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duties sball devolve on the Sergeant-at-Arms of the next preceding House of Representatives.-R. S., sec. 32.

By the act of May 23, 1876 (Sess. Laws, 1, 41, p. 51), the Ser: geantat Arms of the House, in the case of a deceased member. of the House actually interred in the Congressional Cemetery, is required to have a monument erected of granite. (See Con. GRESSIONAL CEMETERY.)

The Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate and of the House of Representatives are authorized to make such regulations as they may deem necessary for preserving the peace and secur. ing the Capitol from defacement, and for the protection of the public property therein, and tbey shall have power to arrest and detain any person violating such regulations until such person can be brought before the proper authorities for trial.R. S., sec. 1820.

(See also R. S., secs. 1821, 1823, 1824, 1825, as to powers and duties of, with respect to the Capitol police.)

It is also made the duty of the Sergeant-at-Arms to make out a full and complete account of all the property belonging to the Government in bis possession on the first day of each regular session and at the expiration of his term of service.-R. S. sec. 72.

(See also CAPITOL.)


The Congress shall assenıble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.-Const., 1, 4, 2, 5.

In order to ascertain the sears covered by a given Congress, double the number of the Congress and add the product to 1789; the result will be the year in wbich the Congress closed. For instance, the Thirty fifth Congress : 70+1789=1859; that being the year which terminated the Thirty-fifth Congress, on the 4th of March. To find the number of a Congress sitting in any given year, substract 1789 from the year; if the result is an even number, half that number will give the Congress, of which the year in guestion will be the closing year. If the result is an odd vumber, add one to it, and balf the result will gire the Congress, of which the year in question will be the

first year.

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The following list of sessions of Cungress, convened at times other than the date fixed by the Constitution, together with a list of the extra sessions” of Congress, and of special sessions of the Senate, is given as a matter of convenience for reference, as well as general interest:

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March 4, 1789


First.... *1788, Sept. 13 First Monday in January, 1790. First

Second 1789, Sept. 29 Fourth Monday in October, 1791 Second

First.... 1791, Mar. 2 First Monday in November, 1792. Second

Second.. 1792, May 5 First Monday in November. 1791.. Third

Second ..

1794, May 30 First Monday in November, 1797..... Fifth


1797, Mar. 3 Changed to Second Monday in No. Fifth

Second 1 1797, July 1 vember, 1797. Third Monday in November, 1800.... Sixth

Second.. 1800, May 13 First Monday in November, 1803 Eighth

First... 1803, Mar. 3 First Monday in November, 1804.. Eighth.

Second 1801, Mar. 20 First Monday in November, 1808... Tenth

Second.. 1808, Apr. 22 Fourth Monday in May, 1809 ... Eleventh First 1809, Jan. 30 Fourth Monday in November, 1809 Eleventh Second.. 1809, June 21 First Monday in November, 1812. Twelfth Second. . 1812, July 6 Fourth Monday in May, 1813

Thirtecath First ... 1813, Feb. 27 First Monday in December, 1813. Tbirteenth Second 1813, July 27 Last Monday in October, 1814



1814, A pr. 18 Third Monday in November, 1818 Fifteenth Second 1818. Apr. 18 Second Monday in November, 1820... Sixteenth Second 1820, May 13 March 4, 1867

Fortieth First.... 1867, Jan. 22 March 4, 1869

Forty-first... First.

# 1867, Jan. 22 March 4, 1871

Forty-second. First.... : 1867, Jan. 22

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* The first session of the First Congress was convened in accordance with the following resolution of the Continental Congress, adopted September 13th, 1788, viz:

Resolved, etc., That the first Wednesday in January next be the dar for appointing electors in the several States which before the saill day shall have ratified the gid Constitution; that the first Wednesday in February next be the day for the clectors to assemble in their several States and vote for a President; and that the first Wednesday io March next be the time and the present seat of Congress the place for commencing proceedings under the said Constitution.

| Repealed the act of March 3rd, 1797.

1 The act of January 22, 1867, provided that in aldition to the regular times of meeting of Congress, there should be a meeting of the Fortieth i'ongress of the United States, and of each succeeding Congress thereafter, at 12 o'clock meridian, on the fourth day of March, the day on which the term begins for which the Congress is elected. That act was re. pealed by the act of April 20, 1871. (17 Statutes, 12.)



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The President may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them.Const. 2, 3, 17.

List of extra sessions of Congress convened by the President.

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First May 15, 1797 Mar. 25, 1797 Suspension of diplomatic rela.

tions with France.
First Oct. 17, 1803 July 16, 1803 Cession of Louisiana by Spain

to France.
First Oct. 26, 1807 July 30, 1807 Relations with Great Britain.
First Nov. 4, 1811 July 24, 1811 Relations with Great Britain.

Sept. 19, 1814 Aug. 8, 1814 War with Great Britain.
First Sept. 4, 1837 May 15, 1837 Suspension of specie payments.
First ... May 31, 1841 Mar. 17, 1811 Condition of finances and reve.



Thirty-fourth... Second.. Aug. 21, 1856 Aug. 18, 1856 Failure of previo::s session to

make appropriations for

Army. Thirty-seventh .. First ... July 4,1861 Apr. 17, 1861 Insurrection in certain Southern

Siates. Forty-fifth..... First ... Oct. 15, 1877 May 5, 1877 Failure of previous session to

m a ke appropriations for

Army. Forty-sixth. First ... Mar. 18, 1879 Mar. 4, 1879 Failure of previous session to

make appropriation for legis. lative, executive, and judicial and Army expenses.

List of special sessions of the U.S. Senate from 1789 to 1889,

called by the President.

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List of special sessions of the U. S. Senate, etc.- Continued.















14 March 5, 1849.
15 March 4, 1851.
16 March 4, 1853
17 March 4, 1857
18 June 15, 1858
19 March 4, 1859.
20 June 26, 1860
21 March 4, 1861
22 March 4, 1863
23 March 4, 1865.
24 April 1, 1867.
25 April 12, 1869
26 May 10, 1871.
27 March 4, 1873.
28 March 5, 1875..
29 March 5, 1877
30 March 4, 1881
31 October 10, 1881
32 March 4, 1885
33 March 4. 1889..

March 23, 1849.
March 13, 1851.
April 11, 1853
March 14, 1857.
June 16, 1858
March 10, 1859
June 28, 1860
March 28, 1861
March 14, 1863
March 11, 1865
April 20, 1867..
April 22, 1869.
May 27, 1871.
March 26, 1873.
March 24, 1875.
March 17, 1877.
May 20, 1881.
October 29, 1881
April 2, 1885.
April 2, 1889







78 20




Three of the Regents of said Institution shall be members of the House of Representatives, to be appointed by the Speaker. The members of the House so appointed shall serve for the term of two years; and on every alternate fourth Wednesday of December a like number shall be appointed in the same manner to serve until the fourth Wednesday in December in the seeond year succeeding their appointment. Vacancies occasioned by death, resignation, or otherwise shall be filled as vacancies in committees are filled.-R. S., secs. 5580 and 5581.

The Board of Regents shall submit to Congress, at each ses. sion thereof, a report of the operations, expenditures, and condition of the Institution.-R. S., sec. 5593.

The privilege of using and drawing books in the Congressional Library is extended to the Smithsonian Institution through its Secretary (R. S., sec. 94), and to the Regents of the same resi. dent in Washington.- Laws, 2, 43, p. 512.


Smoking is prohibited upon the floor of the House.-RULE XIV, clause 7.

And the Sergeant-at-Arms and Doorkeeper are charged with the strict enforcement of this clause.-Ibid.


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The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other officers.-Const., 1, 2, 6.

Upon the ascertainment of the fact that a quorum of members-elect is present, and its announcement by the Clerk of the last House, it is usual for the House, on motion of some member, immediately to “proceed, viva voce, to the election of a Speaker for the Congress." --Journal, 1, 35, p. 8.


It has been uniformly held since the act of March 8, 1863 (R. S., sec. 31), that the election of a Speaker presented a question of higher privilege than the right of a member to his seat. (See proceedings 1st sessions 38th, 39th, 40th, 41st, 421, and 43d Congresses, in Congressional Globe and Record, of first day's sessions respectively.)

At the commencement of the second session Forty-fourth Con. gress the Clerk decided that a resolution to proceed to an election of Speaker presented a question of privilege, and that pending the decision of such a question another question of privilege could not be submitted. An appeal taken from this decision was laid on the table--yeas 165, nays 84.Journal, 2, 44, p. 8.

At the first session of Congress after every general election of Representatives, the oath of office shall be administered by any member of the House of Representatives to the Speaker; and by the Speaker to all the Members and Delegates present, and to the Clerk, previous to entering on any other business; and to the Members and Delegates who afterwards appear, previous to their taking their seats.-R. S., sec, 30.

According to the usage, the member selected to administer the oath to the Speaker is that one who has been longest a member of the House.Journal, 1, 26, p. 79.

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