, further Enacted, "That in case of the death or resignation of any of the Deputies or of their declining their Appointments, His Excellency the Governor for the Time being, is hereby authorized to supply such Vacancies." And Whereas, in consequence of the said Act, Richard Caswell, Alexander Martin, William Richardson Davie, Richard Dobbs Spaight and Willie Jones Esquires, were by joint-ballot of the two Houses of Assembly, elected Deputies for the purposes aforesaid: And Whereas the said Richard Caswell hath resigned his said Appointment as one of the Deputies aforesaid.
Now know Ye that I have appointed and by these Presents do appoint the Honorable William Blount Esquire, one of the Deputies to represent this State in the Convention aforesaid, in the room and stead of the aforesaid Richard Caswell, hereby giving and granting to the said William Blount the same Powers, Privileges and Emoluments which the said Richard Caswell would have been vested with or entitled to, had he continued in the Appointment aforesaid.
Given under my Hand and the Great Seal of the State, at Kinston, the 23d day of April Anno Dom 1787. And in the Eleventh Year of American Independence.
Rid.
(Seal)
Caswell.
By His Excellency's Command
Winston Caswell P. Secy State of North-Carolina His Excellency Richard Caswell Esquire, Governor, Captain-General and Commander in Chief, in and over the State aforesaid.
To all to whom these Presents shall come
Greeting.
Whereas by an Act of the General Assembly of the said State, passed the sixth day of January last, entitled "An Act for appointing Deputies from this State, to a Convention proposed to be held in the City of Philadelphia in May next for the purpose of revising the Fœderal Constitution" among other things it is enacted "That five Commissioners be appointed by joint-ballot of both Houses of Assembly, who, or any three of whom, are hereby authorized as Deputies from this State, to meet at Philadelphia on the first day of May next, then and there to meet and confer with such Deputies as may be appointed by the other States for similar purposes and with them to discuss and decide upon the most effectual means to remove the defects of our Fœderal Union, and to procure the enlarged purposes, which it was intended to effect, and that they report such an Act to the General Assembly of this State, as when agreed to by them, will effectually provide for the same." And it is by the said Act, further enacted "That in case of the death or resignation of any of the Deputies, or their declining their Appointments His Excellency the Governor for the Time being is hereby authorized to supply such Vacancies."
And Whereas in consequence of the said Act Richard Caswell, Alexander Martin, William Richardson Davie, Richard Dobbs Spaight and Willie Jones Esquires, were by joint-ballot of ye two Houses of Assembly elected Deputies for the purposes aforesaid. And Whereas the said Willie Jones hath declined his Appointment as one of the Deputies aforesaid
Now know Ye that I have appointed and by these Presents do appoint the Honorable Hugh Williamson Esquire, one of the Deputies to represent this State in the Convention aforesaid in the room and stead of the aforesaid Willie Jones, hereby giving and granting to the said Hugh Williamson the same Powers, Privileges and emoluments which the said Willie Jones would have been vested with and entitled to had he acted under the Appointment aforesaid.
Given under my Hand and the Great Seal of the State at Kinston the third day of April Anno Dom. 1787. and in the Eleventh Year of American Independence
Rid
(Seal)
Caswell
By His Excellency's Command
Dallam Caswell Pro Secretary
NEW HAMPSHIRE
State of New Hampshire In the House of Representatives Jany 17th 1787—
Resolved, that any two of the Delegates of this State to the Congress of the United States, be & hereby are appointed and authorized as Deputies from this State, to meet such Deputies as may be appointed & authorized by other States in the Union, to assemble in Convention at Philadelphia on the second day of May next, and to join with them in devising & discussing all such alterations & further provisions as to render the federal Constitution adequate to the Exigencies of the Union & in reporting such an Act to the United States in Congress, as when agreed to by them, & duly confirmed by the several States, will effectually provide for the same, But in case of the Death of any of said Deputies, or their declining their Appointments, the Executive is hereby authorized to supply such vacancies, and the President is requested to transmit forthwith a copy of this Resolve to the United States in Congress and to the Executive of each of the States in the Union. —
Sent up for Concurrence
John Langdon Speaker In Senate the same day read &concurred with this Amendment that the said Delegates shall proceed to join the Convention aforesaid, in case Congress shall signify to them, that they approve of the Convention, as advantageous to the Union and not an infringement of the Powers granted to Congress by the Confederation.
Jno Sullivan President In the House of Representatives the same day read &concurred
John Langdon Speaker A true Copy Attest Joseph Pearson Secy
State of New Hampshire2
In the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven.
An Act for appointing Deputies from this State to the Convention, proposed to be holden in the City of Philadelphia in May 1787 for the purpose of revising the federal Constitution Whereas in the formation of the federal Compact, which frames the bond of Union of the American States, it was not possible in the infant state of our Republic to devise a system which in the course of time and experience, would not manifest imperfections that it would be necessary to reform.
And Whereas the limited powers, which by the Articles of Confederation, are vested in the Congress of the United States, have been found far inadequate, to the enlarged purposes which they were intended to produce. And Whereas Congress hath, by repeated and most urgent representations, endeavoured to awaken this, and other States of the Union, to a sense of the truly critical and alarming situation in which they may inevitably be involved, unless timely measures be taken to enlarge the powers of Congress, that they may be thereby enabled to avert the dangers which threaten our existence as a free and independent People. And Whereas this State hath been ever desirous to act upon the liberal system of the general good of the United States, without circumscribing its views, to the narrow and selfish objects of partial convenience; and has been at all times ready to make every concession to the safety and happiness of the whole, which justice and sound policy could vindicate.
Be it therefore enacted, by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened that John Langdon, John Pickering, Nicholas Gilman & Benjamin West Esquires be and hereby are appointed Commissioners, they or any two of them, are hereby authorized, and empowered, as Deputies from this State to meet at Philadelphia said Convention or any other place, to which the Convention may be adjourned, for the purposes aforesaid, there to confer with such Deputies, as are, or may be appointed by the other States for similar purposes; and with them to discuss and decide upon the most effectual means to remedy the defects of our federal Union; and to procure, and secure, the enlarged purposes which it was intended to effect, and to report such an Act, to the United States in Congress, as when agreed to by them, and duly confirmed by the several States, will effectually provide for the same.
State of New Hampshire
In the House of Representatives June 27th 1787.
The foregoing Bill having been read a third time, Voted that it pass to be enacted.
Sent up for Concurrence
John Sparhawk Speaker In Senate, the same day — This Bill having been read a third time, — Voted that the same be enacted.
Jno Sullivan President.
Copy Examined Pr Joseph Pearson Secy.
(Seal appendt.)
DELAWARE
Delaware
(Seal)
His Excellency Thomas Collins, Esquire, President, Captain General, and Commander in Chief of the Delaware State; To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting. Know Ye, that among the Laws of the said State, passed by the General Assembly of the same, on the third day of February, in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven, it is thus inrolled.
In the Eleventh Year of the Independence of the Delaware State An Act appointing Deputies from this State to the Convention proposed to be held in the City of Philadelphia for the Purpose of revising the Federal Constitution.
Whereas the General Assembly of this State are fully convinced of the Necessity of revising the Federal Constitution, and adding thereto such further Provisions, as may render the same more adequate to the Exigencies of the Union; And Whereas the Legislature of Virginia have already passed an Act of that Commonwealth, appointing and authorizing certain Commissioners to meet, at the City of Philadelphia, in May next, a Convention of Commissioners or Deputies from the different States: And this State being willing and desirous of co-operating with the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the other States in the Confederation, in so useful a design.
Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly of Delaware, that George Read, Gunning Bedford, John Dickinson, Robert Bassett and Jacob Broom, Esquires, are hereby appointed Deputies from this State to meet in the Convention of the Deputies of other States, to be held at the City of Philadelphia on the Second day of May next: And the said George Read, Gunning Bedford, John Dickinson, Richard Bassett and Jacob Broom, Esquires, or any three of them, are hereby constituted and appointed Deputies from this State, with Powers to meet such Deputies as may be appointed and authorized by the other States to assemble in the said Convention at the City aforesaid, and to join with them in devising, deliberating on, and discussing, such Alterations and further Provisions as may be necessary to render the Fœderal Constitution adequate to the Exigencies of the Union; and in reporting such Act or Acts for that purpose to the United States in Congress Assembled, as when agreed to by them, and duly confirmed by the several States, may effectually provide for the same: So always and Provided, that such Alterations or further Provisions, or any of them, do not extend to that part of the Fifth Article of the Confederation of the said States, finally ratified on the first day of March, in the Year One thousand seven hundred and eighty one, which declares that "In determining Questions in the United States in Congress Assembled each State shall have one Vote."3
And be it enacted, that in Case any of the said Deputies hereby nominated, shall happen to die, or to resign his or their Appointment, the President or Commander in Chief with the Advice of the Privy Council, in the Recess of the General Assembly, is hereby authorized to supply such Vacancies Passed at Dover, February 3d. 1787.
Signed by Order of the House of Assembly
John Cook, Speaker
Signed by Order of the Council
Geo Craghead, Speaker.
All and singular which Premises by the Tenor of these Presents, I have caused to be Exemplified. In Testimony whereof I have hereunto subscribed my Name, and caused the Great-Seal of the said State to be affixed to these Presents, at New Castle the Second day of April in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and eighty seven, and in the Eleventh Year of the Independence of the United States of America
Thos Collins
Attest Ja Booth Secy.
GEORGIA
Georgia By the Honorable George Mathews Esquire, Captain General, Governor and Commander in Chief, in and over the said State aforesaid.
To all to whom these Presents shall come Greeting.
Know ye that John Milton Esquire, who hath Certified the annexed Copy of an Ordinance intitled "An Ordinance for the appointment of Deputies from this State for the purpose of revising the Fœderal Constitution" — is Secretary of the said State in whose Office the Archives of the same are deposited. Therefore all due faith, Credit and Authority are and ought to be had and given the same.
In Testomony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the said State to be put and affixed at Augusta, this Twenty fourth day of April in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of our Sovereignty and Independence the Eleventh.
Geo:
(Seal)
Mathews
By his Honor's Command
J. Milton Secy
An Ordinance for the appointment of Deputies from this State for the purpose of revising the Fœderal Constitution.
Be it Ordained by the Representatives of the Freemen of the State of Georgia in General Assembly met and by the Authority of the same, that William Few, Abraham Baldwin, William Pierce, George Walton William Houstoun and Nathaniel Pendleton Esquires, Be, and they are hereby appointed Commissioners, who, or any two or more of them are hereby authorized as Deputies from this State to meet such deputies as may be appointed and authorized by other States to assemble in Convention at Philadelphia and to join with them in devising and discussing all such Alterations and farther Provisions as may be necessary to render the Federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of the Union, and in reporting such an Act for that purpose to the United States in Congress Assembled as when agreed to by them, and duly confirmed by the several States, will effectually provide for the same. In case of the death of any of the said Deputies, or of their declining their appointments, the Executive are hereby authorized to supply such Vacancies.
By Order of the House
(signed)
Wm Gibbons Speaker.
Augusta the 10 February 1787.
Augusta 24 April 1787
J: Milton Secy.
The State of Georgia by the grace of God, free, Sovereign and Independent.
To the Honorable William Pierce Esquire.
Whereas you the said William Pierce, are in and by an Ordinance of the General Assembly of our said State Nominated and Appointed a Deputy to represent the same in a Convention of the United States to be assembled at Philadelphia, for the Purposes of devising and discussing all such Alterations and farther Provisions as may be necessary to render the Fœderal Constitution adequate to the Exigencies of the Union.
You are therefore hereby Commissioned to proceed on the duties required of you in virtue of the said Ordinance
Witness our trusty and well beloved George Mathews Esquire, our Captain General, Governor and Commander in Chief, under his hand and our Great Seal at Augusta this Seventeenth day of April in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of our Sovereignty and Independence the Eleventh.
Geo: Mathews/br(Seal.)
By His Honor's Command.
J. Milton. Secy.
The State of Georgia by the grace of God free, Sovereign and Independent.
To the Honorable William Few Esquire.
Whereas you the said William Few, are in and by an Ordinance of the General Assembly of our said State Nominated and appointed a Deputy to represent the same in a Convention of the United States to be assembled at Philadelphia, for the Purposes of devising and discussing all such Alterations and farther Provisions as may be necessary to render the Fœderal Constitution adequate to the Exigencies of the Union.
You are therefore hereby Commissioned to proceed on the duties required of you in virtue of the said Ordinance.
Witness our trusty and well-beloved George Mathews Esquire our Captain-General, Governor and Commander in Chief, under his hand and our Great Seal at Augusta, this seventeenth day of April in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and eighty Seven, and of our Sovereignty and Independence the Eleventh.
Geo:
(Seal.)
Mathews.
By His Honor's Command
J. Milton Secy The State of Georgia by the grace of God, free, Sovereign and Independent.
To the Honorable William Houstoun Esquire
Whereas you the said William Houstoun, are in and by an Ordinance of the General Assembly of our said State nominated and appointed a Deputy to represent the same in a Convention of the United States to be assembled at Philadelphia, for the purposes of devising and discussing all such Alterations and farther Provisions as may be necessary to render the Fœderal Constitution adequate to the Exigencies of the Union.
You are therefore hereby Commissioned to proceed on the Duties required of you in virtue of the said Ordinance.
Witness our trusty and well-beloved George Mathews Esquire, our Captain-General, Governor and Commander in Chief, under his hand and our Great Seal at Augusta, this seventeenth day of April in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven, and of our Sovereignty and Independence the Eleventh.
Geo:
(Seal.)
Mathews
By his Honor's Command
J. Milton Secy
NEW YORK4
New-York.
(Seal)
By His Excellency George Clinton Esquire Governor of the State of New York General and Commander in Chief of all the Militia and Admiral of the Navy of the same.
To all to whom these Presents shall come It is by these Presents certified that John McKesson who has subscribed the annexed Copies of Resolutions is Clerk of the Assembly of this State.
In Testimony whereof I have caused the Privy Seal of the said State to be hereunto affixed this Ninth day of May in the Eleventh Year of the Independence of the said State.
Geo: Clinton.
State of New York
In Assembly February 28th 1787.
A Copy of a Resolution of the honorable the Senate, delivered by Mr Williams, was read, and is in the Words following, vizt.
Resolved, if the honorable the Assembly concur herein, that three Delegates be appointed on the part of this State, to meet such Delegates as may be appointed on the part of the other States respectively, on the second Monday in may next, at Philadelphia, for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation, and reporting to Congress, and to the several Legislatures, such alterations and Provisions therein, as shall, when agreed to in Congress, and confirmed by the several States, render the federal Constitution adequate to the Exigencies of Government, and the preservation of the Union; and that in case of such concurrence, the two Houses of the Legislature, will, on Tuesday next, proceed to nominate and appoint the said Delegates, in like manner as is directed by the Constitution of this State, for nominating and appointing Delegates to Congress.
Resolved, that this House do concur with the honorable the Senate, in the said Resolution.
In Assembly March 6th 1787.
Resolved, that the Honorable Robert Yates Esquire, and Alexander Hamilton and John Lansing, Junior Esquires, be, and they are hereby nominated by this House, Delegates on the part of this State, to meet such Delegates as may be appointed on the part of the other States respectively, on the second Monday in May next, at Philadelphia, pursuant to concurrent Resolutions of both Houses of the Legislature, on the 28th Ultimo.
Resolved, that this House will meet the Honorable the Senate, immediately, at such place as they shall appoint, to compare the Lists of Persons nominated by the Senate and Assembly respectively, as Delegates on the part of this State, to meet such Delegates as may be appointed on the part of the other States respectively, on the second Monday in May next, at Philadelphia, pursuant to concurrent Resolutions, of both Houses of the Legislature, on the 28t Ultimo.
Ordered That Mr. N. Smith deliver a Copy of the last preceding Resolution, to the Honorable the Senate.
A Copy of a Resolution of the Honorable the Senate, was delivered by Mr. Vanderbilt, that the Senate will immediately meet this House in the Assembly Chamber, to compare the Lists of Persons nominated by the Senate and Assembly respectively, as Delegates, pursuant to the Resolutions before mentioned.
The Honorable the Senate accordingly attended in the Assembly Chamber, to compare the Lists of Persons nominated for Delegates, as above mentioned.
The list of Persons nominated by the Honorable the Senate, were the Honorable Robert Yates Esquire, and John Lansing Junior, and Alexander Hamilton Esquires; and on comparing the Lists of the Persons nominated by the Senate and Assembly respectively, it appeared that the same Persons were nominated in both Lists. Thereupon, Resolved that the Honorable Robert Yates, John Lansing Junior and Alexander Hamilton Esquires, be, and they are hereby declared duly nominated and appointed Delegates, on the part of this State, to meet such Delegates as may be appointed on the part of the other States respectively, on the second Monday in May next, at Philadelphia, for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation, and reporting to Congress, and to the several Legislatures, such alterations and provisions therein, as shall, when agreed to in Congress, and confirmed by the several States, render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government, and the preservation of the Union.
True Extracts from the Journals of the Assembly
John McKesson Clk.
SOUTH CAROLINA
State of South Carolina.
By His Excellency Thomas Pinckney Esquire, Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the State aforesaid.
To the Honorable John Rutledge Esquire
Greeting.
By Virtue of the Power and Authority in me vested by the Legislature of this State in their Act passed the eighth day of March last I do hereby Commission You the said John Rutledge as one of the Deputies appointed from this State to meet such Deputies or Commissioners as may be appointed and authorized by other of the United States to assemble in Convention at the City of Philadelphia in the Month of May next, or as soon thereafter as may be, and to join with such Deputies or Commissioners (they being duly authorized and empowered) in devising and discussing all such Alterations, Clauses, Articles and Provisions, as may be thought necessary to render the Fœderal Constitution entirely adequate to the actual Situation and future good Government of the confederated States, and that you together with the said Deputies or Commissioners or a Majority of them who shall be present (provided the State be not represented by less than two) do join in reporting such an Act, to the United States in Congress Assembled as when approved and agreed to by them, and duly ratified and confirmed by the several States will effectually provide for the Exigencies of the Union.
Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State in the City of Charleston, this tenth day of April in the Year of our Lord, One thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the Sovereignty and Independence of the United States of America the Eleventh.
Thomas
(Seal.)
Pinckney.
By his Excellency's Command
Peter Freneau Secretary State of South Carolina By His Excellency Thomas Pinckney Esquire, Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the State aforesaid.
To the Honorable Charles Pinckney Esquire.
Greeting.
By Virtue of the Power and Authority in me vested by the Legislature of this State in their Act passed the eighth day of March last, I do hereby Commission you the said Charles Pinckney, as one of the Deputies appointed from this State to meet such Deputies or Commissioners as may be appointed and authorized by other of the United States to assemble in Convention at the City of Philadelphia in the Month of May next, or as soon thereafter as may be, and to join with such Deputies or Commissioners (they being duly authorized and empowered) in devising and discussing all such Alterations, Clauses, Articles and Provisions, as may be thought necessary to render the Fœderal Constitution entirely adequate to the actual Situation and future good Government of the confederated States, and that you together with the said Deputies or Commissioners or a Majority of them who shall be present (provided the State be not represented by less than two) do join in reporting such an Act, to the United States in Congress Assembled as when approved and agreed to by them and duly ratified and confirmed by the several States will effectually provide for the Exigencies of the Union.
Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State in the City of Charleston this Tenth day of April in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and Eighty Seven and of the Sovereignty and Independence of the United States of America the Eleventh.
Thomas
(Seal.)
Pinckney
By His Excellency's Command
Peter Freneau Secretary.
State of South-Carolina.
By His Excellency Thomas Pinckney Esquire, Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the State aforesaid.
To the Honorable Charles Cotesworth Pinckney Esquire,
Greeting.
By Virtue of the Power and Authority in me vested by the Legislature of this State in their Act passed the eighth day of March last, I do hereby Commission you the said Charles Cotesworth Pinckney as one of the Deputies appointed from this State to meet such Deputies or Commissioners as may be appointed and authorized by other of the United States to assemble in Convention at the City of Philadelphia in the Month of May next or as soon thereafter as may be, and to join with such Deputies or Commissioners (they being duly authorized and empowered) in devising and discussing all such Alterations, Clauses, Articles and Provisions as may be thought necessary to render the Fœderal Constitution entirely adequate to the actual Situation and future good Government of the Confederated States, and that you together with the said Deputies or Commissioners, or a Majority of them, who shall be present (provided the State be not represented by less than two) do join in reporting such an Act to the United States in Congress Assembled as when approved and agreed to by them and duly ratified and confirmed by the several States will effectually provide for the Exigencies of the Union.
Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State in the City of Charleston this tenth day of April in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the Sovereignty and Independence of the United States of America the Eleventh.
Thomas
(Seal.)
Pinckney.
By His Excellency's Command
Peter Freneau Secretary.
State of South Carolina By His Excellency Thomas Pinckney Esquire, Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the State aforesaid.
To the Honorable Pierce Butler Esquire
Greeting.
By Virtue of the Power and authority in me vested by the Legislature of this State in their Act passed the eighth day of March last, I do hereby Commission you the said Pierce Butler, as one of the Deputies appointed from this State to meet such Deputies or Commissioners as may be appointed and authorized by other of the United States to assemble in Convention at the City of Philadelphia in the Month of May next, or as soon thereafter as may be and to join with with such Deputies or Commissioners (they being duly authorised and empowered) in devising and discussing, all such Alterations, Clauses, Articles and Provisions as may be thought necessary to render the Fœderal Constitution entirely adequate to the actual Situation and future good government of the confederated States, and that you together with the said Deputies or Commissioners or a Majority of them who shall be present (provided the State be not represented by less than two) do join in reporting such an Act, to the United States in Congress Assembled as when approved and agreed to by them and duly ratified and confirmed by the several States will effectually provide for the Exigencies of the Union.
Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State in the City of Charleston this Tenth day of April in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven, and of the Sovereignty and Independence of the United States of America the Eleventh.
Thomas
(Seal.)
Pinckney.
By His Excellency's Command
Peter Freneau Secretary.
MASSACHUSETTS
Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
(Seal Appendt.)
By His Excellency James Bowdoin Esquire Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
To the Honorable Francis Dana, Elbridge Gerry, Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King and Caleb Strong Esquires. Greeting.
Whereas Congress did on the twenty first day of February Ao Di 1787, Resolve "that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of Delegates who shall have been appointed by the several States to be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several Legislatures, such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress, and confirmed by the States render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of government and the preservation of the Union." And Whereas the General Court have constituted and appointed you their Delegates to attend and represent this Commonwealth in the said proposed Convention; and have by a Resolution of theirs of the tenth of March last, requested me to Commission you for that purpose.
Now therefore Know Ye, that in pursuance of the resolutions aforesaid, I do by these presents, commission you the said Francis Dana, Elbridge Gerry Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King & Caleb Strong Esquires or any three of you to meet such Delegates as may be appointed by the other or any of the other States in the Union to meet in Convention at Philadelphia at the time and for the purposes aforesaid.
In Testimony whereof I have caused the Public Seal of the Commonwealth aforesaid to be hereunto affixed.
Given at the Council Chamber in Boston the Ninth day of April Ao Dom. 1787 and in the Eleventh Year of the Independence of the United States of America.
James Bowdoin.
By His Excellency's Command
John Avery Junr., Secretary
CONNECTICUT
State of Connecticut.
(Seal.)
At a General Assembly of the State of Connecticut in America, holden at Hartford on the second Thursday of May, Anno Domini 1787.
An Act for appointing Delegates to meet in a Convention of the States to be held at the City of Philadelphia on the second Monday of May instant.
Whereas the Congress of the United States by their Act of the twenty first of February 1787 have recommended that on the second Monday of May instant, a Convention of Delegates, who shall have been appointed by the several States, be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.
Be it enacted by the Governor, Council and Representatives in General Court Assembled and by the Authority of the same.
That the Honorable William Samuel Johnson, Roger Sherman, and Oliver Ellsworth Esquires, be and they hereby are appointed Delegates to attend the said Convention, and are requested to proceed to the City of Philadelphia for that purpose without delay; And the said Delegates, and in case of sickness or accident, such one or more of them as shall actually attend the said Convention, is and are hereby authorized and empowered to Represent this State therein, and to confer with such Delegates appointed by the several States, for the purposes mentioned in the said Act of Congress that may be present and duly empowered to act in said Convention, and to discuss upon such Alterations and Provisions agreeable to the general principles of Republican Government as they shall think proper to render the federal Constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government and, the preservation of the Union; And they are further directed, pursuant to the said Act of Congress to report such alterations and provisions as may be agreed to by a majority of the United States represented in Convention to the Congress of the United States, and to the General Assembly of this State.
A true Copy of Record Examd By George Wyllys Secy.
MARYLAND
Maryland.
An Act for the Appointment of, and conferring Powers in Deputies from this State to the fœderal Convention.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Maryland, That the Honorable James McHenry, Daniel of Saint Thomas Jenifer, Daniel Carroll, John Francis Mercer and Luther Martin Esquires, be appointed and authorised on behalf of this State, to meet such Deputies as may be appointed and authorised by any other of the United States to assemble in Convention at Philadelphia for the purpose of revising the Fœderal System, and to join with them in considering such Alterations and further Provisions as may be necessary to render the Fœderal Constitution adequate to the Exigencies of the Union and in reporting such an Act for that purpose to the United States in Congress Assembled as when agreed to by them, and duly confirmed by the several States will effectually provide for the same, and the said Deputies or such of them as shall attend the said Convention shall have full Power to represent this State for the Purposes aforesaid, and the said Deputies are hereby directed to report the Proceedings of the said Convention, and any Act agreed to therein, to the next session of the General Assembly of this State.
By the Senate May 26. 1787.5
Read and Assented to
By Order J. Dorsey Clk.
True Copy from the Original
J. Dorsey Clk. Senate.
By the House of Delegates May 26d 1787.
Read and Assented to
By Order Wm Harwood Clk.
True Copy from the Original
Wm Harwood Clk Ho Del.
W. Smallwood.
[Footnotes as included or written by Farrand]
  • 1 "The Assembly have directed the same allowance to be made the Deputies as is granted to the Delegates to Congress to be paid by the Governor's Warrant on the Collectors of Imports out of the monies now due for Goods Imported." (Governor Caswell to each Delegate, January 7, 1787, North Carolina State Records, XX, 600.)
  • 2 No action was taken under the previous resolution, and a further act became necessary.

    "The representations of this State, even at that late day, were secured only by urgent efforts from abroad and extraordinary efforts at home. The finances of the State were in a deplorable condition and it is impossible to realize at the present time what the undertaking was to provide cash for any considerable public enterprise. It was currently reported in the newspapers of the day that the expenses of Mr. Gillman and himself were defrayed out of Mr. Langdon's private purse." New Hampshire State Papers, XX, 842, citing 2 New Hampshire Historical Society Proceedings, 28.
  • 3 George Read to John Dickinson, W. T. Read, Life and Correspondence of George Read, pp. 438-439.
  • 4 Before New York took action, Congress formally authorized the convention in Philadelphia. As subsequent credentials were to some extent influenced by the Resolution of Congress, it seems best to insert it here, although it is given in Appendix A, I.
  • 5 The delegates had been previously elected by the legislature, April 23-May 22. "The assembly had voted to pay the delegates as delegates in congress were paid." (Steiner, Life and Correspondence of James McHenry, 98 note 1.)
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