A series of drafts related to the 1834 revision of the TN State Constitution (adopted 1835) with hand written notes, presumably used during the Constitutional Convention. Includes: 1) Printed copy of the 1796 Constitution, unmarked except for occasional check marks, bound with string, 16 pages. Probably printed 1834. 2) Two page printed document on the duties of the President or chairman of the committee. 3) Pages 8-11, loose, annotated. 4) Articles 2-11, bound but apparently detached, annotated. 5) Draft believed to be #1, articles 2-11. 6) Five pages of Briefs, front and back, handwritten. 1/2 page glued to the bottom of another. 7) Amendments and Alterations, printed copy, prob. from draft #1. 8) Bound pages labeled "In Convention," dated July 25, 1834, with a few strikeouts only on p. 15, article 9, section 4. 9) Printed copy of the Constitution as amended August 1834, unmarked, 13 1/2" x 8 1/8". Note: Tennessee's first constitution was adopted in 1796 in Knoxville by a convention of 55 delegates. According to historian J. G. M. Ramsey, Thomas Jefferson, author of the United States Constitution, described the Tennessee constitution as the least imperfect and most republican of the state constitutions. In 1834, a state constitutional convention was held in Nashville with 60 delegates in attendance and presided over by William Carter. It revised the constitution to reflect the state's growing population (more than 6 times its size in 1796) and to update the court system and address some of the problems in the original constitution. This revision was centered mainly on taxation to reflect the state's increasingly urban nature and the courts (providing for a state Supreme Court with three judges, one from each grand division of the state). It also required the legislature to cherish literature and science and established the common school fund. Although anti-slavery advocates petitioned the convention to abolish slavery, their efforts were rebuffed, and in fact the delegates specifically limited suffrage to white males, disenfranchising free black men (who had the right to vote under the 1796 constitution). The next revision of the Tennessee State Constitution (which would abolish slavery) would not take place until 1870, after the Civil War. Provenance: The estate of Dr. Benjamin H. Caldwell, Nashville, Tennessee. CONDITION: All items with toned paper, minor chipping to edges, scattered foxing and small ink stains, overall good condition.
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