Preamble

Explore the documents below to learn how this provision developed in each draft.

Jul 23, 1787
Report of the Convention’s Resolutions

Written by James Wilson, this draft lists what the Framers agreed to during the first two months of the convention. Wilson, serving on the Committee of Detail with four other delegates, used this document to create the next draft of the Constitution, which would expand and revise these resolutions.

Aug 2, 1787
Manuscript of the Committee of Detail Report

James Wilson wrote this document while serving on the Committee of Detail. Consisting of five members, the committee used the previously adopted resolutions and proposals to begin its work—making many edits and additions to create this preliminary draft of the Constitution.

Aug 4, 1787
Proof Copy of the Committee of Detail Report

The Committee of Detail gave its report to a pair of Philadelphia printers. This is the only known proof copy, which is nearly identical to James Wilson’s manuscript, and was submitted for review. Committee-member Edmund Randolph made 11 corrections before copies were printed for all of the delegates.

Sep 11, 1787
Committee of Style Report

After another month of debate, the Framers created a five-member team to polish and arrange the text: the Committee of Style. In about three days, they wrote this almost final draft that turned the previous 23 articles into seven. New printed copies were made for all of the delegates, including this one with handwritten notes by Delawarean Jacob Broom.

Sep 16, 1787
Official Printing of the U.S. Constitution

Though most of the text was final, the Framers made a few more changes during the convention’s last days. On September 15, they voted on the Constitution with all the states present agreeing before signing the document on September 17, 1787. This is one of the official copies printed for the delegates, Congress, and the states. The text below is as it was published in 1787 before it was changed by later amendments.