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First United States Congress

 

First United States Congress

1st United States Congress
Federal Hall, site of the first two sessions of this Congress (1789)

Duration: March 4, 1789 – March 4, 1791

Senate President: John Adams
Senate Pres. pro tem: John Langdon
House Speaker: Frederick Muhlenberg
Members: 21–26 Senators
59–65 Representatives
0 Non-voting members
Senate Majority: Pro-Administration
House Majority: Pro-Administration

Sessions
1st: March 4, 1789 – September 29, 1789
2nd: January 4, 1790 – August 12, 1790
3rd: December 6, 1790 – March 3, 1791
<10th Confederation Congress 2nd>
"First Congress" redirects here. For the first seating of the Continental Congress, see First Continental Congress.

The 1st United States Congress, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, met from March 4, 1789 to March 4, 1791, during the first two years of George Washington's presidency, first at Federal Hall in New York City and later at Congress Hall in Philadelphia. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the provisions of Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution. Both chambers had a Pro-Administration majority. This Congress passed the ten amendments now called the Bill of Rights.

Major events

Main articles: 1789, 1790 and 1791
  • April 1, 1789: House of Representatives first achieved a quorum and elected its officers
  • April 6, 1789: Senate first achieved a quorum and elected its officers.
  • April 6, 1789: The Electoral College ballots were counted and George Washington was unanimously elected President of the United States.[1]
  • April 30, 1789: George Washington was inaugurated at Federal Hall in New York City
  • January 8, 1790: President Washington gave the first State of the Union Address
  • June 20, 1790: Compromise of 1790: James Madison agreed to not be "strenuous" in opposition for the assumption of state debts by the federal government; Alexander Hamilton agreed to support the capital site being above the Potomac River.

Major legislation

Session 1

Held March 4, 1789, through September 29, 1789, at Federal Hall in New York City

  • June 1, 1789: 23
  • July 4, 1789: 24
  • July 27, 1789: 28.
  • July 31, 1789. Regulation of the Collection of Duties on Tonnage and Merchandise, ch.5, 1 29.
  • August 7, 1789: 49.
  • September 2, 1789: 65
  • September 24, 1789: Attorney General

Session 2

Held January 4, 1790, through August 12, 1790, at Federal Hall in New York City

  • March 1, 1790: Made provisions for the 101
  • March 26, 1790: 103
  • April 10, 1790: 109
  • April 30, 1790: Crimes Act of 1790, ch. 9, 1 112
  • May 31, 1790: 124
  • July 6, 1790: seat of government of the United States.
  • July 22, 1790: Indian Intercourse Act of 1790, ch. 33, 1 Indian tribes.

Session 3

Held December 6, 1790, through March 3, 1791, at Congress Hall in Philadelphia

  • February 25, 1791: 191
  • March 3, 1791: Whiskey Rebellion

Constitutional amendments

  • September 25, 1789: Twelve proposed amendments to the one still awaits ratification.

States admitted and territories organized

Party summary

There were no political parties in this Congress. Members are informally grouped into factions of similar interest, based on an analysis of their voting record.[2]

Details on changes are shown below in the "Changes in membership" section.

Senate

During this congress, two Senate seats were added for North Carolina and Rhode Island when each ratified the Constitution. Template:USCongress Party summary

House of Representatives

During this congress, five House seats were added for North Carolina and one House seat was added for Rhode Island when they ratified the Constitution. Template:USCongress Party summary

Leadership

Senate

House of Representatives

Members

This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed in order of seniority, and Representatives are listed by district.

Senate

Senators were elected by the state legislatures every two years, with one-third beginning new six year terms with each Congress. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election. In this Congress, all Senators were newly elected, and Class 1 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1790; Class 2 meant their term ended with the next Congress, requiring reelection in 1792; and Class 3 meant their term lasted through the next two Congresses, requiring reelection in 1794.

House of Representatives

The names of members of the House of Representatives are listed by their districts.

Changes in membership

There were no political parties in this Congress. Members are informally grouped into factions of similar interest, based on an analysis of their voting record.[2]

New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island, were the last states to ratify the U.S. Constitution, and because of their late ratification, were unable to send full representation at the beginning of this Congress. Five Senators and nine Representatives were subsequently seated from these states during the sessions as noted.

Senate

There was 1 resignation, 1 death, 1 replacement of a temporary appointee, and 6 new seats. The Anti-Administration Senators picked up a 1 seat net gain and the Pro-Administration Senators picked up 4 seats. Template:Ordinal US Congress Senate |- | New York (3) | rowspan=4 | New seats | rowspan=2 style="font-size:80%" | State legislature failed to pick Senator until after Congress began. | style="background:#0EBFE9" | Rufus King (P) | July 25, 1789 |- | New York (1) | style="background:#0EBFE9" | Philip John Schuyler (P) | July 27, 1789 |- | North Carolina (3) | rowspan=2 style="font-size:80%" | North Carolina ratified the constitution on November 21, 1789. | style="background:#0EBFE9" | Benjamin Hawkins (P) | rowspan=2 | Elected November 27, 1789 |- | North Carolina (2) | style="background:#0EBFE9" | Samuel Johnston (P) |- | Virginia
(1) | style="background:Template:United States political party color" | William Grayson (A) | style="font-size:80%" | Died March 12, 1790. | style="background:#0EBFE9" | John Walker (P) | Appointed March 31, 1790 |- | Rhode Island (1) | rowspan=2 | New seats | rowspan=2 style="font-size:80%" | Rhode Island ratified the constitution on May 29, 1790. | style="background:#0EBFE9" | Theodore Foster (P) | rowspan=2 | Elected June 7, 1790 |- | Rhode Island (2) | style="background:Template:United States political party color" | Joseph Stanton, Jr. (A) |- | Virginia
(1) | style="background:#0EBFE9" | John Walker (P) | style="font-size:80%" | James Monroe was elected to the seat of Senator William Grayson. | style="background:Template:United States political party color" | James Monroe (A) | Elected November 9, 1790 |- | New Jersey (2) | style="background:#0EBFE9" | William Paterson (P) | style="font-size:80%" | Resigned November 13, 1790,
having been elected Governor of New Jersey. | style="background:#0EBFE9" | Philemon Dickinson (P) | Elected November 23, 1790 |}

House of Representatives

There was 1 resignation, 1 death, and 6 new seats. Anti-Administration members picked up 3 seats and Pro-Administration members picked up 2 seats. Template:Ordinal US Congress Rep |- | North Carolina 1st | rowspan=5 | New seats | rowspan=5 style="font-size:80%" | North Carolina ratified the constitution on November 21, 1789. | style="background:Template:United States political party color" | John Baptista Ashe (A) | March 24, 1790 |- | North Carolina 2nd | style="background:Template:United States political party color" | Hugh Williamson (A) | March 19, 1790 |- | North Carolina 3rd | style="background:Template:United States political party color" | Timothy Bloodworth (A) | April 6, 1790 |- | North Carolina 4th | style="background:#0EBFE9" | John Steele (P) | April 19, 1790 |- | North Carolina 5th | style="background:#0EBFE9" | John Sevier (P) | June 16, 1790 |- | Rhode Island At-large | New seat | style="font-size:80%" | Rhode Island ratified the constitution on May 29, 1790. | style="background:#0EBFE9" | Benjamin Bourne (P) | December 17, 1790 |- | Virginia
9th
| style="background:Template:United States political party color" | Theodorick Bland (A) | style="font-size:80%" | Died June 1, 1790. | style="background:Template:United States political party color" | William B. Giles (A) | December 7, 1790 |- | Massachusetts 5th | style="background:#0EBFE9" | George Partridge (P) | style="font-size:80%" | Resigned August 14, 1790. | colspan=2 | Remained vacant until next Congress |}

Employees

Senate

House of Representatives

See also

References

External links

  • 1st Federal Congress Project
  • Statutes at Large, 1789–1875
  • Senate Journal, First Forty-three Sessions of Congress
  • House Journal, First Forty-three Sessions of Congress
  • Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • House History from the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Statistics & Lists from the U.S. Senate
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