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New York’s ratification of the Bill of Rights, March 27, 1790

In September 1789, the First Congress sent twelve constitutional amendments to the states for ratification. New York’s legislature approved eleven of them in February 1790 and this official parchment copy was sent to President George Washington. By December 1791, three fourths of the states had ratified ten of the articles, and Congress adopted them as amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

General Records of the U.S. Government, National Archives and Records Administration

New York’s ratification of the Bill of Rights, March 27, 1790

Drafting The Bill of Rights - 2

The delegates to the Constitutional Convention disagreed over the wisdom of listing specific rights within the U.S. Constitution, but members of the First Congress, fresh from the struggle against tyranny, insisted on the necessity of protecting individual liberties, including the freedoms of speech, religion and assembly. In 1789 they proposed twelve amendments to the original U.S. Constitution. Ten of these were swiftly ratified by the states and became known as the Bill of Rights. They form part of the bedrock of our national government.