George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 4 January 1790]

Monday 4th. Informed the President of the Senate, and Speaker the Ho. of Representatives that I had some Oral communications to make to Congress when each House had a Quoram, and desired to be informed thereof—and of the time & place they would receive them.

Walked round the Battery in the afternoon.

Received a Report from the Secretary at War respecting the State of the Frontiers and Indian Affairs, with other matters which I ordered to be laid before Congress as part of the Papers which will be referred to in my Speech to that body.

In the first line of this entry “Senate” reads “Sentate” in the MS.

A letterbook copy of GW’s letter of this date to Congress is in DLC:GW. The second session of the First Congress had opened today, but the House of Representatives did not have a quorum until 7 Jan.; the Senate assembled a quorum on 6 Jan. On 6 and 7 Jan. the Senate and House appointed a committee “to wait on the President of the United States, and notify him that a quorum of the two Houses has assembled, and will be ready, in the senate-chamber, at such time as he shall appoint, to receive any communications which he may think proper to make” (DE PAUW description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972—. description ends , 1:213–14, 3:250–51). The “Oral communications” were GW’s first annual message to Congress. report: Knox’s report, which included “a general statement of the Indian Department, and of the Southwestern frontiers,” 4 Jan. 1790, is in ASP, Indian Affairs, description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends 1:59–80. GW sent it to the Senate and House of Representatives on 12 Jan. 1790.

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