Tag Archives: Congress225

The Compromise of 1790

On June 20, 1790, when Congress was temporarily meeting in New York City, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson hosted a dinner. In attendance were Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton and Representative from Virginia James Madison. Keep in mind these men … Continue reading

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Protecting Copyright and the “Encouragement of Learning”

Today’s post comes from Madeline Espeseth, intern in the Center for Legislative Archives in Washington, DC.  In 1789, David Ramsay, author of History of the Revolution of South Carolina and History of the American Revolution, petitioned Congress to pass a law granting … Continue reading

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Location, Location, Location: Settling on a Capital City

Today’s post comes from Judith Adkins, an archivist at the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives in Washington, DC. While the First Congress met for its two sessions in New York City, delegates from Pennsylvania longed to move … Continue reading

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“Rogue Island”: The last state to ratify the Constitution

Today’s post comes from Samantha Payne, intern in the Center for Legislative Archives in Washington, DC.  In 1781, Rhode Island began acquiring nicknames. American newspapers called it “the perverse sister.” “An evil genius.” The “Quintessence of Villainy.” The name “Rogue Island” stuck … Continue reading

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Opening the Doors to Debate

Today’s post comes from Kate Mollan, archivist in the Center for Legislative Archives in Washington, DC.  From the earliest days of the First Congress there were clamors for the Senate to open the doors to its chamber so that the public … Continue reading

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Inventing in Congress: Patent Law since 1790

Today’s post comes from Samantha Payne, intern in the Center for Legislative Archives in Washington, DC.  In August 1791, two men received identical patents from the Federal Government. John Fitch and James Rumsey claimed to have invented the same technology: a … Continue reading

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From Ben Franklin to the Civil War: Antislavery Petitions in Congress

Today’s post comes from Natalie Rocchio, an archives specialist in the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives in Washington, DC. One of the most contentious issues facing our nation in the early years was slavery. Unsurprisingly, the First Congress received a … Continue reading

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Changing the Boundaries: Women at Work in the Government

Today’s post comes from Samantha Payne, intern in the Center for Legislative Archives. in Washington, DC.  On January 29, 1790, Mary Katherine Goddard sent the Senate a singular request: to be reinstated as postmistress of Baltimore. After running the post … Continue reading

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Currently on Exhibit: George Washington’s First Annual Message

Continuing our celebration of the 225th Anniversary of the First Congress, the National Archives is displaying George Washington’s first annual address from January 6 to February 4, 2015, in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives in Washington, DC. This version, from the first Journal … Continue reading

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Annual Message on the State of the Union: The President Speaks

Today’s post comes from Christine Blackerby, an Outreach Specialist at the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives in Washington, DC. On January 8, 1790, President George Washington delivered a speech at Federal Hall in New York City. This speech, … Continue reading

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