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Cnap. I. Organization of Houses—Rules, &c. - 1789.
#go tors present, addressed a circular letter to the absent members − of that body, describing the situation in which they found themcircular to selves placed, pointing out “the indispensable necessity of put- S. Journal, so ting the government into immediate operation,” and requesting * 5, 6. the attendance of the absentees as soon as possible. On the second cir. 18th of March, no other senator having arrived, a second circu... * lar letter was addressed to eight of the absent senators, excluding those whose residences were so distant as to make it impossible that a letter would reach them previously to their departure on their public duties. The terms in which this second communication was couched were more urgent. It was suggested, that “the House of Representatives will probably be formed in two Id. p. 6. or three days;” that, therefore, the presence of the absent senators “is indispensably necessary;” and a confidence is expressed that they will not suffer “the public expectations to be disappointed.” An efficient response to these applications does not appear to have been received until the 6th of April, some days after the appearance of a majority of the House of Representatives. Quorum in On the 1st of April, thirty members of the house being pre- H. Journal, ** sent, constituting a quorum, a resolution was adopted to proceed P.” Election of to the choice of a speaker by ballot, and Frederick Augustus ** Muhlenberg, one of the representatives for the state of Pennsylvania, having received a majority of the votes of the whole house, was declared to be duly elected speaker of the house. The speaker was then conducted to the chair, and suitably acknowledged the honour which had been conferred upon him. Appoint. Mr. John Beckley was then appointed clerk of the house, by a Ibid. .. of a majority of the votes, the election being made by ballot, as in the choice of the speaker. An order was adopted that the memCommittee bers deliver in their credentials at the clerk's table. On the .*... following day, a committee of eleven members was appointed report du: “to prepare and report such standing rules and orders of pro.."; ceeding as may be proper to be observed in this house,” and Ibid. a sergeant-Messrs. Gilman, Gerry, Wadsworth, Boudinot, Hartley, Smith, * Lee, Tucker, Madison, Sherman, and Goodhue, were appointed such committee. An instruction was given to this committee to report, also, “the duties and services of a sergeant-at-arms, or other proper officer for enforcing the orders of the house.” On Ibid. Election of the 4th of April, Gifford Dalley was elected by ballot to be dooro,. keeper of the house, and Thomas Claxton was elected, in the Id. p. 7. sistant door same manner, to be assistant door-keeper. keeper. Notwithstanding the efforts which were made to produce the
FROM MARCH 4, 1789, To MARCH 3, 1793; EMBRACING THE FIRST TERM of THE
ADMINISTRATION OF GENERAL, was HINGTON,
IPIR. E. F. A. C. E.
THE object of this work, is to present a classification of the legislative measures of the first term of General Washington’s administration. The multitudinous subjects which, in the Journals of the two houses, are scattered over the surface of thirteen hundred pages, requiring vast labour and a close scrutiny to discover and to disentangle them from the heterogeneous mass of which they form a part, are herein collected and arranged in system, so as to present at once the entire legislation on every topic of public interest and private concernment.
Connected with this order, an arrangement more general in its character presents the measures before the first and second Congresses, under distinct classes, divided into, and designated, Chapters, for the purpose of a more easy reference, and the more ready comprehension of the course of legislation. It will be perceived that the work embraces only such details as belong to the actual legislation of Congress. To have included the particulars of every individual application to the two houses, would have been to swell the volume to a cumbrous and unwieldy magnitude, without giving to it a corresponding increase of value. Equally impracticable would have been any effort to compress within convenient limits the important public papers communicated by the executive to the legislative branch. Some of these are eminently interesting in themselves, and others appear necessary to elucidate the causes and progress of legislation. Should the public decision as to the usefulness of the present