For appointing Deputies from this Commonwealth to a Convention proposed to be held in the City of Philadelphia, in May next, for the purpose of Revising the Federal Constitution.
Whereas, The Commissioners who assembled at Annapolis, on the fourteenth of September last, for the purpose of devising and reporting the means of enabling Congress to provide effectually for the Commercial Interest of the United States, have represented the necessity of extending the revision of the Federal System to all its defects; and have recommended that Deputies for that purpose be appointed by the several Legislatures to meet in the Convention in the City of Philadelphia, on the second day of May next; a provision which seems preferable to a discussion of the subject in Congress, where it might be too much interrupted by the ordinary business before them; and where it would besides, be deprived of the valuable Councils of sundry individuals, who are disqualified by the constitution or laws of particular States, or restrained by peculiar circumstances from a seat in that Assembly.
And Whereas, The General Assembly of this Commonwealth, taking into view the actual situation of the Confederacy, as well as reflecting on the alarming representations made from time to time, by the United States in Congress, particularly in their Act of the fifteenth day of February last, can no longer doubt that the crisis is arrived at which the good people of America are to decide the solemn question, whether they will by wise and magnanimous efforts reap the just fruits of that independence which they have so gloriously acquired, and of that Union which they have cemented with so much of their common blood; or whether by giving way to unmanly jealousies and prejudices, or to partial and transitory interest, they will renounce the auspicious blessings prepared
And whereas, in the same noble and extended Policy, the same fraternal and affectionate sentiments, which originally determined the Citizens of this Commonwealth, to unite with their Brethren of the other States, in establishing a Federal Government, cannot but be felt with equal force now as the motives to lay aside every inferior Consideration, and to concur in such farther concessions and provisions, as may be necessary to secure the great objects for which that Government was instituted, and to render the United States as happy in Peace, as they have been glorious in War.
Be it therefore Enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, That seven Commissioners be appointed by joint ballot of both Houses of Assembly, who, or any three of them, are hereby Authorized as Deputies from this Commonwealth to meet such Deputies as may be appointed and authorized by other States, to Assemble in Convention at Philadelphia, as above recommended, and to join with them in devising and discussing all such alterations and farther provisions, as may be necessary to render the Federal Constitution, adequate to the exigencies of the Union, and in reporting such an Act for that purpose, to the United States in Congress, as when agreed to by them, and duly confirmed by the several States, will effectually provide for the same.
And be it further Enacted, That in case of the Death of any of the said Deputies, or of their declining their appointments, the Executive are hereby authorized to supply such vacancies; and the Governor is requested to transmit forthwith a copy of this Act, to the United States in Congress, and to the Executives of each of the States in the Union.
November 9, 1786. Read the third time and passed the House of Delegates.
November 23rd, 1786.
Passed the Senate.