The 1787 Constitutional Convention – Brearly Committee


September 4, 1787 (Click to read Madison’s notes on the day)


The delegates discussed four of the nine proposals submitted by the Brearly Committee. This committee was set up to consider other suggestions for the Constitution beyond those provided by the Committee of Detail.

Influences on the Delegates

Although indirect, South Carolina’s Butler thought the plan for electing the president and vice-president had advantages over a legislative choice.

Mr. BUTLER thought the mode not free from objections; but much more so than an election by the legislature, where, as in elective monarchies, cabal, faction, and violence would be sure to prevail.

David Barton has suggested that the stipulation for the president being a natural born citizen grows out of the Old Testament. I will continue to read with this in mind but there is nothing here which gives any indication that the delegates considered Hebrew principles at all on this point.

1787 Constitutional Convention Series

To read my series examining the proceedings of the Constitution Convention, click here.  In this series, I am writing about any obvious influences on the development of the Constitution which were mentioned by the delegates to the Convention. Specifically, I am testing David Barton’s claim that “every clause” of the Constitution is based on biblical principles. Thus far, I have found nothing supporting the claim. However, stay tuned, the series will run until mid-September.

Constitutional Convention Series (click the link)

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