Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791: Volume 18

Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791: Volume 18 : Correspondence: Second Session, October 1789-March 14, 1790

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Through decades of searching, the First Federal Congress Project has collected primary material documenting the debates, decisions, and thoughts of the members of the First Federal Congress. The volumes of the Documentary History of the First Federal Congress permit Congress and its staff, historians, political scientists, jurists, educators, students, and others to understand the most important and productive Congress in United States history. Three new volumes present letters written by and to members of the First Federal Congress during its Second Session, as well as communications from other informed individuals at the seat of government in New York City during late 1789 and 1790.

The correspondence brings the official record to life by providing details about the often informal political means by which Congress accomplished its agenda. During this session, the Congress addressed the two most divisive issues facing the young nation: funding the debts from the Revolutionary War (particularly the debts incurred by the individual states) and determining locations for both the temporary and permanent seats of the federal government. It resolved these difficult issues through the Compromise of 1790, silencing sectional threats of disunion for the immediate future.

A rich source of information about the members of Congress, their lives in New York, their concerns about their families, and the services they performed for their constituents, the documents from these three new volumes will also be incorporated into The Early Republic, an innovative online reference hosted by the Johns Hopkins University Press.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 952 pages
  • 160.02 x 231.14 x 55.88mm | 1,383.45g
  • Baltimore, MD, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 7 Halftones, black and white
  • 080189445X
  • 9780801894459

Review quote

"A monument of careful yet easily usable scholarship. The formal legislative record always needs to be supplemented by the evidence of personal correspondence. This correspondence is in its own important way a memorial to a crucial moment in the translation of the constitution from founding text into functioning document, because it helped to establish the links necessary to maintain loyalty to the new government."

--Jack Rakove, Stanford University
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About Kenneth R. Bowling

Charlene Bangs Bickford is director and coeditor of the Documentary History of the First Federal Congress, 1789-1791. Kenneth R. Bowling serves as coeditor of the DHFFC. William C. diGiacomantonio and Helen E. Veit are associate editors of the DHFFC.
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