Log In Register

Source & Citation Info

title:“Reports of Committee of Twenty Five”
date written:1788-2-3

permanent link
to this version:
last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 7:59 a.m. UTC
retrieved:March 1, 2024, 11:58 a.m. UTC

"Reports of Committee of Twenty Five." The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution. Vol. 6. Ed. Gaspare J. Saladino and John P. Kaminski. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2000. 1410-15. Print.

Reports of Committee of Twenty Five (February 3, 1788)

The Committee appointed by the Convention to take into consideration the subject of the propositions of His Excellency the President of the 31st. ulto. at large, and report, beg leave to report the alterations hereafter mentioned to the said propositions and that the whole of the said propositions so altered be accepted and passed by the Convention viz Commonwealth of Massachusetts In Convention of the Delegates of the People of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1788
The Convention having impartially discussed, and fully considered, the Constitution for the United States of America, reported to Congress, by the Convention of Delegates from the United States of America, and submitted to us by a resolution of the General Court of the said Commonwealth, passed the twenty fifth day of October last past; and acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, in affording the people of the United States, in the course of his Providence, an opportunity deliberately and peaceably without fraud or surprize, of entering into an explicit and solemn compact with each other by assenting to and ratifying new constitution, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to themselves, and their posterity — do, in the name and in behalf of the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, assent to and ratify the said Constitution for the United States of America.
And as it is the opinion of this convention, that certain amendments and alterations in the said Constitution, would remove the fears, and quiet the apprehensions of many of the good people of this Commonwealth, and more effectually guard against an undue administration of the federal government, the Convention do therefore recommend, that the following alterations and provisions be introduced into the said Constitution:
First, That it be explicitly declared that all powers not expressly delegated by the aforesaid Constitution, are reserved to the several States \ to be by them exercised1
Secondly, that there shall be one Representative to every thirty thousand persons, (according to the census mentioned in the constitution) untill the whole number of the Representatives amounts to (two hundred)
Thirdly, That Congress do not exercise the powers vested in them by the 4th. section of the first article, but in cases when a State shall neglect - or refuse to make the regulations therein mentioned or shall make regulations subversive of the rights of the people to a free and equal representation in Congress agreeably to the constitution.
Fourthly, That Congress do not lay direct taxes, but when the monies arising from the impost and excise are insufficient for the public exigencies; (nor then, untill Congress shall have first made a requisition upon the States, to assess, levy and pay their respective proportions of such requisition, agreeably to the census fixed in the said Constitution, in such way & manner as the legislature of the State shall think best,- and in such case, if any State shall neglect or refuse to pay its proportion, pursuant to such requisition, then Congress may assess & levy such State's proportion, together with interest thereon, at the rate of six per'.'. cent. per annum, from the time of payment prescribed in such requisition
Fifthly, That Congress erect no company of merchants with exclusive privileges advantages of commerce Sixthly, That no person shall be tried for any crime, by which he may incur an infamous punishment, or loss of life, untill he be first indicted by a grand jury; except in such cases as may arise in the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.5
Seventhly, The Supreme Judicial Federal Court shall have no jurisdiction of causes between citizens of different States, unless the matter in dispute, (whether it concerns the realty or personalty) be of the value of (three thousand) dollars, at the least; (nor shall the Federal Judicial powers extend to any actions between citizens of different States where the matter in dispute, whether it concerns the realty or personalty is not of the value of fifteen hundred dollars, at the least.)6
Eighthly, In civil actions between citizens of different States, every issue of fact, arising in actions at common law shall be tried by a jury if the parties, or either of them, request it.7
Ninthly, Congress shall, at no time, consent, that any person, holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall accept of a title of nobility or any other title or office from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
And, the Convention do, in the name and in behalf of the people of this Commonwealth, enjoin it upon their representatives in Congress, at all times, untill the alterations and provisions aforesaid have been considered, agreeably to the fifth article of the said constitution, to exert all their influence, and use all reasonable and legal methods to obtain a ratification of the said alterations and provisions, in such manner as is provided in the said article. And, that the United States in Congress assembled may have due notice of the assent & ratification of the said Constitution by the Convention-It is Resolved, that the assent and ratification aforesaid be engrossed on parchment, together with the recommendation and injunction afore- said, and with this resolution; and that His Excellency John Hancock, Esquire, President, and the Honourable William Cushing, Esquire, Vice-President, of this Convention, transmit the same, countersigned by the Secretary of the Convention, under their hands and seals, to the United States in Congress assembled.
In the name of the Committee James Bowdoin

Resource Metadata





  • Unknown