Saturday, September 22, 2012
Gouveneur of the Constitution
Everyone knows who wrote the Declaration of Independence: Thomas Jefferson. But does anyone know who wrote much of the United States Constitution? I certainly didn’t know who this was before I visited Independence Hall.
Gouveneur Morris was born January 31, 1752, and represented Pennsylvania at the Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. He was also the author of most of the Constitution; it is believed the phrase “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union” came from him.
His role at the convention was a high point for Morris. He avoided being blunt and sarcastic, and instead employed his considerable social and verbal skills to smooth over issues that threatened to divide the delegates. He then used his position as primary draftsman to strengthen the final version of the Constitution much as Jefferson did with the Declaration of Independence. He defended the positions he took when drafting the New York constitution: religious liberty, opposition to slavery, the right of property as the foundation of society, the rule of law and the consent of the governed as the basis of government.
Check out this link to read more about him. Honestly, Gouveneur was a fun man to learn about, and it was exciting to learn something new while visiting Independence Hall.