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title:“Proceedings in the Massachusetts Convention”
date written:1788-1-19

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:24 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Feb. 20, 2024, 10:25 p.m. UTC

"Proceedings in the Massachusetts Convention." The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Vol. 3. Ed. Max Farrand. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911. Print.

Proceedings in the Massachusetts Convention (January 19, 1788)

January 19, 1788.
The Hon. E. Gerry, Esq., answered the question proposed to him yesterday, as follows, viz: —
Saturday Morning, 19th January.
SIR: — I have no documents in Boston, and am uncertain whether I have any at home, to assist me in answering the question, "Why, in the las requisition of Congress, the portion required of this State was thirteen times as much as of Georgia, and yet we have but eight representatives in the general government, and Georgia has three?" but if my memory serves me, the reason assigned by the committee who made the apportionment for giving such a number to Georgia, was, that that State had of late greatly increased its numbers by migration, and if not then, would soon be entitled to the proportion assigned her. I think it was also said, that the apportionment was made, not by any fixed principle, but by a compromise. These reasons not being satisfactory, a motion was made on the part of Massachusetts, for increasing her number of representatives, but it did not take effect. [From "Journal of Convention."]
Hon. Mr. King. It so happened that I was both of the Convention and Congress at the same time, and if I recollect right, the answer of Mr. Gerry does not materially vary. . . .
The Hon. Mr. Strong mentioned the difficulty which attended the construction of the Senate in the Convention; and that a committee, consisting of one delegate from each State, was chosen to consider the subject, who reported as it now stands; and that Mr. Gerry was on the committee, from Massachusetts. [From "Debates of Convention."]
Mr. Gerry's answer, in writing, produced and filed — respecting Georgia having three representatives.
Mr. King will give the answer, which he does at large. The estimate by which the requisitions are made, was made in 1782; no alteration since. Georgia has great additions and emigration, and is now in an Indian war. Connecticut and New Hampshire have paid nothing. If I was for it now, it is improper, till we are more united. . . .
Hon. Mr. Strong. There were large debates on this subject in the Convention. The Convention would have broke up if it had not been agreed to allow an equal representation in the Senate. It was an accommodation, reported by a Committee, of which Mr. Gerry was one. [From "Parsons's Minutes."]

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