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  LETTER OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL CONVENTION, TO THE
     PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS, TRANSMITTING THE CONSTITUTION

                                           In Convention
                                           September 17, 1787

Sir,

  We have now the honor to submit to the consideration of the
United States in Congress assembled, that Constitution which
has appeared to us the most advisable.

  The friends of our country have long seen and desired, that
the power of making war, peace, and treaties, that of levying
money and regulating commerce, and the correspondent executive
and judicial authorities should be fully and effectually vested
in the general government of the Union: But the impropriety of
delegating such extensive trust to one body of men is evident
-- Hence results the necessity of a different organization.

  It is obviously impractical in the federal government of
these states, to secure all rights of independent sovereignty
to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all:
Individuals entering into society, must give up a share of
liberty to preserve the rest.  The magnitude of the sacrifice
must depend as well on situation and circumstances, as on the
object to be obtained.  It is at all times difficult to draw
with precision the line between those rights which must be
surrendered, and those which may be reserved; and on the
present occasion this difficulty was encreased by a difference
among the several states as to their situation, extent,
habits, and particular interests.

  In all our deliberations on this subject we kept steadily in
our view, that which appears to us the greatest interest of every
true American, the consolidation of our Union, in which is
involved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our national
existence.  This important consideration, seriously and deeply
impressed on our minds, led each state in the Convention to be
less rigid on points of inferior magnitude, than might have been
otherwise expected; and thus the Constitution, which we now
present, is the result of a spirit of amity, and of that mutual
deference and concession which the peculiarity of our political
situation rendered indispensable.

  That it will meet the full and entire approbation of every
state is not perhaps to be expected; but each will doubtless
consider that had her interest been alone consulted, the
consequences might have been particularly disagreeable or
injurious to others; that it is liable to as few exceptions
as could reasonably have been expected, we hope and believe;
that it may promote the lasting welfare of that country so dear
to us all, and secure her freedom and happiness, is our most
ardent wish.

  With great respect, We have the honor to be, Sir,
    Your Excellency's
       most obedient and humble servants,

                          George Washington, President
                          By unanimous Order of the Convention.

His Excellency the President of Congress

 
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