JAMES WILSON: Founding Father
Constitution Day, September 17, 2018
At the Constitutional Convention (1787) in Philadelphia, Wilson reached the apex of his career, where his influence was probably second only to that of James Madison. Rarely missing a session, he sat on the Committee of Detail and in many other ways applied his excellent knowledge of political theory to convention problems. Only Gouverneur Morris delivered more speeches.
Born and educated in Scotland, he was a lawyer and land speculator. He represented Pennsylvania at the convention and worked hard to make it the second state to ratify the Constitution. He later was appointed to the Supreme Court.
Since the committee didn't leave a record of its proceedings, its story has to be pieced together from three documents: an outline by Edmund Randolph (Virginia) with edits by John Rutledge (S.C.), extensive notes and a second draft by Wilson with edits by Rutledge, and the final report presented to the convention. David Stewart (author and scholar) argues "this evidence places the drafting pen in the hands of those three men". The outline began with two rules for drafting: that the constitution should only include essential principles, avoiding minor provisions that would change over time, and that it should be stated in simple and precise language. Wilson's draft included the first attempt at what would become the preamble in the final document. 
Beginning with Randolph's outline, the committee added numerous provisions that the convention had never discussed, but which were not likely to be controversial. Examples include the speech and debate clause and provisions organizing the house and senate. Three of the committee's changes fundamentally reconstituted the national government. The first change replaced the open-ended grant of powers to Congress with a list of enumerated powers. This was due to Rutledge, who wanted a strong national government but not one with indefinite powers. Many of these eighteen enumerated powers came from the Articles of Confederation. By this, the committee made the new national government one of limited powers, despite opposition among most delegates.
Rutledge was not able to completely convince Wilson, who was hostile to states’ rights and wanted a stronger national government. Wilson thus modified the list of enumerated powers, notably by adding the necessary and proper clause. He also strengthened the supremacy clause. These changes set the final balance between the national and state governments that would be a part of the final document, as the convention never challenged this dual-sovereignty between nation and state established by Rutledge and Wilson. The final report of this committee, which became the first draft of the constitution, was the first workable constitutional plan, as Madison's Virginia Plan had simply been an outline of goals and a broad structure. Even after it issued this report, the committee continued to meet off and on until early September. Further changes were made by the convention and other committees. On September 8, 1787, a Committee of Style with different members was impaneled to set down and revise the actual text of the Constitution. [footnotes omitted.]
Based on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_of_Detail and http://teachingamericanhistory.org/static/convention/delegates/wilson.html