George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 7 January 1790]

Thursday 7th. About One Oclock recd. a Committee from both Houses of Congress informing me that each had made a House and would be ready at any time I should appoint to receive the Communications I had to make in the Senate Chamber. Named to morrow 11 oclock for this purpose.

The following Gentlemen dined here—viz.—Messrs. Langdon, Wingate, Strong and Few of the Senate—The Speaker, Genl. Muhlenberg and Scott of Pensylvania—Judge Livermore and Foster of New Hampshire—Aimes & Thatcher & Goodhue of Massachusetts Mr. Burke of So. Carolina & Mr. Baldwin of Georgia.

committee from both houses of congress: See entry for 4 Jan. 1790. The committee consisted of Nicholas Gilman, Fisher Ames, and Joshua Seney from the House and Caleb Strong and Ralph Izard from the Senate (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 , 1:214–15).

Caleb Strong (1745–1819), a native of Northampton, Mass., graduated from Harvard in 1764 and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1772. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention and the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention and was elected as a Federalist to the Senate in 1789.

the speaker: Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg (1750–1801), United States congressman from Pennsylvania, was speaker of the House of Representatives during the First and Third congresses. His brother, John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg (1746–1807), who served as a brigadier general in the Continental Army 1777–83, had also been elected to Congress from Pennsylvania in 1789.

Thomas Scott (1739–1796) practiced law in Westmoreland County, Pa., and held a number of local offices in Pennsylvania before and during the Revolution. He was serving as justice of Washington County, Pa., when he was elected a member of the state’s Ratifying Convention in 1787.

Samuel Livermore (1732–1803) was born in Waltham, Mass., graduated from Princeton in 1752, and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1756. He moved to New Hampshire in 1758, where he held several local offices and was elected to the Continental Congress 1780–82, 1785. Livermore was a member of the New Hampshire Ratifying Convention in 1788. He was chief justice of the state supreme court from 1782 until 1789 when he was elected to the House of Representatives.

Abiel Foster (1735–1806) of New Hampshire was born in Andover, Mass., and graduated from Harvard in 1756. Foster was ordained a minister in 1761 and served as pastor of a church in Canterbury, N.H., from that year until 1779. From 1783 to 1785 he was a member of the Continental Congress and was judge of the court of common pleas, Rockingham County, N.H., 1784–88. He was elected to the First Congress in 1789.

Fisher Ames (1758–1808), one of the administration’s principal supporters in Congress, was a native of Dedham, Mass., graduated from Harvard in 1774, and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1781. In 1788 he was a member of the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention and in 1789 was elected as a Federalist to the First Congress.

George Thacher (1754–1824), a 1776 graduate of Harvard, was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1778 and began the practice of law in the District of Maine in the same year. He served in the Continental Congress in 1787 and was elected to the House of Representatives as a Federalist in 1789.

Aedanus Burke (1743–1802), a native of Ireland, was educated in France and immigrated to South Carolina before the Revolution. During the Revolution he held a number of military and legal positions under the state government and was a member of the state legislature 1779–87. He opposed adoption of the Constitution in the South Carolina Ratifying Convention and was an outspoken critic of the Society of the Cincinnati. A representative of South Carolina backwoods democracy, he remained suspicious of the powers of the new government, particularly those of the executive.

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