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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 85,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World through the end of the twentieth century.

Peirce, John (fl. 1784-1787) to Henry Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.03683 Author/Creator: Peirce, John (fl. 1784-1787) Place Written: Richmond, Virginia Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 27 October 1787 Pagination: 3 p. : address : docket ; 22.4 x 18.4 cm. Order a Copy

Summarizes the proceedings of a committee of the Massachusetts House of Representatives called to consider ratification of the United States Constitution. Mentions proposals made by representatives to empower the committee to ratify the constitution and to make amendments, if necessary. Some representatives wished to make amendments "as they believed there were many very important Errors in it." A resolution was unanimously passed that "the plan of the national government of the U.S. as transmitted by Congress, ought to be submitted to a convention of the people, for their full, free & candid investigation and discussion." Reports on the structure of the convention, and declares that it will be held in Boston the following May. Adds that the local citizenry seem to be "almost universally favorable" to the constitution, but that representatives seem to be equally divided. This, apparently, is leading to a spirit of willingness to compromise. Lists some of the issues currently being discussed in the debates, such as how the new American system compares with the British parliamentary system. "Free" handwritten on address leaf with no signature.

Knox, Henry, 1750-1806
Peirce, John, 1750-1798

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