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Framing of the United States Constitution: A Beginner’s Guide

A research guide containing sources regarding the creation and ratification of the United States Constitution.


At the Law Library of Congress, we often receive questions from patrons who are interested in researching the original intent of the framers of the United States Constitution. Since the framers were not necessarily all of one mind and, on occasion, there was no debate on certain provisions, there is not a perfect answer to this question. This guide presents many of the sources that you can turn to for more information about the framing of the United States Constitution.

Geroge Walton (1741-1804), William Pierce (1740-1789), Abraham Baldwin (1754-1807), Wm. Houstoun (1755-1813), and Wm. Few (1748-1828) with signatures, and bordered by two eagle emblems in gilt frame.
Major H. Wyant (photograph by). Peale's silhouettes of Georgia delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 1787. Photograph created in 1937. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.