Front Page Titles (by Subject) 80: [Joseph Galloway's Plan of Union] - Colonial Origins of the American Constitution: A Documentary History
80: [Joseph Galloway’s Plan of Union] - Donald S. Lutz, Colonial Origins of the American Constitution: A Documentary History 
Colonial Origins of the American Constitution: A Documentary History, ed. Donald S. Lutz (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund 1998).
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- Introductory Essay
- New Hampshire: 1: [agreement of the Settlers At Exeter In New Hampshire]
- 2: General Laws and Liberties of New Hampshire
- Massachusetts: 3: [agreement Between the Settlers At New Plymouth] (the Mayflower Compact)
- 4: [plymouth Oath of Allegiance and Fidelity]
- 5: [the Salem Covenant of 1629]
- 6: [agreement of the Massachusetts Bay Company At Cambridge, England]
- 7: [the Watertown Covenant of July 30, 1630]
- 8: [massachusetts Election Agreement]
- 9: The Oath of a Freeman, Or of a Man to Be Made Free
- 10: [the Massachusetts Agreement On the Legislature]
- 11: [cambridge Agreement]
- 12: [dorchester Agreement]
- 13: [cambridge Agreement On a Town Council]
- 14: [massachusetts Agreement On the Legislature]
- 15: The Oath of a Freeman
- 16: [salem Oath For Residents]
- 17: [watertown Agreement On Civil Officers]
- 18: [the Enlarged Salem Covenant of 1636]
- 19: [plymouth Agreement]
- 20: [pilgrim Code of Law]
- 21: [dedham Covenant]
- 22: [the Massachusetts Body of Liberties]
- 23: [the Combination of the Inhabitants Upon the Piscataqua River For Government]
- 24: [massachusetts Bicameral Ordinance]
- 25: [massachusetts Ordinance On the Legislature]
- 26: The Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts
- 27: [massachusetts Ordinance On Legislative Procedure]
- 28: [towns of Wells, Gorgiana, and Piscataqua Form an Independent Government]
- 29: [the Cambridge Agreement of October 4, 1652]
- 30: [puritan] Laws and Liberties
- 31: [an Act of the General Court]
- Rhode Island: 32: [providence Agreement]
- 33: [government of Pocasset]
- 34: [newport Agreement]
- 35: [the Government of Portsmouth]
- 36: Plantation Agreement At Providence
- 37: [organization of the Government of Rhode Island]
- 38: [warwick Agreement]
- 39: Acts and Orders of 1647
- 40: Charter of Providence
- 41: [general Assembly of Rhode Island Is Divided Into Two Houses]
- Connecticut: 42: Plantation Covenant At Quinnipiack
- 43: Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
- 44: Guilford Covenant
- 45: Structure of Town Governments
- 46: Fundamental Articles of New Haven
- 47: [connecticut Oath of Fidelity]
- 48: Capitall Lawes of Connecticut, Established By the Generall Court the First of December, 1642
- 49: The Government of Guilford
- 50: New Haven Fundamentals
- 51: [majority Vote of Deputies and Magistrates Required For the Passage of Laws In Connecticut]
- 52: Connecticut Code of Laws
- 53: Preface to the General Laws and Liberties of Connecticut Colony Revised and Published By Order of the General Court Held At Hartford In October 1672
- 54: [division of the Connecticut General Assembly Into Two Houses]
- New York: 55: [a Letter From Governor Richard Nicolls to the Inhabitants of Long Island]
- 56: Charter of Liberties and Privileges
- New Jersey: 57: Fundamentals of West New Jersey
- Pennsylvania: 58: Concessions to the Province of Pennsylvania
- 59: Charter of Liberties and Frame of Government of the Province of Pennsylvania In America
- 60: An Act For Freedom of Conscience
- 61: [pennsylvania Charter of Liberties]
- Maryland: 62: Orders Devised and Published By the House of Assembly to Be Observed During the Assembly
- 63: Act For Establishing the House of Assembly and the Laws to Be Made Therein
- 64: An Act For Church Liberties
- 65: An Act For Swearing Allegeance
- 66: An Act What Persons Shall Be Called to Every General Assembly and an Act Concerning the Calling of General Assemblies
- 67: An Act For the Liberties of the People
- 68: [maryland Toleration Act]
- Virginia: 69: Articles, Laws, and Orders, Divine, Politic, and Martial For the Colony In Virginia
- 70: [laws Enacted By the First General Assembly of Virginia]
- 71: Constitution For the Council and Assembly In Virginia
- 72: [laws and Orders Concluded By the Virginia General Assembly]
- 73: Act Relating to the Biennial and Other Assemblies and Regulating Elections and Members In North Carolina
- South Carolina: 74: Act to Ascertain the Manner and Form of Electing Members to Represent the Province
- Georgia: 75: Act to Ascertain the Manner and Form of Electing Members to Represent the Inhabitants of This Province In the Commons House of Assembly
- Confederations: 76: [the New England Confederation]
- 77: [the Albany Plan of Union]
- 78: The Articles of Confederation
- 79: [william Penn’s Plan of Union]
- 80: [joseph Galloway’s Plan of Union]
[Joseph Galloway’s Plan of Union]
The abbreviated text is taken from W. C. Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, vol. 1 (Washington, D.C., 1904), 49–51.
Even though it was never ratified by the colonial legislatures, the Albany Plan of Union, adopted by the Albany Congress in 1754, continued to influence the thinking of American nationalists. In Galloway’s Plan, as in the Albany Plan of Union, the appointed executive is termed a “President General” and the legislature is termed a “Grand Council.” The Grand Council is to meet at least once a year, and its members serve three-year terms. Indeed, if one excludes the provisions dealing with the President General, Galloway’s Plan is more or less adopted as the core of the Articles of Confederation—often word for word. The Galloway Plan lists the colonies in the same order as do the Albany Plan of Union and the Articles of Confederation but leaves blank the number of representatives allocated to each. The Articles, however, will use the same range of representation as the Albany Plan, between two and seven representatives, and comprise the same total number of representatives—forty-eight. The pedigree of the Articles of Confederation in Galloway’s Plan and Galloway’s Plan in the Albany Plan of Union will be clear to any careful reader. Most interesting is that even though Tories like Galloway did not want to break with Britain, they still supported the right of Americans to their own representative bodies. Galloway’s Plan would have created what he calls “a British and American legislature” by construing the American legislature as “an inferior and distinct branch of the British legislature” that would nevertheless “hold and exercise all the like rights, liberties, and privileges, as are held and exercised by and in the House of Commons of Great-Britain.” This exceedingly clever structure would have thus made the American Grand Council a part of the British Parliament, inferior to the British part of Parliament in theory but in fact fully capable of making policy for the colonies. The legislature of each colony, in turn, would be free to make policy on matters not delegated to the Grand Council. The differences between Galloway’s Plan and the Articles of Confederation served to make the latter too weak and ineffective. In sum, Galloway’s federal structure might well have been the precise formulation that would have kept America in the British Empire, at least for a while longer, and created a national government strong enough to preclude the need for the Constitution of 1787. The Continental Congress chose to largely adopt, but weaken, Galloway’s proposal. Still, his Plan stands as an important document in the colonial background to the U.S. Constitution.
A Plan of a proposed Union between Great Britain and the Colonies
That a British and American legislature, for regulating the administration of the general affairs of America, be proposed and established in America, including all the said colonies; within, and under which government, each colony shall retain its present constitution, and powers of regulating and governing its own internal police, in all cases what[so]ever.
That the said government be administered by a President General, to be appointed by the King, and a grand Council, to be chosen by the Representatives of the people of the several colonies, in their respective assemblies, once in every three years.
That the several assemblies shall choose members for the grand council in the following proportions, viz.
|New Hampshire.||Delaware Counties.|
Who shall meet at the city of [ ] for the first time, being called by the President-General, as soon as conveniently may be after his appointment.
That there shall be a new election of members for the Grand Council every three years; and on death, removal or resignation of any member, his place shall be supplied by a new choice, at the next sitting of the Assembly of the Colony he represented.
That the Grand Council shall meet once in every year, if they shall think it necessary, and oftener, if occasions shall require, at such time and place as they shall adjourn to, at the last preceding meeting, or as they shall be called to meet at, by the President-General, on any emergency.
That the Grand Council shall have power to choose their Speaker, and shall hold and exercise all the rights, liberties and privileges, as are held and exercised by and in the House of Commons of Great-Britain.
That the President-General shall hold his office during the pleasure of the King, and his assent shall be requisite to all acts of the Grand Council, and it shall be his office and duty to cause them to be carried into execution.
That the President-General, by and with the advice and consent of the Grand-Council, hold and exercise all the legislative rights, powers, and authorities, necessary for regulating and administering all the general police and affairs of the colonies, in which Great-Britain and the colonies, or any of them, the colonies in general, or more than one colony, are in any manner concerned, as well civil and criminal as commercial.
That the said President-General and the Grand Council, be an inferior and distinct branch of the British legislature, united and incorporated with it, for the aforesaid general purposes ...
Multivolume Works of Colonial Documents
- Force, Peter, ed. A Documentary History of the North American Colonies, 9 vols. (Washington, D.C., 1837–53).
- ———. Tracts and Other Papers Relating Principally to the Origin, Settlement, and Progress of the Colonies in North America, 4 vols. (New York, 1836–46).
- Hazard, Ebenezer, ed. Historical Collections: Consisting of State Papers and Other Documents, 2 vols. (Philadelphia, 1792–94).
- Jensen, Merrill, ed. American Colonial Documents to 1776, vol. 9, English Historical Documents, edited by David C. Douglas et al. (New York and Oxford, 1964).
- Kavenaugh, W. Keith, ed. Foundations of Colonial America: A Documentary History, 3 vols. (New York: Chelsea House, 1973).
- MacDonald, W., ed. Documentary Sourcebook of American History, 1606–1898 (New York, 1908).
- ———. Select Charters and Other Documents Illustrative of American History, 1606–1775 (New York, 1899).
- Swindler, William F., ed. Sources and Documents of the United States Constitutions, 10 vols. (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., 1973–79).
- Thorpe, Francis N., ed. The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Laws of the United States, 7 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1907).
Multivolume Works of State Documents
- Bartlett, J. R., ed. Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England, 1636 to 1792, 10 vols. (Providence: A. Crawford Greene and Brother, State Printers, 1856–65).
- Bouton, N. et al., eds. New Hampshire Provincial, Town, and State Papers, 40 vols. (Concord and Nashua, N.H., 1867–1943).
- Browne, W. H. et al., eds. Archives of Maryland, 65 vols. (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1883–1952).
- Candler, Allen D. et al., eds. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, 26 vols. (Atlanta, 1904–16).
- Chapin, H. M., ed. Documentary History of Rhode Island, 2 vols. (Providence, 1916–19).
- Colonial Records of Pennsylvania, 1683-1790, 16 vols. (Philadelphia, 1852–53).
- Delaware Archives, 5 vols. (Wilmington, Del., 1911).
- Easterby, J. H., ed. The Colonial Records of South Carolina: The Journal of the Commons House of Assembly, 3 vols. (Columbia, S.C., 1951–53).
- Hammond, Isaac W., ed. Documents Relating to Towns in New Hampshire (Concord, N.H.: Parsons B. Cogswell, 1882).
- Hazard, Samuel et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives, 9 series, 138 vols. (Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1935).
- Hoadly, C. J., ed. Records of the Colony and Plantation of New Haven, from 1638 to 1649 (Hartford, 1857).
- Hutchinson, Thomas, ed. Collection of Original Papers Relative to the History of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, 2 vols. (Boston, 1769; reprinted, Albany, 1865).
- Journal of the Votes and Proceedings of the General Assembly of the Colony of New York, 1691–1765, 2 vols. (Albany, 1842).
- McIlwaine, H. R., and John P. Kennedy, eds. Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 13 vols. (Richmond, 1905–15).
- Mitchell, J. T., and Henry Flanders, eds. Statutes at Large of Pennsylvania from 1682 to 1801, 15 vols. (Harrisburg, 1896–1908).
- O’Callaghan, E. B., ed. Documentary History of the State of New York, 4 vols. (Albany, 1849–51).
- ———. Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York, 15 vols. (Albany, 1883).
- Saunders, William L., ed. The Colonial Records of North Carolina, 10 vols. (Raleigh, 1958).
- Shurtleff, N. B., ed. Massachusetts Colonial Records: Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in New England, 1628–1686, 5 vols. (Boston, 1853–59).
- Shurtleff, N. B., and David Pulsifer, eds. Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England, 12 vols. (Boston: The Press of William White, 1855– 61).
- Trumbull, J. H., and C. J. Hoadly, eds. The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut Prior to the Union with New Haven Colony, 1636–1776, 15 vols. (Hartford: Brown & Parsons, 1850–90).
- Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives of the Province of Pennsylvania, 1682–1776, 6 vols. (Philadelphia: B. Franklin and D. Hall, Printers, 1752–76).
- Whitehead, W. A. et al., eds. Archives of the State of New Jersey, 33 vols. (Newark, 1880–1928).
- Wynne, T. H., and W. S. Gilman, eds. Colonial Records of Virginia (1619–1680) (Richmond, 1874).
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