Recent focus on Philadelphia as a convention city reminds us of an earlier Philadelphia convention connected with Masons Hall and our United States Constitution. On May 29, 1787, the Virginia Plan (or Randolph Plan) was presented in Philadelphia by the leader of the Virginia delegation, Governor Edmund Randolph.
The Virginia Plan consisted of a series of resolutions designed to expand the scope of the convention beyond revision of the weak existing Articles of Confederation to consideration of bold new ideas. The Randolph Plan proposed a new form of national government encompassing checks and balances in three branches of government (legislative, executive and judicial). James Madison and other members of the Virginia delegation assisted with development of this plan. Much of the Randolph Plan was included in and remains a vital part of our Constitution.
The Virginia delegation to the 1787 convention met in Masons Hall to agree upon a plan before travelling to Philadelphia. Edmund Randolph, in addition to being leader of the delegation and Virginia Governor, also was Grand Master of Virginia Masons and later first United States Attorney General. Richmond Randolph No. 19 is named in his honor.
As we reflect upon current national events, let us also reflect upon important roles Freemasons and Masons Hall played in the development of our country.