Two autograph notebooks (1787 May 25-June 16 and 1787 June 18-July 10), containing John Lansing's notes taken during the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Some contents include: transcriptions of various committee reports, including a transcription of Alexander Hamilton's plan ('Colonel Hamilton's System'); the text of Elbridge Gerry's committee report of July 5 1787; and a three-page list of the delegates of the convention arranged by state (excluding New Hampshire, since their delegates arrived after Lansing had left Philadelphia).
John Lansing, delegate to the Constitutional Convention from New York, was born in Albany on January 30th, 1754. He was admitted to the bar in 1775, but temporarily suspended his practice to serve as aide-de-camp to General Philip Schuyler in 1776 and 1777. Beginning in 1780, Lansing served his first of six terms in the New York State Assembly, where he would be elected speaker twice. He was a member of Congress under the Articles of Confederation from 1785 to 1786, at which point he was chosen to be mayor of Albany. In 1790, he was appointed to the New York State Supreme Court, and became Chief Justice in 1798. In 1801, he was made Chancellor of New York State, a position he held until his retirement in 1814. Upon retiring, Lansing returned to practicing law, and made an unsuccessful attempt to return to the New York State Assembly, running and losing in 1824. He nonetheless kept busy, becoming involved with Columbia College and the State University of New York (where he was named a regent), and spending a great deal of time managing his land holdings, which were nearly 40,000 acres. Lansing disappeared one evening in December of 1829, while he was in New York City for some meetings at Columbia College. Lansing was last seen walking from his hotel to the dock at Cortlandt Street to mail some letters; he never returned and was never heard from again.