Forgotten Founder, Part 3 - The Pinckney Draft
Forgotten Founder, Part 3 of 8
In 1787, Philadelphia had a population of about 30 thousand people. It had paved streets, gas lamps, a fire company, a public library, a university, and was a model of what an American city should be. The atmosphere was filled with excitement because they knew this body was going to decide the future of America. They didn't know it was a Constitutional Convention yet because that had not been decided yet. It is sometimes called the Federal Convention, the Philadelphia Convention and in the 18th century, the Grand Convention because it assembled the best and the brightest from 12 of the 13 states. It took until May 25 to get a quorum because the travel from the different states took so long. They met six days a week, usually from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and the delegates met in secret, sometimes formally and sometimes informally and many times after hours,
The veteran legislators recognized how important rules would be, and Charles Pinckney was one of three who wrote the rules. The Pinckney draft was very similar to the Virginia Plan, largely the work of James Madison. Charles Pinckney laid his plan before the Convention, and his plan was referred to, in committee, and they drew from it. We may never know where the ideas came from. There is an astonishing similarity between the Articles of the Confederation and the Constitution itself. Most of what is known about the Convention comes from Madison's notes because he wanted a record of what happened there. Madison included what he wanted in the record and left out what he wanted to leave out.