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Famous Freemason - David Brearley

"We have been in a Committee of the Whole for some time, and have under consideration a number of very important propositions…[We] are very desirous that you should join us immediately. The importance of the business really demands it."

David Brearley (often misspelled as Brearly) was an American Founding Father, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, a delegate from New Jersey to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, which drafted the United States Constitution, a signer of the United States Constitution, a United States district judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey and firs Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey.

Prior to the start of the American Revolution, Brearley was on one occasion arrested for his opposition to the rule of the British Parliament but was freed by a mob. With the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, Brearley was at first a captain in the Monmouth Countymilitia after having spent many years speaking out against the Parliamentary absolutism. He eventually rose to the rank of colonel in Nathaniel Heard's New Jersey militia brigade. From 1776 to 1779 he served in the New Jersey Line of the Continental Army, seeing action at Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth.

While at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Brearley was Chairman of the Committee on Postponed Parts, which played a substantial role in shaping the final document. The committee addressed questions related to the taxes, war-making, patents and copyrights, relations with Native American tribes, and Franklin's compromise to require money bills to originate in the House of Representatives. The biggest issue they addressed was the presidency, and the final compromise was written by James Madison with the committee's input. They adopted the earlier plan for choosing the president by the Electoral College and settled on the method of choosing the president if no candidate had an Electoral College majority, which many such as Madison thought would be "nineteen times out of twenty". The committee also shortened the president's term from seven years to four years, freed him to seek re-election, and moved impeachment trials from the courts to the Senate. They also created the vice president, whose only role was to succeed the president and preside over the Senate. This also transferred important powers from the Senate to the president, who was given the power (which had been given to the senate by Rutledge's committee) to make treaties and appoint ambassadors. He ultimately signed the finished Constitution.

At the close of the Revolutionary War, Brearly became one of the founding members of the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of New Jersey and served as the state society's vice president from 1783 until his death in 1790. In 1789, he was elected to the American Philosophical Society

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