Front Page Titles (by Subject) CCXLII.: Debate in House of Representatives. 1 - The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. 3
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CCXLII.: Debate in House of Representatives. 1 - Max Farrand, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. 3 
The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, ed. Max Farrand (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911). Vol. 3.
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Debate in House of Representatives.1
June 8, 1789.
Mr. Madison. The first of these amendments relates to what may be called a bill of rights. I will own that I never considered this provision so essential to the federal constitution, to make it improper to ratify it, until such an amendment was added; at the same time, I always conceived, that in a certain form, and to a certain extent, such a provision was neither improper nor altogether useless. . . .
Mr. Sherman. — I do not suppose the constitution to be perfect, nor do I imagine if Congress and all the Legislatures on the continent were to revise it, that their united labors would make it perfect. I do not expect any perfection on this side the grave in the works of man; but my opinion is, that we are not at present in circumstances to make it better. It is at wonder that there has been such unanimity in adopting it, considering the ordeal it had to undergo; and the unanimity which prevailed at its formation is equally astonishing; amidst all the members from the twelve States present at the federal convention, there were only three who did not sign the instrument to attest their opinion of its goodness.
[1 ]Annals of Congress, First Congress, I, 436, 448.