Debates and Other Proceedings of the Convention of Virginia

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Debates and Other Proceedings of the Convention of Virginia

Title page from Debates and Other Proceedings of the Convention of Virginia, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

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Editor {{{editor}}}
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Published Richmond: Printed at the Enquirer-press, for Ritchie & Worsley and Augustine Davis
Date 1805
Edition Second
Language English
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages viii, 477
Desc. 8vo (22 cm.)
Location Shelf C-4
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

In June 1788, one hundred sixty-eight delegates from across Virginia met in Richmond to debate whether Virginia would ratify the United States Constitution. On June 25, 1788, by a vote of 89 to 79, they made Virginia the tenth state to ratify the Constitution.

At the time, there were two groups with opposing opinions on ratification: Federalists and Antifederalists. The ideological debate revolved around the power granted to the federal government in the Constitution, as well as the lack of individual rights provided by the Constitution. The Federalists, including James Madison, George Wythe, Edmund Randolph, and John Marshall, supported ratification. The Antifederalists, who included Patrick Henry, George Mason and James Monroe, argued that the Constitution granted too much power to the federal government; if ratified, it would need to assure individual liberties.

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Thomas Jefferson listed "Proceedings of the Virginia convention" in his inventory of Wythe's Library, noting that he kept the volume himself. He sold a copy of the first edition (1788) of Debates and Other Proceedings of the Convention of Virginia to the Library of Congress in 1815. The volume still exists and contains manuscript notes not by Jefferson, but also not specifically attributed to Wythe.[1] Alternatively, the Library of Congress copy might be the copy Wythe sent to Jefferson with a July 10, 1788 letter, "the convention for discussing the american government sat almost two weeks. the result of their deliberations is inclosed with this." Both Brown's Bibliography[2] and George Wythe's Library[3] on LibraryThing include the Library of Congress volume as potentially Wythe's former copy. Dean's Memo[4] also lists the 1788 edition based on the Wythe letter to Jefferson. The 1788 edition is extremely rare, so the Wolf Law Library purchased a copy of the second edition (1805) to represent this title in the George Wythe Collection.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Rebound in period-style half-calf with marbled boards. Spine features raised bands, tooling and a red label.

Images of the library's copy of this book are available on Flickr. View the record for this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

See also


  1. E. Millicent Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, 1952-1959), 3:224-225 [no.3011].
  2. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  3. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on March 19, 2014.
  4. Memorandum from Barbara C. Dean, Colonial Williamsburg Found., to Mrs. Stiverson, Colonial Williamsburg Found. (June 16, 1975), 15 (on file at Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary).

External Links

Read this book in Google Books.