Home Founders Library Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, by Joseph Story

Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, by Joseph Story

TML Editor’s note: In presenting this internet version of Joseph Story’s 1833, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States; with a Preliminary Review of the Constitutional History of the Colonies and States, Before the Adoption of the Constitution, for the Founders Corner Library, the editor has kept the original text and footnotes. He has, however, done due diligence, correcting errors which have crept into the text, comparing various online copies of the text to best remedy apparent transcription errors (though not found in every case, in which case the editor has either made a ‘best guess,’ or left the text as found). Some few paragraphs, where noted, have been split into two or more smaller paragraphs for easier reading and clarity. Story’s work, as uniquely formatted and edited, Copyright © 2015 -2021 Steve Farrell and Self-Educated American, otherwise, the copyright of the original text of Story’s work is held in the Public Domain.

BY JOSEPH STORY, LL. D., Dane Professor of Law In Harvard University.

Book I: History of the Colonies



Preliminary Chapter

Chapter 1: Origin of the Title to Territories of the Colonies

Chapter 2: Origin and Settlement of Virginia

Chapter 3: Origin and Settlement of New England

Chapter 4: Massachusetts

Chapter 5New Hampshire

Chapter 6: Maine

Chapter 7: Connecticut

Chapter 8: Rhode Island

Chapter 9: Maryland

Chapter 10: New York

Chapter 11: New Jersey

Chapter 12: Pennsylvania

Chapter 13: Delaware

Chapter 14: North and South Carolina

Chapter 15: Georgia

Chapter 16: General Review of the Colonies

Chapter 17: General Review of the Colonies (cont.)


Chapter 1: History of the Revolution

Chapter 2: Origin of the Confederation

Chapter 3: An Analysis of the Articles of Confederation

Chapter 4: The Decline and Fall of the Confederation

Book III – The Constitution of the United States

Chapter 1: Origin and Adoption of the Constitution

Chapter 2: Objections to the Constitution

Chapter 3: Nature of the Constitution – Whether a Compact

Chapter 4: Who is the Final Judge or Interpreter in Constitutional Controversies

Chapter 5: Rules of Interpretation of the Constitution

Chapter 6: The Preamble

Chapter 7: Distribution of Powers

Chapter 8: The Legislature

      Chapter 9: House of Representatives

      Chapter 10: The Senate

      Chapter 11: Elections and Meetings of Congress

      Chapter 12: Privileges and Powers of Both Houses of Congress

      Chapter 13: Mode of Passing Laws; Presidential Negative

      Chapter 14: Powers of Congress: Taxes – by Joseph Story

      Chapter 15: Power to Borrow Money and Regulate Commerce

      Chapter 16: Power Over Naturalization and Bankruptcy

      Chapter 17: Power to Coin Money and Fix the Standard of Weights and Measures

      Chapter 18: Power to Establish Post Offices and Post-Roads

      Chapter 19: Power to Promote Science and Useful Arts

      Chapter 20: Power to Punish Piracies and Felonies

      Chapter 21: Power to Declare War and Make Captures

      Chapter 22: Power Over the Militia

      Chapter 23: Power Over the Seat of Government and Other Ceded Places

      Chapter 24: Powers of Congress: Incidental

      Chapter 25: Incidental Powers – National Bank

      Chapter 26: Powers of Congress – Internal Improvements

      Chapter 27: Powers of Congress – Purchases of Foreign Territory – Embargoes

      Chapter 28: Power of Congress to Punish Treason

      Chapter 29: Power of Congress as to Proof of State Records and Proceedings

      Chapter 30: Powers of Congress: Admission of New States, and Acquisition of Territory

      Chapter 31: Powers of Congress – Territorial Government

      Chapter 32: Prohibitions on the United States

      Chapter 33: Prohibitions on the States

      Chapter 34: Prohibitions on the State s – Impairing Contracts

      Chapter 35: Prohibitions on the States – Tonnage Duties – Making War

      Chapter 36: Executive Department – Organization of

      Chapter 37: Executive: Powers and Duties

      Chapter 38: Judiciary: Organization and Powers

      Chapter 39: Definition and Evidence of Treason

      Chapter 40: Privileges of Citizens—Fugitives—Slaves

      Chapter 41: Guaranty of Republican Government – Mode of Making Amendments

      Chapter 42: Public Debts: Supremacy of Constitution and Laws

      Chapter 43: Oaths of Office—Religious Test—Ratification of Constitution

      Chapter 44: Amendments to the Constitution

      Chapter 45: Concluding Remarks