U.S. Constitution (1787)
Few documents in American history are more iconic—or continue to have more impact on our daily lives—than the united states Constitution. This draft copy of the Constitution belonged to Georgia delegate Abraham Baldwin and is one of the crown jewels of the GHS collection. Baldwin, one of fifty-five delegates to the 1787 Convention, received this draft, printed by Dunlap and Claypoole, for review. This second printed draft of the Constitution, printed on four folio leaves complete with Baldwin’s signature and marginal notes, is one of only fourteen in existence. Baldwin’s annotations include deletions and additions that were included in the final version of the Constitution that was ratified by the Convention. It reflects the evolving collaborative approach of the framers that is also part of our collective heritage. Besides its significance as a priceless artifact, this rare document is crucial to understanding the development of our federal system of government.