6th United States Congress

Last updated
6th United States Congress
5th  
  7th
USCapitol1800.jpg
March 4, 1799 – March 4, 1801
Senate President Thomas Jefferson (DR)
Senate President pro tem Samuel Livermore (F)
Uriah Tracy (F)
John E. Howard (F)
James Hillhouse (F)
House Speaker Theodore Sedgwick (F)
Members32 senators
106 members of the House
1 non-voting delegates
Senate Majority Federalist
House Majority Federalist
Sessions
1st: December 2, 1799 – May 14, 1800 (Philadelphia)
2nd: November 17, 1800 – March 3, 1801 (Washington, D.C.)

The Sixth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met at Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1799, to March 4, 1801, during the last two years of John Adams's presidency. It was the last Congress of the 18th century and the first to convene in the 19th. The apportionment of seats in House of Representatives was based on the First Census of the United States in 1790. Both chambers had a Federalist majority. This was the last Congress in which the Federalist Party controlled the presidency or either chamber of Congress.

United States Senate Upper house of the United States Congress

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C.

United States House of Representatives lower house of the United States Congress

The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of the United States.

Congress Hall museum

Congress Hall, located in Philadelphia at the intersection of Chestnut and 6th Streets, served as the seat of the United States Congress from December 6, 1790 to May 14, 1800. During Congress Hall's duration as the capitol of the United States, the country admitted three new states, Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee; ratified the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution; and oversaw the Presidential inaugurations of both George Washington and John Adams.

Contents

Major events

George Washington 1st president of the United States

George Washington was an American political leader, military general, statesman, and Founding Father who also served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War of Independence, and he presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the new federal government. He has been called the "Father of His Country" for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the new nation.

Library of Congress (de facto) national library of the United States of America

The Library of Congress (LOC) is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. The Library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; it also maintains the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia. The Library's functions are overseen by the Librarian of Congress, and its buildings are maintained by the Architect of the Capitol. The Encyclopedia Britannica describes the Library of Congress as the largest library in the world, and the library describes itself as such. Its "collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, and include research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages."

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, the first President of the United States and a Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

States for JeffersonStates for BurrStates casting blank ballots
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Delaware
  • South Carolina
Total: 10 (63%)Total: 4 (25%)Total: 2 (12%)

Major legislation

<i>United States Statutes at Large</i>

The United States Statutes at Large, commonly referred to as the Statutes at Large and abbreviated Stat., are an official record of Acts of Congress and concurrent resolutions passed by the United States Congress. Each act and resolution of Congress is originally published as a slip law, which is classified as either public law or private law (Pvt.L.), and designated and numbered accordingly. At the end of a Congressional session, the statutes enacted during that session are compiled into bound books, known as "session law" publications. The session law publication for U.S. Federal statutes is called the United States Statutes at Large. In that publication, the public laws and private laws are numbered and organized in chronological order. U.S. Federal statutes are published in a three-part process, consisting of slip laws, session laws, and codification.

The District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801, officially An Act Concerning the District of Columbia, is an organic act enacted by the United States Congress in accordance with Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution. It formally placed the District of Columbia under the control of the United States Congress and organized the unincorporated territory within the District into two counties: Washington County to the north and east of the Potomac River and Alexandria County to the west and south. The charters of the existing cities of Georgetown and Alexandria were left in place and no change was made to their status. The common law of both Maryland and Virginia remained in force within the District. A court was established in each of the new counties.

Territories organized

Indiana Territory territory of the USA between 1800-1816

The Indiana Territory was created by a congressional act that President John Adams signed into law on May 7, 1800, to form an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 4, 1800, to December 11, 1816, when the remaining southern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Indiana. The territory originally contained approximately 259,824 square miles (672,940 km2) of land, but its size was decreased when it was subdivided to create the Michigan Territory (1805) and the Illinois Territory (1809). The Indiana Territory was the first new territory created from lands of the Northwest Territory, which had been organized under the terms of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.

Northwest Territory United States territory (1787-1803)

The Northwest Territory in the United States was formed after the American Revolutionary War, and was known formally as the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio. It was the initial post-colonial Territory of the United States and encompassed most of pre-war British colonial territory west of the Appalachian mountains north of the Ohio River. It included all the land west of Pennsylvania, northwest of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River below the Great Lakes. It spanned all or large parts of six eventual U.S. States. It was created as a Territory by the Northwest Ordinance July 13, 1787, reduced to Ohio, eastern Michigan and a sliver of southeastern Indiana with the formation of Indiana Territory July 4, 1800, and ceased to exist March 1, 1803, when the southeastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Ohio, and the remainder attached to Indiana Territory.

Party summary

The count below identifies party affiliations at the beginning of the first session of this Congress, and includes members from vacancies and newly admitted states, when they were first seated. Changes resulting from subsequent replacements are shown below in the "Changes in membership" section.

Senate

Party
(shading shows control)
TotalVacant
Democratic-
Republican

(DR)
Federalist
(F)
End of the previous congress 9 22 311
Begin 9 22 31 1
End 11 21 320
Final voting share34.4% 65.6%
Beginning of the next congress 17 15 320

House of Representatives

6thHouse.svg
Party
(shading shows control)
TotalVacant
Democratic-
Republican

(DR)
Federalist
(F)
End of the previous congress 50 56 1060
Begin 46 60 106 0
End 49 56 1051
Final voting share46.7% 53.3%
Beginning of the next congress 72 33 1051

Leadership

President of the Senate Thomas Jefferson Official Presidential portrait of Thomas Jefferson (by Rembrandt Peale, 1800).jpg
President of the Senate Thomas Jefferson
President pro tempore
Samuel Livermore Samuel Livermore.jpg
President pro tempore
Samuel Livermore

Senate

Thomas Jefferson 3rd president of the United States

Thomas Jefferson was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. Previously, he had served as the second vice president of the United States from 1797 to 1801. The principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was a proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights, motivating American colonists to break from the Kingdom of Great Britain and form a new nation; he produced formative documents and decisions at both the state and national level.

President pro tempore of the United States Senate second-highest-ranking official of the United States Senate

The President pro tempore of the United States Senate is the second-highest-ranking official of the United States Senate. Article One, Section Three of the United States Constitution provides that the Vice President of the United States is the President of the Senate, and mandates that the Senate must choose a President pro tempore to act in the Vice President's absence. Unlike the Vice President, the President pro tempore is an elected member of the Senate, able to speak or vote on any issue. Selected by the Senate at large, the President pro tempore has enjoyed many privileges and some limited powers. During the Vice President's absence, the President pro tempore is empowered to preside over Senate sessions. In practice, neither the Vice President nor the President pro tempore usually presides; instead, the duty of presiding officer is rotated among junior U.S. Senators of the majority party to give them experience in parliamentary procedure.

Samuel Livermore American judge

Samuel Livermore was a U.S. politician. He was a U.S. Senator from New Hampshire from 1793 to 1801 and served as President pro tempore of the United States Senate in 1796 and again in 1799.

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, Class 1 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring re-election in 1802; Class 2 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring re-election in 1804; and Class 3 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring re-election in 1800.

House of Representatives

The names of members of the House of Representatives elected statewide on the general ticket or otherwise at-large, are preceded by an "At-large," and the names of those elected from districts, whether plural or single member, are preceded by their district numbers.

Changes in membership

The count below reflects changes from the beginning of the first session of this Congress

Senate

There were 7 resignations and 1 vacancy at the beginning of Congress. The Federalists had a 1-seat net loss and the Democratic-Republicans had a 2-seat net gain.

State
(class)
VacatorReason for changeSuccessorDate of successor's
formal installation [lower-alpha 1]
Virginia
(2)
Vacant Henry Tazewell (DR) died before the beginning of this Congress Wilson C. Nicholas (DR)Elected December 5, 1799
New York
(1)
James Watson (F)Resigned March 19, 1800 Gouverneur Morris (F)Elected April 3, 1800
Massachusetts
(2)
Samuel Dexter (F)Resigned May 30, 1800 Dwight Foster (F)Elected June 6, 1800
New York
(3)
John Laurance (F)Resigned sometime in August, 1800 John Armstrong (DR)Elected November 6, 1800
Massachusetts
(1)
Benjamin Goodhue (F)Resigned November 8, 1800 Jonathan Mason (F)Elected November 14, 1800
Maryland
(3)
James Lloyd (F)Resigned December 1, 1800 William Hindman (F)Elected December 12, 1800
New Jersey
(1)
James Schureman (F)Resigned February 16, 1801 Aaron Ogden (F)Elected February 28, 1801
Delaware
(1)
Henry Latimer (F)Resigned February 28, 1801 Samuel White (F)Appointed February 28, 1801

House of Representatives

There were 6 resignations and 3 deaths. The Federalists had a 4-seat net loss and the Democratic-Republicans had a 3-seat net gain.

DistrictVacatorReason for changeSuccessorDate of successor's
formal installation [lower-alpha 1]
New York
1st
Jonathan Havens (DR)Died October 25, 1799 John Smith (DR)February 27, 1800
Northwest Territory
At-large
William Henry Harrison Resigned May 14, 1800, to become Territorial Governor of Indiana William McMillan November 24, 1800
Connecticut
At-large
Jonathan Brace (F)Resigned sometime in 1800 John Cotton Smith (F)November 17, 1800
Massachusetts
10th
Samuel Sewall (F)Resigned January 10, 1800, to become a justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Nathan Read (F)November 25, 1800
Massachusetts
4th
Dwight Foster (F)Resigned June 6, 1800, having been elected U.S. Senator Levi Lincoln (DR)December 15, 1800
Virginia
13th
John Marshall (F)Resigned June 7, 1800, to become Secretary of State Littleton W. Tazewell (DR)November 26, 1800
New Hampshire
At-large
William Gordon (F)Resigned June 12, 1800, to become New Hampshire Attorney General Samuel Tenney (F)December 8, 1800
Massachusetts
3rd
Samuel Lyman (F)Resigned November 6, 1800 Ebenezer Mattoon (F)February 2, 1801
Pennsylvania
8th
Thomas Hartley (F)Died December 21, 1800 John Stewart (DR)February 3, 1801
Georgia
At-large
James Jones (F)Died January 11, 1801Vacant until next Congress

Committees

Lists of committees and their party leaders.

Senate

House of Representatives

Joint committees

Administrative officers

Senate

House of Representatives

See also

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References

  1. "Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, 6th Congress, 2nd Session". A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875. pp. 1033–1034. Retrieved March 21, 2017.

Notes

  1. 1 2 This is the date the member was seated or an oath administered, not necessarily the same date her/his service began.