Today, the Constitution Commemorative Silver Dollar Coin remembers the adoption of the precursor document, the Articles of Confederation, on June 26, 1778.
From the United States Statutes Annotated, Editor-in-Chief Bruce Barnett, published in 1916:
Articles of Confederation 1777
Congress Resolved, on the 11th of June, 1776, that a committee should be appointed to prepare and digest the form of a confederation to be entered into between the Colonies; and on the day following, after it had been determined that the committee should consist of a member from each Colony, the following persons were appointed to perform that duty, to-wit: Mr. Bartlett, Mr. S. Adams, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Sherman, Mr. R. R. Livingston, Mr. Dickinson, Mr. M’Kean, Mr. Stone, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Hewes, Mr. E. Rutledge, and Mr. Gwinnett.
Upon the report of this committee, the subject was, from time to time, debated, until the 15th of November, 1777, when a copy of the confederation being made out, and sundry amendments made in the diction, without altering the sense, the same was finally agreed to.
Congress, at the same time, directed that the articles should be proposed to the legislatures of all the United States, to be considered, and if approved of by them, they were advised to authorize their delegates to ratify the same in the Congress of the United States; which being done, the same should become conclusive.
Three hundred copies of the Articles of Confederation were ordered to be printed for the use of Congress; and on the 17th of November, the form of a circular letter to accompany them was brought in by a committee appointed to prepare it, and being agreed to, thirteen copies of it were ordered to be made out, to be signed by the president and forwarded to the several States, with copies of the confederation.
On the 29th of November ensuing, a committee of three was appointed, to procure a translation of the articles to be made into the French language, and to report an address to the inhabitants of Canada, &c.
On the 26th of June, 1778, the form of a ratification of the Articles of Confederation was adopted, and, it having been engrossed on parchment, it was signed on the 9th of July on the part and in behalf of their respective States, by the delegates of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and South Carolina, agreeably to the powers vested in them.
The delegates of North Carolina signed on the 21st of July, those of Georgia on the 24th of July, and those of New Jersey on the 26th of November following.
On the 5th of May, 1779, Mr. Dickinson and Mr. Van Dyke signed in behalf of the State of Delaware, Mr. M’Kean having previously signed in February, at which time he produced a power to that effect.
Maryland did not ratify until the year 1781. She had instructed her delegates, on the 15th of December, 1778, not to agree to the confederation until matters respecting the western lands should be settled on principles of equity and sound policy; but, on the 30th of January, 1781, finding that the enemies of the country took advantage of the circumstance to disseminate opinions of an ultimate dissolution of the Union, the legislature of the State passed an act to empower their delegates to subscribe and ratify the articles, which was accordingly done by Mr. Hanson and Mr. Carroll, on the 1st of March of that year, which completed the ratifications of the act; and Congress assembled on the 2d of March under the new powers.
Note. — The proof of this document, as published above was read by Mr. Ferdinand Jefferson, the Keeper of the Rolls of the Department of State, at Washington, who compared it with the original in his custody.
He says: “The initial letters of many of the words in the original of this instrument are capitals, but as no system appears to have been observed, the same words sometimes beginning with a capital and sometimes with a small letter, I have thought it best not to undertake to follow the original in this particular. Moreover, there are three forms of the letter s: the capital S, the small s, and the long f, the last being used indiscriminately to words that should begin with a capital and those that should begin with a small s.”
From the Journals of the Continental Congress for June 26, 1778:
The committee appointed to prepare the form of a ratification of the articles of Confederation, brought in a form, which was agreed to as follows:
To all to whom these presents shall come: We, the undersigned delegates of the states affixed to our names send greeting.
Whereas, the delegates of the United States of America in Congress assembled, did, on the fifteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven, and in the second year of the independence of America, agree to certain articles of confederation and perpetual union between the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pensylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, in the words following, viz.
Which articles were by Congress “proposed to the legislatures of all the United States, to be considered, and if approved of by them, they were advised to authorize their delegates to ratify the same in the Congress of the United States.”
And, whereas, it hath pleased the Great Governor of the World to incline the hearts of the legislatures we respectively represent in Congress, to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said articles of confederation and perpetual union; KnOW YE, that we, the undersigned delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us given for that purpose, do, by these presents, in the name and in behalf of our respective constituents, fully and entirely ratify and confirm each and every of the said articles of confederation and perpetual union, and all and singular the matters and things therein contained; and we do further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective constituents that they shall abide by the determinations of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions, which by the said confederation are submitted to them; and that the articles thereof shall be inviolably observed by the states we respectively represent; and that the union shall be perpetual.
In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands, this day of in the year of our Lord 1778, and in the year of the independence of the United States of America.
Ordered, That a copy of the Articles of Confederation, with the above ratification, be engrossed on parchment, in order that the same may be signed before Congress adjourn from this place.
The Constitution Commemorative Silver Dollar Coin shows with an image of the printed Articles of Confederation, printed in 1778.