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Final Version of the Bill of Rights
as Sent to the States with 12 Proposed Amendments (SOLD)
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[BILL OF RIGHTS]. Newspaper. Providence Gazette and Country Journal. October 24, 1789, Providence, R.I. 4 pp., 10½ x 15 in. The complete text of the Bill of Rights is on pp 2-3.

Inventory #22997       SOLD — please inquire about other items

Excerpt

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.

Article the first [not ratified]
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, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons.

Article the second [27th Amendment - Ratified 1992]
No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

Article the third [1st Amendment]
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.

Article the fourth [2nd Amendment]
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.

Article the fifth [3rd Amendment]
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.

Article the sixth [4th Amendment]
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....

FREDERICK AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERG,
Speaker of the House of Representatives

JOHN ADAMS,
Vice-President of the United States, and President of the Senate”

Historical Background

This unassuming column running from page 2 onto page 3 represents months of work and debate among the various committees of the First Congress, and centuries of Enlightenment thinking. Whittled down from hundreds of suggested amendments, this final version of the Bill of Rights contained twelve individual parts when House and Senate bills were reconciled and the proposed amendments were sent to the states for ratification on September 25, 1789.

These twelve articles of amendment were sent to the states for ratification on September 25, 1789, the day the Senate gave its final approval. Two of the twelve proposed amendments, the first regarding apportionment of representation in the House and the second, congressional salaries, were not ratified by the states. However, article #2, which stated that Congressional pay increases (or decreases) would not take effect until an election had ensued, eventually became the 27th Amendment on May 8, 1992, 203 years after it was first proposed. Articles 3 through 12 became the 1st through 10th Amendments of the federal Constitution upon Virginia’s ratification on December 15, 1791.

The lack of a Bill of Rights, a central feature of most state Constitutions, was a principal criticism of the recently-drafted federal Constitution. During the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, some delegates opposed its inclusion, thinking it unnecessary or afraid that the act of enumerating specific rights would imply that those not listed did not exist. On the other side, Anti-Federalists wary of new federal powers were among the most ardent proponents of a Bill of Rights. Ultimately, to ensure ratification of the Constitution, the Convention delegates promised that Congress would address guarantees of specific liberties in their first session.

During the process of ratifying the Constitution, five states that approved the Constitution passed along lists of proposed amendments, while several states that had refused to ratify also suggested amendments. In all, nearly one hundred discrete amendments had been offered. On May 4, 1789, Madison told Congress that he planned to present a slate of amendments in three weeks. When May 25 arrived, the legislators were locked in a debate over import duties. Madison demurred until June 8, when the body again rebuked his efforts to introduce the measures, again citing more pressing business. Rising again, Madison justified the timing of introducing a Bill of Rights, apologized to the Congress, and proceeded to introduce his proposed amendments.

On July 21, 1789, the House formed the Committee of Eleven (one member from each state) to consider the proposed Amendments. The Committee made its report on July 28, taking the nine broad areas Madison had suggested for amendment and drafting 17 individual amendments for House approval. These passed the House on August 24, and the Senate began their debate the next day. The Senate initially reduced the House’s proposed 17 amendments to 12, and then passed its own version on September 9. The bill then went back to the House for reconciliation. The House reconciled the two bills on September 24, the Senate approved the next day, and sent the amendments to the states for ratification.