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3. Congress of the United States

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Congress Hall, meeting place from the 1st to the 6th Congresses

The 3rd United States Congress met between March 4, 1793 and March 3, 1795, President George Washington’s fifth and sixth years in office. It met at Congress Hall in Philadelphia. In the Senate, there was a majority for the Washington-supporting Pro-Administration Party; in the House of Representatives, there was a majority for the opposing Anti-Administration Party.

Significant events

  • 22. April 1793: George Washington signs the Proclamation of Neutrality, stating that the United States would remain neutral in the Coalition Wars.
  • 14. March 1794: Eli Whitney receives a patent for the Egrenier machine.
  • 27. March 1794: Congress authorizes the construction of the first six frigates of the United States Navy.
  • 7. August 1794: Due to the Whiskey Act, an excise tax on whiskey, the Whiskey Rebellion occurs, an uprising of settlers in Pennsylvania that is put down by the federal government with military aid.
  • 20. August 1794: The Battle of Fallen Timbers ends in defeat for the Indian tribes.

Significant legislation

  • 4. March 1794: Congress passes the 11th Amendment to the United States Constitution, protecting states from lawsuits under federal law. The Amendment is ratified by the 12th state on February 7, 1795, and goes into effect.
  • 27. March 1794: With the Naval Act of 1794, the United States establishes its first navy.
  • 19. November 1794: The United States enters into the Jay Treaty with the Kingdom of Great Britain to resolve outstanding tensions and disputes from the American War of Independence.
  • 29. January 1795: The Naturalization Act of 1795 transformed the naturalization process into a two-step process and extended the minimum stay in the United States to five years before naturalization can be made.

Parties

There were no organized parties in either the Senate or the House of Representatives at that time. There were, however, two groups, the Anti-Administration Party and the Pro-Administration Party. While members of the Anti-Administration Party later founded the Democratic-Republican Party, the Pro-Administration Party was the forerunner of the Federalist Party.

House of Representatives

Grouping Start End
Parliament Share of votes Parliament Share of votes
Pro-Administration (P) 50 47,6 % 49 47,6 %
Anti-Administration (A) 55 52,4 % 54 52,4 %
Vacant 0 2
Total 105 103

Senate

Grouping Start End
Senators Share of votes Senators Share of votes
Pro-Administration 16 55,2 % 17 56,7 %
Anti-Administration 13 44,8 % 13 43,3 %
Vacant 1 0
Total 29 30

Leadership

Members

House of Representatives

Connecticut

  • Joshua Coit (P)
  • James Hillhouse (P)
  • Amasa Learned (P)
  • Zephaniah Swift (P)
  • Uriah Tracy (P)
  • Jonathan Trumbull Jr (P)
  • Jeremiah Wadsworth (P)

Delaware

  • John Patten (A), until 14 February, 1794
  • Henry Latimer (P), 14 February 1794 – 7 February 1795
  • subsequently vacant

Georgia

  • Abraham Baldwin (A)
  • Thomas P. Carnes (A)

Kentucky

  • 1. Christopher Greenup (A)
  • 2. Alexander D. Orr (A)

Maryland

  • 1. George Dent (P)
  • 2. John Mercer (A), until 13 April 1794
  • 2. Gabriel Duvall (A), from 11 November 1794
  • 3. Uriah Forrest (P), until November 8, 1794
  • 3. Benjamin Edwards (P), from 2 January 1795
  • 4. Thomas Sprigg (A)
  • 5. Samuel Smith (A)
  • 6. Gabriel Christie (A)
  • 7. William Hindman (P)
  • 8. William Vans Murray (P)

Massachusetts

  • 1a. Fisher Ames (P)
  • 1b. Samuel Dexter (P)
  • 1c. Benjamin Goodhue (P)
  • 1d. Samuel Holten (A)
  • 2a. Dwight Foster (P)
  • 2b. William Lyman (A)
  • 2c. Theodore Sedgwick (P)
  • 2d. Artemas Ward (P)
  • 3a. Shearjashub Bourne (P)
  • 3b. Peleg Coffin (P)
  • 4a. Henry Dearborn (A)
  • 4b. George Thatcher (P)
  • 4c. Peleg Wadsworth (P)
  • David Cobb (P)

New Hampshire

  • Nicholas Gilman (P)
  • John Sherburne (A)
  • Jeremiah Smith (P)
  • Paine Wingate (P)

New Jersey

  • John Beatty (P)
  • Elias Boudinot (P)
  • Lambert Cadwalader (P)
  • Abraham Clark (P), until September 15, 1794
  • Aaron Kitchell (P), from 29 January 1795
  • Jonathan Dayton (P)

Big Apple

  • 1. Thomas Tredwell (A)
  • 2. John Watts (P)
  • 3. Philip Van Cortlandt (A)
  • 4. Peter Van Gaasbeck (P)
  • 5. Theodorus Bailey (A)
  • 6. Ezekiel Gilbert (P)
  • 7. John Evert Van Alen (P)
  • 8. Henry Glen (P)
  • 9. James Gordon (P)
  • 10. Silas Talbot (P), until 5 June 1794, then vacant

North Carolina

  • 1. Joseph McDowell (A)
  • 2. Matthew Locke (A)
  • 3. Joseph Winston (A)
  • 4. Alexander Mebane (A)
  • 5. Nathaniel Macon (A)
  • 6. James Gillespie (A)
  • 7. William Barry Grove (P)
  • 8. William Johnston Dawson (A)
  • 9. Thomas Blount (A)
  • 10. Benjamin Williams (A)

Pennsylvania

  • James Armstrong (P)
  • William Findley (A)
  • Thomas Fitzsimons (P)
  • Andrew Gregg (A)
  • Thomas Hartley (P)
  • Daniel Hiester (A)
  • William Irvine (A)
  • John W. Kittera (P)
  • William Montgomery (A)
  • Frederick Muhlenberg (A)
  • Peter Muhlenberg (A)
  • Thomas Scott (P)
  • John Smilie (A)

Rhode Island

  • Benjamin Bourne (P)
  • Francis Malbone (P)

South Carolina

  • 1. William L. Smith (P)
  • 2. John Hunter (A)
  • 3. Lemuel Benton (A)
  • 4. Richard Winn (A)
  • 5. Alexander Gillon (A), until 6 October 1794
  • 5. Robert Goodloe Harper (P), from 9 February 1795
  • 6. Andrew Pickens (A)

Vermont

  • 1. Israel Smith (A)
  • 2. Nathaniel Niles (A)

Virginia

  • 1. Robert Rutherford (A)
  • 2. Andrew Moore (A)
  • 3. Joseph Neville (A)
  • 4. Francis Preston (A)
  • 5. George Hancock (P)
  • 6. Isaac Coles (A)
  • 7. Abraham B. Venable (A)
  • 8. Thomas Claiborne (A)
  • 9. William B. Giles (A)
  • 10. Carter B. Harrison (A)
  • 11. Josiah Parker (P)
  • 12. John Page (A)
  • 13. Samuel Griffin (P)
  • 14. Francis Walker (A)
  • 15. James Madison (A)
  • 16. Anthony New (A)
  • 17. Richard Bland Lee (P)
  • 18. John Nicholas (A)
  • 19. John Heath (A)

Without voting rights

Southwest Territory, later Tennessee

  • James White, from 3 September 1794

Senate

Connecticut

  • 1. Oliver Ellsworth (P)
  • 3. Roger Sherman (P), until 23 July 1793
  • 3. Stephen Mix Mitchell (P), from 2 December 1793

Delaware

  • 1. George Read (P), until 18 September 1793
  • 1. Henry Latimer (P), from 7 February 1795
  • 2. John Vining (P)

Georgia

  • 3. James Gunn (A)
  • 2. James Jackson (A)

Kentucky

  • 3. John Edwards (A)
  • 2. John Brown (A)

Maryland

  • 3. John Henry (P)
  • 1. Richard Potts (P)

Massachusetts

  • 2. Caleb Strong (P)
  • 1. George Cabot (P)

New Hampshire

  • 3. John Langdon (A)
  • 2. Samuel Livermore (P)

New Jersey

  • 1. John Rutherfurd (P)
  • 2. Frederick Frelinghuysen (P)

Big Apple

  • 3. Rufus King (P)
  • 1. Aaron Burr (A)

North Carolina

  • 3. Benjamin Hawkins (A)
  • 2. Alexander Martin (A)

Pennsylvania

  • 3. Robert Morris (P)
  • 1. vacant until 2 December 1793
  • 1. Albert Gallatin (A), 2 December 1793 – 28 February 1794
  • 1. James Ross (P), from 24 April 1794

Rhode Island

  • 1. Theodore Foster (P)
  • 2. William Bradford (P)

South Carolina

  • 2. Pierce Butler (A)
  • 3. Ralph Izard (P)

Vermont

  • 1. Moses Robinson (A)
  • 3. Stephen R. Bradley (A)

Virginia

  • 1. James Monroe (A), until 11 May 1794
  • 1. Stevens Mason (A), from 18 November 1794
  • 2. John Taylor (A), until 11 May 1794
  • 2. Henry Tazewell (A), from 18 November 1794

Personnel changes

In the House of Representatives, there were two deaths, three resignations, and one contested election. In the Senate, there was one death, three resignations, and one contested election.

Employees

  • Architect: William Thornton

House of Representatives

  • Clerk: John Beckley
  • Sergeant at Arms: Joseph Wheaton
  • Doorman: Gifford Dalley
  • Clergyman: Ashbel Green

Senate

  • Secretary: Samuel A. Otis
  • Sergeant at Arms: James Mathers
  • Clergyman: William White

Web links

Commons: 3rd United States Congress– Collection of images, videos and audio files