The Constitutional Convention
While debates raged on state vs. federal rights, executive, legislative and judicial powers, as well as other issues, Washington participated only once – on the last day. He supported a revision that reduced the number of constituents in a congressional district from 40,000 to 30,000, probably to go on the record as more than just a signer of the document.
Delegates were sworn to secrecy, so not much is known about how Washington felt about the document. In a letter he wrote a day after the Convention ended, he wrote: “. . . What will be the General opinion on, or reception of it, is not for me to decide, nor shall I say anything for or against it – if it be good I suppose it will work its way good – if bad it will recoil on the Framers.” (p. 179)
The document is admired to this day for its artful simplicity.
For more on the Constitution, try these books:
The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution
by David O. Stewart
The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution
by Kevin Gutzman
Dark Bargain: Slavery, Profits and the Struggle for the Constitution
by Lawrence Goldstone
Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution
by Carol Berkin