Celebrating 17 years

The Constitution for the United States

Delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. The fifty-five delegates who signed this monumental political document were the best minds of the Colonies at the time.

The Constitution was forwarded to the Congress and the following year was ratified by conventions in nine states, and made the law of the land.

Two days after its signing, the Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser printed the entire text of the Constitution in its issue dated Wednesday, September 19, 1787. John Dunlap and David C. Claypoole were publishers of the Packet at the time. Both men alternated as official printers to the Continental Congress.

It must be pointed out that the original parchment document on which the Constitution was written was in the custody of the Department of State. Of necessity it traveled with the federal government from New York to Philadelphia and, finally, to Washington. In order to allow citizens in all parts of the Republic to read the Constitution, its entire text was printed in the newspapers of the day.

In similar fashion....here is an exact-size reproduction of the first public printing of the U.S. Constitution as it appeared in the September 19, 1787 issue of the Pennsylvania Packet.

Page 1 of the U.S. Constitution Page 2 of the U.S. Constitution Page 3 of the U.S. Constitution Page 4 of the U.S. Constitution