By 1787, the fledgling Republic of the United States of America was on the brink of dissolution. The original Articles of Confederation of 1777 had--as Washington, among others had foreseen--divided the nation into thirteen nations, and the army into thirteen armies. On May 25, delegates from twelve of the thirteen colonies (Rhode Island, afraid of what a strong central government might do to her profitable duty-collections at Newport, held aloof) met at Philadelphia to revise and strengthen the Confederation. The result of that meeting was the Constitution of the United States in its present form. The purpose of this book is to tell the story of that assembly through biographical sketches of the fifty-five delegates who ""framed the Constitution."" The first part of the book describes the steps that led to the Convention and the reasons why it was essential to the survival of the country. The second, and major, part sketches briefly the curricula vitae of the delegates, from such men as Washington, Madison and Franklin to luminaries of the tenth magnitude whose sole public act was their acquiescence in the work of better men than themselves. A readable and informative bit of Americana, albeit a minor one, which despite its occasionally schoolmarmish didacticism, should be of some interest to young adults.