On September 17th, 1787, members of the Continental Congress gathered in Philadelphia to draft another historic document just eleven years after declaring independence from Great Britain. The document is known as our Constitution. Our nation’s 4th President, James Madison, would write this document. The constitution is made up of seven frames of the United States Government the bill of rights, elections, roles of the president, and everything in between. Two years after it was written, the document would take effect after a period of ratification among the 13 colonies that soon became the first states in the United States.
The most common part of the document is the 10 Bill of Rights which covers our ten fundamental rights as citizens such as freedom of speech, religion, peaceful assembly, not being charged with the same crime twice, excessive bail, and many others.
27 amendments came about from the constitution. One repealed a previous amendment (the 21st amendment repealed the 18th during the debate on the prohibition of alcohol). It also saw the end of slavery, women’s right to vote, and limiting the presidency to two terms.
There could be more as time goes on, but time will tell. Sadly, the old document is constantly attacked by progressive-leaning public officials and those who lack the basic knowledge of American civics.
TWO CATHOLICS SUPPORTED THE U.S. CONSTITUTION
39 out of 55 delegates supported the ground-breaking document. Among these men were two Catholics named Daniel Carroll and Thomas Fitzsimons. Their presence and difference-making, planted the seeds for Catholics to thrive in the United States, despite the country being heavily served by Protestants. These two men rose to the occasion as so many Catholics experienced persecution and discrimination. It also showed the fact that Catholics can practice their faith freely without being infringed by the government.
Daniel Carroll is the cousin of Charles, the lone Catholic who signed the Declaration of Independence. His brother, John would become the first Archbishop of the United States and of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Daniel is credited with ending the Constitution that reads, “powers not specifically delegated to the federal government were reserved to the states or to the people.”
He would later be elected to the first House of Representatives in 1789, representing the 6th Congressional District of Maryland. He also became one of the commissioners to oversee the establishment of the District of Columbia until his retirement in 1795 due to declining health
Daniel Carroll died in 1796 in Forest Glen, MD. His gravesite is in Silver Spring, MD just outside of Washington, DC on the grounds of St. John the Evangelist, which was founded by his brother in 1774.
Thomas Fitzsimons was the other Catholic who bravely protected the rights of his fellow Catholics during the Convention. Fitzsimons served under George Washington during the American Revolution and even saw time with the Pennsylvania militia and oversaw the establishment of the Pennsylvania navy.
After his support of the Constitution’s ratification, he too would go on to serve as one of the first members of the House of Representatives from 1789 to 1795. He worked in the bank industry and played a role in the establishment of Georgetown. Fitzsimons died in 1811. His remains are buried at St. Mary’s Parish in Philadelphia just a block from Independence Hall.
Catholics owe so much to these two brave and bold men who were ahead of their time.