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One of the Last Drafts of the Bill of Rights (SOLD)
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“Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America … That the following articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States….”

Very rare printing of twelve proposed amendments to the Constitution, as approved by the Senate on September 9, 1789, but not yet reconciled with the House. Article 3, guaranteeing freedom of religion, underwent the most substantial changes between this and the final version ten days later. 

[BILL OF RIGHTS]. Newspaper, New-York Daily Gazette. New York: Archibald M’lean, Friday, September 18, 1789. 4 pp.

Inventory #22100       SOLD — please inquire about other items

Historical Background

On August 24, 1789, the House of Representatives had voted in favor of presenting seventeen Constitutional amendments to the states. In early September, the Senate took up the measure and made several changes, reducing the number of amendments to twelve. The Senate passed its version on September 9th. The House then reconciled the two proposals. After passage in the Senate, and final editing, Congress submitted the twelve amendments to the states on September 28, 1789. It took until December 15, 1791 for the necessary three-quarters of the states to ratify the ten amendments know as the Bill of Rights.  (Two amendments printed here, the first regarding apportionment of representation in the House and the second, congressional salaries, were rejected by the states). 

Transcript, page [2], second column:

“The Conventions of a Number of the States having, at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution—.

RESOLVED, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, That the following articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution, viz.

ARTICLES in addition to, and amendment of, the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Art. 1st. After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred; to which number one Representative shall be added for every subsequent increase of forty thousand, until the Representatives shall amount to two hundred, to which number one Representative shall be added for every subsequent increase of sixty thousand persons. [Minor changes were made to this before being sent to the states, but this amendment was not ratified.]

Art. 2d. No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened. [Not ratified until 1992, as the twenty-seventh amendment.]

Art. 3d. Congress shall make no law establishing articles of faith, or a mode of worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition to the government for a redress of grievances.

[Final text: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.]

Art. 4th. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Art. 5th. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Art. 6. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Art. 7. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

Art. 8. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favour, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.

Art. 9. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by Jury shall be preserved, and no fact, tried by a Jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Art. 10. Excessive bail shall not be required nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Art. 11. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Art. 12. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”