Delegate Positions on All Substantive Roll Calls at the United States Constitutional Convention, 1787 (ICPSR 33865)

Published: Jan 27, 2016

Principal Investigator(s):
Keith L. Dougherty, University of Georgia; Jac C. Heckelman, Wake Forest University

Version V2

This data set contains 5,121 yay or nay positions (including preferences) on 620 substantive motions for 55 delegates who attended the United States Constitutional Convention held in 1787. Since delegate votes were not recorded at the Constitutional Convention -- only the votes of state delegations were recorded -- delegate votes were inferred from statements made by delegates during debate, motions and seconds, and the formal rule that the vote recorded for each state was determined by the majority of its delegation. This data set also contains state positions on each motion as well as category codes for each motion. Each observation includes the roll call number, the vote recorded for the state on the motion, and the vote or preference inferred for each delegate, including information about attendance.

Dougherty, Keith L., and Heckelman, Jac C. Delegate Positions on All Substantive Roll Calls at the United States Constitutional Convention, 1787. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2016-01-27.

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National Science Foundation (SES-0752098)

1787-05 -- 1787-09

2008 -- 2011

Research assistance provided by Paul Carlsen, Rocky Cole, Rachel Columb, George Cone, Christopher Cotter, Brandon Kliewer, Yao Kang, Monica Petrescu, and Rebecca Sherman.

Please see the related study "Delegate Votes on 28 Motions at the United States Constitutional Convention, 1787," (ICPSR 24544) which contains important differences as compared to the current study in that it assumes delegates maintained the same position on an issue throughout their careers, which allows additional information to be used to infer delegate votes, and is limited to 28 motions. This study (ICPSR 33865) allows delegates to change positions between roll calls and only uses information if it can be tied to a specific roll call, and covers 620 substantive motions.

Coder interpretation of delegate positions were based on statements made in debate, attendance records, and the formal rule that a majority of a state's delegation determined the vote recorded for their state. Intercoder reliability was maintained through double blind coding.

The data set contains the universe of substantive votes at the United States Constitutional Convention, 1787. Procedural votes and votes without debate were not recorded.


Delegate votes on all substantive roll calls at the Constitutional Convention.


Please refer to the "Codebook" and "Summary and Sources" sections of the ICPSR codebook for additional details about the sources of the data collection.

roll call voting data



2016-01-27 The data and documentation for this collection have been updated to contain P.I. recodes.

2012-08-02 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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