1st United States Congress

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1st United States Congress
  2nd
New York City Hall 1789b.jpg
Federal Hall (1789)

March 4, 1789 – March 4, 1791
Members22–26 senators
59–65 representatives
Senate Majority Pro-Administration
Senate President John Adams (P)
House Majority Pro-Administration
House Speaker Frederick Muhlenberg (P)
Sessions
1st: March 4, 1789 – September 29, 1789
2nd: January 4, 1790 – August 12, 1790
3rd: December 6, 1790 – March 3, 1791

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. With the initial meeting of the First Congress, the United States federal government officially began operations under the new (and current) frame of government established by the 1787 Constitution. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the provisions of Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution. Both chambers had a Pro-Administration majority. Twelve articles of amendment to the Constitution were passed by this Congress and sent to the states for ratification; the ten ratified as additions to the Constitution on December 15, 1791, are collectively known as the Bill of Rights, with an additional amendment ratified more than two centuries later to become the Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Contents

Major events

Congress Hall in Philadelphia, meeting place of this Congress's third session. Congress Hall exterior.jpg
Congress Hall in Philadelphia, meeting place of this Congress's third session.

Major legislation

Statue of George Washington in front of Federal Hall, where he was first inaugurated as president. George Washington Statue at Federal Hall.JPG
Statue of George Washington in front of Federal Hall, where he was first inaugurated as president.

Session 1

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

Session 2

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

Session 3

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

Constitutional amendments

States ratifying Constitution

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. [4]

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.

Faction
(Shading indicates faction control)
Total
Anti-Administration
(A)
Pro-Administration
(P)
Vacant
Begin
March 4, 1789
713202
July 25, 1789 [lower-alpha 1] 14211
July 27, 1789 [lower-alpha 1] 15220
November 27, 1789 [lower-alpha 2] 1724
March 12, 1790 [lower-alpha 3] 6231
March 31, 1790 [lower-alpha 4] 18240
June 7, 1790 [lower-alpha 5] 71926
November 9, 1790 [lower-alpha 6] 818
November 13, 1790 [lower-alpha 7] 17251
November 23, 1790 [lower-alpha 8] 18260
Final voting share30.8%69.2%
Beginning of the
next Congress
817251

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.

Faction
(Shading indicates faction control)
Total
Anti-Administration
(A)
Pro-Administration
(P)
Vacant
Begin
March 4, 1789
2331545
April 13, 1789 [lower-alpha 9] 32554
April 22, 1789 [lower-alpha 10] 33563
April 23, 1789 [lower-alpha 11] 24572
May 9, 1789 [lower-alpha 12] 25581
June 23, 1789 [lower-alpha 13] 34590
March 19, 1790 [lower-alpha 14] 2660
March 24, 1790 [lower-alpha 14] 2761
April 6, 1790 [lower-alpha 14] 2862
April 19, 1790 [lower-alpha 14] 3563
June 1, 1790 [lower-alpha 15] 27621
June 16, 1790 [lower-alpha 14] 3663
August 14, 1790 [lower-alpha 16] 35622
December 7, 1790 [lower-alpha 17] 28631
December 7, 1790 [lower-alpha 18] 3664
Final voting share43.7%56.3%
Beginning of the
next Congress
2537623

Leadership

Senate

House of Representatives

Members

This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed by class, and Representatives are listed by district.

Skip to House of Representatives, below

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 re-election in 1790; Class 2 meant their term ended with the next Congress, requiring re-election in 1792; and Class 3 meant their term lasted through the next two Congresses, requiring re-election 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. [4]

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. Six 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 1 new seat and the Pro-Administration Senators picked up 5 new seats.

State
(class)
VacatorReason for changeSuccessorDate of successor's
formal installation [lower-alpha 19]
New York (3)New seatsState legislature failed to choose Senator until after Congress began. Rufus King (P)July 25, 1789
New York (1) Philip John Schuyler (P)July 27, 1789
North Carolina (3)North Carolina ratified the constitution on November 21, 1789. Benjamin Hawkins (P)Elected November 27, 1789
North Carolina (2) Samuel Johnston (P)
Virginia
(1)
William Grayson (A)Died March 12, 1790. John Walker (P)Appointed March 31, 1790
Rhode Island (1)New seatsRhode Island ratified the constitution on May 29, 1790. Theodore Foster (P)Elected June 7, 1790
Rhode Island (2) Joseph Stanton, Jr. (A)
Virginia
(1)
John Walker (P) James Monroe was elected to the seat of Senator William Grayson. James Monroe (A)Elected November 9, 1790
New Jersey (2) William Paterson (P)Resigned November 13, 1790,
having been elected Governor of New Jersey.
Philemon Dickinson (P)Elected November 23, 1790

House of Representatives

There was 2 resignations, 1 death, and 6 new seats. Anti-Administration members picked up 3 seats and Pro-Administration members picked up 2 seats.

DistrictVacatorReason for changeSuccessorDate of successor's
formal installation [lower-alpha 19]
New Hampshire at-large Benjamin West (P)Member-elect declined to serve and a new member was elected in the first congressional special election. Abiel Foster (P)June 23, 1789
North Carolina 1 New seatsNorth Carolina ratified the constitution November 21, 1789. John Baptista Ashe (A)March 24, 1790
North Carolina 2 Hugh Williamson (A)March 19, 1790
North Carolina 3 Timothy Bloodworth (A)April 6, 1790
North Carolina 4 John Steele (P)April 19, 1790
North Carolina 5 John Sevier (P)June 16, 1790
Rhode Island at-large New seatRhode Island ratified the constitution May 29, 1790. Benjamin Bourne (P)December 17, 1790
Virginia 9 Theodorick Bland (A)Died June 1, 1790. William B. Giles (A)December 7, 1790
Massachusetts 5 George Partridge (P)Resigned August 14, 1790.Remained vacant until next Congress

Committees

Lists of committees and their party leaders.

Senate

House of Representatives

Joint committees

Employees

Senate

House of Representatives

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 In New York: the state legislature failed to choose Senators until after Congress began.
  2. In North Carolina, the state ratified the Constitution and elected two Senators.
  3. In Virginia, William Grayson died.
  4. In Virginia, John Walker was appointed to fill the vacancy created when William Grayson died.
  5. In Rhode Island, the state ratified the Constitution and elected two Senators.
  6. In Virginia, James Monroe was elected to fill the vacancy created when William Grayson died.
  7. In New Jersey, William Paterson resigned, having been elected Governor of New Jersey.
  8. In New Jersey, Philemon Dickinson was elected to fill the vacancy created when William Paterson resigned.
  9. In South Carolina's 1st district , William Loughton Smith was seated late after a contested election.
  10. In New York's 5th district , Peter Silvester arrived late.
  11. In New York's 4th district , John Hathorn arrived late.
  12. In New York's 6th district , Jeremiah Van Rensselaer arrived late.
  13. In New Hampshire's at-large district , Abiel Foster was elected after Benjamin West refused to take his seat.
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 North Carolina ratified the Constitution on November 21, 1789, and elected five members.
  15. In Virginia's 9th district , Theodorick Bland died.
  16. In Massachusetts's 5th district , George Partridge resigned.
  17. In Virginia's 9th district , William Branch Giles was elected to fill the vacancy created when Theodorick Bland died.
  18. Rhode Island ratified the constitution May 29, 1790 and elected one member.
  19. 1 2 When seated or oath administered, not necessarily when service began.

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References

  1. "Journal of the First Session of the Senate of The United States of America, Begun and Held at the City of New York, March 4, 1789, And In The Thirteenth Year of the Independence of the Said States". Senate Journal. Gales & Seaton. 1820.
  2. Unger, Harlow Giles (September 4, 2012). John Quincy Adams . Da Capo Press. pp.  71. ISBN   9780306821301. john adams new york city vice president inauguration April 20.
  3. "Vice Presidential Inaugurations". Washington, D.C.: Architect of the Capitol. Archived from the original on July 31, 2017. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  4. 1 2 Martis, Kenneth C. The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress.
  5. "American Memory: Remaining Collections". memory.loc.gov. Retrieved February 13, 2018.

Further reading