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Lot
34014

Samuel Huntington Autograph Letter Signed to Virginia's Governor Edmund Randolph. One page, 7.75"x 10.5", "Norwich," Dec...

2011 April New York Signature Historical Manuscripts Auction #6054

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Auction Ended On: Apr 8, 2011
Item Activity: 5 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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New York, NY

Description:
Samuel Huntington accepts Virginia Governor Randolph's invitation to send delegates to the Constitutional Convention
Samuel Huntington Autograph Letter Signed to Virginia's Governor Edmund Randolph. One page, 7.75"x 10.5", "Norwich," December 23, 1786. Letter reads in full:

"Sir I am honoured with your Excellency's letter of the first Instant, enclosing the Act of your legislature appointing Commissioners to Assemble in Convention at Philadelphia in May next, for the purposes therein mentioned, & Shall embrace the earliest opportunity to lay those papers before the legislature of this State.
With sentiments of Esteem & Respect, I have the honour to be your Excellency's obedient humble servant, Sam'l Huntington."

On December 1, 1786, the Virginia legislature accepted the proposal of the Annapolis Convention and passed an act for "appointing deputies from this Commonwealth to a Convention proposed to be held in the City of Philadelphia in May next for the purpose of revising the federal Constitution." The deputies appointed under this act were empowered to meet with those "authorized by other States to assemble in Convention...and to join with them in devising and discussing all such Alterations and farther Provisions as may be necessary."

The resolution then called upon Virginia's Governor, Edmund Randolph, "to transmit forthwith a Copy of this Act to the United States in Congress and to the Executives of each of the States in the Union." That same day Governor Randolph wrote to the governors of the other 12 states, enclosing a copy of the act and encouraging them to follow suit. Virginia appointed George Washington, John Blair, James Madison, Patrick Henry, George Mason, and George Wythe.

Huntington's letter heeds approval to the call. Connecticut appointed Oliver Ellsworth, William Samuel Johnson, and Roger Sherman as Delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Ultimately, every state except Rhode Island would send delegates.

The Constitutional Convention convened on May 25, 1787 in Philadelphia's Independence Hall. It became clear that amending the Articles of Confederation would not solve the country's problems, and it was decided to craft a new document. The delegates finally reached an agreement after months of debate; the construct they settled upon was a more centralized form of government, with three separate branches, an executive, legislative and judicial branches.

Connecticut's delegates made a critical contribution. They proposed to create a Senate in which each state would have equal representation and a House of Representatives based on proportional representation. This compromise helped surmount several obstacles. On September 17, the Convention approved the Constitution of the United States; this document was then ratified by each of the states and became the law of the land.

Professional restoration at folds, and a small chip at right margin. Gently toned. The letter we offer was a copy, as evidenced by trace ink at top right corner. Docket on verso indicates that although this was likely not the letter sent to Randolph, it was transmitted to another recipient; possibly one of Connecticut's appointees to the Convention.

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