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Jensen, Merrill (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut
(1978)

IV. The New Jersey Convention, 11-20 December 1787,   pp. 177-191


Page 177

177
IV
THE NEW JERSEY CONVENTION
11-20 December 1787
Thirty-one of the thirty-nine delegates elected to the New Jersey
Convention assembled at Francis Witt's tavern, the "Blazing Star,"
in Trenton on 11 December. The following day all the delegates,
except Samuel Dick of Salem, met and elected John Stevens, Sr.,
President, Samuel W. Stockton, secretary, and William Rogers, door-
keeper. A committee was also appointed to draft rules. On Thursday,
13 December, the Convention requested the Reverend Mr. James
Francis Armstrong to open each day's proceedings with prayer; the
rules were adopted; the act authorizing the Convention and the pro-
posed Constitution were read; and the times were set for meeting and
adjourning. The Convention also resolved that the general question
of ratification would not be taken until the Constitution had been
read and discussed section by section. On Friday, 14 December, the
doors of the Convention were ordered open, and the Convention began
its three-day consideration of the Constitution.
The Constitution was read again on Tuesday morning, 18 December,
and the delegates voted unanimously to ratify it. On the same day,
the Form of Ratification was drafted, reported, amended, and ac-
cepted. The following day, the delegates signed the Form of Ratifica-
tion and at 1:00 P.M: went in procession to the courthouse, where the
Ratification was read to the public by Secretary Stockton. The Conven-
tion then reassembled and resolved that President Stevens should
deliver the Form of Ratification to the Confederation Congress. The
Convention also ordered the printing of 750 copies of its proceedings.
On the last day of the Convention, 20 December, the delegates re-
solved unanimously that in their opinion the state should cede land to
Congress for the location of the federal capital. After adopting reso-
lutions thanking President Stevens and the Reverend Armstrong for
their services, the Convention dissolved sine die.


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