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Jensen, Merrill; Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Pennsylvania
(1976)

E. The assembly and the issue of a quorum in the convention, 8-10 November 1787,   pp. 266-278


Page 266

II. DEBATE OVER CONSTITUTION
E. THE ASSEMBLY AND THE ISSUE OF A QUORUM
IN THE CONVENTION
8-10 November 1787
The 11th General Assembly did not provide for paying the Conven-
tion delegates before it adjourned sine die on 29 September. There-
fore a bill to pay the delegates was introduced in the 12th General
Assembly, which secured a quorum on 24 October. During debate on
the bill on 9 November, the Antifederalists, led by James McLene and
William Findley, proposed that the quorum in the Convention be two-
thirds of the delegates elected, the same quorum required by the state
constitution for the Assembly. The Federalists defeated the proposal,
and on 10 November the Assembly ordered the engrossing of an act
to pay the Convention delegates. (For documents on this subject other
than those printed below, see Mfm:Pa. 210-A.)
Antifederalists made other attempts at obstruction. For example, on
3 November James McLene tried but failed to stop the adjournment
of the Assembly on 6 November to permit the State House to be used
as a polling place for the election of Convention delegates (Mfm:Pa.
186). Three weeks later, McLene again failed when he tried to prevent
adjournment of the Assembly during the Convention (Mfm:Pa. 236).
The Pennsylvania Assembly
Thursday
8 November 1787
Assembly Debates
It was moved by Robert Lollar, to take up for a third reading, the
bill entitled, '"an act to provide for the wages of the state Convention
and to defray the expences of holding the same."
James McLene moved to postpone.
GEORGE CLYMER hoped the gentleman would assign some reason
to induce the House to comply with his motion, for certainly it was
not because he moved the postponement, that the members should
acquiesce.
JAMES McLENE had not seen the bill till this minute, when it was
put into his hand; if bills are printed for public consideration it was
but right to allow time for deliberation.
266


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