This site transcribes four early versions of the Constitution of the United States: the parchment “original,” which has become canonical, and three early printed versions, two of which are nearly as old as the parchment. Outside of a small number of typographical errors the texts are identical in wording, but they differ substantially in punctuation and other minutiae.
For a discussion of the subtle but occasionally interesting differences between the versions, see my paper on the subject (20 Green Bag 2d 163). For historical information on the four texts, see the classic essays of Denys P. Myers (reprinted in 11 Green Bag 2d 217) and Akhil Amar (97 Yale Law Journal 281).
- P, the parchment Constitution signed by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention
- F, the printed version authorized by the Convention, which formed the basis for the earliest newspaper printings of the Constitution
- C, the printed version of the text forwarded by the Confederation Congress to the states
- CS, the “correct Copy” included by Francis Childs and John Swaine, official “Printers to the United States,” in their 1789 session-laws volume