2 Replies Latest reply on Sep 14, 2021 2:56 PM by History Hub Administrator

    How many drafts of the US Constitution were there?

    David Martin Newbie

      How many drafts of the U S Constitution were written before it was finalized?

        • Re: How many drafts of the US Constitution were there?
          Charlie Busch Adventurer

          Dear Mr. Martin,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Official Records of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 (M866) in the Records of the Continental and Confederation Congresses and the Constitutional Convention (Record Group 360) that consist of the official records of the Constitutional Convention, May 14 to September 17, 1787; the Papers of David Brearley, September 27, 1785, to September 12, 1787; the credentials of delegates, 1786-87, from "Ratifications of the Constitution," also known as "Bankon's Journal"; and a single motion in the hand of Elbridge Gerry, July 24, 1787. The official records consist of four volumes of journals, drafts of the Virginia Plan, of the Constitution, and of a letter from the Convention to Congress; and four letters and one engrossed resolution received. Some of the records have been digitized and are available via the Catalog. For more information about the non-digitized records, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) at archives1reference@nara.gov.

           

          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

           

          M866 has been digitized and made available online by fold3. There may be a fee for using Ancestry. Instead, please check for access at your local library as many library systems subscribe to these sites, making them free for their patrons.

           

          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

          1 person found this helpful
          • Re: How many drafts of the US Constitution were there?
            History Hub Administrator Tracker

            This thread Re: Seeking historical background of U.S. Constitution may also be of interest and have some relevant information.

             

            The series referenced above (Official Records of the Constitutional Convention of 1787) also contains a digitized copy of George Washington's Annotated Draft:

             

            George Washington's Annotated Copy of a Draft of the U.S. Constitution, page 1

            George Washington's Annotated Copy of a Draft of the U.S. Constitution, NAID 1501555 (page 1)

             

            We hope this is helpful!

            1 person found this helpful