The invitation to appoint delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 was specific in mentioning only revisions to the existing Articles of Confederation that governed the United States. The delegates from New York, Yates and Lansing, returned to their State and reported to Governor Clinton that some in the Convention wished to abolish the Articles and adopt a new document, something they were not sent there to accomplish.
Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com
Very Clear Instructions, Difficult to Misunderstand
“Office of the Secretary of Congress
February 21st, 1787
Sir, I have the honor to transmit to your Excellency herewith enclosed an Act of the United States in Congress Assembled, and am, With great respect, Your Excellency’s Most Obedient and Most Humble Servant,
Resolves of Congress (From Executive Letter Book)
“Whereas, there is provision in the Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union for making alterations therein by the assent of a Congress of the United States and of the Legislature of the several States;
And Whereas, experience hath evinced that there are defects in the present Confederation, as a means to Remedy which several of the States, and particular the State of New York, by Express Instructions to their Delegates in Congress have suggested a Convention for the purposes expressed in the following Resolution, and such Convention appearing to be the most probable means of establishing in these States a firm National Government.
Resolved, That in the opinion of Congress, it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of Delegates who shall have been appointed by the several States, be held in Philadelphia, for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and Reporting to Congress and the several Legislatures such alterations and provisions therein, as shall when Agreed to in Congress and Confirmed by the States under the Federal Constitution, be adequate to the Exigencies of Government and the preservation of the Union.