Resolutions proposing amendments to the United States Constitution (Bill of Rights and 11th Amendment), 1789-1793


Encoded Archival Description

Biography or History: unspecified

Custodial History: No references to the South Carolina copy of the Bill of Rights have been found until Alexander Salley's report as Secretary of the Historical Commission for the fiscal year 1944-1945 to the 1946 General Assembly. Salley wrote, "Many valuable documents that no one knew were in existence have been found as the filing proceeded. The most notable of these perhaps is South Carolina's copy of the Bill of Rights."

Acquisition Information: United States. Congress.

Scope and Content: This series consists of two documents, a joint resolution of the First Congress of the United States adopted on September 28, 1789, proposing twelve amendments to the United States Constitution and a joint resolution of the Third Congress of the United States adopted on March 4, 1794, proposing a single amendment. The documents are undated, although the preamble to both note the beginning date of that Congress. Both are signed by John Adams, Vice President and President of the Senate, and Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, Speaker of the House of Representatives and attested to by the respective clerks of each chamber. The first document was transmitted by the President George Washington to Governor Charles Pinckney on October 2, 1789. Governor Pinckney then sent it along with Washington's letter and other enclosures to the General Assembly in a message of January 4, 1790. Both copies of that message (one for the South Carolina Senate and one for the South Carolina House of Representatives) are now filed as Governors' Message No. 511. The message includes one transcription of the twelve amendments, indicating that the engrossed parchment was probably sent to one or the other of the houses. The proposed amendments were adopted by the House on January 18, 1790 and by the Senate the following day. The first proposed amendment never received the approval by two thirds of the states and was never declared ratified. The second proposed amendment was declared ratified on May 7, 1992 and is officially Amendment 27 of the United States Constitution. The last ten proposed amendments in this document were declared ratified on December 15, 1791 and are officially known as Amendments 1 through 10 of the United States Constitution. These first ten amendments are commonly referred to as the Bill of Rights. 8 The second document was transmitted by Secretary of State Edmund Randolph to Governor William Moultrie on March 17, 1794. The governor submitted the proposed amendment to the General Assembly on May 9, 1794. The General Assembly approved the amendment on December 4, 1797. The amendment was declared ratified on January 8, 1798 and is officially Amendment 11 of the United States Constitution.

Appraisal Information: unspecified

Accruals: no

Arrangement: Series arranged chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access: none

Conditions Governing Use: none

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements: none

Other Finding Aid: none

Location of Originals: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 8301 Parklane Road, Columbia, SC 29223

Alternative Form Available: South Carolina's copy of the Bill of Rights has been digitized and is available through the South Carolina Electronic Records Archive (SCERA), which is maintained by the Archives.

Related Material: Fourteen copies were made of the September 25, 1789, joint resolution. Two copies, the retained copy and the Delaware copy (which was returned to Congress with that state's ratification on its reverse), are in the National Archives. Georgia's copy is believed to have been burned in the Civil War and New York's in the 1911 State Library fire. A copy in the Emmet Collection at the New York Public Library is believed to be the Pennsylvania copy, many Pennsylvania state records having been taken to New York to be sold in the late nineteenth century. A copy at the Library of Congress is believed to be the Maryland copy, which was in Maryland in the early twentieth century before a renovation of its State House. North Carolina's copy, taken by a Union soldier in 1865, was returned in 2005 after litigation. Seven other states in addition to South Carolina have retained their original copies: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

Bibliography: none

Other Descriptive Data: The 1789 joint resolution is written on parchment and when found among the state's records in the mid-1940s was badly ravaged by mold and water damaged with some losses. In fiscal year 1953-1954, the losses were filled with modern parchment by or under the direction of the then archivist of Delaware, Leon deValinger, Jr. (1905-2000). In 1991 with a grant from the Philip Morris Company, the document was sent to the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, Massachusetts, where the parchment fills and patches of adhesive residue were removed and the document backed with Japanese paper. The 1793 resolution in written on paper. The document is boxed with S131041, Constitutional and Organic Papers, House of Representatives, Enrolled Subscriptions to the Test Oath, 1836.

Processing Information: None


Encoded Archival Description - Identification

Unit Title: Resolutions proposing amendments to the United States Constitution (Bill of Rights and 11th Amendment), 1789-1793

Accumulation:

Created:

Creator: United States. Congress.

Physical Description: none

Language: English


Encoded Archival Description - Header

Identifier: S131030

Title Proper of the Finding Aid: Resolutions proposing amendments to the United States Constitution (Bill of Rights and 11th Amendment), 1789-1793

Creation Date: 2016

Descriptive Rules: DACS


Resolutions proposing amendments to the United Sta...

Object Type: Collection

In Collection: Constitutional and Organic Papers

Resolutions proposing amendments to the United States Constitution (Bill of Rights and 11th Amendment), 1789-1793
Resolutions proposing amendments to the United States Constitution (Bill of Rights and 11th Amendment), 1789-1793