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South Carolina's Ratification

Ratification of the Constitution by the State of South Carolina, May 23, 1788. South Carolina was the eighth state to do so. South Carolina's ratification message included several small suggested changes to the Constitution, including one to say "no other religious test" rather than "no religious test" in Article 6, an indication that the oath to the Constitution was considered by this body as a religious oath. The following text is taken from the Library of Congress's copy of Elliot's Debates.

In Convention of the people of the state of South Carolina, by their representatives, held in the city of Charleston, on Monday the 12th day of May, and continued by divers adjournments to Friday, the 23d day of May, Anno Domini 1788, and in the 12th year of the independence of the United States of America.

The Convention, having maturely considered the Constitution, or form of government, reported to Congress by the Convention of Delegates from the United States of America, and submitted to them by a resolution of the legislature of this state, passed the 17th and 18th days of February last, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to the people of the said United States, and their posterity, — Do, in the name and behalf of the people of this state, hereby assent to and ratify the said Constitution.

Done in Convention, the 23d day of May, in the year of our Lord 1788, and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth.


Attest. John Sandford Dart, Secretary.

And whereas it is essential to the preservation of the rights reserved to the several states, and the freedom of the people, under the operations of a general government, that the right of prescribing the manner, time, and places, of holding the elections to the federal legislature, should be forever inseparably annexed to the sovereignty of the several states, — This Convention doth declare, that the same ought to remain, to all posterity, a perpetual and fundamental right in the local, exclusive of the interference of the general government, except in cases where the legislatures of the states shall refuse or neglect to perform and fulfil the same, according to the tenor of the said Constitution.

This Convention doth also declare, that no section or paragraph of the said Constitution warrants a construction that the states do not retain every power not expressly relinquished by them, and vested in the general government of the Union.

Resolved, That the general government of the United States ought never to impose direct taxes, but where the moneys arising from the duties, imports, and excise, are insufficient for the public exigencies, nor then until Congress shall have made a requisition upon the states to assess, levy, and pay, their respective proportions of such requisitions; and in case any state shall neglect or refuse to pay its proportion, pursuant to such requisition, then Congress may assess and levy such state's proportion, together with interest thereon, at the rate of six per centum per annum, from the time of payment prescribed by such requisition.

Resolved, That the third section of the sixth article ought to be amended, by inserting the word "other" between the words "no" and "religious."

Resolved, That it be a standing instruction to all such delegates as may hereafter be elected to represent this state in the general government, to exert their utmost abilities and influence to effect an alteration of the Constitution, conformably to the aforegoing resolutions.

Done in Convention, the 23d day of May, in the year of our Lord 1788, and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth.


Attest. John Sandford Dart, Secretary.

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