Election of Executive – June 1

Mode of Appointing

After the initial discussion of whether to have one or multiple individuals in the executive department was tabled, the Framers went on to discuss the mode of election of the executive(s).

Mr. Wilson was hesitant to express his thoughts as it might appear unrealistic for the election of an executive at a national level. In theory however, he was for election by the people using as example the election of the chief executives of the states of New York and Massachusetts.

Mr. Sherman was for the Legislature appointing the Executive and making him totally dependent on that body. After all, he was to execute the will of the Legislature. In his opinion having the executive independent of the Legislature was “the very essence of tyranny.”

Term of Office

Mr. Wilson moved that the length of the term of office be three years assuming the executive to be eligible for re-election.

Mr. Pinkney moved for seven years.

Mr. Sherman for three years.

Mr. Mason was for at least seven years but only one term.

Mr. Bedford was for three years and a three term limit.

On the question of seven years:
5 in favor
4 opposed
1 divided
The President of the committee ruled that the motion passed.

Mode of Appointing

Mr. Wilson was still in favor of appointment by the people for both branches of the legislature as well as the executive.

Col. Mason thought that was impracticable.

Mr. Rutlidge suggested an election of the executive by the Senate only.


– One Seven-Year Term