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The Mystery of the Pinckney Draught

Charles C. Nott

Book Overview: 

Charles Pinckney, member of the South Carolina legislature, Confederation Congress, U.S. Congress, and notably the Constitutional Convention of 1787, may have been regarded by some as perhaps the true author of the U.S. Constitution, although most likely James Madison would vehemently argue the point. This book investigates what may, or may not have happened to the draft of the Constitution which was drawn up by Charles Pinckney and submitted to the Constitutional Convention in May of 1787, and how (or if) it differed from the Constitution which was adopted. The questions which are delved into most deeply revolve around the following mystery: why, if, and by whom Pinckney's version of this important document was overlooked, or was it possibly destroyed intentionally (or for other reasons).

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Congress:

"Monday, March 17, 1783.

"A letter was received from General Washington, enclosing two anonymous and inflammatory exhortations to the army to assemble, for the purpose of seeking, by other means, that justice which their country showed no disposition to afford them. The steps taken[Pg 55] by the general to avert the gathering storm, and his professions of inflexible adherence to his duty to Congress and to his country, excited the most affectionate sentiments towards him. By private letters from the army, and other circumstances, there appeared good ground for suspecting that the civil creditors were intriguing, in order to inflame the army into such desperation as would produce a general provision for the public debts. These papers were committed to Mr. Gilman, Mr. Dyer, Mr. Clark, Mr. Rutledge, and Mr. Mercer. The appointment of these gentlemen was brought about by a few members, who wished to saddle with this embarrassment. . . Read More