To close out Constitutional Law Resource Month here at the Harris County Law Library, we would like to highlight two titles in our collection that provide some historical insight into the drafting of the United States Constitution: The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 and The Founders’ Constitution. Read together, these two multi-volume titles set the stage for the creation and drafting of perhaps the most important document for our nation. The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 is a chronological documentation of what occurred during the Federal Convention of 1787. It is a day-by-day journal of the proceedings gathered from the notes and manuscripts of those present at the Convention and offers a glimpse into what occurred behind the closed doors of the Convention including the votes tallied, the motions made, the speeches given, and the resolutions proffered.
The Founders’ Constitution, on the other hand, is a topical treatment of the provisions of the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. From the fundamental documents that provide the basis for the American constitutional model to the various acts that provided the foundation for the Bill of Rights, The Founders’ Constitution traces the arguments, opinions, and philosophical beliefs that underlie the United States Constitution and gave us the document that we have today. The Founders’ Constitution, published by the University of Chicago Press, is a five-volume collection that introduces the principles upon which the Founding Fathers relied when drafting the Constitution. The first volume focuses upon the major themes of the Constitution, such as separation of powers, representation, and rights, equality, and property while the remaining volumes concentrate on the actual articles of the Constitution and the first Twelve Amendments. Each of the volumes contains essays, letters, and articles drafted by respected historical statesmen, orators, and philosophers as George Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and John Locke.
So whether you are a legal or historical scholar or simply someone who is interested in learning more about the writings that comprise the foundation of the United States Constitution, come to the Harris County Law Library and have a look at these two titles.