Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Historic Redline - Early Draft of U.S. Constitution Found in Philadelphia

Historians in Philadelphia were perusing some of the more than 21 million documents in the Historical Society of Philadelphia's collection when they stumbled upon what appeared to be an original draft of the U.S. Constitution. From the Inquirer Journal:
Researcher Lorianne Updike Toler was intrigued by the centuries-old document at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. On the back of a treasured draft of the U.S. Constitution was a truncated version of the same document, starting with the familiar words: "We The People. . . ."

They had been scribbled upside down by one of the Constitution's framers [and introducer of legal studies at the University of Pennsylvania], James Wilson, in the summer of 1787. The cursive continued, then abruptly stopped, as if pages were missing. . . . A mystery, Toler thought, until she examined other Wilson papers from the Historical Society's vault in Philadelphia and found what appeared to be the rest of the draft, titled "The Continuation of the Scheme."

The document - one of 21 million in the Historical Society's collection - was known to scholars, but probably should have been placed with the other drafts, said constitutional scholar John P. Kaminski, director of the Center for the Study of the American Constitution in the history department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. . . .

Two drafts of the Constitution in Wilson's hand had been separated from his papers long ago. One of them included the beginning of still another draft and was apparently seen as part of a single working version, instead of a separate draft.
Check out the article.

1 comment:

  1. this is a huge story, why can't I find it anywhere else?


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