Wisconsin Historical Society Press
The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution, Volume XXIII, Ratification of the Constitution by the States: New York, No. 5
By John P. Kaminski, Gaspare J. Saladino, Richard Leffler, and Charles H. Schoenleber
680 pages, 6 x 9"Buy
"The most important editorial project in the nation." -Leonard W. Levy, constitutional historian
This is the fifth and final volume documenting New York State's ratification of the Constitution. This particular volume includes the complete record of the state ratifying convention. In addition to the official journal and the proceedings and debates of the convention, the volume contains many documents never before published, including the voluminous notes of the secretary of the convention and several of the convention delegates, the correspondence of delegates and spectators at the convention, and the rich newspaper commentaries describing the day-by-day events in the convention. For the first time, historians will be able to see how the New York convention - dominated by a two-thirds majority of Antifederalists - came to adopt the Constitution. This documentary series is a research tool of remarkable power, an unrivaled work for historical and legal scholars, librarians, and students of the Constitution.
Browse the entire Ratification series
John P. Kaminski is the founder and director of the Center for the Study of the American Constitution in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A professor emeritus from the College of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he is the author or editor of twenty-five other books on early American history.
The following text is excerpted from an article by Gordon S. Wood in “The New Republic” on December 24, 2010. To see the full article, please click this link.
At the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison, one of the greatest editorial projects in American history has been under way for nearly thirty-five years. Since 1976, the successive editors of the "Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution" have published twenty-three volumes, and there are at least eight more to come. These volumes contain every scrap of evidence the editors have been able to find relating to the debates over the ratification of the Constitution in 1787 - 1788. These editors, beginning with Merrill Jensen and continuing at present with John P. Kaminski, Gaspare J. Saladino, and others, have put together one of the greatest collections of debates over the basic issues of politics and constitutionalism that the Western world possesses. The political debates in fifth-century Athens or seventeenth-century England may have been richer and more wide-ranging, but we will never know, because the records of those earlier disputations are either lost or fragmentary. They are certainly not as complete as the records we have for the ratification of the Constitution. Rarely will we find a more profound or more comprehensive discussion of the problems of power, liberty, representation, federalism, rights, and all the other aspects of politics than we have in these volumes. This record is not only a national treasure, it is a world treasure.