Constitutional theorist Daniel Dreisbach writes, many Americans “made salient contributions in thought, word, and deed to the construction of America’s republican institutions.” One of them was Hugh Williamson. Few today have heard of him, and almost everyone overlooks this founding father when trying to learn of the “original intent” of the Constitution. That's a mistake. To ignore Williamson (and founders other than the usual five or six historical figures) is an inadequate approach to understand proper originalism.
“Original intent,” then, mistakenly becomes nothing other than the opinions of a handful, and we ignore the role of the ratifying conventions and the wisdom of other leading public figures in understanding the process of ratification and the federal underpinnings of our government.
Williamson, an Edenton resident, delivered more than 70 speeches at the convention and was appointed to five committees (the second most of any delegate). He had a particularly strong interest in economic questions, serving on committees to consider questions such as state debts and the slave trade.
While considering these questions of immediate import to the young republic, Williamson made a large number of smaller contributions to the Constitution
I learned American history as a kid while living in North Carolina and I don't remember ever hearing about this man.
If I remember correctly N.C. history at the time was covered in 8th grade.