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 were on opposing ends of the political spectrum. Hamilton, a Federalist, wanted the Federal Government … Continue reading The Compromise of 1790

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 him the exclusive right of “vending and disposing” the books within the United States. This … Continue reading Protecting Copyright and the “Encouragement of Learning”

National Archives War Memorial Plaque

Hanging in the Pennsylvania Avenue entrance lobby of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, is a small plaque with the names of four men: Ralph Leroy Dewsnup, Charles Edward Lewis, Julius Mayers and Augustus Julius Siko. These four men were National Archives employees who died serving the United States during World War II. In 1946 the National … Continue reading National Archives War Memorial Plaque

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 the seat of government back to Philadelphia, home of the Continental Congress. On May 24, … Continue reading Location, Location, Location: Settling on a Capital City

National Archives commemorates Memorial Day with video

To commemorate Memorial Day, the National Archives has released a short video about the importance of the holiday. Timed for the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s death and the upcoming sesquicentennial of the 1866 founding of the Grand Army of the Republic (the fraternal organization of Union Civil War veterans), the National Archives created … Continue reading National Archives commemorates Memorial Day with video

“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 all the way to 1787, when the Constitutional Convention began and the small state refused … Continue reading “Rogue Island”: The last state to ratify the Constitution