BYU graduate may have found draft of U.S. Constitution

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  • Another Updike
    Feb. 8, 2010 7:39 p.m.

    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!

  • Inspiring
    Feb. 7, 2010 10:10 a.m.

    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.

  • Lorianne Updike Toler
    Feb. 7, 2010 9:23 a.m.

    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!

  • Julia
    Feb. 7, 2010 12:07 a.m.

    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.

  • Rolf Lindgren
    Feb. 6, 2010 10:18 p.m.

    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 important.

  • Re: Lorianne U. Toler 6:03 p. m.
    Feb. 6, 2010 8:15 p.m.

    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.

  • Re: True | 6:43 p.m.
    Feb. 6, 2010 7:24 p.m.

    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's a local interest story.

    I certainly hope you are not seriously drawing a parallel between BYU and Oxford!

  • Time will show...
    Feb. 6, 2010 6:51 p.m.

    This document will prove to be fraudulent, just like the documents from years past by the car bomber, Mark... his last name escapes me.

  • True
    Feb. 6, 2010 6:43 p.m.

    I'm glad they mentioned homeschooling & BYU and the University of Oxford (aka BYU of the East).

  • Anon
    Feb. 6, 2010 6:41 p.m.

    Interesting story. Let the research continue ...

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 6, 2010 6:34 p.m.

    What the heck is this story doing in the LDS section?

  • Jacob Christensen
    Feb. 6, 2010 6:09 p.m.

    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.)

  • Lorianne Updike Toler
    Feb. 6, 2010 6:03 p.m.

    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.

  • Again to lost in DC
    Feb. 6, 2010 5:58 p.m.

    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 world.

  • lost in DC
    Feb. 6, 2010 5:00 p.m.

    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 saw it.

  • Just Interested!
    Feb. 6, 2010 2:46 p.m.

    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!

  • This needs to be investigated.
    Feb. 6, 2010 2:06 p.m.

    Thoroughly investigated and authenticated. Why? Somehow the name Mark Hoffman comes to mind . . .

  • Re: treasure map? | 1:13 p.m.
    Feb. 6, 2010 1:46 p.m.

    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.

  • treasure map?
    Feb. 6, 2010 1:13 p.m.

    I think I may safely speak for everyone when I ask... was there a treasure map on the back? :)

  • Wow!
    Feb. 6, 2010 1:00 p.m.

    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

  • oh, brother...
    Feb. 6, 2010 12:21 p.m.

    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?

  • Just Facts Ma'am
    Feb. 6, 2010 12:15 p.m.

    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!

  • Re: No one cares | 3:43 p.m.
    Feb. 6, 2010 11:35 a.m.

    "... 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.

  • Cranky, cranky
    Feb. 6, 2010 11:31 a.m.

    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."

  • Re: No one cares | 3:43 p.m. Feb
    Feb. 6, 2010 11:23 a.m.

    I care and found it interesting. Sorry if U can't find it interesting.

  • re: Thomas Jefferson
    Feb. 6, 2010 11:17 a.m.

    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.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 6, 2010 11:10 a.m.

    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?

  • Locke
    Feb. 6, 2010 10:51 a.m.

    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

  • Re: Bad News | 8:38 a.m.
    Feb. 6, 2010 9:24 a.m.

    "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.

  • lost in DC
    Feb. 6, 2010 8:57 a.m.

    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 executive.

  • Blaine
    Feb. 6, 2010 8:56 a.m.

    Great reporting job, Deseret News! The rest of the news world reported on this find a week ago!

  • Bad News
    Feb. 6, 2010 8:38 a.m.

    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!

  • Leave it to the Experts...
    Feb. 6, 2010 8:24 a.m.

    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).

  • Jess
    Feb. 6, 2010 8:21 a.m.

    RE:What, 8:56

    This 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!

  • My oppinion clarified
    Feb. 6, 2010 8:05 a.m.

    I meant to say that the reporter was talking to Toler on the phone...

  • My oppinion
    Feb. 6, 2010 8:04 a.m.

    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 too offensive)

    Feb. 6, 2010 7:59 a.m.

    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.

  • Libertarian
    Feb. 6, 2010 6:53 a.m.

    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.

  • Chris
    Feb. 6, 2010 6:42 a.m.

    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.

  • Equal credit to all.
    Feb. 6, 2010 3:53 a.m.

    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.

  • Jeff
    Feb. 6, 2010 2:30 a.m.

    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.

  • Thomas Jefferson
    Feb. 5, 2010 11:55 p.m.

    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.

  • James Madison
    Feb. 5, 2010 11:15 p.m.

    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 little confusing.

  • Give her a break ...
    Feb. 5, 2010 10:32 p.m.

    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.

  • The respected scholars who
    Feb. 5, 2010 10:27 p.m.

    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.

  • Thomas
    Feb. 5, 2010 10:23 p.m.

    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.

  • Thomas Jefferson
    Feb. 5, 2010 9:59 p.m.

    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 framers.

  • Thank you
    Feb. 5, 2010 9:54 p.m.

    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!

  • Yrag Notyalc
    Feb. 5, 2010 9:47 p.m.

    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!

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 5, 2010 9:33 p.m.

    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.

  • Re:What? | 7:23 p.m. Feb. 5, 201
    Feb. 5, 2010 8:56 p.m.

    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.

  • Re: Cats | 6:37 p.m.
    Feb. 5, 2010 8:45 p.m.

    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.

  • Re: Interesting
    Feb. 5, 2010 8:41 p.m.

    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.

  • Re: Re:What? | 7:23 p.m.
    Feb. 5, 2010 8:23 p.m.

    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.

  • LOL@anon
    Feb. 5, 2010 8:05 p.m.

    Obama has never seen one...that is funny!

  • Re:What?
    Feb. 5, 2010 7:23 p.m.

    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.

  • Henry Drummond
    Feb. 5, 2010 7:15 p.m.

    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.

  • What?
    Feb. 5, 2010 7:08 p.m.

    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 missing?

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 5, 2010 7:03 p.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.

  • Cats
    Feb. 5, 2010 6:37 p.m.

    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 very interesting.

  • Re: Interesting
    Feb. 5, 2010 6:37 p.m.

    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.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 5, 2010 5:26 p.m.

    cough Patriot Act cough W

  • Big B
    Feb. 5, 2010 4:53 p.m.

    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.

  • anonymous
    Feb. 5, 2010 4:45 p.m.

    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.

  • Lane
    Feb. 5, 2010 4:34 p.m.

    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.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 5, 2010 4:33 p.m.

    I hope they have a way to test the milk. It all might not be good.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 5, 2010 4:27 p.m.

    BYU graduate may have found draft of U.S. Constitution? Wow send a copy to Obama, he's obviously never seen one.

  • BYU alum
    Feb. 5, 2010 4:23 p.m.

    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. Great article...

  • nottyou
    Feb. 5, 2010 4:17 p.m.

    Can you say eBay?

  • Lost? I think not.
    Feb. 5, 2010 3:46 p.m.

    Using the word "Lost" in the title of this artical is misleading.

    as stated in the story, the manuscript was right where it belonged.

  • Interesting
    Feb. 5, 2010 3:46 p.m.

    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.

  • No one cares
    Feb. 5, 2010 3:43 p.m.

    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.