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Elbridge Gerry's annotated copy of the first printed draft of the United States Constitution shows the evolution of the text as it was amended during the debates in the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. Gerry, a delegate from Massachusetts and signer of the Declaration of Independence, followed the debates carefully but refused the sign the Constitution because it contained no Bill of Rights. He later served in Congress, was governor of Massachusetts, and was vice president of the United States at the time of his death in 1814.
Provenance: Gift of James T. Austin, 1829.