Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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HOUSTOUN, William, congressman. He was an agent of Georgia in the settlement of boundary disputes with South Carolina in 1785, and a trustee for the state college. He was a delegate from Georgia to the Continental congress in 1784 and 1787, and a member of the convention that framed the Federal constitution, but refused to sign that document. The convention, in committee, fixed the period of the president's official term at seven years, prohibiting re-election; but on the motion of Mr. Houstoun, supported by Roger Sherman and Gouverneur Morris, this provision for compulsory rotation was struck out by six states, against Delaware, Virginia, and the two Carolinas. He also directed the attention of the convention "to the expense and extreme inconvenience of drawing together men from all the states for the single purpose of electing the chief magistrate." He was in favor of revising and amending the constitutions of the several states.
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