Hi Lorianne, I'm just an amateur genealogist and spend some time in the stacks
of libraries here in New England.Currently researching Capt John
Updike of Providence, RI who was a member of the Sons of Liberty and a privateer
during the Revolution, like you I've found lots of unconnected tidbits lost to
history.Keep up the great work!
What I loved about her statements was her love for the Constitution and how it
is like scripture to her. This she could never learn in public school only at
her mother's knee. I think many here want to make her an "offender for a word".
I don't think she is meaning to discredit Thomas Jefferson in any way. They
all had a great influence on the Constitution. They all spent many years
deliberating ideas and I don't believe that we can just credit one man to any of
it. Whether or not Thomas Jefferson penned the constitution doesn't really
matter. His influence is there just like John Adams, James Madison, Benjamin
Franklin and many others whose names are never mentioned. I am grateful that
someone out there reverences these documents that gives me hope that maybe the
rising generation will be able to get us out of this mess.
I've contributed to HSP's online forum, and provided answers to many questions
on ConSource's main site as to why this is significant. I am also submitting an
editorial to a national newspaper to clarify the many questions here.Briefly, I never claimed to be the first to find this document. It was
transcribed by Yale historian Max Farrand in 1911. Sometime between 1911 and
1970, it somehow slipped through archival cracks and became unfindable. HSP did
not know they had it, and other researchers could not find it. (Once I found
it, they needed me to tell them where it was so they could have it photographed
and properly catalogued.) It's significance, not mentioned by Farrand, is *how*
it was written, which I have concluded indicates that Wilson probably worked
alone, making him and not Madison more the Father of the Constitution, if just
one must be designated. Please see ConSource and HSP's websites for more
information. Julia and Jacob, thanks for your kind comments!
Lorianne, the article was great, what a neat find! You are pursuing a great
work and are one of the most honorable, and virtuous women I have ever known. I
am proud to be your friend (for 17 years)! You have always been a passionate,
inspired and driven individual. I am so happy you are being recognized for all
your hard work and effort in accomplishing your dream with Consource.
James Wilson is usually regarded as the second most important man at the
Constitutional Convention, next to James Madison. Since Wilson also signed the
Declaration of Independence (and made a pivotal vote-change that swung
Pennsylvania's vote that made the vote unanimous), and was the first man sworn
in as a Supreme Court Justice, he should already be much more highly
regarded.Wilson was the 2nd most frequent speaker at the Convention
as well.Gouverneur Morris is believed to be the final penman of the
Constitution, based on other evidence. Morris was the most frequent speaker,
but missed a month of the Convention.The final committee that
drafted the final language were; Alexander Hamilton (NY), William Johnson (CT),
Rufus King (MA), James Madison (VA), and Gouvernour Morris (PA).Madison was the 3rd most frequent speaker at the convention, only a few
speeches behind Wilson and Morris.This is an important find. I
think it proves that Wilson was just as important as Morris and Madison in
regards to the final committee work. But I don't think it makes him more
Thanks for addressing the point regarding Jefferson. I had to read that
paragraph a couple of times but ultimately concluded that the relationship
between Wilson and Jefferson, as explained in the article, is simply a clarity
issue and not an error of fact.If you get a minute, could you please
explain to this board: First: Why the scholars/curators at the
Historical Society of Pennsylvania have essentially taken issue with your claim
stating that the documents have long been known to scholars and not deemed a
draft of the Constitution because the criteria are not met. They have already
identified two drafts both of which are "in Wilson's hand" why is your claim
historically significant given the other two drafts by Wilson? Why does HSP
disagree with your claim? Second: Did you coordinate your theories
regarding the documents with the scholars at HSP to determine what is currently
known and documented?A fascinating and compelling find.
Wow, where did that come from? The article printed in Philadelphia paper made
no reference whatsoever to BYU or Provo Utah. The Deseret News included it for
the same reason Ms. Toler contacted the paper...it's a local interest story.
I certainly hope you are not seriously drawing a parallel between
BYU and Oxford!
This document will prove to be fraudulent, just like the documents from years
past by the car bomber, Mark... his last name escapes me.
I'm glad they mentioned homeschooling & BYU and the University of Oxford (aka
BYU of the East).
Interesting story. Let the research continue ...
What the heck is this story doing in the LDS section?
Lorianne, that's awesome! Good luck in all your pursuits and keep up the great
work. The document clearly deserves some attention regardless, as James Wilson
contributed greatly to the convention's debates prior to the signing of the
Constitution. (It's great to hear you are doing well.)
A few answers are in order. I've been in the middle of a move today from Oxford
to London, but I did update a Q&A about this (re)discovery on ConSource's
homepage. Yet I can respond to the Jefferson comments here.
Although I have briefly been a journalist and know how hard it is to transcribe
interviews with quick-talkers like myself, I was, unfortunately misquoted about
Jefferson. What I said was that this draft may indicate that Wilson is to the
Constitution what Jefferson is to the Declaration of Independence. As many past
students and employees and even my supervisors here at Oxford know, I
continually remind people of the fact Jefferson was in France during the entire
period of the creation of the Constitution. Yet this conversation
has generally been much more educated than the parallel online discussion by
those in Philadelphia who read a similar story. It made me a bit proud of my
home state and its general knowledge of the Constitution.
I think what most people don't realize is that it wasn't the details that
Jefferson spent most of his time discussing with Madison. A whole new way of
thinking was devised, first and foremost which was; from where did the powers
for governing arise? This and many other philosophical political questions were
carved out of a life time of study. This was an epic time in the history of the
re: Thomas Jefferson | 11:17 a.m. I think if Jefferson had had as
much influence as you indicate, he would not have disparaged it so when he first
From Wikipedia we get the following:The U.S. Constitution is the work of
several men, directly and indirectly. The three most notable persons whose work
influenced the Constitution but who were not involved in its writing are Thomas
Jefferson, John Adams and Thomas Paine. The group of men involved in
the writing of the Constitution are generally referred to as the "framers". No single individual wrote it. Twelve of the thirteen states sent
delegates to the Constitutional Convention to revise the Articles of
Confederation and the entire convention worked on it. After the political
questions were hashed out a 'committee of style' was formed to put the ideas
into formal words. It is generally accepted that Gouverneur Morris created most
of the actual wording included in the final draft from the Committee of
Style.So Wilson may have been a more principled contributor than was
thought, and Jefferson certainly did contribute to the efforts!
Thoroughly investigated and authenticated. Why? Somehow the name Mark Hoffman
comes to mind . . .
That's very funny. In the article printed by the Pennsylvania news paper Toler
acknowledged that the story has a "National Treasure" feel to it. The key
difference, it appears, is that in the movie the artifacts found in the movie
really had been lost.
I think I may safely speak for everyone when I ask... was there a treasure map
on the back? :)
Let's hope we have a misquote that will be corrected.However, we all
know that the Declaration and the Constitution were drafted by committees.
Neither one reflects the thinking of a single person, while the particular
language may reflect the writing skills of the person charged with finalizing
the document.Thomas Jefferson did not attend the constitutional
convention, because he was serving as ambassador to France at the time. His
influence on the Constitution is reflected in the Bill of Rights, limiting the
ability of the powerful new federal government to deprive anyone who lives
within its borders of basic political and human rights
To: Re: No one cares | 3:43 p.m. | 11:35 a.m. "Your bigotry and
bitterness are clouding your reason. The fact that she studied at BYU is both
relevant and interesting."Enough with the name calling. I've seen
your vile posts on the sports board where that behavior is both accepted and
sadly, expected. This story pertains to the Constitution and
provides an opportunity to debate a scholarly issue and a rather interesting
claim. Did you even bother to follow the links that have been provided in the
above posts? Do you have any meaningful information or insight to contribute?
There is no way to know who was in a room when scratchings were made -
apparently by Wilson - and so there is no way to attribute this copy to Wilson's
"thinking"!More importantly, those who maintain the archives have
stated openly that this document was never "lost" and so it could never be
"found" by some aspiring, egocentric BYU student!
"... DesNews one again looking for ways to insert the letters B.Y.U ...Your bigotry and bitterness are clouding your reason. The fact that she
studied at BYU is both relevant and interesting.
What a bunch of querulous commenters this morning. Here's a fascinating story
with a controversy attached. No need for us to stoop to petty name-calling.
Far more interesting to discuss the historical facts and whether Toler has
indeed found a "third draft."
I care and found it interesting. Sorry if U can't find it interesting.
Those of you who are writing that Jefferson had little to nothing to do with the
shaping of the Constitution simply have not read enough history. As I wrote
before, I read primary source documents showing that for years Jefferson sent
carefully selected books and you can read for yourself samples of their
correspondence which shows his tremendous influence on Madison. Please, making
blanket statements without doing the research is arrogant.
Ok, so a document is "discovered" and claimed to be a third draft of the U.S.
Constitution and this board is hung up on a point in the DN article that lacks
clarity?? Shouldn't the debate by the self proclaimed experts and history buffs
be focused on the veracity of the claim?
While we are on the topic of Jefferson and his contributions maybe we should be
thanking John Locke for his contribution because the Jefferson contribution is
not much different from that of Locke who wrote it all down much earlier and
Jefferson had a well used copy from which he worked
"I have a copy of Max Farrand's edition of the papers of the Constitutional
Convention (1911) and he published the so-called "draft of the constitution" to
which Toler refers. How can she discover something if it's already been
published?"This is exactly what the scholars at the Historical
Society of Pennsylvania Web Site are saying. They also state the documents were
filed right where Ms. Toler found them because they do not meet the criteria of
a draft of the constitution.
I would give little to no credit to Jefferson for the constitution. What little
credit due him is because Madison was his protoge when he drafted a proposed
constitution for Virginia a few years earlier, so he may have influenced Madison
a little then.How little influence he had on Madison's draft of the
constitution can be found in the excellent biography, "Thoms Jefferon - a Life"
by W. S. Randall.Mr. Randall describes Jefferson's reaction when he
first read the constitution (in Paris) as follows, "When he read the new
Constitution drafted at the four-month-long convention in Philadelphia, he was
stunned." Jefferson himself wrote to Adams that there were "things in it which
stagger all my disposition to subscribe" to it, meaning he could not support it.
Jefferons was not a fan of the constitution, fearing the power of the
Great reporting job, Deseret News! The rest of the news world reported on this
find a week ago!
for Ms. Toler...I have a copy of Max Farrand's edition of the papers
of the Constitutional Convention (1911) and he published the so-called "draft of
the constitution" to which Toler refers. How can she discover something if it's
already been published? I checked my copy against the digitized version on the
webpage at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and it matches perfectly. So
much for a new discovery!
Sorry Ms. Toler, you're dead wrong. As a scholar of the Founding, I've worked
in the James Wilson papers at the HSP on several occasions and there is no third
draft of the Constitution to which you refer. And by the way, Jefferson was in
Paris during the summer of 1787 and had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with
the writing of the US Constitution (much to his chagrin).
RE:What, 8:56This tendency to be unkind and saddens and disturbs me
also. It seems that many people feel that they can hide behind their
anonymousity and let their true argumentative, malcontented selves shine
through, a very sad commentary on our society.This is a wonderful
discovery, and what an exciting experience for this young woman!
I meant to say that the reporter was talking to Toler on the phone...
The news should never be taken at 100% face value. I doubt the reporter actually
talked to Toler face to face which means he/she was probably scribbling notes
while talking to Toler. I think it very possible that this was an error on the
part of the article writer. To take one misstatement in a NEWS article and
attack someone who is getting an OXFORD graduate education is silly (I had
stronger words floating through my head but I didn't think it necessary to be
TJ and anon.are both correct,in that Madison WAS the MAJOR constructor of that
inspired document.Jefferson WAS a MAJOR influence.I have spent a lot of time at
Montpelier,before and after the "restoration".I feel very deeply about
Madison-and Jefferson. Funny thing,on one tour a few years ago,the guide person
mentioned the HOURS of prayer Madison spent in one particular room,during his
study and writing,in preperation.When I asked a woman recently,in that same
room,about the prayer thing,she said,testily,that she'd never heard such a thing
and tried to quiz me as to which docent was spreading such "rumours".Funny.
The reason this draft was rejected was because it mentioned giving free
healthcare to everybody in article 1 section 8 but good people knew the country
couldn't afford it so that's why they discarded that draft.
I for one am a history buff. I think it is great that we can find more stories
of how the constitution was created. People taught in public schools, like
myself, don't get the true version, and in fact lately, teachers are leaving out
the consititution in their classes. With technology these days, it's easy to
just write off another generations attempts at working together to get a
significant document done, as the Constitution. They weren't there. Knowing
that Jefferson was a significant contributor to this country, do you think that
he wouldn't be asked for his 2 cents in creating the document whether he was
there or not? Wouldn't it also make sense that more then one person wrote things
down, in their attempts to create it. Using their own words, or words written
by others. Then it works it's way to one author, who puts everything together.
It wasn't created over night. It took years to create. As she stated. It just
means she needs to study Wilson's life, to get the just of the theory. I also
see bruised egos there to. Or maybe Progressives covering it up.
Any document that has to do with our creating this nation is important and
should have equal billing. These documents reveal the mindset of the convention
and all those involved in writing or even approving the national treasure of our
constitution and declaration of independence. Their notes and private thoughts
have a very profound meaning and intent to the words they wrote in simple and
plain language that is not confusing to anyone who reads it, except maybe a
lawyer. They know latin better than they do english.It is not
important where you learn or get educated, it's the education you want to learn
that is important. Out of the box education can be profound and very meaningful,
its how we obtain smart and educated people. Formal education is basic, rote,
and limited. Many times students are smarter than their teachers that rut
themselves in controlled, indoctrinated, class room education systems. Real
education begins outside of the classrooms and in real life.
Somebody wrote on here "who cares"? Are you kidding me? This is not a big deal?
The Constitution is not a big deal to you? Just so you know. This a huge story.
It is in every paper across the country. It is all over talk radio and the news.
It just so happens a girl from Provo is behind it. It is a big deal. That paper
tells a story of how this country was founded.
A few facts: Most were home-schooled during Jefferson's era, at least those who
wanted to learn how to read and write. Of course, beyond that, one must have
attended a University. Jefferson, along with B. Franklin believed that
elementary education should be a public service and that education was the key
to establishing and maintaining freedom.Wilson studied the framers and was
very much involved at the time, so his writings are worthy of study, regardless
of what scholars are saying, currently on line--which I always doubt from the
get-go.As far as Jefferson and his influence on the Constitution? As one
compares what he wrote and what is in the Constitution, there is an obvious
influence. Articles 2, 5 and 11 have almost direct quotes from his writings.As far as posters abandoning civility in their personal attacks because of a
simple disagreement, welcome to the the age of anonymity where the heartless
take heart, speak up, and reveal more about themselves than is otherwise known
about them. And if we should meet said spiteful poster, in person, I doubt
we would give much credence to their opinions.
Madison is the father of the US Constitution. At least thats what I was taught
in AP US history. I might not have been listening well though. I
can't say I thought it was a very well written article and her comments were a
Good grief. I think you're misreading her statement. Actually, I think the
reporter used poor punctuation. She's saying that perhaps Wilson, who
contributed greatly to the writing of the Constitution, ought to be given credit
similar to that given Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration.
are so quickly decided that this couldn't be a new find, have a professional
reputation to uphold. Scholars don't look well when they are not the ones to
find the find, or have been led astray by earlier incomplete analysis. I'm not
saying what she claims is true, but it seems odd that it is dismissed so quickly
without a proper review which could take years.
The problem with the article is it contains that one very ambiguous statement
which sows confusion. A different choice of words could have easily clarified
the meaning and avoided the controversy.
Jefferson had a great deal to do with the Constitution, far more than most
people who were at the convention. There is a lot of primary source information
that shows he kept up a constant tutorial on the principles used to form the
Constitution with James Madison. Jefferson would send chests of books and long
letters to Madison. He framed his friends political education and had
discussions that clarified decades of careful study. Madison had a quick mind
and grasped truths well and was able to coherently present those ideas to the
I am a foreigner and fascinated by this my adopted country of the US of A. Thank
you for sharing your thoughts in this panel. The remarkable people who were
responsible for creating the Constitution were truly inspired by God. Land of the free and Home of the brave - Go USA!
RE: "No one cares": A ton of us care! Let's see now, a Church owned paper. A
Church owned university. A grad from that University. Hey "No one cares", the
DesNews would even mention something about you if you had ever done anything
productive! Find another paper if you expect stories like this, because they
will continue to report on such things - because they should!
James Madison, Jefferson's eventual cohort, is largely recognized as the writer
of the constitution. Jefferson and Madison did have correspondence at the time
of the convention.
Thanks for the clarification. That is exactly what I was looking for--I did not
understand that Toler was comparing Wilson's contribution to the U.S.
Constitution with Jefferson's contribution to the Declaration of Independence.
Toler never mentioned the Declaration of Independence. To me, it
sounded like she was saying that Wilson and Jefferson had equal roles in the
drafting of the Constitution, which, as I wrote in my comment, did not make
sense to me. Like the poster at 8:23 p.m., I found her wording of the comment
confusing. I assure you; I am very much aware that Thomas
Jefferson, along with Roger Sherman, Ben Franklin, Robert Livingston and John
Adams, drafted the Declaration of Independence. It is disturbing
and saddening to me that there are people, who are so ready to be uncivil and
completely inappropriate to another person in a public sphere. There was
absolutely no need for the vitriol that you displayed in your reply.
Communicating over the internet rather than face-to-face does not give you leave
to abandon basic civility and courtesy. I hope you are more respectful to
people in other aspects of your life.
Historical Society of Pennsylvania Web Site. Follow the link that says
“What constitutes a draft of the U.S. Constitution.” This is an interesting read. Though a complex issue, there are well
established criteria for what constitutes a draft of the Constitution. It
appears that Toller's claim, for which a press release has already been issued;
see ComSource Webe site, faces healthy scrutiny.
Yes, I'm sure you said it to get a rise out of someone and you did. A home
schooled, college and law school graduated student is going to have plenty of
chances to study history. And I wager that her "out of the box" learning style
puts her ahead of a public school kid any day. I have one of my kids in public,
three in online public charter school (schooled at home). My schooled at home
kids are getting a better education than the one in public school. Next year
they'll all be at home. And FYI, Thomas Jefferson was home schooled. It seems
that he did pretty well for himself.
Relax, the text was a little confusing. I had to read it twice to understand
the intended relationship between Jefferson and Wilson. This is not
the sports board; let's try to be more civil.
Obama has never seen one...that is funny!
She said "This makes James Wilson very much equal to Thomas Jefferson as a
drafter of the Constitution..."What part of that don't you
understand? Jefferson was the author of the U.S. Declaration of
Independence while James Wilson, if he's the author of the Constitution, would
be "very much equal to Thomas Jefferson" as the "drafter of the Constitution."
There was no mention of Thomas Jefferson in relation to his involvement in the
drafting of the Constitution.That you didn't know that Thomas
Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence is shocking and it shows how
ignorant you are.
I think the article really intended to say that James Wilson may have been to
the Constitution what Thomas Jefferson was to the Declaration of Independence.
Jefferson had nothing to do with writing the Constitution.
I'd really like to hear some kind of clarification on the Thomas Jefferson
comment that Toler made. As an earlier commenter pointed out, Jefferson was not
even on the American continent when the Constitution was being drafted. I have
a hard time believing that someone with a law degree pursuing another degree at
Oxford would be that ignorant, however. Is there some meaning there that I'm
What a great experience to read through documents from the time our country was
born and penned by those responsible. I had no idea that such documents were
accessible and I can certainly see how easy it would be to get caught up in the
moment.HSP Scholars are indeed weighing in on the claim. Their
views are supported by dates, names, personal knowledge of the already known
documents. The communications can be viewed on the Historical Society of
Pennsylvania Web Site. Follow the link that says “What constitutes a
draft of the U.S. Constitution.” Also worth viewing is the link to Con
Source provided by Deseret News in the article.
Very interesting article. It would really be great it if turned out to be an
actual draft. We'll have to wait and see what the experts think. Things get
lost in museums and libraries all the time. Most of these places don't have any
idea of what they have. The haters always find time to read these
kinds of articles so they can make nasty remarks about how irrelevant it is and
how nobody cares. So typical of unhappy, angry people. I think the article was
You are right. Jefferson wasn't a member of the Philadelphia Convention or the
Constitutional Convention so he wasn't a writer of the Constitution. He was
though the main author of the Declaration of Independence. Maybe if she took a
few history classes in school instead of being "home schooled" in the senate
gallery she would have a basic knowledge of U.S. history.
cough Patriot Act cough W
I enjoyed the story and it will be interesting to see this claim investigated. I
like learning what people with local ties are doing. I like finding the letters
B Y U in the paper.
I just checked out the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Facebook page -
scholars are chiming in, and they don't seem to agree at all that the third
draft was found.
In terms of what America is, the constitution is the bedrock. If Wilson wrote
it, he deserves to be mentioned in every high school civics text at the apex of
the American pantheon along with Washington, Jefferson, Adams and the like.It is the constitution that has been copied by nations around the world.
I hope they have a way to test the milk. It all might not be good.
BYU graduate may have found draft of U.S. Constitution? Wow send a copy to
Obama, he's obviously never seen one.
While I agree that using BYU in this context is not helpful, I disagree with "No
one cares." Obviously you cared enough to click on the story. I find this rather
fascinating. We don't always need to hear about the latest drug bust or murder.
Can you say eBay?
Using the word "Lost" in the title of this artical is misleading. as
stated in the story, the manuscript was right where it belonged.
The Third Paragraph starts:"This makes James Wilson very much equal to
Thomas Jefferson as a drafter of the Constitution," she said...Thomas Jefferson was ambassador to France and lived in Paris when the
constitutional convention was going on in Philadelphia. He did not have any
significant roll in writing the constitution.
Here is DesNews one again looking for ways to insert the letters B.Y.U even
though the fact she went to BYU had nothing to do with her finding this
document. Who cares about this? I mean really........there have to better
things to report on.