At the Willennar Genealogy Center in Auburn, Indiana, they just set up a display of 4 documents about the foundations of our government. They’re on loan from The Remnant Trust based in Texas. A lot of the credit goes to Caleb who has a History Degree and is incredibly excited about the opportunity.
One document is a copy of the Magna Carta from approximately 1350. The original Magna Carta was released in 1215. This illuminated manuscript also includes Statues of the Realm and Register of Writs. It influenced the American Bill of Rights and Constitution.
A second is a copy of the proceedings of the Pennsylvania General assembly dated 1777 that includes a copy of the Declaration of Independence as well as negotiations with Chiefs of the Six Nations.
The third is a first edition of the first official printing of the U.S. Constitution after Connecticut (the 5th state) ratified it in on Jan. 9, 1988. It was printed before the Constitution became effective March 4, 1789.
Last is the Journal of the First Session of the United States Senate Held in New York City March 4, 1789. It includes seventeen amendments to the constitution proposed by the House of Representatives that were rejected and 12 passed by the Senate of which 2 were not ratified by the states and the rest became the Bill of Rights.
The Senate journal also contains the first address of President Washington to Congress, the first rules of the Senate and other legislative works. It also contains the tally of the votes for each of the candidates for President itemized by state.
One thing I read that was interesting in the Pennsylvania Assembly document was the terminology of the mechanics of legislative negotiation. The notes said things like “Ordered, That the said bill do lie on the table.” This language is probably the origin of the more familiar phrase “tabled the bill.”
From an entry dated Wednesday February 26, 1777 P.M. “The Speaker laid before the House two letters which he had received from Congress, recommending divers regulations for the well being of the United States, and therewith enclosed regulations of the prices of the necessities of life, adopted by the New-England States, together with the following Declaration of Independence, published by Congress, which the Congress requests to be put on record. Thereupon
Ordered, That said Declaration of Independence be put on the Minutes of this House ; and that the same be entered among the Records of the State, when an office for such purposes shall be established.
The said Declaration follows in these words. ” …
The declaration text is listed including all of the signatories organized by state. Then is the text “In CONGRESS, January 18, 1777.
Ordered that an authenticated copy of the DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCY, with the names of the MEMBERS of CONGRESS, subscribing to the same, be sent to each of the UNITED STATES, and that they be desired to have the same put on RECORD. By Order of CONGRESS, JOHN HANCOCK, President.”
The documents will be on display until the end of July so they arrived just in time for July 4.