United States Constitution draft annotated by Abraham Baldwin
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United States Constitution draft annotated by Abraham Baldwin

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Baldwin, Abraham, 1754-1807.
Title: United States Constitution draft annotated by Abraham Baldwin
Dates: 1787
Extent: 0.05 cubic feet (2 oversize folders)
Identification: MS 1703

Biographical/Historical Note

Abraham Baldwin was born on November 22, 1754, in North Guilford, Connecticut. Baldwin studied theology at Yale and graduated in 1772. Beginning in 1775, he served as a tutor at Yale until 1777 when he was appointed chaplain of the 2nd Connecticut Regiment and later brigade chaplain. After the Revolutionary War Baldwin studied law.

In 1784, Baldwin was admitted to the Georgia bar and moved to Augusta, Georgia, where he practiced law and began his political career. He was a member of the Commons House of Assembly that passed an act for the establishment of the University of Georgia in 1785. Baldwin served as the first president of the institution from 1786-1801.

Baldwin held a seat in the Georgia Assembly until 1789 and in 1785 he was elected to the Congress of the Confederation. In 1787, he served as one of four delegates from Georgia to the Constitutional Convention. The other delegates were William Few, Jr., William Houston, and William L. Pierce. Of the Georgia delegates, only Abraham Baldwin and William Few signed the United States Constitution.

During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Baldwin participated in two of the six "Grand Committees" that were assembled. The first committee was appointed on July 2 and was made up of one delegate from each state (known as the First Committee of Eleven). Other members of this committee included: Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Ellsworth, Robert Yates, William Paterson, Benjamin Franklin, Gunning Bedford, Luther Martin, George Mason, William Davie, and John Rutledge. The committee addressed the question of equal representation in the Senate.

On August 31, Baldwin was appointed to another "Grand Committee" (known as the Third Committee of Eleven). Other members included: Nicholas Gilman, Rufus King, Roger Sherman, David Brearly, Gouvernour Morris, John Dickinson, Daniel Carrol, James Madison, Hugh Williamson, and Pierce Butler. This committee addressed tabled issues and committee reports not yet acted upon. In addition to the two "Grand Committees," Baldwin also participated in discussions regarding the assumption of states' debts by the national government, the slave trade, and navigation acts.

Baldwin served five consecutive terms in the U. S. House of Representatives ending in 1799 and two consecutive terms in the U. S. Senate from 1799-1807. At the age of 53, Baldwin died on March 4, 1807, while serving as a U. S. Senator from Georgia. He is buried in Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C.


Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of Abraham Baldwin's annotated draft of the United States Constitution printed during the Constitutional Convention of 1787. This version of the constitution was submitted by the Committee of Style on September 12, 1787, and was the second of two drafts printed for discussion by the delegates.

The printers, Dunlap and Claypoole, printed sixty copies of this draft. Text is printed on only one side of each leaf. Each leaf of the Baldwin draft contains handwritten marginalia and leaves 1-3 contain Baldwin's handwritten notes on the verso.

Thirteen other annotated originals of the Committee of Style printing exist. The Morgan Library, New York, holds the Committee of Detail draft annotated by Baldwin.


Index Terms

Baldwin, Abraham, 1754-1807.
Dunlap and Claypoole.
United States. Constitution.

Physical and Technical Access Restrictions

Original available by appointment only.


Administrative Information

Custodial History

Unknown.

Preferred Citation

United States Constitution draft annotated by Abraham Baldwin, MS 1703, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Unknown.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Original available by appointment only.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Sponsorship

Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List

 

Oversize-Folder

1United States Constitution draft, 1787 (Photocopy.)
 

Oversize-Folder

2United States Constitution draft, 1787. View images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items