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House of Representatives' version of the Bill of Rights...



Item # 703196

August 29, 1789

GAZETTE OF THE UNITED STATES, New York, August 29, 1789  This is a very significant issue, as page 2 contains an early version of the historic Bill of Rights.
As a brief history, the Constitution was signed in September 1787 and sent to the Congress. Eleven days later, it was submitted to the states for ratification. But as the people began to examine the document, they came to share the sentiments of those who advocated that the Constitution include a set of specific guarantees--among them, the right to free speech, freedom of religion, due process of law and freedom from governmental search and seizure. The people ratified the Constitution only after its framers pledged to add to it such protections.
James Madison submitted his proposed amendments on June 8, 1789 which was followed by much debate. Ultimately seventeen proposed amendments to the Constitution were passed by the House of Representatives on August 24, 1789. The text on page 2 of this issue contains the full wording of all 17 of these proposed amendments.
These were subsequently reduced to the twelve amendments passed by Congress and sent to the states on September 25, 1789 and in 1791 two-thirds of the states ratified the first ten amendments to the Constitution, which became known as the Bill of Rights.
Given that this newspaper was the mouthpiece of the federal government it is almost assured that this issue has the very first printing of this significant document. We do know that this identical content appeared in the Connecticut Gazette on September 4.
The balance of page 2 and most of page 3 are taken up with additional reports from the "Proceedings of Congress". The back page includes two Acts of Congress, one to provide for the Government of the Northwest Territory, and the other to provide funding for treaties with Indian tribes, each signed in block type by George Washington and John Adams.
An exceedingly rare, desirable, and historic newspaper and a great companion issue to the final version which was printed in this newspaper about a month later.
Complete in 4 pages, archivally rejoined at the blank spine, several discrete archival mends inside, mostly near the margins. Should be handled carefully.

Item from Catalog 343 (released for June, 2024)

Category: The 1600's and 1700's