DescriptionMassachusetts Constitutional Convention Archive composed of five separate items from the town of Ipswich during the ratification stage of the constitution. The Massachusetts Constitutional Convention was held in 1779, while state voters approved the constitution later on June 15, 1780. It became effective on October 25, 1780. Arranged into chapters, sections, and articles, it consists of a preamble, declaration of rights, a description of the framework of government, and amendments, and remains as the oldest functioning written constitution in the nation.
(1) The first item contains voting results from Ipswich on the Massachusetts Constitution. Two pages of a bifolium docketed "Alterations & Amendments upon the Constitution. 1780." The document is addressed "To the Honorable Convention of the State of Massachusetts bay met at Boston for the purpose of compleating a Constitution of Civil Government for said state. A return of the votes of the Town of Ipswich on the several parts of the Declaration of rights and form of Government offered to the people at large . . . which votes were passed in Town meeting legally . . . begun on Thursday the 20th day of April 1780." Listed in columns are the articles (1-30) and the "Votes for" and "Whole number."
(2) The second item consists of three pages of a bifolium with columns containing voting results of various chapters, sections, and articles.
(3) The third item is two pages of notes of votes from "a legal meeting of the freeholders & others Inhabitants of the Town of Ipswich June 5th 1780."
(4) The fourth item consists of voting results and notes from a "legal meeting of the freeholders & others Inhabitants of the Town of Ipswich May 24th 1780." Four pages of a bifolium.
(5) The fifth item is one page containing four "Reasons for the amendment on the 10th article of the Decl." The final note says, "Because such a junction of powers is contrary to the last article in the Declaration of rights." Upper right corner damaged by two tears, one at the upper edge and one at the right edge, the result is that the corner is separating. Two additional small tears at the left edge.
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