1784.006: Statement of the Constitutional Society of Virginia.

Published: 1784

Full Title: We, the underwritten, having associated for the purpose of preserving and handing down to posterity, those pure and sacred principles of Liberty, which have been derived to us, from the happy event of the late glorious revolution, and being convinced, that the surest mode to secure republican systems of government from lapsing into tyranny, is by giving free and frequent information to the mass of people, both of the nature of them, and of the measures which may be adopted by their several component parts, have determined, and do hereby most solemnly pledge ourselves to each other, by every holy tie and obligation, which freemen ought to hold inestimably dear, that every one in his respective station, will keep a watchful eye over the great fundamental rights of the people. …

Author: Constitutional Society of Virginia.

Place Issued: Richmond

Issuing Press: Uncertain

Description: 1 sheet [1 pg.]; 44 cm. x 21 cm. (broadside).


Statement of purpose of a group of influential political leaders formed during the May 1784 session of the General Assembly; discussions were then ongoing about a possible convention to amend the 1775 state constitution, and this organization sought to preserve the liberties guaranteed by the existing Virginia Declaration of Rights. Modern transcriptions of imprint's content are derived from a 1928 facsimile imprint by the University of North Carolina Press, as well as the personal paper collections of Philip Mazzei, the principal organizer, and James Madison, one of the thirty-four signers of the statement, rather than from the imprint itself. Sheet lacks printer credit; copy seen by Evans not found by Early American Imprints Series for filming. Evans attributed this title to the press of Dixon & Holt, as that of Dunlap & Hayes was preoccupied with work for the sitting Assembly; however, this broadside could just as easily have been issued by the Nicolson & Prentis press; hence the lack of attribution here.

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