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FRONT PAGE  |  11/18/2017
THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2013
Secrecy and States' Rights: The Constitutional Convention of 1787 Begins

On Tuesday, May 29, 1787, two very important delegates arrived in Philadelphia for the Constitutional Convention: John Dickinson of Delaware and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts.

With the arrival of these two eminent representatives, the necessary quorum of seven states was present in the State House and a very critical and controversial rule was soon to be enacted: the Secrecy Rule.

Two days before the rule was adopted, George Mason of Virginia wrote his son, saying:

It is expected our doors will be shut, and communications upon the business of the Convention be forbidden during its sitting. This, I think, myself, a proper precaution to prevent mistakes and misrepresentation until the business shall have been completed, when the whole may have a very different complexion from that in which the several crude and indigested parts might, in their first shape, appear if submitted to the public ...


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