Ratifications of the Constitution of the United States/Virginia
We, the delegates of the people of Virginia, duly elected in pursuance of a recommendation from the General Assembly, and now met in Convention, having fully and freely investigated and discussed the proceedings of the Federal Convention, and being prepared as well as the most mature deliberation hath enabled us, to decide thereon,—Do, in the name and in behalf of the people of Virginia, declare and make known, that the powers granted under the Constitution, being derived from the people of the United States, may be resumed by them, whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression, and that ever power not granted thereby remains with them, and at their will; that, therefore, no right, of any denomination, can be cancelled, abridged, restrained, or modified, by the Congress, by the Senate or House of Representatives, acting in any capacity, by the President, or any department or officer of the United States, except in those instances in which power is given by the Constitution for those purposes; and that, among other essential rights, the liberty of conscience, and of the press, cannot be cancelled, abridged, restrained, or modified, by any authority of the United States. With these impressions, with a solemn appeal to the Searcher of all hearts for the purity of our intentions, and under the conviction that whatsoever imperfections may exist in the Constitution ought rather to be examined in the mode prescribed therein, than to bring the Union into danger by a delay with a hope of obtaining amendments previous to the ratifications,—We, the said delegates, in the name and in behalf of the people of Virginia, do, by these presents, assent to and ratify the Constitution recommended, on the 17th day of September, 1787, by the Federal Convention, for the government of the United States, hereby announcing to all those whom it may concern, that the said Constitution is binding upon the said people, according to an authentic copy hereto annexed, in the words following. [See Constitution.]
Done in Convention, this 26th day of June, 1788.By order of the Convention.
EDM. PENDLETON, President. [l. s.]
[See Debates in Convention, where the Declaration or Bill of Rights, and Amendments, are printed at large.]