Below The Beltway

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A Typo In The Constitution

by @ 8:46 am on May 16, 2010. Filed under History, Humor, U.S. Constitution

Eugene Volokh tracks down a typographical error in the original draft of the Constitution:

In the Date Clause of article VII (see the high-resolution version of the original), which gives the date as “the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven,” the “Eighty” is capitalized but the rest of the year is not. Aha!

Here’s a close up of the section in question (click to embiggen):


And that’s not the only typo in America’s historical document, a commenter at The Volokh Conspiracy notes that the word British is mis-spelled in the Declaration of Independence/

In think the answer is obvious, we’ve got to give the country back and say hello to Prime Minister Cameron and Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

3 Responses to “A Typo In The Constitution”

  1. Rock says:

    Typo? What font did they use? Was it the same typewriter used to produce the phony Bush National Guard document?

    It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood. — James Madison

  2. Michael Seebeck says:

    And here I was thinking the typo was forgetting the period in the First Amendment after the fifth word. Drat!

  3. tfr says:

    Cursive writing was like that… they capitalized a lot of words, especially nouns, not unlike German still does today. There didn’t seem to be any particular rules for it. It may have been for show, as much as anything.
    (having done some genealogy, I’ve seen a lot of those old handwritten documents)

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