1787.030: Edmund Randolph's Letter on Not Signing the Constitution.

Published: 1787

Full Title: To the printer. Sir, The inclosed letter contains the reasons of His Excellency Governor Randolph for refusing his signature to the proposed fœderal constitution of government submitted to the several states by the late convention at Philadelphia.

Author: Randolph, Edmund (1753-1813), governor..

Place Issued: Richmond

Issuing Press: John Dixon

Description: 16 pgs.; (8vo)


Imprint lacks colophon; attributed here to the Richmond press of John Dixon based on his use of the diphthong "œ" in spelling the word "fœderal" – a feature that was unique to his imprints on the constitutional debate. Title taken from the cover letter signed by Meriwether Smith, Charles H. Thurston, John H. Briggs, and Mann Page, Jr.(all delegates to the October 1786 Assembly that sent delegates to the Philadelphia convention), who had asked Randolph to explain his actions and who now published Randolph's response for public consideration. While accepting the need for a new frame of national government, Randolph objected to the either/or nature of the ratification process proposed; desiring that each state to be allowed to propose amendments to the offered constitution, he eventually supported ratification in the Virginia Convention, once it became known that the First Congress would consider the various amendments proposed by the individual state ratifying conventions.

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