DescriptionSettling the 1790 Pennsylvania Constitution.
Edward Hand (1744-1802) American General during the Revolution, Autograph Letter Signed, "Edw:d Hand, two pages, 6.5" x 8", Philadelphia, February 4, 1790 ...Some time ago I forwarded you the plan of the Legislative Branch, & now send those for the Executive & Judicial, as agreed on by the Committee of the whole[.] the bill of rights is gone through, one Section, (on the liberty of the press) excepted, expect the Committee of the whole will report tomorrow, and as the business has already been so amply discussed hope it will pass easily thro the Convention unless our absentees give an opening to the overhill gentleman [sic], and some of them are well dispose[d] to profit by such an advantage..." The "overhill" gentlemen to whom Hand refers were likely delegates from the western counties of Pennsylvania who had benefited from the radical democratic state Constitution of 1776. That first constitution provided for a unicameral legislature, frequent elections and a weak executive. In many respects the debate over the Pennsylvania Constitution mirrored the debate over the Federal Constitution. The revised Pennsylvania Constitution was passed just two days following this letter, on February 6, 1790. Small loss at top right corner of blank leaf, with integral address leaf, mounting strip along verso of left margin, else Fine. An amazing piece of history. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.
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