Loyola University Exhibit

June 22, 2013

Authentic printings of Declaration of Independence featured in Rebels With A Cause exhibit at Loyola in New Orleans
Just in time for Independence Day, the Loyola University New Orleans Honors Program is displaying authentic printings of the Declaration of Independence from 1776 and the real-life famous signature of John Hancock, one of America’s founding fathers. “Rebels With a Cause,” a free and public exhibit, offers a look at more than 30 rare, historical documents from June and July 1776 to 1788—the key period for the nation’s independence.

The exhibit runs through Aug. 2 and is located in the University Honors suite on the first floor of Loyola’s J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library.

Loyola Honors Program Director Naomi Yavneh Klos, Ph.D., and honors students Felice Lavergne, Kylee McIntyre and Mara Steven will also host a symposium and Q-and-A session July 2 at the exhibit. The symposium will offer an overview of the documents on display and cover common myths and little-known facts surrounding America’s independence, including whether Betsy Ross designed the first flag, who the heads of state were before George Washington, the real birthday of the nation and more.

The historic documents include part of the personal collection of Yavneh Klos and her husband, Stanley Klos. The newspapers, manuscripts and letters from key storytellers such as Hancock, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Morris and Henry Knox help paint the picture of America’s freedom.

“Now it’s true, you can go online and you can see the Declaration of Independence and other historical documents. But to me there’s something really palpable and special about being with the document and realizing that this was one of the most important moments in our country’s history—this is the founding of our country,” Yavneh Klos said.

“And there are all sorts of strange and quirky little stories that come out in these documents … it’s really not the way you read about these events in textbooks.”

For example, many don’t know that the Resolution for Independency (the exhibit will feature John Dunlap’s official printing of this from 1776) was actually passed July 2. Two days later, the now-famous Declaration of Independence was enacted July 4, 1776. Founding father John Adams thought July 2 would be celebrated as America’s Independence Day rather than July 4—which is what he wrote to his wife Abigail at the time, according to Yavneh Klos. Other than by Continental Congress President Hancock and Secretary Charles Thompson, the Declaration was not signed until Aug. 2.

Students and Teachers of US History this is a video of Stanley and Christopher Klos presenting America's Four United Republics Curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. The December 2015 video was an impromptu capture by a member of the audience of Penn students, professors and guests that numbered about 200. - Click Here for more information

The exhibit focuses on 18th-century documents describing seven important events for the nation’s freedom, including the establishment of Flag Day June 14, 1777; Spain declaring war on Great Britain June 21, 1779, which brought Louisiana into the war; Congress fleeing the capital in Philadelphia relocating to Nassau Hall in Princeton, N.J., June 21, 1783 to July 3, 1783; the ratification of the Constitution of 1787 June 21, 1788; the Resolution for Independency and the Declaration of Independence July 2, 1776 to Aug. 2, 1776; U.S. President-elect Samuel Johnston declining the office on July 9, 1781; and the Northwest Ordinance of July 13, 1787, which prohibited slavery in the U.S. territory northwest of the Ohio River.

The exhibit is open during summer library hours, which are listed online. Please contact Mikel Pak, associate director of public affairs, for media interviews at 504-861-5448.

To tell the story of the U.S. Founding, the University Honors Program presents a non-partisan exhibit illuminating historic events that occurred between 1774 and 1788, during the founding of the United States of America. The key storytellers are thirty 18th Century rare documents, manuscripts, and letters on loan from private collections throughout the United States.

Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos, July 3rd, 2013, interview on the set of CBS Morning News

The exhibit is free and open to the public from Flag Day, June 14th, 2013 until August 2, 2013, the day prescribed by the Continental Congress for Delegates signed the engrossed Declaration of Independence. The exhibit can be viewed from 9am until 7pm at the Loyola University Honors Suite at the Monroe Library in New Orleans.

Media Alert
July 2nd, 2015
New Orleans, Louisiana 
After 102 Years, The Federal Government Finally Agrees: Samuel Huntington And Not John Hanson Was The First USCA President to Serve Under The Articles of Confederation.
Historian Stanley Yavneh Klos Pleads With Maryland To Stop Funding Efforts That Purport John & Jane Hanson As The First President & First Lady Of The United States.

1776 Journals of Congress,  by John Dunlap, July 2, 1776 entry 

The exhibit features 18th-Century primary sources reporting on seven June and July events:

Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos, July 3rd, 2013, on the set of CBS Morning News presenting Rebels With A Cause

The Resolution for Independency and Declaration of Independence - July 2nd, 1776 - August 2, 1776.

  • John Dunlap’s official printing of the 1776 Journals of Congress opened to the July 2nd Resolution for Independency and the July 4th, 1776 Declaration of Independence. 
  • Dunlap facsimile printing of the Declaration of Independence  that was featured by the Freedom Train on its nationwide tour from April 1975 - December 1976 and was seen in 76 cities in the 48 contiguous states during the Bi-Centennial celebration. 
  • The Pennsylvania Packet, July 8, 1776, Centennial Edition, with the entire text of the Declaration of Independence printed on page one.
  • Various Signed letters and documents from numerous signers of the Declaration of Independence including John Hancock and Thomas Jefferson. 

The Establishment of Flag Day - June 14th, 1777 

  • John Dunlap’s official printing of the 1777 Journals of Congress opened to the June 14, 1777 Resolution establishing the first flag of the United States. 
  • Acts Passed at the First and Second Sessions of the Fifteenth Congress opened to the Act to establish the Flag of the United States that changed the flag to 20 stars, with a new star to be added when each new state was admitted, while the number of stripes was reduced to 13 to honor the original states, April 4, 1818 
  • 13 Star Flag sewn for the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876, the first official World's Fair in the United States held in Philadelphia. 

Spain Declares War on Great Britain, creating a de facto Revolutionary War alliance with the United States by launching attacks from Louisiana - June 21st, 1779. 

  • 1763 printing of the Definitive Treaty of Friendship of Peace between his Britannick Majesty, the Most Christian King, and the King of Spain, Concluded at Paris, the 10th day of Feb., 1763 that turned over Florida and eight Louisiana parishes to Great Britain. 
  • Autograph Letters signed by King George III and Queen Charlotte, who were the monarchs of British Colonial America. 
  • 1780 printing of Major General Campbell's account of the surrender of Baton Rouge and numerous Florida towns east up to Pensacola led by Governor, Don Beraud de Galvez. 
  • The 1803 Acts of Congress open to the dual language printing of the Louisiana Purchase Treaty signed Commissioners James Monroe and Robert Livingston. 
  • Louisiana Territory William C.C. Claiborne autograph document signed displayed with the new Governor's Address to the Citizens of Louisiana dated December 20, 1803. 

A United States President-elect declines the office: under the Articles of Confederation, Samuel Johnston was elected President of the United States in Congress Assembled and the following morning he declined to accept the office - July 9th - 10th, 1781 

  • 1781 Journals of the United States in Congress Assembled published by John Patterson and opened to Samuel Johnston’s presidency election, the entry on his declining the office, and the subsequent election of Thomas McKean as second President of the United States under the Articles of Confederation. 
  • Rare Henry Knox, Secretary of War document signed by Samuel Johnston as North Carolina’s first US Senator. 
  • President Thomas McKean September 29, 1781 letter to New Hampshire General John Stark regarding the dollar’s rampant depreciation and his military pay. 

Congress Flees Philadelphia - The United States in Congress Assembled, under threat of a US Army Mutiny, relocates the Seat of Government from Independence Hall to Nassau Hall in Princeton, New Jersey - June 21st, 1783, to July 3rd, 1783. 

  • Proclamation issued by Elias Boudinot, as President of the United States in Congress Assembled on June 24, 1783 explaining the necessity of abandoning Independence Hall, due to a US Army mutiny, and the necessity of relocating the US Seat of Government to Nassau Hall in Princeton New Jersey. 
  • President Elias Boudinot autograph letter signed to Major General Arthur St. Clair stating that You may depend on Congress having been perfectly satisfied with your conduct acknowledging his role in extracting Congress from Independence Hall while it was surrounded by over 300 mutinous soldiers. 
  • An 18th Century printing of an Annis Boudinot’s Poem, the wife of NJ Signer Richard Stockton and sister of President Elias Boudinot, who was instrumental in her brother’s decision to move the US Seat of Government to Princeton. 

The Northwest Ordinance - An Ordinance for the government of the Territory of the United States northwest of the River Ohio - July 13th, 1787 

  • August 1787 full printing of the Ordinance for the government of the Territory of the United States northwest of the River Ohio
  • In accordance with Article V of the Northwest Ordinance, exhibited is the Ohio Enabling Act of 1802 entitled: An Act To Enable The People Of The Eastern Division Of The Territory North-West Of The River Ohio, To Form A Constitution And State Government, And For The Admission Of Such State Into The Union, On An Equal Footing With The Original States, And For Other Purposes
  • In accordance with Article VI of the Northwest Ordinance, exhibited is a Deed of Emancipation autograph document signed by David Enlow freeing his slave Sarah on September 20, 1807 meeting the no slavery requirement in the new Territory of Indiana. 

The Ratification of the Constitution of 1787 - June 21st, 1788 

  • October 1787 printing of the United States Constitution framed in Philadelphia by the delegates of 12 States on September 17, 1787.
  • July 3, 1788 Newspaper account of the Portsmouth Parade celebrating 9th State, New Hampshire, ratification dissolving the Articles of Confederation and enacting the Constitution of 1787 along with a the state’s Bill of Rights recommendations. 
  • August 1788 Pamphlet printing an Eleven State Ratification table printed with ratification resolutions of New Jersey, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia and New York. Also printed are numerous State amendments to the US Constitution of 1787, including New York’s 32 Amendments and Virginia’s Declaration of Rights with its 21 proposed Amendments. 

Colonial American Documents

Phélypeaux, Louis comte de Pontchartrain - A rare 1698 document signed printed on a 10”x 13” parchment and signed by Phélypeaux Comte de Pontchartrain. The document is the receipt for the Lord of the Morandière signed by Pontchartrain as the Crown’s Controller-General of Finances. One year later, in 1699 Pontchartrain became Louis XIV’s Chancellor of France. Most notably Pontchartrain’s name is given to the lake of Pontchartrain, New-Orléans during the French colonization of Louisiana.

[King Louis XIV] (Namesake of Louisiana) - Gentleman's Magazine - September 1750, URBAN, Sylvanus, E. Cave, 1750. Soft cover. Book Condition: Very Good. No Jacket. 1st Edition. USOG-2: A small booklet, pp 386-432 plus the cover Anecdotes on Louis XIV by the celebrated M. de Voltaire, Boston Reports from, "Halifax Nova Scotia, and Boston in New England July 10, 1750, ... Governor Cornwallis hath issued a proclamation, offering a reward of 50 pds... to any person that shall bring in an Indian prisoner, or the head or the scalp of an Indian killed in the province of Nova Scotia, or Accadie, to be paid out of the treasury." The account of the Conversion of Daniel Tnangam Alexander, an Eminent Jew to the Protestant Religion. Adscription of a Venomous Serpent with plate from Sweden. The Magazine is in good condition, size, 5 x 8 inches. Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

Royal Orléans House - manuscript recording the payment of “portion of pension" for the benefit of Sieur Hennequin. The Duke d'Orléans has boldly signed the manuscript L. Philippe of Orléans. The fragile 1752 manuscript, which measures 9 ½ x 14 ½, also has the signature of Etienne de Silhouette who was a French Controller-General of Finances under Louis XV.

New Orleans is named after the Royal House of Orléans in honor of Philip II, Duke of Orléans who served as the Regent of France, 1715 to 1723. All the Orléans descended in the legitimate male line from the dynasty's founder, Hugh Capet. It became a tradition during France's ancient régime for the duchy of Orléans to be granted as an appanage to a younger (usually the second surviving) son of the king. While each of the Orléans branches thus descended from a junior prince, they were always among the king's nearest relations in the male line, sometimes aspiring and sometimes succeeding to the throne itself.
 Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

ROSS, GEORGE - Autograph document signed “Geo. Ross,” dated “January Term 1750.” A response to a summons for Nathaniel Simpson of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania to appear regarding money owed to Jacob Snevley. George Ross as attorney for Nathaniel Simpson writes his rebuttal on one page. Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

GALLOWAY, JOSEPH - Document SIGNED. Manuscript D.S. "Joseph Galloway" one page folio vellum, Philadelphia, July 12, 1754 in which he witnesses a deed between Samuel Preston Moore and Benjamin Loxley for a "...Strip or piece of Ground on the North side of Mulberry street...". Joseph Galloway (1731 - 1803), Philadelphia attorney, Loyalist member of the Pennsylvania Assembly (1757-75) and First Continental Congress and intimate friend of Benjamin Franklin. In an attempt to avert the break with Great Britain, he proposed The Galloway Plan for self-government while maintaining allegiance to England. Suggesting that all legislation affecting colonies be approved by both Parliament and a Grand Council representing American states, it was rejected in the Continental Congress by one vote. When the British occupied Philadelphia in 1777, he was appointed city administrator. Galloway moved to London when the military abandoned the city the following spring. The Pennsylvania assembly in 1788 convicted Galloway of high treason, and ordered the sale of his estatesKlos Yavneh Academy Collection

[KING GEORGE III] Marriage Declaration of King George III dated July 8, 1761 that “I have, ever since my accession to the throne, turned my thoughts towards the choice of a princess for my consort …I come to a resolution to demand in marriage the princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg Strelitz; a princess distinguished by every eminent virtue." The London Magazine or Gentleman’s Monthly Intelligencer, July 1761, R. Baldwin, London Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

[BRITISH FLORIDA & LOUISIANA] - 1763 - Gentleman's Magazine Account of British Florida/Louisiana - with color map. NOTE: The Florida Parishes (Spanish: Parroquias de Florida, French: Paroisses de Floride), also known as the North Shore region, are eight parishes in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Louisiana, which were part of West Florida in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Unlike much of Louisiana, this region was not part of the Louisiana Purchase, as it had been under British and then Spanish control. The parishes are East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Washington, and West Feliciana. The United States annexed most of West Florida in 1810. It quickly incorporated the area that became the Florida Parishes into the Territory of Orleans, which became the U.S. state of Louisiana in 1812. - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection.

DUNLAP, JOHN - Manuscript Colonial bail bond of John Dunlap and Alexander McBride payable to John Holmes for the sum of 40 Pounds current money of Pennsylvania and dated 1766. The bond is conditional upon Dunlap’s appearance in court. Size 9" by 13" on laid, watermarked (crown over GR), rag-content paper; age toned, tiny holes - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection.

RANDOLPH, PEYTON & BLAIR, JOHN sign a March 4, 1773 Virginia Five Pound Colonial Note. The note, legal tender in Virginia, is also signed by future Constitution of 1787 signer and Supreme Court Justice John Blair.  - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

The First United Republic: United Colonies of America

Thirteen British Colonies United in a Continental Congress

First United American Republic: United Colonies of America: Thirteen British Colonies United in Congress (September 5th, 1774 to July 1st, 1776) was founded by 12 colonies under the First Continental Congress and expired under the Second Continental Congress. King George and Queen Charlotte welcome visitors in an oil painting gallery. The section includes 18th-Century letters and manuscripts of United Colonies Continental Congress Presidents Peyton Randolph, Henry Middleton, and John Hancock. Exhibit options include:

[SUFFOLK RESOLVES] - November 1774 historic printing headed: "Account of the Proceedings of the American Colonies since the passing the Boston Port Bill."Other content includes: "Debates in the House of Commons" relative to the situation in America. Another report is headed: "Causes of the Present Discontent & Commotion in America" which includes a list of 13 reasons, the first of which reads: "The stamp act, by which duties, customs & impositions, were enacted without & therefore against, the consent of the colonies..." Urbanus, Sylvanus, The Gentleman's Magazine, and Historical Chronicle, November 1774 - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

Griffin, Cyrus autograph letter signed dated October, 1774, to Burgess Ball concerning the birth of his daughter Mary and the family seeking passage from London to Virginia. In 1774, Cyrus Griffin and Lady Christina bore a second child, Mary. Historians are not sure how long the couple remained in London. In this letter Griffin writes. "My wife is now safely delivered of a stout girl and continues at present very hearty and shall be prepared for the first ship."  - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

[ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION] - Very Rare Colonial Printing of the Articles issued October 20, 1774 and recorded in Extracts From The Votes And Proceedings Of The American Continental Congress, Held At Philadelphia, On The 5th Of September, 1774 Containing The Bill Of Rights, A List Of Grievances, Occasional Resolves, The Association, An Address To The People Of Great-Britain, And A Memorial To The Inhabitants Of The British American Colonies. Published By Order Of The Congress. Philadelphia : Printed. Hartford: Re-printed by Eben. Watson, near the Great-Bridge, [1774] - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection.

[MIDDLETON, HENRY] - Address of the American Delegates to Quebec – Urbanus, Sylvanus, The Gentleman's Magazine, and Historical Chronicle from Supplement. London: D. Henry, 1774. This volume, 8” x 9½” , includes a full printing of first Continental Congress’ “Substance of the Address of the American Delegates, in general Congress assembled, to the inhabitants of the province of Quebec.” signed in type Henry Middleton, President. - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

[FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN] - "Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union entered into by the Delegates of the several Colonies of New Hampshire, &c in General Congress met at Philadelphia, May 10, 1775." [Philadelphia, ca.21 July 1775]. THE GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE, London, December, 1775, two page 1775 printing on what is commonly known as the Benjamin Franklin version of the a plan to unite for: "...a firm league of friendship with each other...for their prosperity, for their common defence against their enemies, for the security of their liberties & properties...". The wording in this version of the Articles of Confederation involves some different text from the May 1775 Benjamin Franklin version due to the constitution’s evolution into the final version of the Articles passed November 15, 1777. -- Loan Courtesy of Klos Yavneh Academy

[BUNKER HILL] - The first report on the battle of Bunker Hill, which is signed in type: Thomas Gage. This report takes nearly an entire page and begins: "I am to acquaint your Lordship of an action that happened on the 17th of June instant between his Majesty's troops and a large body of the rebel forces. An alarm was given at break of day on the 17th...The loss the rebels sustained must have been considerable from the great numbers they carried off during the time of action & buried in holes..." with much further particulars. Also in this GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE, London, July, 1775 issue are: "Friendly Address to Lord North" which is on American affairs, A lengthy "Proclamation by Hon. Th. Gage, Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Province of Mass. Bay" that offers a pardon to those who lay down their arms & return to being peaceable subjects, excepting Samuel Adams & John Hancock. "Proceedings of the American Colonists since passing the Boston Port Bill" takes over 5 pages & has some good talk on St. Johns, Ticonderoga & events at Crown Point including mention of Benedict Arnold: "...We overtook Col. Arnold in the boat, took him on board..." The Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Chronicle, Urbanus, Sylvanus, July 1775, London: D. Henry, 1775. - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

[OLIVE BRANCH PETITION]  - British September 1775 printing of "Petition of the American Congress to the King” was the last effort of the Continental Congress to avoid war with Great Britain in 1775. Some delegates to the Continental Congress wanted to break with England at this time, but they yielded to the majority who weren't ready yet. Those who were more moderate wanted to explain their position clearly to King George, in hopes that he had been misinformed about their intentions. They made it clear that they were loyal subjects to Great Britain and they wanted to remain so, as long as their grievances were addressed. The king eventually refused to even receive their petition, which eventually came to be known as "The Olive Branch Petition." This is a full printing of the Petition which concludes “That your Majesty may enjoy a long and prosperous reign, and that your descendants may govern your dominions with honor to themselves and happiness to their subjects is our sincere and fervent prayer. JOHN HANCOCK [Signed by all the Delegates]”  Printing from Gentleman’s Magazine - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

[OATH OF SECRECY] - November 9, 1775, Resolved: That every member of this Congress considers himself under the ties of virtue, honor and love of his Country, not to divulge, directly or indirectly, any matter or thing agitated or debated in Congress,  which the majority of the Congress shall order to be kept secret, and that if any member shall violate this agreement, he shall be expelled this Congress, & deemed an enemy to the liberties of America, & liable to be treated as such; FORCE, Peter, American Archives: Collection of Authentick Records, for the United States, to the Final Ratification thereof. Published Under Authority of an Act of Congress in 1848 - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection.

[COMMON SENSE] – 18th Century printing of Thomas Paine’s January 1776 Common Sense, open to his recommendations for formulating a plan for the new government: “If there is any true cause for fear respecting independence , it is because no plan is yet laid down. Men do not free their way out … I offer the following hints … Let the assemblies be annual with a president only. The representation more equal. Their business wholly domestic, and subject to the authority of a Continental Congress. Let each colony be divided into six, eight or ten convenient districts, each district to send a proper number of delegates to congress … the whole number in congress to be at least 390… “ The American Museum, or Repository of Ancient and Modern Fugitive Pieces, &c. prose and poetical. February, 1787. Volume I., Number II. Philadelphia: Mathew Carey, 1787, 8vo. - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

ELLSWORTH, OLIVER - Rare Revolutionary Era document signed O. Ellsworth and dated, Hartford, June 7th 1776, approving payment of Twenty Pounds, three shillings & seven pence for Salt Peter, a component of gunpowder, for the Colony of Connecticut. - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

The start of the United States“Independence Day,” has been a matter of debate since the U.S. Continental Congress set July 4th -- and not July 2nd -- as the United States of America’s “birthday.”  Since then, historians have written volumes denoting July 4th as U.S. Independence Day, despite independence having been declared two days earlier with the enactment of Richard Henry Lee’s Resolution for Independency: [1]
Resolved, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved. [2]

Resolution for Independency, centennial manuscript is on exhibit. On June 7th, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia took the foremost part in presenting the call for Independence by submitting this motion for "independency": ``Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved. That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign alliances. That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.  - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection
Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos, July 3rd, 2013, on the set of CBS Morning News displaying and explaining the July 2nd, 1776, Resolution for Independency

John Adams wrote Abigail Adams on July 3, 1776:

Yesterday the greatest Question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater perhaps, never was or will be decided among Men. A Resolution was passed without one dissenting Colony "that these united Colonies, are, and of right ought to be free and independent States, and as such, they have, and of Right ought to have full Power to make War, conclude Peace, establish Commerce, and to do all the other Acts and Things, which other States may rightfully do.

You will see in a few days a Declaration setting forth the Causes, which have impell'd Us to this mighty Revolution, and the Reasons which will justify it, in the Sight of God and Man. A Plan of Confederation will be taken up in a few days. On July 2, 1776 the Association known as United Colonies of America officially became the United States of America .[ix]

Consequently, it was the date of July 2, 1776 that John Adams thought would be celebrated by future generations of Americans writing to his wife Abigail Adams a second letter on July 3, 1776:

But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. 

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. -- I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. -- Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not. [x]

ABIGAIL SMITH ADAMS Steel Engraving, is exhibited here, from Rufus Wilmot Griswold's The Republican Court; or American Society in the Days of Washington, 1854. Abigail is probably the best known of the “Founding Mothers” due to her detailed, intimate and frank letters to her husband, John Adams, written during their frequent and prolonged separations throughout the Revolutionary War and its aftermath. While John argued in Congress, Abigail managed the farm so that it provided income to support his endeavors educated and cared for the children, gave birth to a stillborn daughter (John had been home briefly), and, finally, traveled first to France and then to England when her husband became the first Minister to the Court of Great Britain. She served as wife of the Vice President and then as First Lady during her husband’s one term as President, before he lost his hotly contested bid for a second term to Thomas Jefferson.

Abigail Adams (1744-1818) freely expressed her views regarding the colonies’ bid for independence, and subsequently what form of government the new nation might take, but she is perhaps best known for her thoughts regarding women’s rights, particularly to property and to education. Women, she believed, should not submit to laws not made in their interest, nor should they be content with the simple role of being companions to their husbands. They should educate themselves and thus be recognized for their intellectual capabilities, in order to guide and influence the lives of their children and husbands. In a March, 1776, letter to John, she urged him and the Continental Congress to "Remember the ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation." - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

Was Delaware, Virginia, or New Hampshire the first US State?

It is important to note that in both the July 2nd and July 4th declarations, New York abstained, not approving the Resolution for Independency or the Declaration of Independence.  Consequently the early printings of the Declaration of Independence do not begin as The Unanimous Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen United States of America.  The July 4th - 9th printings are headed as A Declaration of Independence by the Representatives of the United States of America in General Congress Assembled.  

Declaration of Independence Broadside – Exhibited here is the rare John Dunlap facsimile printing of the Declaration of Independence called the "Lost Copy," which was discovered in 1968 on the dusty shelves of Leary's Book Store in Philadelphia during the closing of that establishment after 132 years in business. This printing was featured by the Freedom Train on its nationwide tour from April 1975 - December 1976 and was seen in 76 cities in the 48 contiguous states during the Bi-Centennial celebration. Notice the heading does not include the word unanimous because New York had agreed to Independency on July 4th. 

Background: On July 4, 1776 twelve States voted in the Continental Congress to pass the Declaration of Independence pledging their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to uphold that principle. The manuscript was signed by only two men, Continental Congress President John Hancock and Secretary Charles Thomson. The document was then taken to the office of printer John Dunlap. The Congressional committee responsible for writing the Declaration was ordered to supervise its publication.

On the morning of July 5th, Dunlap delivered the freshly printed copies to Congress. A Dunlap Broadside was immediately sent to the New York Provincial Congress assembled in White Plains because its delegates abstained in the July 2nd and 4th votes for independence. Two Dunlap Broadsides were also shipped to King George III in Great Britain (a signed Declaration of Independence was never sent to Great Britain). 

Over the next few days, John Hancock sent the official broadside to the colonial governments, General George Washington and other military commanders. The Signers also sent Declaration Broadside copies to their family, friends and associates, as did private individuals and members of the press. On July 6th, the Pennsylvania Evening Post became the first newspaper to print the text followed by John Dunlap’s July 8th, Newspaper printing in his Pennsylvania Packet. The following day, the NY Provincial Congress approved the Declaration of Independence making it unanimous.  - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

Declaration of Independence - Exhibited here is the Pennsylvania Packet, July 8, 1776, with the entire text of the Declaration of Independence printed on page one of the four page newspaper. The following day, July 9th, New York would approve the resolution making the Declaration of Independence unanimous.

When most Americans picture the Declaration, they envision the engrossed manuscript signed by John Hancock and 55 others, titled “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America.” But what they are seeing is a document that was not written or signed in July 1776. When the delegates agreed to the final text of the Declaration on July 4th, New York abstained. As seen in this newspaper, the original heading was "A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled." The Declaration was then signed on July 4th only by John Hancock and Continental Congress secretary Charles Thomson, and sent to press. The heading was changed later in July once New York added its assent, and on August 2, members of Congress met and signed the engrossed copy of the Declaration and did not become familiar to Americans until decades later. 

The Pennsylvania Packet, July 8, 1776 centennial printing of the Declaration of Independence reflects the experience of everyday Americans as they read news of independence for the first time during that momentous July of 1776.

Engrossed Declaration of Independence, William J. Stone, Copperplate engraving on vellum, First Edition. 24 3/4 x 30 5/16”.

Historical Background: On July 19, 1776, ten days after New York approved the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress ordered an official copy of the Declaration to be engrossed on vellum and signed by the members. Timothy Matlack, the clerk of Continental Congress Secretary Charles Thomson, was chosen to hand write the text of the Declaration onto a large vellum sheet, which would then be signed by the delegates. The title of Declaration of Independence by the Representatives of the United States of America in General Congress Assembled was changed to “The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America.”.

On August 2, 1776, it was recorded in the Journal of Congress that “the declaration of independence being engrossed and compared at the table was signed” by the members of Congress then assembled. According to the -- National Archives and Records Administration:

John Hancock, the President of the Congress, was the first to sign the sheet of parch­ment measuring 24¼ by 29¾ inches. He used a bold signature centered below the text. In accordance with prevailing custom, the other delegates began to sign at the right below the text, their signatures arranged according to the geographic location of the states they represented. New Hampshire, the northernmost state, began the list, and Georgia, the southernmost, ended it. Eventually 56 delegates signed, although all were not present on August 2. Among the later signers were Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Wolcott, Lewis Morris, Thomas McKean, and Matthew Thornton, who found that he had no room to sign with the other New Hampshire delegates. A few delegates who voted for adoption of the Declaration on July 4 were never to sign in spite of the July 19 order of Congress that the engrossed document "be signed by every member of Congress.

Non-signers included John Dickinson, who clung to the idea of reconciliation with Britain, and Robert R. Livingston, one of the Committee of Five, who thought the Declaration, was premature. 

When Congress took flight to Philadelphia from Baltimore in March 1777, the manuscript Declaration traveled along. The Declaration remained with the Continental Congress moving back to Philadelphia, then to Lancaster, then to York, and finally back to Philadelphia where it was unveiled for the March 1, 1781 ratification ceremonies of the Articles of Confederation. 

The document remained in Philadelphia with the new Us Constitutional body, the United States in Congress Assembled (USCA), until June 1783 when Congress fled to Princeton in the wake of 400 mutinous soldiers surrounding Independence Hall. The Declaration then mad the trek with the USCA to Annapolis in 1784, to Trenton in 1785, and then to New York in 1786 where it remained until the second Constitution was ratified and the new government was made operational. On December 6, 1790, the United States Capital officially moved from New York City to Philadelphia taking the Declaration of Independence with it until another move in 1800 when the capitol was permanently settled in Washington, D.C. 

During this period, the Declaration was frequently unrolled for display to visitors, and the signatures, especially, began to fade after nearly fifty years of handling. More damage followed, caused by the effects of aging and exposure to sunlight and humidity as the Declaration hung unprotected on a wall in the Patent Office for thirty-five years. 

In 1820, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams grew concerned over the fragile condition of the Declaration. With the approval of Congress, Adams commissioned William J. Stone to engrave a facsimile—an exact copy—on a copper plate. Stone’s engraving is the best representation of the Declaration as the manuscript looked prior to its nearly complete deterioration. Stone used a "new" Wet-Ink Transfer process. Unfortunately this Wet-Ink Transfer greatly contributed to the degradation of the only engrossed and signed Declaration of Independence ever produced. On April 24, 1903 the National Academy of Sciences reported its findings, summarizing the physical history of the Declaration:
The instrument has suffered very seriously from the very harsh treatment to which it was exposed in the early years of the Republic. Folding and rolling have creased the parchment. The wet press-copying operation to which it was exposed about 1820, for the purpose of producing a facsimile copy, removed a large portion of the ink. Subsequent exposure to the action of light for more than thirty years, while the instru­ment was placed on exhibition, has resulted in the fading of the ink, particularly in the signatures. The present method of caring for the instrument seems to be the best that can be suggested. The committee does not consider it wise to apply any chemicals with a view to restoring the original color of the ink, because such application could be but partially successful, as a considerable percentage of the original ink was removed in making the copy about 1820, and also because such application might result in serious discoloration of the parchment; nor does the committee consider it necessary or advisable to apply any solution, such as collodion, paraffin, etc., with a view to strengthening the parchment or making it moisture proof. The committee is of the opinion that the present method of protecting the instrument should be continued; that it should be kept in the dark, and as dry as possible, and never placed on exhibition.
The Wet-Ink Transfer Process called for the surface of the Declaration to be moistened transfer­ring some of the original ink to the surface of a clean copper plate. Three and one-half years later under the date of June 4, 1823, the National Intelligencer reported that:

the City Gazette informs us that Mr. Wm. J. Stone, a respectable and enterprising (sic) engraver of this City has, after a labor of three years, completed a facsimile of the Original of the Declaration of Independence, now in the archives of the government, that it is executed with the greatest exactness and fidelity; and that the Department of State has become the purchaser of the plate. The facility of multiplying copies of it, now possessed by the Department of State will render furthur (sic) exposure of the original unnecessary.

Historian and rare document dealer Seth Kaller maintains the wet ink transfer process never occurred writing that Stone “ … left minute clues to distinguish the original from the copies, also providing evidence of his painstaking engraving process. Stone’s engraving is the best representation of the Declaration manuscript as it looked at the time of signing.” 

Daniel Brent of the Department of State wrote to Stone on May 28, 1823, requesting 200 copies of the facsimile “from the engraved plate…now, in your possession, and then to deliver the plate itself to this office to be afterwards occasionally used by you, when the Department may require further supplies of copies from it.” Stone proceeded to print 201 copies on vellum, one of which he kept for himself, as was customary though perhaps not authorized in this case. Four copies presently known on heavy wove paper are most likely proofs before printing on the much more expensive vellum.

On May 26, 1824, Congress provided orders to John Quincy Adams for distribution of the Stone facsimile for distribution. The surviving three signers of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Charles Carroll of Carrollton, each received two copies. Two copies each were also sent to President James Monroe, Vice President Daniel D. Thompkins, former President James Madison, and the Marquis de Lafayette. The Senate and the House of Representatives split twenty copies. The various departments of government received twelve copies apiece. Two copies were sent to the President’s house and to the Supreme Court chamber. The remaining copies were sent to the governors and legislatures of the states and territories, and to various universities and colleges in the United States.

All subsequent exact facsimiles of the Declaration descend from the Stone plate. One of the ways to distinguish the first edition is Stone’s original imprint, top left: “ENGRAVED by W.J. STONE for the Dept. of State by order,” and continued top right: “of J. Q. Adams, Sec of State July 4, 1823.” Sometime after Stone completed his original printing, his imprint at top was removed, and replaced with a shorter imprint at bottom left, “W. J. STONE SC WASHn,” just below George Walton’s printed signature for his second edition printings.

1776 Journals of Congress - Exhibited here is the exceedingly rare Journals Of Congress. Containing The Proceedings From January 1, 1776, To January 1, 1777, York-town, Pa.: Printed by John Dunlap, with a manuscript note relaying provenance from New Hampshire Revolutionary War Governor Meshech Weare. 

This Declaration of Independence was printed by Dunlap after the Articles of Confederation were passed by the Continental Congress on November 15, 1777, the printing, exactly the same as Aiken's Journals removes the word "General" in the July 4th Dunlap Broadside title from "A Declaration of Independence by the Representatives of the United States of America in General Congress Assembled."

This volume of the Journals of Congress is one of the rarest of the series issued from 1774 to 1788, and has a peculiar and romantic publication history. Textually it covers the exciting events of 1776, culminating with the Declaration of Independence on July 4, an early printing of which appears here, as well as all of the other actions of Congress for the year. It is thus a vital document in the history of American independence and the American Revolution. Through the middle of 1777 the printer of the Journals of Congress was Robert Aitken of Philadelphia. In 1777 he published the first issue of the Journals for 1776, under his own imprint. This was completed in the spring or summer. In the fall of 1777 the British campaign under Howe forced the Congress to evacuate Philadelphia, moving first to Lancaster and then to York, Pennsylvania. The fleeing Congress took with it what it could, but, not surprisingly, was unable to remove many copies of its printed Journals, which would have been bulky and difficult to transport. Presumably, any left behind in Philadelphia were destroyed by the British, accounting for the particular scarcity of those volumes today. Among the material evacuated from Philadelphia were the printed sheets of pages 1-424 of the 1776 Journals, printed by Aitken. Having lost many complete copies in Philadelphia, and not having the terminal sheets to make up more copies, Congress resolved to reprint the remainder of the volume. 

Robert Aitken had not evacuated his equipment, but John Dunlap, the printer of the original Declaration, had. Congress thus appointed Dunlap as the new printer to Congress on May 2, 1778. Dunlap then reprinted the rest of the volume (coming out to a slightly different pagination from Aitken's version). He added to this a new title page, under his imprint at York, with a notice on the verso of his appointment as printer to Congress. This presumably came out between his appointment on May 2 and the return of Congress to Philadelphia in July 1778. Because of Dunlap's name on the title page, it has often been erroneously assumed that this volume contains a printing of the Declaration of Independence by Dunlap. In fact, that appears in the section of the original Aitken printing thus it is a very rare joint endeavor between the two renowned printers. Evans has further muddied the waters by the ghost entry of Evans 15685, ascribing a Dunlap, York printing to 1777. In fact, there is only one Dunlap version, Evans 16137, with the 1778 date.  -- Klos Yavneh Collection

Notwithstanding New York’s July 9th approval, the passage of Lee’s Resolution and even John Adams’ letter to Abigail declaring that “The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America, [4] July 4th has been heralded as the birthdate of the United States of America since 1777.  Moreover, July 4th  has remained sacrosanct as the United States birthday despite the enactment of two distinctly different U.S. Constitutions in 1781 and again in 1789 that reformulated the United States’ federal government.   

U.S. governmental authorities universally agree that the birth year of the current U.S. Republic is 1776 and not 1781 (when the Articles of Confederation was ratified), or 1784 (when the Treaty of Paris was ratified ending the war with Great Britain), or September 17, 1787 (when the Philadelphia Convention produced the current U.S. Constitution), or March 4, 1789, when the current tripartite system began to govern the United States of America.  

It is remarkable, however, that, while July 4th, 1776, stands as the nation’s birthdate John Hancock, the Declaration's presidential signer, is passed over by the same governmental authorities as the first U.S. Head of State.   Similarly, Samuel Huntington, the first President under the Articles of Confederation, is also passed over as President of the United States in America in Congress Assembled.  Furthermore, The State of Delaware, which enacted the Declaration of Independence with 11 other States on July 4th, 1776 and was the 12 State to ratify the Articles of Confederation is herald as the "First State" because of its December 7, 1787 ratification of the second United States constitution passing over the July 4th history. 

In contrast, these same officials recognize Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General who served not under the current U.S. Constitution but under the laws of the Continental Congress.  Benjamin Lincoln is recognized as the first Secretary of War being appointed in 1781 as opposed to Henry Knox who was the First Secretary of War under the current U.S. Constitution.  

Exhibited here is The Lady's Magazine Or Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex, appropriated solely to their Use and Amusement, 1776 printing which contains numerous Continental Congress and Revolutionary War reports but does not print a 1776 copy of the Declaration of Independence. The Lady's Magazine does report, however, several July festivities occurring after the passage of the Declaration of Independence.

Setting these inconsistencies aside, the question that is most pertinent to this Independence Day exhibit remains: Why does the U.S. Government, since 1777, celebrate the 4th of July as Independence Day and not the 2nd of July?    

When the twelve United Colonies of America declared their independence on July 2nd the Declaration of Independence (DOI) was already before the Colonial Continental Congress for its consideration.  The first draft was read before the delegates on Friday June 28, 1776, and then ordered to lie on the table over the weekend for their review.  On Monday, July 1st, the DOI was read again to the “Committee of the Whole.”   The DOI was debated along with the much shorter Lee Resolution.

The 12 Colonies, whose members were empowered to declare independence, were unable to garner the necessary 12 delegation votes to make the measure unanimous.  Accordingly, it was decided to postpone the vote on independence until the following day, July 2nd, and the 12 colonial delegations passed the Lee’s Resolution declaring their independence from Great Britain.  The DOI, however, was quite another matter; Committee of the Whole Chairman Benjamin Harrison requested more time and the members agreed to continue deliberations following day.  

On July 3rd, the Continental Congress considered, debated and passed several pressing war resolutions before taking up the DOI resolution.  Once again, not having sufficient time to finalize the proclamation, Chairman Benjamin Harrison requested more time and the U.S. Continental Congress tabled deliberation until the following day.  On the morning of July 4, 1776 the delegates debated and passed the following war resolution: [9]

… that an application be made to the committee of safety of Pennsylvania for a supply of flints for the troops at New York: and that the colony of Maryland and Delaware be requested to embody their militia for the flying camp, with all expedition, and to march them, without delay, to the city of Philadelphia.[10]

The Continental Congress then took up, finalized, and passed the Declaration of Independence: “Mr. Benjamin Harrison reported, that the committee of the whole Congress have agreed to a Declaration, which he delivered in.  The Declaration being read again was agreed to …”[11]

The Declaration of Independence proclaimed why “… these United Colonies are, and, of right, ought to be, Free and Independent States …”[12] and its content served to justify the Colonial Continental Congress July 2nd vote declaring independence. It was the rhetoric in the DOI and not Lee’s Resolution that exacted the vote for independence on July 2nd, 1776, from the 12 state delegations.  Moreover, the July 4th, 1776, resolution included naming the Second United American Republic which was not incorporated in Lee’s Resolution.  It is also important to note that the name, United States of America, was not utilized on any of the Continental Congress resolutions or bills passed after Lee’s Resolution on July 2nd up until the passage of the DOI on July 4th, 1776.

It is true that in Thomas Jefferson’s DOI drafts, the word “States” was substituted for “Colonies” in the stile, or name, “United Colonies of America.”   It is also true that Jefferson’s substitution was in accordance with Lee’s Resolution that asserted the “United Colonies” were to be “free and independent States.”  The new republic was not named the “United States,” however, until the Declaration of Independence’s adoption on July 4, 1776. 

The naming of this new republic was no small matter, and the topic would be addressed again in later deliberations on the Articles of Confederation and the current U.S. Constitution. [13]  As noted earlier, the 1775 Articles of Confederation and Declaration for Taking up Arms initially named the First United American Republic the United Colonies of North America.  The name was only shortened by the Continental Congress to the United Colonies of America in 1776. We must, therefore, pay heed to the fact that the nation’s name was adopted on July 4th, 1776, with the passage of the Declaration of Independence and not on July 2nd with the enactment of Lee’s Resolution.  This circumstance, coupled with the nearly completed Declaration of Independence being laid before the members on June 28th   and present during the July 2nd vote, explicates why the 4th and not the 2nd was designated Independence Day by the Continental Congress and was accepted as such by the then future congresses of the United States of America.  

[1] Hereinafter referred to as the Lee’s Resolution.
[2] Op Cit, June 7, 1776
[3] On July 9th, 1776 the New York Provincial Congress assembled in the White Plains Court House and adopted the July 4, 1776 resolution heartedly supported by John Jay who had rushed from New York City to address that body: “That reasons assigned by the Continental Congress for declaring The United Colonies Free and Independent States are cogent and conclusive, and that now we approve the same, and will at the risque of our lives and fortunes, join with the other colonies in supporting it.”  - New York Provincial Congress, Resolution supporting the Declaration of Independence, July 9, 1776.

[4] Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 July 1776. Original manuscript from the Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society. “But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
[5] John Hanson, “United States in Congress Assembled Proclamation. “The Freeman’s Journal, October 16, 1782, Number LXXVII, p. 3.
[6] In the first three United American Republics, the signature of U.C. and U.S. Presidents are not required to enact any Congressional legislation.    These founding presidents, unlike the current U.S. Presidents, had one vote in their respective state delegations in the “one state one vote” unicameral congressional system. In the Fourth American Republic, Article I of the Current U.S. Constitution requires every bill, order, resolution or other act of legislation by the Congress of the United States to be presented to the U.S. President for his approval. The President can either sign it into law, return the bill to the originating house of Congress with his objections to the bill (a veto), or neither sign nor return it to Congress.  If he does the latter and Congress remains in session for ten days exempting Sundays, the bill becomes law.  If during those ten days Congress adjourns than the bill does not become a law.
[7] Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863, Original Manuscript, The Charters of Freedom, US National Archives and Records Administration.
[8] Ibid.
[9] A Committee of the Whole is a device in which a legislative body or other deliberative assembly is considered one large committee.
[10] JCC, 1774-1789, July 4, 1776
[11] Ibid.
[12] JCC, 1774-1789, July 2, 1776
[13] At the Philadelphia Convention on May 30, 1787, Virginia Governor and member Edmund Randolph moved to rename the United States, the “National Government of America.”  This name would remain as part of the current U.S. Constitution draft until June 20th, 1787, when it was moved by Mr. Oliver Ellsworth, seconded by Mr. Nathaniel Gorham “… to amend the first resolution reported from the Committee of the whole House so as to read as follows -- namely, Resolved that the government of the United States ought to consist of a Supreme Legislative, Judiciary, and Executive. On the question to agree to the amendment it passed unanimously in the affirmative.” Max Farrand, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911.

In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th, commemorating the adoption of the "Stars and Stripes." On this date, as recorded in the original 1777 Journals of Congress included in this exhibit,  the U.S. Continental Congress passed the following resolution: 
Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States of America be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a New Constellation.
June 14th, 1777, United States Flag Resolution  from the first printing of ''Journals of Congress Containing The Proceedings In The Year, 1777 Published by Order of Congress by John Dunlap: Philadelphia: 1778.”    The Journals of the Congress, from which this Flag Act is displayed, formed the only central record of the colonies and the subsequent states”. Printed by order of Congress, this official account is printed by John Dunlap, who in addition to issuing the first publication of the Declaration of Independence, was one of “the principal printers to Congress”. The Journal exhibited covers the entire year of 1777 and includes the important final text of the Articles of Confederation, the first written constitution of the United States. In 1777 the continental Congress ordered only 300 copies of the final revised Articles: “the printed copies of the Articles, in the form of a 26-page pamphlet, were delivered to the president of Congress on 28 November… With each state receiving only 18 copies of the Articles, printers in many states were prompted to create their own copies of the document” in late 1777 and early 1778. All of the early printings of the Articles of Confederation are extraordinarily rare and desirable. The first official Congressional printing, the 1777 Lancaster pamphlet, is virtually unobtainable. This first edition of the Dunlap Journals for the year 1777 (printed in early 1778) would be the second official Congressional printing of the final text of the Articles of Confederation, the signal document governing the United States of America from 1781 (when its ratification was completed) until the enactment of the Constitution of 1787 on March 4, 1789. - image courtesy of the Klos Yavneh Academy Collection 

For 139 years, no national day honoring the flag was observed in the United States until Woodrow Wilson issued his Presidential Proclamation of 1916 establishing June 14th as U.S. Flag Day.   It would not, however, be until August 1949 that June 14th would be officially established as Flag Day by an Act of Congress.   

The 1777 Flag Resolution, as evidenced in the Journals of Congress, was meant to define a naval ensign (or naval national flag) and did not specify any particular arrangement, number of star points, nor orientation for the stars. Consequently,  the archaeological and written evidence on the numerous flag designs is sketchy and it is unknown which design was the most popular during the the 1777-1789 US Founding period.  The three most notable early 13-star arrangements are the Francis Hopkinson Flag, the Brandywine Flag, and the Betsy Ross Flag. 

Painter John Trumbull (1756–1843) used Declaration of Independence Signer Francis Hopkinson's US Flag Design in his paintings of scenes of The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton,  The Surrender of the British General John Burgoyne at Saratoga,  and Major General Charles Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown - Circa 1785-1822.

During the Battle of Brandywine, this banner was carried by Captain Robert Wilson's company of the 7th Pennsylvania Regiment. The company flag is red, with a red and white American flag image in the canton.

There is no evidence to support the Betsy Ross legend of sewing the first flag from a pencil sketch given to her by Commander-in-Chief George Washington, or teaching him how a five-point star is more simply cut than a six.  Betsy was one of a number of women who made flags, in a variety of styles, in Pennsylvania during the late 1770's; Benjamin  Franklin and John Adams described the flag to the Neapolitan ambassador in 1778 as bearing stripes in red, white and blue!  We do know, however, that  Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant adopted the thirteen star circle flag  in his June 10, 1783, Society of Cincinnati Diploma design.  

Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant Society of Cincinnati Diploma design, June 10, 1783 - Image Courtesy of the Library of Congress.  

In 1785 The Society of Cincinnati replace its 13 star field with the United States Great Seal as evidenced by this Diploma Signed by Society Secretary Henry Knox and President George Washington. 

We also know that the New York Historical Society owns the oldest known variation of the round 13-star flag which was incorporated into the Pewterers' Banner that was flown by their delegation while they marched in NY's "Constitution of 1787" ratification parade in 1788.

New York Historical Society's Pewterers' Banner  - image courtesy of the New York Historical Society 

Finally, regarding the US Founding Flags, we do know that the story of Betsy Ross sewing the flag emerged during the Centennial Celebration festivities in 1876, and that the most popular thirteen-star flag of the ceremonies was an amalgamation of  the Hopkinson and  "Betsy Ross" designs. A copy of this centennial flag is included in the exhibit.

This United States 13 Star Flag was utilized at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Celebrations - image courtesy of the Klos Yavneh Academy Collection 

In 1795, the number of stars and stripes was increased from 13 to 15,  reflecting the entry of Vermont and Kentucky as 14th and 15th states in the union.  The Flag was not changed when subsequent states were admitted and with 18 states waging a second war with Great Britain, the 15-star, 15-stripe flag inspired Francis Scott Key to write his "Defense of Fort McHenry," now known as the U.S. national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner." 

Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos, July 3rd, 2013, on the set of CBS Morning News explaining the origin of the United States Flag.

It was not until April 4, 1818, that a plan was passed by Congress changing the flag to 20 stars, with a new star to be added when each new state was admitted, while the number of stripes was reduced to 13  to honor the original states.   The April 4th Act is also found in this exhibit:

This image of An Act to establish the Flag of the United States, approved April 4, 1818 is taken directly from the Acts Passed at the First and Second Sessions of the Fifteenth Congress. This first edition, printed in Washington, by the Department of State in 1819 also includes: A resolution for the admission of Mississippi into the Union; An Act to establish the flag of the United States; An Act authorizing the President to occupy West Florida, west of the Perfido River; Act to provide for Illinois statehood; An addition to the 1808 Slave Act regarding importation of slaves "It shall not be lawful to bring Negroes, mulattos, etc... into the United States, from foreign place, in any manner whatever, with intent to hold them slaves;" Admission of Alabama and Illinois as states; An Act to allow use of the United States Navy to enforce anti-slave importation laws; A treaty with Sweden, Treaties with the following Indian nations - Wyandot, Senecas, Shawanees, Ottawas, Delawares, Pattawatamies, Chippewas, Menomenee, Ottoes, Poncarar, Cherokee, and Creek - image courtesy of the Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

The Peace of Paris and the Treaty of 1763, was signed on February 10th, 1763 by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement, after Britain's victory over France and Spain during the Seven Years' War whose theater in North America was known as the French and Indian War.  One year before this treaty, France ceded her  Louisiana Territory to Spain in the Treaty of Fontainebleau but was this not publicly announced until 1764. 

Exhibited is a March 1763 printing of one of the more significant documents of the 18th century, being "The Definitive Treaty of Friendship of Peace between his Britannick Majesty, the Most Christian King, and the King of Spain, Concluded at Paris, the 10th day of Feb., 1763...". Resulting from it, France gave up Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, the St. Lawrence River islands & Canada to the British. France gives to England all her territory east of the Mississippi River except New Orleans. France gets back their Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique & St. Lucia. Spain is given back Cuba in return for territory in East & West Florida. Specifically Article VII states:
 French territories on the continent of America; it is agreed, that, for the future, the confines between the dominions of his Britannick Majesty and those of his Most Christian Majesty, in that part of the world, shall be fixed irrevocably by a line drawn along the middle of the River Mississippi, from its source to the river Iberville, and from thence, by a line drawn along the middle of this river, and the lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain to the sea; and for this purpose, the Most Christian King cedes in full right, and guaranties to his Britannick Majesty the river and port of the Mobile, and everything which he possesses, or ought to possess, on the left side of the river Mississippi, except the town of New Orleans and the island in which it is situated, which shall remain to France, provided that the navigation of the river Mississippi shall be equally free, as well to the subjects of Great Britain as to those of France, in its whole breadth and length, from its source to the sea, and expressly that part which is between the said island of New Orleans and the right bank of that river, as well as the passage both in and out of its mouth: It is farther stipulated, that the vessels belonging to the subjects of either nation shall not be stopped, visited, or subjected to the payment of any duty whatsoever. The stipulations inserted in the IVth article, in favour of the inhabitants of Canada shall also take place with regard to the inhabitants of the countries ceded by this article.

This lengthy document takes about five pages of the  The Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Chronicle, March 1763, Sylvanus Urbanus, printed in London: D. Henry. 
-- Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

This 1763 Treaty of Paris transferred the east side of the Mississippi, including Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which was at that time part of the British territory of West Florida. New Orleans on the east side remained in French hands.   The newly acquired of Florida and Louisiana territory was too large to govern from one administrative center so the British divided it into two new American colonies separated by the Apalachicola River. British West Florida's government was based in Pensacola, and the colony included the part of formerly Spanish Florida west of the Apalachicola, plus the parts of French Louisiana taken by the British. It thus comprised all territory between the Mississippi and Apalachicola Rivers, with a northern boundary that shifted several times over the subsequent years.

Exhibited here is a 1763 Account of British Florida and Louisiana - with color map.  The Florida Parishes (Spanish: Parroquias de Florida, French: Paroisses de Floride), also known as the North Shore region, are eight parishes in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Louisiana, which were part of West Florida in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Unlike much of Louisiana, this region was not part of the Louisiana Purchase, as it had been under British and then Spanish control. The parishes are East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Washington, and West Feliciana. The United States annexed most of West Florida in 1810. It quickly incorporated the area that became the Florida Parishes into the Territory of Orleans, which became the U.S. state of Louisiana in 1812.  There are three pages taken up with "Some Account of the Government of East and West Florida..." with great detail.  In part: 

The forests abound with wild beasts, the plains with birds of various kinds, and the rivers with fowl and first; and in short, by best accounts that are not yet extant, there appears to be no want of necessaries and conveniences of life; nor is the climate so intolerably hot as to affect the health of those who may think fit to settle there.  Cochineal and indigo are among the natural productions of this country; and ambergrife is found in abundance on the southernmost coasts.  
The native Indians of Florida are perhaps the handsomest people in America; their complexion is rather inclining to olive than copper; their eyes are black and piercing, their bodies robust and their limbs finely turn'd. Their women swim the rivers, climb trees, and are in general so remarkably swift, that racing among them is a favorite diversion.  Before the Spaniards possessed themselves of Florida, the natives had a kind of a civil government, the traces of which they preserve to this day.  They were divided into petty states, who generally warred with each other, and who still continue the same practice.

The Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Chronicle, November 1763
, Sylvanus Urbanus, printed in London: D. Henry. -- Klos Yavneh Academy Collection
King George III, Monarch of the British North American Colonies including East and West Florida - Exhibited here is an Autograph letter signed discussing the design of the Theological Pivre Medal, the health of Elizabeth (his daughter), and his friend’s horseback riding: 
My Good Lord, Yesterday I received from Burch his design for the Reverse of the Theological Pivre Medal, think, I now communicate to you this only Alterations I have proposed is that the Anfs shall not appear so well finished but of ruder workmanship and the name of the University as well as the year placed at bottom as on the other Medal.We have had some alarm from a spasmatick attack on the breast of Elizabeth which occasioned some inflammation but by the skill of Sir George Baker She is now just fully recovered and in a few days will resume riding on horseback which has certainly this Summer agreed with her. 
I am sure to find by a letter Mr. Delany has had from Mr. Montagu that you are preparing to do the same as I am certain it will contribute to Your Health, which I flatter myself is improved by your proposing to attempt it this Season.  Believe me even   My Good Lord, Your Most Affectionately, George R  Windsor Sept 2, 1786. 

George III was born in 1738, son of Frederick, Prince of Wales and Augusta. He married Charlotte of Mecklinburg-Strelitz in 1761 and produced fifteen children.  George was diagnosed with porphyria, a mental disease which disrupted his reign as early as 1765.

George III succeeded his grandfather, George II, in 1760; his father Frederick, Prince of Wales, had died in 1751 having never ruled.  In the 1763, the Treaty of Paris ended the War for Empire. George III held his colonial holdings and gained Canada, the Northwest Territory, East and West Florida in North America.   George's plan of taxing the American colonies to pay for military protection for Britain led to the Revolutionary War in 1775. The colonists proclaimed independence in 1776, but George III continued the war until the American victory at Yorktown in 1781. The Treaty of Paris, signed in 1783, ensured acknowledgment of the United States of America as an independent nation and ceded Britain’s Northwest Territory to the new nation.  In his 1783 Treaty with Spain, George III ceded East and West Florida back to the Spanish Empire. George’s political power decreased when William Pitt the Younger became Prime Minister in 1783. George reclaimed some of his power, driving Pitt from office from 1801-04, but his condition worsened again and he ceased to rule in 1811.  Personal rule was given to his son George, the Prince Regent. George III died blind, deaf and mentally ill at Windsor Castle in 1820.   www.kinggeorgeiii.com
  - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

Marriage Declaration of King George III dated July 8, 1761 that:
I have, ever since my accession to the throne, turned my thoughts towards the choice of a princess for my consort …I come to a resolution to demand in marriage the princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg Strelitz; a princess distinguished by every eminent virtue.  
The London Magazine or Gentleman’s Monthly Intelligencer, July 1761, R. Baldwin, London - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

Queen Charlotte Sophia Monarch of the British North American Colonies including East and West Florida - Exhibited here is a Revolutionary War dated autograph letter signed by Queen Charlotte to her brother written in French on the 19th of February 1779 translated in full:
Sir my brother. It is with great pleasure that I congratulate Your Majesty on the Birth of the Princess, that Riene your very lovely wife comes by the assistance of Divine Providence to put the World, and I share with Your Majesty the joy that this event causes you begging the Quite Powerful that it of a agene from days to days to fill the royal house with all kinds of Benedictions. With my perfect sincerities. Your good sister, Charlotte. At St. James, 19th February 1779.  

Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, the wife of George III. She married George shortly after his accession to the throne, in 1761. When George III first received his young bride on September 9, 1761, at the garden gate of St James's Palace, he was supposedly taken aback by her lack of beauty. It became evident, though, that the pious and modest Strelitz princess soon conquered his heart and willingly submitted to his strong influence over her. In the first twenty-one years of her marriage Queen Charlotte gave birth to fifteen children, nine sons and six daughters. Their eldest son was the future George IV, born in 1762. In contrast to most European Royal houses George III and Charlotte had a harmonious marriage. Charlotte played a prominent, though reticent, role on the stage of European world history. As Queen of England and consort of George III she became an eyewitness of a turbulent age. -- Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

Despite overtures by the Continental Congress, both the West and East Florida British Colonies remained loyal to King George during the American Revolution, and served as havens for Tories fleeing from the emerging United States.  

In the Seven Years War (1756-1763),  Spain had sustained serious losses against the British. The British had attacked and occupied two of Spain's key trading ports: Havana, in Cuba and Manila, in the Philippines in 1762. In the peace settlement of 1763 Spain recovered Havana by ceding Florida, including St. Augustine, which the Spanish had founded in 1565.  The American Revolutionary War in 1776 provided Spain with the opportunity to reclaim the Florida in North America.  

In 1776, New Orleans Governor, Luis de Unzaga, the New Orleans Territorial Governor Unzaga, concerned about overtly antagonizing the British before the Spanish were prepared for war, agreed to assist the Continental Army covertly. Financier Oliver Pollock brokered shipment of desperately needed gunpowder through New Orleans with Unzaga approval.

In March 1777, the Spanish court secretly granted the United States most favored nation status to the  previously restricted port of Havana.  Benjamin Franklin  noted in his 1777 report that three thousand barrels of gunpowder were waiting in New Orleans, and that the merchants in Bilbao "had orders to ship for us such necessaries as we might want." By 1778 the British papers were reporting the tenuous position of the West Florida settlements and Spain harboring Continental Rebels,  "Their headquarters is in New Orleans, from whence they send out their parties to pillage the English lands.  No inhabitants remain on the plantations from the Natches downwards,"  in their London papers.

The London Chronicle, England, June 25, 1778 printing of British Captain Ayres’ March 1778 letter concerning the British West Florida Mississippi lands that includes eight current Louisiana Parishes.  The letter reports in full:
"A very unhappy event has lately happened in this country which will prove utterly destructive to the English settlements on the Mississippi...The defenceless state in which this country was left being without a soldier, or place of force,induced the rebels to send from Fort du Quesne a part in an armed batteau under the command of Captain Willing, seemingly with the intention of pillaging the plantations, and obliging the inhabitants to take oaths of neutrality; this party originally consisted of only twenty-five men, but by promises to the hunters and rovers on the bateaux, in the upper parts of the river, their number in French and English amounted to about 150 men on their arrival at the settlement of the Natches, there they contented themselves in imposing oaths of neutrality, and dispatched a canoe to seize the ship Rebecca, Captain Cox, at Manchac, and which they surprised in a fog; the arrival of this canoe gave time to the planters to transport their Negroes and movable effects to Spanish lands, before the rest of the rebels got down; on their arrival they seized on the Negroes of such natives of Britain as has neglected to send them off, they burned the houses on some plantations, and committed acts of cruelty and treachery that would dishonor the most savage nations.  To some they offered security, on the condition of their returning to their habitations, and confirmed that security by written permission, exacting at the same time an oath of neutrality; those who were deluded fell victim to their rapacity; for in violation of the faith pledged to them, and on every principle of honour and humanity, their property was seized, brought to New Orleans and sold at Vendue.  Their headquarters is in New Orleans, from whence they send out their parties to pillage the English lands.  No inhabitants remain on the plantations from the Natches downwards. To complete their barbarity, there only remains the destruction of the cattle and houses, and it is said a party is dispatched on that errand.  Humanity shudders at the horrible cruelty of these wretches.  Fifty to which the inhabitants might have repaired, would have preserved this valuable colony to Britain; even now 200 would suffice to restore it, and extirpate the vermin that invest it.  Our loss is not considerable, being only the lands, and the improvements we have made.  It is to be hoped government will not utterly neglect us.  In proportion to the number of inhabitants, there is no where a more loyal people: no man of any property or character has joined the rebels.” 

Less than a year later, the Treaty of Aranjuez, between France and Spain, was signed on April 12, 1779. France agreed to aid in the capture of Gibraltar, the Floridas, and the island of Minorca. In return, the Spanish agreed to join in France’s war against Great Britain. 

The exhibit includes this King George III Act: His Majesty's most gracious Message to the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament Assembled, on Thursday, the Seventeenth Day of June, 1779, and their Lordships Address thereupon, to His Majesty. London: Printed by Charles Eyre & William Strahan which formally withdraws his ambassadors four days before Spain declares War on Great Britain.

On June 21st, 1779, after they had finalized their preparations for war, Spain declared war against Great Britain according to the Treaty of Aranjuez's terms.  

In the Gulf Region, Bernardo de Gálvez, the energetic governor of Spanish Louisiana, immediately began offensive operations to gain control of British West Florida. In September 1779 he gained complete control over the lower Mississippi River by capturing Fort Bute and then shortly thereafter obtaining the surrender of the remaining forces following the Battle of Baton Rouge. He followed up these successes with the capture of Mobile on March 14, 1780, following a brief siege. He then began planning an assault on  West Florida's capital, Pensacola, using the recently-captured Mobile as the launching point for the attack.  

Major General Campbell's account of the surrender of West Florida to the Spaniards: “...the whole force of the province of Louisiana being previously collected, the independency of America was publickly recognized by beat of drum at New Orleans on the 19th...the governor, Don Beraud de Galvez, immediately marched against our forces on the Mississippi & effectually succeeded by the capture, by stratagem, of a king's sloop in Lake Pontchartrain by the seize of a schooner in the River Mississippi...”  The Gentleman's Magazine, London, April, 1780

At the Battle of Pensacola (March 9th – May 8th, 1781)Governor Gálvez's Army won a decisive victory against the British the Spanish control of all of West Florida closing off any possibility of a British offensive into the western frontier of United States utilizing the Mississippi River.  

The Spanish also assisted the United States effort in the crucial Siege of Yorktown in 1781.  A year earlier the US Dollar, whose note's face boasted an exchange rate of one paper dollar for one Spanish Silver Dollar, collapsed.  The Continental Congress, to stave the escalating hyper-inflation, passed a resolution increasing the exchange rate to $40 for one Spanish Silver Dollar.  

Displayed is $5 and $50 Continental Currency, 1783 Spanish Milled Silver Dollar,  with the 1780 Journals of Congress resolution that increases, from 1 to 40 the amount of US dollars required to redeem one Spanish Silver dollar from the U.S. Treasury. This resolution effectively reduced the US National debt from 200 Million to 5 million Spanish Silver Dollars “Pieces Of Eight”

By 1781 the US Dollar was discontinued and the old currency was trading at $100 to 1 Pieces of Eight.  The Continental Army was in the midst of the Yorktown Siege and  faced with defaulting on payments for its military supplies and  payroll. François Joseph Paul de Grasse, the French admiral designated to assist the Colonists, sought the help of Spain. Through Francisco Saavedra de Sangronis, 500,000 in silver pesos, was raised in Havana, Cuba within 24 hours enabling George Washington to continue the siege ultimately defeating Cornwallis and effectively ending the war with Great Britain one year later with first the Preliminary Peace Treaty of Paris in 1782 which fostered the signing of the September 3, 1783,  Definitive Treaty of Peace between his Britannic Majesty and the United States of America.

TREATY OF PARIS November 1783 printing of the set of treaties that ended the American Revolutionary War. On 3 September 1783, representatives of King George III of Great Britain signed a treaty in Paris with representatives of the United States of America—commonly known as the Treaty of Paris (1783)—and two treaties at Versailles with representatives of King Louis XVI of France and King Charles III of Spain—commonly known as the Treaties of Versailles (1783). The previous day, a preliminary treaty had been signed with representatives of the States General of the Dutch Republic, but the final treaty which ended the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War was not signed until 20 May 1784.  The British lost their Thirteen Colonies and the defeat marked the end of the First British Empire. The United States gained more than it expected, thanks to the award of western territory. The other Allies had mixed-to-poor results. France won a propaganda victory over Britain after its defeat in the Seven Years War, however its material gains were minimal and its financial losses huge. It was already in financial trouble and its borrowing to pay for the war used up all its credit and created the financial disasters that marked the 1780s. Historians link those disasters to the coming of the French Revolution. The Dutch did not gain anything of significant value at the end of the war. The Spanish had a mixed result; they did not achieve their primary war goal of recovering Gibraltar, but they did gain some territory. The Spanish did not have to hand back West Florida, parts of Louisiana or Minorca, and were also given East Florida in exchange for the Bahamas.  Both East Florida and part of West Florida had been Spanish possessions before 1763, so the 1783 treaty did not specify boundaries, allowing the Spanish to claim that the 1763 boundaries still applied (the remainder of West Florida had been part of French Louisiana before 1763, and the rest of Louisiana had then been handed over to Spain). Louisiana land the Floridas were now solidly in the vast holdings of the Spanish Empire.   - Loan Courtesy of Klos Yavneh Academy Collection.

Spain followed the lead of the British governing West Florida and East Florida as two separate colonies but a border dispute soon arose with the United States.

Great Britain's Treaty with the US establish Florida's northern boundary at the as the 31st parallel north.  Britain's 1783 Treaty with Spain establish no boundary and Spain maintained Florida extended north at least to the 32° 22′ boundary line established by Britain in 1764 after the Seven Years War. A dispute arose and the US delayed a treaty enabling the nation to grow stronger. 

In 1794 British Ambassador Thomas Pinckney was appointed as Envoy Extraordinary to Spain to settle the North Florida border dispute. He negotiated the Treaty of San Lorenzo or the Treaty of Madrid,  in San Lorenzo de El Escorial on October 27, 1795. Pinckney's Treaty defined the boundaries of the United States with the Spanish colonies and guaranteed the United States navigation rights on the Mississippi River. 

The treaty set the western boundary of the United States, separating it from the Spanish Colony of Louisiana as the middle of the Mississippi River from the northern boundary of the United States to the 31st degree north latitude. The agreement put, for the first time,  the lands of the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations of American Indians within the new boundaries of the United States.  The territory ceded by Spain in Pinckney's Treaty was organized by the United States into the Mississippi Territory in 1798.

[Adams. John] - A  printing of President John Adams June 12, 1797 Message to Congress that they create a government for the Mississippi Territory similar to the Northwest Territory after the ratification of Pinckney's Treaty.
Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representative: I have received information from the commissioner appointed on the part of the United States, pursuant to the third article of our treaty with Spain, that the running and marking of the boundary line between the colonies of East and West Florida, and the territory of the United States, have been delayed by the officers of His Catholic Majesty; and that they have declared their intention to maintain his jurisdiction. and to suspend the withdrawing of his troops from the military posts they occupy within the territory of the United States, until the two Governments shall, by negotiation, have settled the meaning of the second article respecting the withdrawing of the troops, garrisons or settlements, of either party in the territory of the other; that is, whether, when the Spanish garrisons withdraw they are to leave the works standing, or to demolish them; and until, by an additional article to the treaty, the real property of the inhabitants shall be secured; and, likewise, until the Spanish officers are sure the Indians will be pacific. The two first questions if to be determined by negotiation, might be made subjects of discussion for years, and as no limitation of time can be prescribed to the other, a certainty, in the opinion of the Spanish officers, that the Indians will be pacific, it will be impossible to suffer it to remain an obstacle to the fulfillment of the treaty on the part Spain. -- To remove the first difficulty, I have determined to leave it to the discretion of the officers of His Catholic Majesty, when they withdraw his troops from the forts within the territory of the United States, either to leave the works standing or to demolish them; and to remove the second. I shall cause an assurance to be published and to be particularly communicated to the minister of His Catholic Majesty, and to the Governor of Louisiana, that the settlers or occupants of the lands in question, shall not be disturbed in their possessions by the troops of the United States, but, on the contrary, that they shall be protected in all their lawful claims; and, to prevent or remove every doubt on this point, it merits the consideration of Congress whether it will not be expedient immediately to pass a law, giving positive assurances to those inhabitants who, by fair and regular grants, or by occupancy, have obtained legal titles or equitable claims to lands in that country, prior to the unratification of the treaty between the United States and Spain, on the 25th of April, 1796. -- This country is rendered particularly valuable by its inhabitants, who are represented to amount to nearly four thousand, generally well affected and much attached to the United States, and zealous for the establishment of a Government under their authority.I therefore recommend to your consideration the expediency of erecting a government in the district of Natches similar to that established for the territory Northwest of the river Ohio, but with certain modifications, relative to titles in claims of land whether of individuals of companies, or to claims of jurisdiction of any individual state.  John Adams, President June 12, 1797

In 1799, Napoleon, came into power with the  coup of 18 Brumaire  and aimed, among other things,  to restore France's presence on the continent.  Three years earlier Spain had signed the Second Treaty of San Ildefonso with the Spanish Empire forcing them into a war with Great Britain.  The war was going badly with the loss of Trinidad and Menorca in 1798 and later the attacks on Ferrol and Cadiz in 1800.  

In America, Spanish control of the important Mississippi port city of New Orleans brought in great wealth from its expensive tariffs but British attacks on Spain's colonies and her convoys back from America, along with its commercial blockade, added to an already worsening economic situation.  Additionally,  New Orleans was troublesome city, plagued with flooding, hordes of mosquitoes and yellow fever along.  The city was prone to serious damage by even tropical storms, let alone hurricanes,  due to its waterlogged swamp location.   This NOLA Cash Cow now became a liability and helped increase Spain's national debt which by 1800 had increased eight-fold since the start of the war.  A Third Treaty of San Ildefonso  was a secretly negotiated between Napoleionic France and Spain in which the Spainish returned the colonial territory of Louisiana to France that was ceded in 1762. The treaty was concluded on October 1, 1800 between Louis Alexandre Berthier representing France and Don Mariano Luis de Urquijo for Spain. The treaty gave the King of Spain's son-in-law power over Tuscany in trade for returning the Louisiana Territory to French control. 

During this period the United States was in a Quasi-War on the high seas with France since 1798.  The French navy inflicted substantial losses on American shipping. Secretary of State Timothy Pickering reported to Congress on June 21, 1797, that the French had seized 316 American merchant ships in the previous eleven months. In 1800 the British and Us Navy teamed up to stop the French naval attacks on both countries ships.  On September 30th, 1800 commissioners signed A Convention between the French Republic, and the United States of America seeking to end the hostilities. The Peace Convention was not declared fully ratified by the US Senate until December 19, 1801.  It was Proclaimed December 21, 1801 and on January 12th, 1802 President Jefferson issued his estimate on carrying out the Convention. 

Message of the President of the United States of America transmitting to Him from the Secretary of State and an Estimate for carrying into effect the Convention between the United States and the French Republic, in pursuance of a Resolution of 8th Instant. 12 January, 1802 Referred to the Committee of Ways and Means.

Eight months later, Spain's King Charles IV signed a decree transferring the Louisiana Territory to France and tensions , once again rose between the US and the French.  The Spanish agent in New Orleans, acting on orders from the Spanish court, revoked Americans' access to the port's warehouses. This action prompted outrage in the United States.  President Jefferson and Secretary of State James Madison immediately attempted to resolve the issue through diplomatic channels while the opposition party,the Federalists, called for war and advocated Louisiana secession by a military invasion from the Upper Mississippi western territories.  

In January 1803 recommended that James Monroe join Robert R. Livingston who was in Paris as minister extraordinary trying to negotiate the acquisition of New Orleans. Monroe's instructions, drawn up by Secretary Madison, allocated  $10 million for the purchase of New Orleans, and all or part of the Floridas. If this bid failed, Monroe was instructed to acquire just New Orleans, or, at the very least, secure U.S. access to the Mississippi and the port.

In France, a new war with Britain seemed inevitable, the army sent to suppress the  Saint Domingue (Haiti) Slave Rebellion had been decimated by Yellow Fellow fever, and Napoleon had no resources to send troops to New Orleans to defend against a British attack from Canada. Consequently, when James Monroe reached Paris on April 12, 1803, he learned that Livingston was offered the opportunity for the United States to purchase all of Louisiana Territory. 

Monroe and Livingston immediately finalized the negotiations and on April 30th they and Barbé Marbois  signed the Louisiana Territory Treaty in Paris for the acquisition of approximately 827,000 square miles that would double the size of the United States at the price of $15 million .  

[Louisiana Purchase] - Exhibited is the 1803 dual Language printing of the Louisiana Purchase in the  first edition of the Acts Passed at the First and Second Session of the Eighth Congress that includes  the acts, which established  the territory’s incorporation into the United States of America in 1803. The published "Acts" issued by congress contains the entire treaty in both French and English, as well as the "Convention Between the United States of America and the French Republic" dated April 30, 1803 and signed by Robert R. Livingston, James Monroe and Barbé Marbois in Paris. Also included are the six acts passed by the US Congress relating to the transfer of the territory from the French to the United States. These Six Enabling Acts comprise 125 pages and are identified as:
  1. Louisiana Territory transfer (which included West Florida) from France to the United States;
  2. Stock Payment created to fund the $11.25 million dollars payment to the French, and pay-back schedule;
  3. United States claims again the France as a result of the acquisition(resulting in an additional $3.75 million dollars;
  4. Collecting duties and the mechanisms to be employed within the new territories;
  5. Civil Government in the territories and how it would be funded and operated;
  6. Erecting the two territories which would comprise the whole of the Louisiana Purchase; (created a Territory of Orleans and one of Louisiana). Also regulated the imposition of slavery and the conditions under which it could be extended into the new territories.

Continuing on, the Acts report the Terms of Purchase, between the United States and France, are stated from pages 174 through 203, inclusively. -- Acts Passed at the First and Second Session of the Eighth Congress . Published by the Congress of the United States, Washington, 1803.

Two years earlier, the President had appointed William CC Claiborne Governor of the Mississippi Territory, who was a Republican that his vote for Jefferson in the disputed presidential election with Aaron Burr.   

Exhibited here is a William Charles Cole Claiborne affidavit signed and dated October 31, 1803.  This ADS was written entirely by Claiborne just after President Thomas Jefferson appointed Mississippi Territorial Governor  as one of the commissioners to take formal possession of the Louisiana Territory from France.

Once the US Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase on October 20th, 1803, Thomas Jefferson sent Governor William C. C. Claiborne and General James Wilkinson  to New Orleans to formally accept the transfer of Louisiana from France to the United States.  On December 20, 1803 the Governor William C.C. Claiborne participated in the ceremonial transfer of Louisiana to the United States. In a Proclamation—written in English, French and Spanish—Claiborne announced to the residents of Louisiana that they now owed their allegiance to the United States and assured them that their rights would be protected by the U.S. Constitution.


President Jefferson announces the accomplishment of "this important acquisition, so favorable to the immediate interests of our Western citizens, so auspicious to the peace and security of the nation in general, which adds to our country territories so extensive and fertile, and to our citizens new brethren to partake of the blessings of freedom and self-government." the document recording the formal transfer of the Territory, signed in type on December 20, 1803, by the American Commissioners, Governor William Claiborne of the Mississippi Territory and General James Wilkinson, and by the French Commissioner Laussat, is printed.

Claiborne, acting Governor, issues his Proclamation and the Governor's Address to the Citizens of Louisiana on December 20. Printed here, these foundation documents declare the establishment of American sovereignty and "that the inhabitants thereof will be incorporated in the Union of the United States.to the enjoyment of all the rights, advantages and immunities of citizens of the United States; they shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property and the religion which they profess." He announces, "The American people receive you as brothers," urges Louisianans to "cultivate with assiduity among yourselves, the  advancement of political information," and to "encourage literature." FIRST EDITION.   - Loan Courtesy of Klos Yavneh Academy Collection. 

On March 26, 1804 Congress passed legislation that divided the Louisiana Purchase Territory into the Territory of Orleans (most of present-day Louisiana) and the District of Louisiana (the remaining Louisiana Purchase land). President Thomas Jefferson nominated, and the Senate confirmed, William C.C. Claiborne to be the Governor of the Territory of Orleans. Claiborne eventually became the first Governor of the state of Louisiana.  

Unfortunately the 1800 Treaty of San Ildefonso with Spain and France did not specify the boundaries between Louisiana and West Florida. The Spanish continued to administer the eastern Louisiana portion as part of the  West Florida province maintaining that it was not part of the territory returned to France under the Treaty of San Ildefonso

The United States and Spain held long, inconclusive negotiations on the status of West Florida. During these negotiations, American settlers established a foothold in the area and resisted Spanish control. British settlers, who had remained after the 1783 Treaties, also resented Spanish rule, leading to a rebellion in 1810 and the establishment for exactly 90 days of the Republic of West Florida.  

Important West Florida Rebellion Reporting: Just as our paper was going to press we received a letter from St. John's Plains (the seat of the West Florida Convention) dated July 26, from which we make the following extracts: 
The convention assembled yesterday appointed John Rhea, Esq. Chairman, and Sr. Andrew Steel, Secretary, with two Clerks, viz. George Mather and Samuel Crocker, Esqrs.  There is a great diversity of opinion among them, some being for independence, and others for supporting Spanish Laws.  Their situation is difficult, and it is expected they will close their first meeting without doing much that is decisive.   As the Convention sits with closed doors, and the members are not very communicative, I cannot inform you whether anything has been done.  I send you a list of the members, as perfect, as I can collect.  For New Feliciana – William Barrow, John H. Johnson, John Milis, and John Rhea.  For Baton Rouge – Thomas Lily, Philip Hickey, Edmund House, Lopas  For St. Helena Joseph Thomas, John W. Leonard, Williams, William Morgan.  For Tanchipabo – Cooper, and one name unknown. - The New England Palladium, September 4, 1810
On October 27, 1810, President James Madison issued a Proclamation Taking Possession of Part of Louisiana in support of the West Florida Louisiana Parishes  that broke away from Spanish rule. 

[Madison, James]  Message of the President of the United States, to the Two Houses of Congress, at the Commencement of the Third Session of the Eleventh Congress. December 5, 1810 with Documents Accompanying.   Washington: Roger G. Weightman, Printers, 1810.  AND Full printing of James Madison’s December 5, 1810 State of the Union Address in the Connecticut Courant, Harford, December 12, 1810.

In this State of the Union address President James Madison's State declares that West Florida was included in the Louisiana Purchase and is part of the United States:
Among the events growing out of the state of the Spanish Monarchy, our attention was imperiously attracted to the change developing itself in that portion of West Florida which, though of right appertaining to the United States, had remained in the possession of Spain awaiting the result of negotiations for its actual delivery to them. The Spanish authority was subverted and a situation produced exposing the country to ulterior events which might essentially affect the rights and welfare of the Union. In such a conjuncture I did not delay the interposition required for the occupancy of the territory west of the river Perdido, to which the title of the United States extends, and to which the laws provided for the Territory of Orleans are applicable. With this view, the proclamation of which a copy is laid before you was confided to the governor of that Territory to be carried into effect. The legality and necessity of the course pursued assure me of the favorable light in which it will present itself to the Legislature, and of the promptitude with which they will supply whatever provisions may be due to the essential rights and equitable interests of the people thus brought into the bosom of the American family.
The  bound Presidential Message also includes correspondence between Robert Smith, Secretary of State, and William Pinkney, the U.S. Minister in London & General John Armstrong the United States Minister to Napoleon's court in Paris.

On February 21, 1811 the debate on Louisiana Statehood ended in Congress and they passed an Act To Enable The People Of The Territory Of Orleans To Form A Constitution And State Government, and for the admission of such state into the union, with equal footing with the original states, and for other purposes.  

[Acts of the Territory of Orleans] - ACTS PASSED AT THE FIRST AND SECOND SESSIONS OF THE THIRD LEGISLATURE OF THE TERRITORY OF ORLEANS, bound in at the end with the English and French text on facing pages. Bound in contemporary suede with pages toned and spotted.  Noteworthy Acts include the establishment of the University of Orleans, An Act granting Robert R. Livingston and Robert Fulton the sole privilege of using steam boats for a limited time in this Territory, President James Madison PROCLAMATION RESPECTING TAKING POSSESSION OF PART OF LOUISIANA— October 27, 1810, and the dual language printing of  An Act Of Congress To Enable The People Of The Territory Of Orleans To Form A Constitution And State Government, and for the admission of such state into the union, with equal footing with the original states, and for other purposes.  - Loan Courtesy of Klos Yavneh Academy Collection. 

Under the 1811 Enabling Act a constitutional convention convened in New Orleans on November 4, 1811 and on January 22, 1812 the delegates signed Louisiana's first state constitution. President James Madison transmitted the proceedings and constitution to Congress on March 4, 1812

On March 20, 1812, the House of Representatives passed An Act for the Admission of the State of Louisiana into the Union, and to extend the Laws of the United States to the said State.  After some debate, the House and Senate passed an act approving Louisiana's statehood. President James Madison signed the legislation on April 8, 1812 which designated April 30, 1812 as the day of formal admission into the Union. April 30 was significant because  on that day in 1803 Robert Livingston and James Monroe signed the Louisiana Purchase Treaty and Conventions in Paris, France.   Two months after Statehood Admission, the same Congress and President Madison would thrust the People of Louisiana into a third war with Great Britain.  

Exhibited are the Acts Passed at the First Session of the Twelfth Congress of the United States (Washington City, 1812), First Edition, 8vo, 6" x 9" Bound in the original blue wraps, 3-320, Table of Contents, index, Xii, Important because it contains the April 8, 1812 Act for the Admission of the State of Louisiana into the Union, and to extend the Laws of the United States to the said State and the June 18th, 1812 Act  declaring War between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the dependencies thereof and the United States of America and their territories. Also included are many other acts involving the war effort; raising regiments, supplies, naval efforts, etc..

During the War of 1812, the United States would hold onto the Louisiana Purchase thanks to General Andrew Jackson's victory over a superior British force in the Battle of New Orleans.

[Battle of New Orleans] – Exhibited here is the Gold Medal Legislation enacted by United States Congress as recommended by the Senate Committee on Military Affairs. The Resolutions that are printed report the expressive of thanks of Congress to Major General Jackson and the troops by and under his command for their gallantry and good conduct in the defense of New Orleans February 13, 1815. Printed by order of the Senate of the United States, a  gold medal was ordered by Congress to be struck in honor of  Andrew Jackson's "most signal and complete" victory over the British at the Battle of New Orleans (December 1814?January 1815), "with a disparity of loss on  his part unexampled in military annals." The Jackson medal originally struck in Gold was also struck in bronze, and this issue that  is 2 1/2" in diameter is also exhibited - Loan Courtesy of Klos Yavneh Academy Collection.

After the War, Spain and the United States continued their disagreements over the east and western boundaries of the territory of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. In the west, Spain considered the boundary to end at the west bank of the Mississippi River and the city of New Orleans. The United States claimed that the land they bought extended to the Summit of the Rocky Mountains.Eventually the U.S. conceded to claim only as far west as the Sabine River, but Spain insisted upon the Arroyo Hondo boundary; the disputed region was known as Neutral Ground.

On February 22, 1819, after years of negotiations  the Adams-Onis Treaty was signed by John Quincy Adams, secretary of state, and Luis de Onís, Spanish minister.  The Treaty gave Florida to the U.S. and set out the western boundaries between the U.S. and New Spain (now Mexico).

Ratification was postponed for two years, because Spain wanted to use the treaty as an incentive to keep the United States from giving diplomatic support to the revolutionaries in South America. As soon as the treaty was signed, the U.S. Senate ratified unanimously; because of Spain's stalling, a new ratification was necessary and this time there were objections to the Texas territory.  The measures to expand the US western territory, championed by Henry Clay, were defeated in the U.S. Senate.  

Ratified on February 22, 1821, the treaty defined the borders more precisely, roughly granting Florida and Louisiana to the U.S. while giving to Spain everything west of Louisiana from Texas to California. The new boundary was to be the Sabine River north from the Gulf of Mexico to the 32nd parallel north, then due north to the Red River, west along the Red River to the 100th meridian west, due north to the Arkansas River, west to its headwaters, north to the 42nd parallel north, and finally west along that parallel to the Pacific Ocean. Informally this has been called the "Step Boundary", although the step-like shape of the boundary was not apparent for several decades—the source of the Arkansas, believed to be near the 42nd parallel.   It was considered a triumph of American diplomacy. 

[Adams-Onis Treaty] - 1821 U.S. Florida Purchase from Spain Dual Language Printing Acts Passed at the Second Session of the Sixteenth Congress of the United States - First edition, Washington, D.C.: Published by Davis and Force, 1821 by Authority Of Congress.  This historic volume is bound and includes the official Congressional 1821 printing of the Adams-Onis Treaty with Spain that transferred Florida to the United States in both languages.  There are also numerous laws enacted for the governance of the new Florida territory. - Loan Courtesy of Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

The Adams-Onis Treaty finally concluded Spain's claims on the Louisiana and Florida Territories that had been aggressively pursued after it Declaration of War against Great Britain on June 21st, 1779.  

President-Elect Samuel Johnston 

Elected President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled July 9, 1781
Declined the Presidency July 10, 1781

On March 2, 1781 Delegate Samuel Johnston remained in Philadelphia and took his seat as the North Carolina Delegate to the new government of the United States, the United States in Congress Assembled (USCA). He vigorously worked at reformulating the new government with a particular interest in seeking to expand the powers of the President. In an April 8th letter, to James Iredell, he wrote of leadership and the States’ failure to support USCA measures:

You will easily judge that great delay in the deliberative councils of so numerous a body as Congress. You will easily judge that great delay in the deliberative councils of so numerous a body as Congress must necessarily take place, add to this, that the frequent change of the members does in almost every instance break upon the best digested systems, and renders inefficient the best concerted measures. Much time is too often spent in debate, and there is no man of sufficient credit or influence to take the lead, or give a tone to the business.

Another circumstance which prevents Congress from taking its measures with a greater degree of confidence and decision is, the inattention which the States pay to the measures recommended by that body. I am fully satisfied that if the States would implicitly comply with every requisition of Congress, even when the propriety of the measure was not evidently apparent, it would be attended by the most salutary consequences, as there is not the least reason to doubt but Congress, both as a body and individually, are disposed to do what is right, and appear to me in almost every instance that has fallen within my observation to be actuated by the most virtuous and disinterested motives. In a few, very few instances, I have suspected individuals to be influenced by local or personal considerations, and this less often than might be naturally expected in so large a body.

Never was a poor fly more completely entangled in a cobweb than Congress in their paper currency. It is the daily subject of conversation in that body; but our situation is so very intricate and delicate that I have as yet heard no proposal that is not subject to numberless objections.[2]
SAMUEL JOHNSTON - REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR ON FORTY-SEVEN PETITIONS.... [Knox, Henry]: [Philadelphia]: Childs and Swaine, [1793]. This copy bears the ownership signature of then North Carolina US Senator Samuel Johnston on the front wrapper. Johnston was a key leader of the Revolution in North Carolina, a delegate to the Continental Congress and United States in Congress Assembled.  

In this Secretary of War Report, Henry Knox lists forty-seven petitions from veterans of the Revolutionary War. Henry Knox offers brief summations of their claims and his position on each matter. He favorably received a similar set of thirty-five additional petitions the same year. Good evidence of the drastic extent to which the federal government was petitioned for economic relief by commissioned and non- commissioned officers of the war. 

In 1789, when George Washington took the oath as the first President and Commander-in-Chief under the Constitution, North Carolina along with Rhode Island, chose to be a sovereign state separate from the United States of America.  Samuel Johnston, at that time was serving as the Governor, thus becoming North Carolina’s head of state.  As Governor of North Carolina from 1787 to 1789 he also presided over both North Carolina Conventions called to ratify the U.S. Constitution. The first Convention, in 1788 rejected the Constitution of 1787 in spite of Johnston's strong support. He called another convention in 1789 and under his leadership North Carolina  completed ratification and joined the Union on November 21, 1789. After statehood Johnston resigned as governor to become one of the state's first two United States Senators, serving from 1789 until 1793. In 1800 he was made a Judge in the Superior Court of North Carolina, an office he held until his retirement in 1803.   - Loan Courtesy of Klos Yavneh Academy Collection.  

Johnston was unsuccessful in his attempt to strengthen the USCA Presidency. In fact on May 4, 1781 the USCA passed the new for the USCA that stripped the President of his power to control the congressional agenda even going so far as to eliminate the President's prerogative to continue the debate before a motion that was brought to the floor was seconded. The rules weakened, not strengthen, the U.S. Presidency:

Exhibited here is The Journals of the United States in Congress Assembled Published By Order of Congress  Volume VII New York: Printed by John Patterson in 1787.  - Klos Yavneh Academy

Rules for Conducting Business in the 
United States in Congress assembled:

1. As soon as seven states are met the President may assume assumes the chair, upon which the members shall take their seats.

2. The minutes of the preceding day shall then be read, and after that the public letters, petitions and memorials, if any have been received or presented.

3. Every letter, petition or memorial read, on which no order is moved, shall of course be considered as ordered to lie on the table, and may be taken up at any future time.

4. After the public dispatches, &c., the reports of committees which may have been delivered by them to the secretary during that morning or the preceding day shall, for the information of the house, be read in the order in which they were delivered, and, if it is judged proper, a day be assigned for considering them.

5. After the public letters, &c., are read, and orders given concerning them, the reports of the Board of Treasury and of the Board of War, if any, shall be taken into consideration; but none of those subjects for the determination of which the assent of nine states is requisite shall be agitated or debated, except when nine states or more are assembled. When a doubt is raised whether any motion or question is of the number of those for the determination of which in the affirmative the articles of confederation require the assent of nine states, the votes and assent of nine states shall always be necessary to solve that doubt, and to determine upon such motions or questions.

6. When a report, which has been read and lies for consideration, is called for it shall immediately be taken up. If two or more are called for, the titles of the several reports shall be read, and then the President shall put the question beginning with the first called for, but there shall be no debate, and the votes of a majority of the states present shall determine which is to be taken up.

7. An order of the day, when called for by a State shall always have the preference and shall not be postponed but by the votes of a majority of the United States in Congress assembled.

8. When a report is brought forward for consideration it shall first be read over and then debated by paragraphs and each paragraph shall be subject to amendments. If it relates only to one subject being in the nature of an ordinance it shall be subject to such additions as may be judged proper to render it compleat and then it shall be read over as it stands amended and a question taken upon the whole: But if it comprehends different subjects, independent one of another, in the form of distinct acts or resolutions a question shall be taken on each and finally a question on the whole.

9. No motion shall be received unless it be made or Negatived. seconded by a state.

9. When any ordinance is introduced by report or otherwise, it shall be read a first time for the information of the house without debate. The President shall then put the following question "Shall this ordinance be read a second time." If it passes in the affirmative then a time shall be appointed for that purpose when it shall be read and debated by paragraphs and when gone through, the question shall be "Shall this ordinance be read a third time"; if agreed to, and a time appointed, it shall be accordingly read by paragraphs, and if necessary debated, and when gone through the question shall be "Shall this ordinance pass", if the vote is in the affirmative, a fair copy shall then be made out by the Secretary, either on parchment or paper and signed by the President and attested by the Secretary in Congress and recorded in the Secretary's office.

10. When a motion is made and seconded it shall be repeated by the President or if he or any other member desire being in writing it shall be delivered to the President in writing and read aloud at the table before it, shall be debated.

11. Every motion shall be reduced to writing and read at the table before it is debated if the President or any member require it.

12. After a motion is repeated by the President or read at the table it shall then be in the possession of the house, but may at any time before decision, be withdrawn, with the consent of a majority of the states present.

13. No member shall speak more than twice in any one debate on the same day, without leave of the house, nor shall any member speak twice in a debate until every member, who chuses, shall have spoken once on the same.

13. Before an original motion shall be brought before the house, it shall be entered in a book to be kept for the purpose and to lie on the table for the inspection of the members, and the time shall be mentioned underneath when the motion is to be made, that the members may some prepared and nothing he brought on hastily or by surprise.

14. When a question is before the house and under debate, no motion shall be received unless for amending it, for the previous question, or to postpone the consideration of the main question or to commit it.

15. No new motion or proposition shall be admitted under colour of amendment as a substitute for the question or proposition under debate until it is postponed or disagreed to.

16. When a motion is made to amend by striking out certain words, whether for the purpose of inserting other words or not, the first question shall be "Shall the words moved to be struck out stand?"

16. The previous question (which is always to be understood in this sense that the main question be not now put) shall only be admitted when in the judgment of two states at least, the subject moved is in its nature or from the circumstances of time or place improper to be debated or decided, and shall therefore preclude all amendments and farther debates on the subject, until it is decided.

17. A motion for commitment shall also have preference and preclude all amendments and debates on the subject until it shall be decided.

18. On motions for the previous question for committing or for postponing no member shall speak more than once without leave of the house.

19. When any subject shall be deemed so important as to require mature discussion or deliberation before it be submitted to the decision of the United States in Congress assembled, it shall be referred to the consideration of a grand committee consisting of one member present from each State, and in such case each State shall nominate its member. But the United States in Congress assembled shall in no case whatever be resolved into a committee of the whole. Every member may attend the debates of a grand committee and for that purpose the time and place of its meeting shall be fixed by the United States in Congress assembled.

20. The states shall ballot for small committees, but if upon counting the ballots, the number required shall not be elected by a majority of the United States in Congress assembled, the President shall name the members who have been balloted for, and the house shall by a vote or votes determine the committee.

21. If a question under debate contains several points any member may have it divided.

22. When a question is about to be put, it shall be in the power of any one of the states to postpone the determination thereof until the next day, and in such case, unless it shall be further postponed by order of the house the question shall, the next day immediately after reading the public dispatches, &c. and before the house go upon other business, be put without any debate, provided there be a sufficient number of states present to determine it; if that should not be the case, it shall be put without debate as soon as a sufficient number shall have assembled.

23. If any member chuse to have the yeas and nays taken upon any question, he shall move for the same previous to the President's putting the question and in such case every member present shall openly and without debate declare by ay or no his assent or dissent to the question.

24. When an ordinance act or resolution is introduced with a preamble, the ordinance, act or resolution shall be first debated, and after it is passed, the preamble if judged necessary shall be adapted thereto: But if the preamble states some matter or thing as fact to which the house do not agree by general consent, and the ordinance, act or resolution is grounded thereon, the preamble shall be withdrawn or the fact resolved on as it appears to the house previous to any debate on the ordinance act or resolution; and if the fact shall not be established to the satisfaction of a majority of the United States in Congress assembled, the ordinance, act or resolution shall fall of course.

24. Every member when he chuses to speak shall rise and address the President. When two members chance to rise at the same time, the President shall name the person who

is to speak first. Every member both in debate, and while the states are assembled shall conduct himself with the utmost decency and decorum. If any member shall transgress, the President shall call to order. In case the disorder be continued or repeated the President may name the person transgressing. Any member may call to order.

25. When a member is called to order, he shall immediately sit down. If he has been named as a transgressor, his conduct shall be enquired into and he shall be liable to a censure.

26. When a question of order is moved, the President if he is in doubt may call for the judgment of the house, otherwise he shall in the first instance give a decision, and an appeal shall lie to the house, but there shall be no debate on questions of order, except that a member called to order for irregular or unbecoming conduct or for improper expressions may be allowed to explain.

27. A motion to adjourn may be made at any time and shall always be in order, and the question thereon shall always be put without any debate.

30. No member shall leave Congress without permission of Congress or of his constituents.

31. No member shall read any printed paper in the house during the sitting thereof.

28. On every Monday after reading and taking order on the public dispatches a committee of three shall be appointed, who shall every morning during the week report to Congress the orders necessary to be made on such dispatches as may be received during the adjournment or sitting of Congress, upon which no orders shall have been made.

The members of such Committee not to be eligible a second time until all the other members have served.

32. The habit of a member of Congress in future shall be a plain purple gown with open-sleeves, plaited at the bend of the arm. And that no member be allowed to sit in Congress without such habit.

33. The members of each state shall sit together in Congress, for the more ready conference with each other on any question above be taken that the house might not be disturbed by the members moving Postponed. from one part to another to confer one the vote to be given. That for the better observance of order, New Hampshire shall sit on the left hand of the President and on every question be first called, and each state from thence to Georgia shall take their seats in the order that their states are situated to each other. The delegates of the respective states to sit in their order of seniority.[3]

On May 30th Johnston, weary of the USCA and its lack of leadership, wrote Iredell about USCA challenges and his decision to remain in Philadelphia:

I thought about this time to be making preparations for leaving this place, but none of my colleagues appearing to relieve me, several States being unrepresented in Congress, and affairs of the first magnitude being now on the tapis, I thought it inconsistent with my honor to leave the State unrepresented at so interesting a period. Notwithstanding my anxious impatience to return to my family, I have determined to stay till I am relieved, or at least till the States are more fully represented in Congress. I don't doubt but you and my sister will offer such reasons to Mrs. Johnston as will reconcile her to this measure. I hope she will keep up her spirits and if I should not return before the sickly season, I wish you would prevail on her to take the children down to the sea-side, if it can be done with safety; but as I have hopes of returning before that time, it will be unnecessary to say anything on the subject till the season approaches.[4]

By the end of June, news of troop movements in the Carolinas remained of great interest to both Congress and Johnston who still longed to return home. On June 23rd he writes Thomas Burke:

I had the pleasure of receiving your Letter of the 4th of last month and is the latest intelligence which I have received from that Country, your representation differed very little from what I expected from that quarter so I was not much surprised you were very much out, contrary to your usual Sagacity, with regard to the movements of Lord Cornwallis, indeed both Green and his Lordship have taken their Measures in a manner so diametrically opposite to what was generally expected that you were not the only person who was disappointed. The Assembly is now sitting at this place (2) and it is said discover a disposition to do great matters, but you know these people better than I do and can better Judge what is to be expected from them. You will before this reaches you have heard that a Negotiation for peace is on foot in Europe under the Mediation of the Emperor & Empress Queen of Russia. The Events of this Campaign will determine whether America is to reap any Advantages from this Measure.

We have just heard of a Reinforcement having arrived at Charlestown on the 10th of this month said to consist of about two thousand men, three thousand were said to have embarked in that fleet, the remainder are supposed to have gone to the West Indies or come to Virginia. I have heard that our Assembly was to meet the 15th Instant and not doubting but the Delegates are by this time ready to set off for this place, I shall turn my face homeward as soon as completed a little business of considerable importance to our State.[5]
Later that month sickness not only inflicted Johnston but President Huntington who explained his July 8th resignation in letter to George Washington that “My health is so much impaired by long confinement and application as compels me to retire from congress.” Thomas McKean, on President Huntington’s resignation wrote Samuel Adams:

A new President of Congress is to be chosen tomorrow, as Mr. Huntington will not continue any longer; this honor is going a begging; there is only one Gentleman, and he from the Southward, who seems willing to accept, but I question whether he will be elected. There are some amongst us, who are so fond of having a great and powerful man to look up to, that, tho' they may not like the name of King, seem anxious to confer kingly powers, under the titles of Dictator, Superintendent of Finance, or some such, but the majorities do not yet appear to be so disposed.[6]

The next day, the USCA did elect a Southern Gentleman as President under the newly ratified Articles of Confederation and it was Samuel Johnston. It was not until the following day, July 10th, that Johnston declined the office with the Journals of the USCA mere stating:

On July 10th, 178: Mr. Johnston having declined to accept the office of president, and offered such reasons as were satisfactory, the house proceeded to another election and the ballots being taken, the Honorable Thomas McKean was elected.[7]

Exhibited here are the The Journals of the United States in Congress Assembled Published By Order of Congress  Volume VII New York: Printed by John Patterson in 1787, 

Election of Samuel Johnston as President, his declining the office and the election of Thomas McKean as the Second President of the United States in Congress Assembled.

This was the first and to this date the only time a President-elect has refused the office in the United States. Consequently, there is much speculation on why Johnston would agree to be considered for the office and wait 24 hours to turn the position down. Due to Johnston’s silence on this issue one can only surmise why he allowed his colleagues to advance his candidacy to the point of a formal election by the USCA. The reasons why he turned it down, however, are numerous ranging from the office being stripped of its power in May 1781 to his desire to return home to protect and provide for his family. William Sharpe, also a 1781 North Carolina to USCA, wrote Governor Thomas Burke on July 28th explaining Johnston refusal of the office as:
I greatly lament the absence of so able a representative and of so judicious and very agreeable colleague. Upon the resignation of Mr. Huntington he was almost unanimously elected and earnestly solicited to take the chair; but his ill state of health and other considerations induced him to decline it.[8]
Johnston explained the circumstances of his departure from Philadelphia in a July 30th letter to Governor Burke written on his way home.
Having no prospect of being relieved or supplied with money for my expenses and my disorder, which abated a little on the first approach of warm weather, returning so as to render me of little use in Congress, I left Philadelphia the 14th, for which I hope I shall be held excusable by this State.[9]

Johnston did not appear again on the scene of national politics until 1785 when the States of New York and Massachusetts selected him as one of the commissioners to settle a boundary line dispute. After successfully resolving that dispute he was three times elected Governor of North Carolina, Dec. 12, 1787, Nov. 11, 1788, and Nov. 14, 1789. As governor, in 1788 and 1789 he was elected President of the two North Carolina Constitutional Conventions, at Hillsborough and Fayetteville, called to consider the ratification of the Constitution of 1787. 

Exhibited here is a letter signed by  Thomas McKean as President of the United States in Congress Assembled.  McKean sent this letter to New Hampshire General John Stark: 
“On the 12th instant your favor of the 1st came to hand, and was the same day read in Congress and referred to a Committee on whose report the Act of Congress of the 28th, a copy of which you have enclosed, was passed. The State of New Hampshire is to settle with you for the depreciation of your pay, on the principles adopted in settlements with the Officers of the line; for which purpose a recommendation of Congress to that State has been transmitted to President Weare.” 
 The day before McKean signed this letter, the Continental Congress passed the resolution stating: 

“Resolved, That it be and hereby is recommended to the several States of which the General Officers of the Army are inhabitants to settle with them for the depreciation of their pay on the principles adopted in Settlements with the Officers of their respective Lines. Extract from the minutes…”.

 As McKean was the President of the Continental Congress for only a few months (July 10, 1781 to November 4, 1781), his letters in that position are not common. There are two narrow vertical mounting strips on the verso that affect nothing, and a slight vertical water stain along the right edge. - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection. 

President Elias Boudinot  and Nassau Hall Medallion
Click Here to view the US Mint & Coin Acts 1782-1792

In the summer of 1783, the third United States in Congress Assembled (USCA), convened under the Articles of Confederation, was in session at the Philadelphia State House (Independence Hall). A Preliminary Treaty of Peace had been in effect since November of 1782 and the government, on the brink of insolvency, was seeking ways to satisfy the new treaty's war reparations requirements. Additionally  the demands of U.S. creditors, which included massive military payroll delinquencies, was weighing heavily on the business of USCA.

On June 21st, 1783, Continental troops in Lancaster grew desperate to receive long overdue back pay. They mutinied and marched to Philadelphia with some 300 under arms from that city’s barracks joining them as they surrounded Independence Hall where the both the Pennsylvania Executive Council and the USCA were in separate sessions.
The mutineers demands were made in very dictatorial tones to Congress and the President that “…unless their demand were complied with in twenty minutes, they would let in upon them the injured soldiery, the consequences of which they were to abide.” 

USCA President Elias Boudinot sought council with the Pennsylvania Assembly, also in session, at Independence Hall. The President requested they call out the Pennsylvania Militia but that body refused believing the state soldiers would only join the mutineers escalating the hostage crisis.  Word had been sent to Major General Arthur St. Clair.  The Journals of the United States in Congress Assembled for Saturday, June 21, 1783 report:
The mutinous soldiers presented themselves, drawn up in the street before the State House, where Congress had assembled. The executive Council of the State sitting under the same roof, was called on for the proper interposition. President Dickinson came in, and explained the difficulty under actual circumstances, of bringing out the militia of the place for the suppression of the mutiny. He thought that without some outrages on persons or property, the temper of the militia could not be relied on. Genl St. Clair then in Philadelphia was sent for, and desired to use his interposition, in order to prevail on the troops to return to the Barracks. His report gave no encouragement.

In this posture of things, it was proposed by Mr. Izard that Congress, should adjourn. It was proposed by Mr. Hamilton, that General St. Clair in concert with the Executive Council of the State should take order for terminating the mutiny. Mr. Reed moved that the General should endeavor to withdraw the troops by assuring them of the disposition of Congress to do them justice. … In the meantime the Soldiers remained in their position, without offering any violence, individuals only occasionally uttering offensive words and wantonly pointed their Muskets to the Windows of the Hall of Congress. No danger from premeditated violence was apprehended, but it was observed that spirituous drink from the tippling houses adjoining began to be liberally served out to the Soldiers, & might lead to hasty excesses. 
St. Clair, along with Delegate Alexander Hamilton went out amongst the mutineers and listened to their grievances and demands that were relayed to President Boudinot.  Congress refused to negotiate and ordered the General to march the soldiers to back to their barracks. - The St. Clair Papers: The Life and Public Services of Arthur St. Clair page 116 

Congress adjourned and proceeded out of Independence Hall led by Major General Arthur St. Clair.  “Soldiers, though in some instances offering a mock obstruction, permitted the members to pass through their ranks.” Journals of the United States in Congress Assembled, Saturday June 21, 1783

President Boudinot immediately wrote General Washington who was stationed with his troops in Newburgh, New York: 

I am greatly mortified that our circumstances here oblige me to trouble your Excellency with a detail highly disagreeable and perplexing. I presume your Excellency has received copies of letters from Cols Butler and Mr Henry forwarded a few days ago. All endeavours to oblige the men to return to Lancaster proved ineffectual. They entered this city yesterday morning in a very orderly manner and took possession of the Barracks, and with the Troops there quartered these make up about five hundred men. General St. Clair was sent for, and matters seemed tolerably easy till this morning, when they positively refused all obedience to their Officers and seemed forming a design to be troublesome by evening.

Congress being adjourned till Monday, I thought proper to call them together at One o'clock. Six States had got together when the mutineers, joined by those of the Barracks before their arrival in Town, very unexpectedly appeared before and surrounded the State House, with fixed Bayonets, The Supreme Executive Council sitting also in the same House. The mutineers sent in a paper, demanding of the President and Council to authorize them to choose their own officers, (being deserted by their former officers as they alleged) in order to represent their grievances — that they should wait twenty minutes and if nothing was then done, they would turn in an enraged Soldiery on the Council who would do themselves justice, and the Council must abide the consequences, or words to that effect. This was handed to the members of Congress by the President of the State, General St. Clair was present at the request of Congress and but very few Other Officers attended. 

Neither Congress nor the Council would take any measures while they were so menaced, and matters continued thus till half past three o'clock this afternoon, when the mutineers were prevailed on for the present to march back to the Barracks. They have seized the public Magazine and I am of opinion that the worst is not yet come. Tho' no Congress was regularly formed for want of one Member, yet the Members present unanimously directed me to inform your Excellency of this unjustifiable Movement. 

The Militia of the City, I suppose will be called out, but there are some suspicions that the Mutineers value themselves on their interest with the Inhabitants. It is therefore the wish of the Members who were assembled, that your Excellency would direct a movement of some of your best troops, on whom you can depend under these circumstances, towards this City, as it will be of the most dangerous consequences if a Measure of this kind is to be put up with, and no one can tell where it will end. Your Excellency will hear from me again, on this subject without delay. I forgot to inform your Excellency, that the Month's pay for January has been ordered to these Men, and three month's pay in Notes &c. They complain heavily of their Accounts yet remaining unsettled. It is to be wished the Pay Master could arrange Matters so as to close the accounts of the Soldiery with more expedition.

Exhibited here is Commander-in-Chief George Washington's response to President Elias Boudinot from Headquarters Newburgh evening June 24 1783.
Dear Sir, It was not until 3 O'clock this afternoon, that I had the first intimation of the infamous and outrageous Mutiny of a part of the Pennsylvania Troops; it was then I received your Excellency's Letter of the 21st by express, and agreeable to the request contained in it, I instantly ordered Three compleat Regiments of Infantry and a Detachment of Artillery to be put in motion as soon as possible; — This Corps (which you will observe by the Returns, is a large proportion of our whole Force) will consist of upwards of 1500 effectives. — As all the Troops who composed this gallant little Army, as well those who were furloughed as those who remain in Service, are Men of tried fidelity, I could not have occasion to make any choice of Corps; and I have only to regret, that that there existed a necessity, they should be employed on so disagreeable a Service,— I dare say however, they will on this and all other occasions perform their duty as brave and faithful Soldiers.
While I suffer the most poignant distress in observing that a handful of men, contemptible in numbers, and equally so in point of Service (if the Veteran Troops from the southward have not been seduced by their example) and who are not worthy to be called Soldiers, should disgrace themselves as the Pennsylvania Mutineers have done, by insulting the Sovereign Authority of the United States and that of their own; — I feel an inexpressible satisfaction, that even this behaviour cannot stain the name of the American Soldiery. — It cannot be imputable to, or reflect dishonour on the Army at large; but on the contrary, it will, by the striking contrast it exhibits, hold up to public view the other Troops in the most advantageous point of light; — Upon taking all the circumstances into consideration, I cannot sufficiently express my surprise and indignation, at the arrogance, the folly, and the wickedness of the Mutineers; nor can I sufficiently admire the fidelity, the bravery, and the patriotism, which must for ever signalize the unsullied Character of the other Corps of our Army; — for when we consider that these Pennsylvania Levies who have now mutinyed, are Recruits and Soldiers of a day, who have not born the heat and burden of the War, and who can have in reality very few hardships to complain of, — and when we at the same time recollect that these Soldiers who have lately been furloughed from this Army are the veterans who have patiently endured hunger, nakedness and cold, who have suffered and bled without a murmur, and who with perfect good order have retired to their homes, without the settlement of their Accounts, or a farthing of money in their pockets, — we shall be as much astonished at the vertues of the latter, as we are struck with horror and detestation at the proceedings of the former; — and every candid mind without indulging ill-grounded prejudices, will undoubtedly make the proper discrimination.
I intended only to wait until the Troops were collected and had occupied their new Camp, in order to make a full Report to Congress of the measures which have been taken in consequence of the Resolution of the 26th of May. — Notwithstanding the option which was given, in my answer to the address of the Generals and Officers Commanding Regiments and Corps, which has been already sent to your Excellency, — No Soldiers, except a very few whose homes are within the Enemy's Lines, and a very small number of Officers, have thought proper to avail themselves of it by remaining with the Army — A List of those who remain, is herewith transmitted. — The Men engaged to serve three Years were then formed into Reg* and Corps in the following manner, viz — The Troops of Massachusetts composed 4 Regiments, Connecticut 1 Reg' New Hampshire 5 Companies, Rhode Island 2 Companies, Massachusetts Artillery 3 Companies and New York Artillery 2 Companies — The total strength will be seen by the Weekly state, which is also forwarded.
The Army being thus reduced to merely a competent garrison for West Point, that being the only object of importance in this quarter, and it being necessary to employ a considerable part of the men in building an Arsenal and Magazines at that Post, agreeably to the directions given by the Secretary at War, — the Troops accordingly broke up the Cantonement yesterday, and removed to that Garrison, where Major Gen1 Knox still retains the Command. The Detachment which marches for Philadelphia will be under the orders of Ma' Genrl Howe and Genrl Heath having, at his own particular request, retired from the field; The Brigadiers now remaining with the Army, are Patterson, Huntington and Greaton, besides the Adjutant-General.
Thus have I given the present State of our military affairs, and hope the Arrangements will be satisfactory to Congress.
I have the honor to be Your Excellency's Most obedient Servant
G: Washington

P. S. Should anything turn up, which may prevent the necessity of the Troops proceeding to Philadelphia, I am to request your Excellency will send the earliest intimation to the Commanding Officer — that the Detachment may return immediately. — The Route will be by Ringwood, Pompton, Morristown, Princeton and Trenton, on which your Express may meet the Corps. 

As printed in the Connecticut Journal dated Wednesday, July 30, 1783, New Haven, CT, by Thomas and Samuel Green

Two days later, realizing that the Pennsylvania Supreme Council could not guarantee the USCA's safety, President Boudinot wrote his brother requesting his aid to protect Congress in what would be the new Capitol of the United States.
My dear Brother Philada. 23 June 1783 -- I have only a moment to inform you, that there has been a most dangerous insurrection and mutiny among a few Soldiers in the Barracks here. About 3 or 400 surrounded Congress and the Supreme Executive Council, and kept us Prisoners in a manner near three hours, tho' they offered no insult personally. To my great mortification, not a Citizen came to our assistance. The President and Council have not firmness enough to call out the Militia, and allege as the reason that they would not obey them. In short the political Maneuvers here, previous to that important election of next October, entirely unhinges Government. This handful of Mutineers continue still with Arms in their hands and are privately supported, and it is well if we are not all Prisoners in a short time. Congress will not meet here, but has authorized me to change their place of residence. I mean to adjourn to Princeton if the Inhabitants of Jersey will protect us. I have wrote to the Governor particularly. I wish you could get your Troop of Horse to offer them aid and be ready, if necessary, to meet us at Princeton on Saturday or Sunday next, if required. - Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774-1789. Elias Boudinot to Elisha Boudinot June 23, 1783

 A committee, with Alexander Hamilton as chairman, waited on the State Executive Council to insure the Government of the United States protection in Philadelphia so Congress could convene the following day. Meanwhile, New Jersey responded favorable with a willingness to house and protect the USCA.

Exhibited here is a document signed by William Livingston the Governor of New Jersey who President Boudinot wrote on June 22nd, 1783 requesting his assistance and assurances of protection should the USCA decide to move the US Seat of Government to New Jersey.  Governor Livingston, who go on to be a signer of the US Constitution of 1787, promptly responded the President on June 24th:

Exhibited here is a printed letter from NJ Governor William Livingston to President Boudinot,  dated 24th June, 1783

Sir, I just this moment received your excellency’s letter of yesterday, on my journey to Elizabeth-town.  I am greatly mortified at the insult offered to Congress by a part of the soldiery.  If that august body shall think proper to honor this state with their presence, I make not the least doubt that the citizens of New Jersey will cheerfully turn out to repel any violence that may be attempted against them; and as soon as I shall be informed of the movement of Congress to this state, and that there is the least reason to apprehend, that the mutineers intend to prosecute their riotous measures, I shall with the greatest alacrity give the necessary orders, and think myself not a little honoured by being personally engaged in defending the representatives of the United States against every insult and indignity.  I have the honour to be your excellency’s most obedient and most humble servant.  
Will. Livingston, Governor 

Exhibited here is a printed letter from the Governors and Masters of the College of Princeton, to his Excellency the President of Congress.  Nassau Hall, June 26, 1783

Sir, the Governors and Masters of the College, happy in an opportunity of paying the Congress of the United States, their profoundest and sincerest honours, beg leave to offer them, through your Excellency, to that august body. 

Convinced how few accommodations this small village possesses, in comparison with those which, for several years, Congress have enjoyed in a large & flourishing city, we wish to offer them every convenience that the College, in its present state, can afford. If the Hall, or the library room, can be made of any service to Congress, as places in which to hold their Sessions, or for any other purpose, we pray that they would accept of them during their continuance in this place. And if, in the common shock of our country this institution hath suffered more than other places, both by friends & foes; from its readiness to assist the one, while the public was yet poor & unprovided with conveniences for its troops;& from the peculiar & marked resentment of the other, as supposing it to be a nursery of rebellion, we doubt not but the candour of that most honourable body will readily excuse the marks of military fury which it still retains. 

Signed, in behalf of the Governours & Masters of the College, 

Samuel S. Smith, Professor of Divinity & Moral Philosophy.

James Riddle, Professor of Math
Oddly this 1783 letter to Congress refers to the College of New Jersey as the College of Princeton. This is significant because Princeton University's website in answer to the question "When did the College of New Jersey change its name to Princeton University?" states:
 The College of New Jersey, founded in 1746, changed its name to Princeton University during the culmination of the institution's Sesquicentennial Celebration in 1896. Historically, the University was often referred to as "Nassau," "Nassau Hall," "Princeton College," or "Old North."

Exhibited here is a printed letter of John Cox and resolutions issued  At a meeting of the inhabitants of Trenton and the vicinity, at the French Arms, on the 24th June 1783.

From the Vice President of the Council of New Jersey, to the President of Congress. Trenton, June 25, 1783:

Sir, The moment I received your Excellency’s favour on the 23d instant, I summoned a meeting of the inhabitants of Trenton and the vicinity, who being justly alarmed at the daring insult offered to the supreme government of the American Union, and being desirous of rectifying their zeal in support of the dignity and privileges of Congress, immediately entered the enclosed resolves, which I have the honour to transmit your Excellency 

And am, with great respect, Sir your most obedient servant 

John Cox

Having been informed, from undoubted authority, that a most gross and daring insult has been offered to Congress, the Supreme Government of the American Union, by a number of lawless people in arms, assembled at the State-House in Philadelphia on Saturday last:

Resolved unanimously, That we think it our immediate duty to express our resentment and indignation at so flagitous a proceeding. 

Resolved unanimously, That we look upon tyranny and anarchy with equal abhorrence; and as we have, at the risque of everything, opposed the former, we are determined, at the same risque, not to be wanting in our efforts to suppress the latter, on whatever occasion or under whatever form it may present itself. 

Resolved unanimously, That we consider the support of civil government and the majesty of the laws as one of the first of social duties, and riotous citizens who disturb the publick order and violate the dignity of the Union as the worst of enemies. 

Resolved unanimously, That we feel the utmost cheerfulness in pledging our lives and fortunes to the government under which we live, in whatever way our services may be required, whether in resisting foreign invasion or quelling intestine tumults. 

Resolved unanimously, That we would deem ourselves highly honored by the presence of Congress, and by an opportunity of testifying our zeal in support of their dignity and privileges, should they in their wisdom, think proper to adjourn to, or fix their residence in this State. 

Signed by order and in behalf of the inhabitants, 








Elias Boudinot, however, received no pledge of protection from the  Pennsylvania Supreme Council, its President, or the state militia.  Additionally, Congress and the Supreme Council were in an quandary debating, which governmental, state or federal, had the final jurisdiction over the federal mutinous soldierly. With no agreement on jurisdiction  and no safety assurances from the Pennsylvania Supreme Council, the USCA ordered an adjournment of Congress to Princeton, New Jersey with President Elias Boudinot issuing the following Proclamation.  

Exhibited here is Elias Boudinot's  Presidential Proclamation dated June 24,  1783

A Proclamation. Whereas a body of armed soldiers in the service of the United States, and quartered in the barracks of this city, having mutinously renounced their obedience to their officers, did, on Saturday this instant, proceed under the direction of their sergeants, in a hostile and threatening manner to the place in which Congress were assembled, and did surround the same with guards: and whereas Congress, inconsequence thereof, did on the same day resolve, " That the president and supreme executive council of this state should be informed, that the authority of the United States having been, that day, grossly insulted by the disorderly and menacing appearance of a body of armed soldiers, about the place within which Congress were assembled; and that the peace of this city being endangered by the mutinous disposition of the said troops then in the barracks, it was, in the opinion of Congress, necessary, that effectual measures should be immediately taken for supporting the public authority: and also, whereas Congress did at the same time appoint a committee to confer with the said president and supreme executive council on the practicability of carrying the said resolution into due effect; and also whereas the said committee have reported to me, that they have not received satisfactory assurances for expecting adequate and prompt exertions of this state for supporting the dignity of the federal government ; and also whereas the said soldiers still continue in a state off open mutiny and revolt, so that the dignity and authority of the United States would be constantly exposed to a repetition of insult, while Congress shall continue to fit in this city; I do therefore, by and with the advice of the said Committee, and according to the powers and authorities in me vested for this purpose, hereby summon the Honorable the Delegates composing the Congress of the United States, and every of them, to meet in Congress on Thursday the 26th of June instant, at Princetown, in the state of New Jersey, in order that further and more effectual measures may be taken for suppressing the present revolt, and maintaining the dignity and authority of the United States; of which all officers of the United States, civil and military, and all others whom it may concern, are desired to take notice and govern themselves accordingly.
Given under my hand and seal at Philadelphia, in the State of Pennsylvania, this twenty-fourth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three and of our sovereignty and independence the seventh. 
Elias Boudinot, President 

President Boudinot steered the USCA   Seat of Government to Princeton because he was a former resident as well as a Trustee of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), and because his wife, Hannah was from the prominent Princeton Stockton family.   Moreover, in his youth, his older sister Annis was a standout in the Princeton community due to her beauty, charisma, and exceptional command of English composition.  Consequently, she was courted by the most accomplished men in Central New Jersey. Richard Stockton, who was the son of John Stockton (one of the founders of the College of New Jersey), won Annis’ heart and they were married in late 1757.  

Richard Stockton was a lawyer, jurist, one of Princeton’s leading citizens, a Delegate to the Continental Congress and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.    Together, he and Annis had six children: Julia Stockton (wife of signer Benjamin Rush), Mary, Susan, Richard, Lucius and Abigail.  Stockton's oldest son Richard was an eminent lawyer and later a Senator from New Jersey. His grandson, Commodore Robert Field Stockton, was a hero of the War of 1812, and in 1846 became the Military Governor of California and later a Senator from New Jersey.

Richard Stockton died in 1781, leaving his estate and the Morven Mansion to his son Richard. Annis continued on as the mistress of Morven, raising the children; she retained a high social standing in New Jersey Society, often entertaining George and Martha Washington among others.  She expertly managed her husband’s estate, supervising the servants and slaves, and attending to daily household matters.   It was during the period after the Revolution that Annis published a number of her poems, especially odes to George Washington.   Today, Annis is celebrated as the first woman poet to be published in the British American Colonies with her poems appearing in leading newspapers and magazines of the day.    

Annis Boudinot Stockton (1736-1801), 1734 - 1767, attributed to John Wollaston, (1734 - 1767), Princeton University Art Museum

Exhibited here in The November 1786 Columbian Magazine is Annis Boudinot Stockton's Poem entitled A POETICAL EPISTLE, addressed by a LADY of New Jersey, to her NIECE, upon her Marriage, in this City. Stockton gives her newly wed niece poetic advice on the proper behavior for a wife in the eighteenth century. She has signed it with the pen name Emilia, which she often used.

Exhibited here in The November 1786 Columbian Magazine is Annis Boudinot Stockton's Poem entitled A POETICAL EPISTLE, addressed by a LADY of New Jersey, to her NIECE, upon her Marriage, in this City. Stockton gives her newly wed niece poetic advice on the proper behavior for a wife in the eighteenth century. She has signed it with the pen name Emilia, which she often used.

Well! my lov’d Niece, I hear the Bustle’s o’er,
The wedding cake and visits are no more;
Now with your usual sweetness deign to hear,
What from a heart most friendly flows sincere:

Good nature—sense—of these you’ve ample store,
And Oeconomicks you have learnt before.
But there are lurking evils that do prove
Under the name of trifles—death to love.
And from these trifles, all the jarring springs,
And trust me child, they’re formidable things.

First then—with rev’rence treat in ev’ry place,
The chosen patron of your future days;
For when you shew him but the least neglect,
Yourself you rifle of your due respect.

Whene’er your husband means to stay at home,
Whate’er th’ occasion—dont consent to roam;
For home’s a solitary place to one

Who loves his wife, and finds her always gone.

At least consult the temper of his mind,

If vex’d abroad, he finds himself inclin’d

From public business to relax awhile;

How pleasing then the solace of a smile.

A soft companion to relieve his care,

His joy to heighten—or his grief to share?

Unbend his thoughts and from the world retire,

within his sacred home and round his chearful fire;

Nor let him know you’ve made a sacrifice,

He’ll find it out himself: And then he’ll prize

Your kind endeavors to promote his ease,

And make the study of your life to please.

Another rule, you’ll find of equal weight,

When jars subside, never recriminate;
And when the cloud is breaking from his brow,
Repeat not what he said—nor when nor how.
If he’s tenacious, gently give him way
And tho’ ’tis night, if he should say, ’tis day—
Dispute it not—but pass it with a smile;
He’ll recollect himself—and pay your toil
And shew he views it in a proper light;
And no Confusion seek—to do you right:
Just in his humour meet him—no debate,
And let it be your pleasure to forget.
His friends with kindness always entertain,
And tho’ by chance he brings them, ne’er complain;
whate’er’s provided for himself and you,
With neatness serv’d, will surely please them too.

But you, my dear—if you would wish to shine,
Must always say, your friends are also mine.
The house is your’s, and I will do the best,
To give a chearful welcome to each guest.
Nor are those maxims difficult to cope
When stimulated by so fair a hope,
To reach the summit of domestic bliss;
And crown each day with ever smiling peace.

Now if these lines one caution should contain.
To gain that end, my labor’s not in vain;
And be assur’d my dear, while life endures
With every tender sentiment, I’m your’s.


There is no doubt that Hannah teamed-up with her sister-in-law Annis and lobbied the President to choose Princeton, and not Trenton, as the United States Seat of the Government in the summer of 1783. This decision to move the Seat of Government to Princeton marked the last time the Confederation Congress would convene in Pennsylvania.

Several historians maintain that the USCA first convened at Colonel George Morgan’s House, named Prospect when they first assembled in Princeton.  I was unable to find any record of their commencement in the 1783 USCA Journals, delegate letters, period newspapers and magazines at Morgan’s house.   Princeton University Professor, Varnum Collins, makes a compelling case that the USCA did assemble at Prospect:

The evidence favoring the view that “Prospect” was the scene of the opening meetings is more compelling in its strength. Congress had come to Princeton hastily and apparently without making any effort to ascertain definitely the practical accommodations of the village. Mr. Boudinot may have had Nassau Hall in his mind as a meeting place at the outset; but when Colonel Morgan, who was well acquainted in Congress, stated in his letter of the 25th that one of his buildings contained “a better room for them to meet in” than the members could be “immediately accommodated with elsewhere.” Mr. Boudinot probably accepted the offer as at least a temporary arrangement. Furthermore in the list of available accommodations issued in October by the citizens of Princeton, Colonel Morgan announces his willingness to have “the Congress Room” in his house fitted up for winter use if desired. It is difficult to explain this designation of any room at “Prospect” unless a previous occupation of it by Congress had given it a right to that title. Finally it is noted in a memorandum book of Charles Thomson, Secretary of Congress, that the sheet of paper bearing the record of the distribution of ten sets of the Journal was lost “in removing the Office from the House of Col. Morgan to the College.” Unfortunately, this record is dated merely “1783;” but when half of the rooms in Nassau Hall were vacant it is altogether improbable, considering the close relation existing between the Secretary of Congress and that body itself, that he should have used Colonel Morgan's house as an office if Congress were sitting in Nassau Hall. It is easier to believe that he moved his belongings over to the college building because Congress was moving also.  We may, then, take it for granted that the first three meetings (June 30th, July 1st and 2d) were held in Colonel Morgan's house and that thereafter the sessions were held in the college building, in the library room presumably, except on state occasions, when they were held in the prayer-hall. The library-room which had been stripped by the British was on the north side of the second floor over the main entrance, and was about thirty by twenty-four feet in size. - Collins, Varnum Lansing, The Continental Congress at Princeton, The University library, 1908, pages 57-58

Additionally, Princeton University’s website on the Prospect House states:

Prospect House owes its name to the stone farmhouse first constructed on the site in the mid-18th century by Colonel George Morgan, western explorer, U.S. Agent for Indian Affairs and gentleman farmer. The superb eastern view from that farmhouse prompted Colonel Morgan to name his estate "Prospect." Morgan’s estate, a popular stopping of place in Revolutionary times, was visited by such diverse groups as a delegation of Delaware Indians, 2,000 mutinous soldiers of the Pennsylvania Line and the Continental Congress. When Prospect was acquired in 1849 by John Potter, a wealthy merchant from Charleston, S.C., he replaced the colonial structure with the present mansion. Princeton University, Prospect House History, March 15, 2012,  

University’s Nassau Hall, therefore, served as the U.S. Capital Building from July 3, 1783 to November 4, 1783.

The Nassau Hall structure was built in 1756 at a cost of £2,900 for the College of New Jersey.  Originally the brick-paved halls extended one hundred and seventy-five feet of what was the largest stone structure in the Colonies. In November, 1776, the British took possession of the building and used it as barracks and hospital but were briefly ejected by George Washington during the Battle of Princeton. After the war Nassau Hall, was found to be in great disrepair with “mostly bare partition walls and heaps of fallen plaster."[lxxvii] An Article in the New American Magazine of 1760 reported on the building:

There are three flat-arched doors on the north side giving access by a flight of steps to the three separate entries (an entry refers here to the hallway on each floor running the full length of the building). At the center is a projecting section of five bays surmounted by a pediment with circular windows, and other decorations. The only ornamental feature above the cornice, is the cupola, standing somewhat higher than the twelve fireplace chimneys. Beyond these there are no features of distinction.

The simple interior design is shown in the plan, where a central corridor provided communication with the students' chambers and recitation rooms, the entrances, and the common prayer hall; and on the second floor, with the library over the central north entrance. The prayer hall was two stories high, measured 32 by 40 feet, and had a balcony at the north end which could be reached from the second-story entry. Partially below ground level, though dimly lighted by windows, was the cellar, which served as kitchen, dining area (beneath the prayer hall), and storeroom. In all there were probably forty rooms for the students, not including those added later in the cellar when a moat was dug to allow additional light and air into that dungeon. - Savage, Henry L., ed., Nassau Halls, 1756-1956, published by Princeton University, September 22, 1956

For its regular sessions, the USCA met in Nassau Hall’s library room, which was located over the front entrance. For official dignitary occasions, it adjourned to the chapel on the main floor.  The move of the capital from Philadelphia to the College of New Jersey was a boom for the Princeton economy. 

It had leaped at a bound into national importance; from a “little obscure village” it had within the week “become the capital of America.” And where the “almost perfect silence” of a country hamlet was wont to reign, now nothing was “to be seen or heard but the passing and rattling of wagons, coaches and chairs.” To supply the metropolitan taste of Congressmen the produce of Philadelphia markets was brought up every week, with the result that the village street now echoed to the unfamiliar “crying about of pineapples, oranges, lemons, and every luxurious article both foreign and domestic.” The Continental Congress at Princeton, page 57

At the same time, the citizens and businesses in Philadelphia were struggling with an economic downturn due to the loss of the  Seat of Government.  Philadelphia Newspapers were circulating citizen accounts downplaying the mutiny in an attempt to lure the USCA back to Independence Hall. These Philadelphia newspaper accounts were printed as front page stories in the CarolinasConnecticut,Virginia  New York,  and even in the Country Journal of Providence, Rhode Island newspapers.

Exhibited here is the Country Journal's front page full reprint of a letter to the Philadelphia Freeman's Journal addressed to Mr. Baily that blatantly contradicts, delegate letters, and official accounts including the one published in the 1783 Journals of Congress:

The late mutiny of the Continental troops in this City, has been attended with consequences so interesting to the United States, and affecting to the honor of this, that I presume the following account will not be disagreeable to your readers, who may be assured of its authenticity in all the material parts, and without known or intended inaccuracy in any.
About two weeks ago, advice was received from Colonel Butler, commanding officer at Lancaster, that the troops there discovered a very discontented temper, which he apprehended would soon break out into some open acts of mutiny.  A few days after farther advices came, that a party had actually thrown off all obedience to their officers and marched to Philadelphia, notwithstanding the utmost exertions of their officers to prevent it.  Accordingly, on Thursday the 17th ult. about eighty soldiers, without officers, but completely armed, with bayonets fixed, drums beating, and green boughs in their hats, marched down Market Street, and proceeded to the barracks, where there were quartered 150 old soldiers, lately arrived from Carolina, the corps of artillery, and others of different corps, to the amount of 400 in whole.  No measures were taken, except conferences between President and Council, and Congress, till the Saturday following; when, to the astonishment of the city, and public dishonor, these troops, with fixed bayonets, and drums beating, marched to the State-House, the seat of Congress, and the Supreme Executive Council.  Having placed guards at different doors, and sent off detachments to those places where supposed arms and ammunition were deposited, they sent up written paper to the President and Council, desiring that they might be authorized to choose their own officers, and demanding an answer in 20 minutes, or an enraged soldiery would be let in upon them.  No address was made to Congress, which was assembled upon special business; but not choosing to deliberate under bayonets of an armed mob, they retired without any other insult offered to them, collectively or individually.  In the meantime the soldiery grew very clamorous, complaining of the detention of their pay, while all the civil officers under Congress were amply and punctually paid of the non-settlement of their accounts, and attempts to disband them without such settlement, intermixed with general reproaches on public authority of every kind, especially upon those officers whose duty they conceived it was to effect such settlement – and threats of violence if their complaints were not instantly attended to.  In the meantime, the weather being war, and a tavern very convenient, many of them got intoxicated, and others being conversed with by indifferent persons, grew more reasonable and moderate, especially the old soldiers from Carolina; for it should be observed, the most noisy and troublesome were the recruits, many of whom had not even a uniform, and had not been in actual service during the war.
Towards the evening they were persuaded to return to the barracks, which they did; and Sunday and Monday passed quietly over; during which the President of the Council had frequent meetings and conferences with a committee of congress appointed for the purpose, the import of which I am not able to inform your readers, farther than that Congress finding their dignity and even safety to endangered, urged in very pressing terms for some measures to be taken for the security of both, ot at least for assurances what they were to expect to which they were unable to obtain any further satisfactory answer until Tuesday.  This interval was spent in deliberations of council, without any result or plan, and observation upon the proceedings at the barracks, where the unchecked soldierly by this time had grown very insolent – during which, the city was in a state of most anxious and disagreeable suspense.  On Tuesday the president called the field officers of the militia together, which was the first official notice of them in the whole transaction; there it is said his excellency communicated it, accompanied with some observations, and a request of information what might be expected from the militia, in case of any call for assistance.  After some deliberations it was concluded, that a formal legal call would be inadequate to the present emergency, as the law requires three days notice; but in the case of necessity, that they should be called on as volunteers.  They farther expressed as a general resentment, that the people were much at a loss to know what the complaints of the soldierly precisely were, that the militia would readily turn out to suppress any violence to private or public property, or personal safety, or any insult to public authority or private individuals; or if the complaints and demands of the soldiery were unreasonable, and they still continued to urge them; but that it appeared equitable to permit them to state their grievances, and if they appeared to be really such, it could not be doubted they would be redressed.  This I am assured was the substance of the report; though some of the officers went so far as to assure the President that if he would undertake to execute them in any event, rather than such proceedings should pass unnoticed and unpunished.  What report was made to Congress I cannot say  further than to be presumed the sense of the officers were not well understood, as the proclamation which was published soon after declared, “they had not been able to obtain any assurances from the PRESIDENT 7 Council, of prompt and adequate exertions for the safety and protection:” in consequences which they thought it their duty to withdraw from the State and resume their public deliberations where they could do it with ease, honour, and safety, and with full confidence the wisdom and firmness of government for their protection.

The next day after Congress had left the city, some expressions respecting the bank having dropped at the barracks, with hints of seizing some persons as hostages for their own safety; an alarm was instantly given, and the President requested the assistance of the citizens; upon which a guard was immediately turned out by the militia for the bank.  However, the night passed away in perfect tranquility.  During the night some officers had the curiosity to view the proceedings at the barracks, where they found the arms of the main guard asleep, and only one sentinel on actual duty and awake.  The careless posture suggested an idea of surprising them, but it was not encouraged, though apparently very practicable. 

Before this time, in consequence of some permission or connivance from the President and Council, the mutinous soldiery had chosen sundry officers to state the grievances  and frame a publication of the causes of the mutiny.  But while this was suppose to be in agitation, a messenger came hastily from the barracks with a letter to an officer, who, through town, was in the way to receive it; but it was delivered to some others, of the committee of officers, who, supporting it related to the business of their appointment opened it, and found it signed with the initials of two officers, also of the committee, who have since absconded.  The letter was very short, importing their advice to take measures for their own safety, as they could not protect them.  This was the first sight confirmed into a hostile declaration against the officers, and the soldiers meant to throw everything into confusion, seize them and the officers of the government, etc…  The town was soon filled with these alarming ideas.  Orders were now instantly given for the light horse and militia to turn out for immediate service, and everything wore the face of immediate hostility.  At the barracks there was little less alarms, for, as it has since appeared, the design of the letter had been wholly mistaken.  The fact was, those two officers either designed to incriminate an innocent colleague, or guard him against the dangerous consequences of any longer fomenting and conducting the mutiny; and accomplices, alarmed with militia turning out a guard the evening before, and the disposition to check them which began to manifest itself upon the departure of Congress. and particularly the proclamation, which confirmed a report that Congress ordered the General and a body of troops from camp, all conspired to damp their proceedings.  Several of the officers exerted themselves with great zeal and activity to improve these circumstances, so as to increase the terror which has visibly taken place.  It has been before remarked, that the troops from Carolina had never heartily engaged the mutiny; we ought also injustice to add, tat Col. Porter’s artillery, as well as the a State-House as afterwards, discovered a much better disposition than the others and even shewed a desire of returning to their obedience, under their officers.  Colonel Porter was among the foremost in his exertions to restore peace and good order.  Nor ought the conduct of Captain Boude to pass without particular notice, as he instantly punished, in a most exemplary manner, a soldier and some ill intention inhabitant who were endeavoring to counteract the measures to bring the mutineers to duty.  Finally this Company of Captain Boude’s under his influence led the way to open submission; the officers having prevailed on the men to lay down their arms, to seek the President and Council, or in their absence, the President, and retract their proceedings, which they accordingly did; and his Excellency being mounted on a table in the street, made them a speech, after which they returned to the barracks in good order.  The next day a part marched off to Lancaster, and peace and tranquility have been again restored to this city. 

This I have endeavored to give your readers a faithful detail of this important transaction  which I shall conclude by leaving them to those reflections which will doubtless arise when they look back on former occurrences in this city.  However the state may suffer in its credit and interest, it is hoped a lesson of candour and moderation of censure will be taught by it to those who have been so ready on the former occasions to criminate those who had the direction of public affairs on critical occasions.  It is also hoped the the hon. Congress, when they consider that the sense of this city was either misunderstood, or not sufficiently tried, will lay aside any prejudices they may have entertained, and again favour it with their residence.   

Although Congress had moved to Princeton, numerous federal departments that were an integral part in governing the new nation remained in Philadelphia hoping that the USCA would return. President Elias Boudinot, at the first USCA Princeton session brought Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris’ letter to the attention of Congress in which he requested permission to return Philadelphia. Boudinot, still unsure about the "capital's" future, wrote Morris on June 30th that the USCA “had no objections to you returning to Philadelphia and resuming the business of your department. On this information I doubt not but that you will immediately proceed to the City accordingly.”

In Princeton,   the matter of the mutiny in Philadelphia was hotly debated.  A resolution,  proposed by Alexander Hamilton and ordering General Howe to march fifteen hundred troops to Philadelphia to disarm the mutineers,  was sent to a committee and then enacted.  General Washington had already taken action and dispatched troops in response to President Boudinot’s letter of the 21st requesting military aid.  General Howe arrived just outside of Princeton on July 1st, writing Commander-in-Chief Washington: “I arrived yesterday with the Troops within four Miles of this Place where they will halt until twelve to Night.”   

The following day, the USCA resolved:

That Major General Howe be directed to march such part of the force under his command as he shall judge necessary to the State of Pennsylvania; and that the commanding officer in the said State he be instructed to apprehend and confine all such persons, belonging to the army, as there is reason to believe instigated the late mutiny; to disarm the remainder; to take, in conjunction with the civil authority, the proper measures to discover and secure all such persons as may have been instrumental therein; and in general to make full examination into all parts of the transaction, and when they have taken the proper steps to report to Congress. - Journals of USCA, July 1, 1783

With the resolution in hand, Howe set out for Philadelphia and spent the night of July 2nd encamped in Trenton.  The following morning, his troops started crossing the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. During the crossing, Howe met with General St. Clair who was enroute to Princeton after quieting the mutiny without bloodshed.  William Henry Smith, the compiler of Arthur St. Clair’s Papers writes:  

Before this force could reach Philadelphia, St. Clair and the Executive Council had succeeded in quieting the disturbance without bloodshed. The principal leaders were arrested, obedience secured, after which Congress granted a pardon. The resolution directing General Howe to move with the troops, gave offense to General St. Clair, who regarded it as an attempt to supersede him in his command. Thereupon, he addressed a sharp letter to the President of Congress, who very considerately refrained from laying it before that body.

Delegate Richard Peters wrote Pennsylvania Delegate Thomas Fitzsimons explaining the situation over the command:

I wrote you this Morning about the Troops & told you that there were some Prospects of Sugar Plumbs from the Citizens & Council. But the Devil has set his Mark upon all this Business. I am clear it was the Intention & Determination of Congress that if General St. Clair chose to take the Command the Door was open & it was moved and agreed to that instead of General Howe, the Commanding General in Pennsylvania should be inserted. 

But now it seems this is not done. St. Clair is justly hurt by it as he has had an Agency in the Commencement of the Affair & now sees himself excluded. Tho' he would not have sought the Command yet Appearances are now against him. I assured the Malcontents of the City that their own General had the Option to take the Command if he would & therefore no Insult could be intended on the Citizens. It is now a strange General and strange Troops. The whole is a strange Medley & I will pledge myself for Nothing. But do have the Thing put upon such a Footing that our worthy Generals Feelings may not be injured or unjust Imputations thrown on his Conduct or Character. 

According to Alexander Hamilton's  motion ordering an inquiry into the instigation of the Pennsylvania mutiny, "the commanding officer in the said State" was to have charge of the investigation, but these words were struck out either in committee or in Congress. General St. Clair took it upon himself to write Congress a scathing letter, which was not read to Congress but answered by Elias Boudinot.  Exhibited here is a Presidential letter written by Boudinot  to the Commanding Officer St. Clair:

I duly recd your favor of yesterday but conceiving that you had mistaken the Resolution of Congress, I showed it to Mr. Fitzsimons and we have agreed not to present it to Congress, till we hear again from you. Congress were so careful to interfere one way or the other in the military etiquette, that we recommitted the Resolution to have everything struck out that should look towards any determination as to the Command, and it was left so that the Commanding officer be him who it might, was to carry the Resolution into Execution; and it can bear no other Construction.  If on the second reading you choose your Letter should be read in Congress, it shall be done without delay … Elias Boudinot, President P. S., You may depend on Congress having been perfectly satisfied with your conduct.  

President Boudinot undoubtedly trusted St. Clair’s judgment and spared him the embarrassment of making his letter known to Congress.   The President also wrote General Washington:

General S'. Clair is now here, and this moment suggests an Idea which he had desired me to mention to your Excellency, as a Matter of Importance in his View of the Matter in the intended Inquiry at Philadelphia.— That the Judge Advocate should be directed to attend the Inquiry — By this Means the Business would be conducted with most Regularity — The Inquiry might be more critical, and as several of the Officers are in Arrest, perhaps a Person not officially engaged, may Consider himself in an invidious Situation — It is late at Night, and no possibility of obtaining the Sense of Congress, and therefore your Excellency will consider this as the mere Suggestion of an individual & use your own Pleasure.

George Washington, after receipt of the letter, ordered Judge Advocate Edwards to repair at once to Philadelphia.  Henry Smith concludes, in his chapter on this incident: Explanations followed, showing that St. Clair had misconstrued the order, and peace prevailed once more.   The St. Clair papers, Volume I,  page 115 

Exhibited here is President Elias Boudinot's  Princeton autographed letter signed to Major General Arthur St. Clair, dated July 9, 1783, regarding the USCA flight to Princeton with a  P. S. stating the  "You may depend on Congress having been perfectly satisfied with your conduct." .  The letter is also docketed rcd by General Arthur St. Clair . - Klos Yavneh Academy Collection

The USCA now turned to other issues that were pressing on their agenda. Finding money for the payment and disbandment of the army was paramount to USCA business to avoid further mutinies.  The finalization of the Preliminary Treaty of Peace with Great Britain also presented more monetary challenges due to merchant and Tory reparations required in the settlement.  The selection of a permanent federal residence for the government also became important with the USCA being outset out of Philadelphia by its own military.  Additionally, with peace around corner the States reasserted their sovereign rights even challenging those granted to the USCA under the Articles of Confederation.  The USCA was entitled to requisition money from the States to carry on central governments functions established under the constitution.  The requisitions required proportional assumptions of national debt and budgets to be meted out fairly to the States.   Rarely did the States comply often complaining that they had no delegates present during the treasury sessions of the USCA.  It was no wonder that the delegates convened and worked until lunch on the 4th of July.  Professor Collins writes of the celebration:

It began at 1 o'clock in the afternoon with a salute of thirteen guns fired on the front campus. Then the oratorical contest between the two representatives of the college literary societies, the Cliosophic and the American Whig, took place in the college chapel. The orators were Ashbel Green, representing the American Whig Society, who spoke on "The Superiority of a Republican Form of Government," and Gilbert Tennent Snowden of the Cliosophic Society, the subject of whose oration is not known. Both of the speakers were seniors. After the intellectual feast was over, it would have been entirely contrary to precedent if the company had not adjourned to the Sign of the College or to Hudibras Inn to do justice to the punch that Christopher Beekman and Jacob Hyer always prepared for their guests on Independence Day. At six o'clock President Boudinot welcomed to a banquet at "Morven" between seventy and eighty guests, among whom were the members of Congress, the French Minister M. de la Luzerne, the faculty of the College, the two undergraduate orators of the day and prominent gentlemen of the town and neighborhood. After dinner President Boudinot proposed the usual thirteen toasts, each of which was accompanied by a discharge of artillery. Later in the evening there was a display of fireworks on the front campus, a feature so successful that it was repeated the next night. -  The Continental Congress at Princeton, page 73

There were, of course, many other matters obviously demanding attention, as, for instance, the foreign relations of the United States, the relations with the Indians, and in particular, the inadequacy of the Articles of Confederation to the new era; but these questions had not the special claims of urgency and of prominence gained from recent events that made the others the chief bones of contention during the rest of the summer.

The USCA remained in Princeton for only four months and very little of great importance had been decided while it was there. Attendance in Congress was often very low, "much of the time no more than six states represented” (Burnett, The Continental Congress,p. 580).  On October 31, 1783, in the final days of Boudinot’s presidency, Peter John van Berckel presented his credentials as the minister representing the Netherlands. The USCA was mortified over the fact that he was received in such an out of the way farm town without a Robert Livingston’s office to properly greet him, James Madison wrote Governor Edmond Randolph on October 13th:
Mr. Van Berkel arrived a few [days ago]. Congress are in a charming situation to receive him, [being] in an obscure village, undetermined where they will spend the Winter, and without a Minister of F.A
The event was a success, facilitated perhaps by information provided just prior to the ceremony that the treaty between the United States and Great Britain had been signed on September 3, 1783.  It was reported the New Jersey Governor William Livingston's daughter, Sarah Jay, wrote the toast at the official signing celebration in Paris.

Steel Engraving of Sarah Livingston Jay from Rufus Wilmot Griswold  The Republican Court; or American Society in the Days of Washington,  1854: 

Sarah Livingston Jay, wife of US Peace Commissioner John Jay, was a very popular figure in French society in 1783 and a close friend of both the Marquis de Lafayette and his wife.   Although Sarah Jay planned an elaborate ball to celebrate the signing, she herself was unable to attend, due to the birth of her daughter, Ann, in August. It has been argued by Landa M. Freeman, Louise V. North and Janet M. Wedge, editors of Selected Letters of John Jay and Sarah Livingston Jay (2003), that the toasts here were not actually written by Sarah for John to read at the ball, but were rather those of John, recited on July 4th, 1783, when peace was imminent.  According to the editors, the toasts were transcribed by Mrs. Jay and sent in a letter to her sister, Kitty.

No matter what the provenance of the toasts – husband or wife – they express patriotism, a profound gratitude for the assistance of other nations, and a deep sensitivity to both the benefits and costs of hard-won liberty.

  1. The United States of America, may they be perpetual.
  2. The Congress.
  3. The King & Nation of France.
  4. General Washington and the American Army.
  5. The United Netherlands & all other free States in the world.
  6. His Catholic Majesty & all other Princes & Powers who have manifested Friendship to America.
  7. The Memory of the Patriots who have fallen for their Country.  May kindness be shown to their widows & children.
  8. The French Officers & Army who served in America.
  9. Gratitude to our Friends & Moderation to our Enemies
  10. May all our Citizens be soldiers, & all our soldiers Citizens.
  11. Concord, Wisdom & Firmness to all American Councils.
  12. May our Country be always prepared for War, but disposed to Peace.
  13. Liberty & Happiness to all Mankind. 
President Boudinot, never had the opportunity to execute the Resolution of the USCA ratifying the 1783 Treaty of Paris because the official document did not arrive inn the United States until after his term expired.

A month before the President's term expired,  the USCA took up the matter for selecting a “permanent residence” for the seat of the federal government.  Specifically the USCA were considering their options including the Legislature of New Jersey’ offer of federal jurisdiction over any district within the State to the extent of twenty miles square, and to grant £30,000 in specie for the purchase of lands and the erection of buildings. The resolutions also invited the inhabitants of New Jersey desiring the national capital in their particular locality to transmit their proposals to their USCA representatives. The inhabitants of Lamberton in Nottingham Township were among those who presented to USCA the advantages of their specific locality.

On October 6, 1783, when Congress took up the question “in which State buildings shall be provided and erected for the residence of Congress; beginning with New Hampshire and proceeding in the order in which they stand,” each State was successively negated. 

Exhibited  is a 1783 Account of Seat of Government offers by Kingston, NY, Annapolis, MD and Williamsburg, VA.
Overtures have been made to Congress by the States of New York and Maryland, by which the former have offered to cede Congress, the township of Kingston, in the said State, as the future seat of Congress, together with an exempt jurisdiction therein the establishment of such judicature as Congress shall think proper.
The state of Maryland have offered the city of Annapolis (with the unanimous concurrence of the inhabitants to subject themselves to the jurisdiction of Congress) the Assembly House for the sessions of Congress; the Governor's house for the President, and to build a hotel for each State at the expense of Maryland, provided it does not exceed £30,000 together, with a jurisdiction of whatever nature and extent Congress may judge necessary over the city, and 300 acres.
The advantages that will derive to any State, in which Congress shall establish the seat of their future sessions, will, we doubt not, be fully weighed by the Legislature of this State; and the convenience which at first view presents itself in favour of the city of Williamsburg for that purpose, in which there are large, elegant, commodious public buildings now vacant, and a considerable tract of public lands thereto adjoining  when added to superior advantages of its central situation to all America, will certainly counter-balance the liberal offers of the State of New York and Maryland, or any other State.

On October 7th Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts motioned “that buildings for the use of Congress be erected on the banks of the Delaware near Trenton, or of the Patowmack, near Georgetown, provided a suitable district can be procured on one of the rivers as aforesaid, for a federal town” (Journals of the United States in Congress Assembled, Tuesday October 7, 1783). Amendments left only the names of the rivers and it was finally resolved that the site should be “That the place on the Delaware for erecting buildings for the use of Congress, be near the falls,” (Ibid) that is, near Trenton on the Jersey side, or in Pennsylvania on the opposite side. Congress further resolved:

That a committee of five be appointed to repair to the falls of Delaware, to view the situation of the country in its neighbourhood, and report a proper district for carrying into effect the preceding resolution: the members, Mr. Gerry, Mr. S. Huntington, Mr. Peters, Mr. Duane, Mr. Clark. (Ibid)

The question now resolved itself into a dispute between New England, which favored Trenton, and the Southern States who sought a capital at near Georgetown on the Potomac River. Accordingly, on October 8, 1783, the Southern members supported a motion to reconsider the proceedings of the previous day:
… re-consider the resolution of yesterday, by which the residence of Congress is to be fixed near the falls of Delaware, in order to fix on some other place that shall be more central, more favourable to the Union, and shall approach nearer to that justice which is due to the southern states. And on the question to re-consider the resolution of yesterday, by which the residence of Congress is to be fixed near the falls of Delaware. -- Journals of USCA, Wednesday October 9, 1783

This motion failed, as did other amendments, and the selection of Trenton or its immediate vicinity as the next U.S. Capitol appeared to be an accomplished fact. On the thirteenth of October, 1783, Madison wrote to Governor Edmund Randolph:

Trenton was next proposed, on which question the votes were divided by the river Delaware . . . . The vicinity of the falls is to become the future seat of the Federal Government, unless a conversion of some of the Eastern States can be effected. - Madison Papers, Vol. 1, p. 576

The continued opposition to a northern capital continued and it led to a compromise, proposed by Elbridge Gerry, and was adopted by Congress on October 21, 1783. 

And that until the buildings to be erected on the banks of the Delaware and Potomac shall be prepared for the reception of Congress, their residence shall be alternately at equal periods of not more than one year, and not less than six months in Trenton and Annapolis; and the President is hereby authorized and directed to adjourn Congress on the 12th day of November next, to meet at Annapolis on the 26th of the same month, for the despatch of public business. - Journals of USCA, Tuesday October 21, 1783

This Act moved Francis Hopkinson, of Bordentown, to write an article entitled“Intelligence Extraordinary.” Hopkinson wrote that This miraculous pendulum is to vibrate between Annapolis, on the Chesapeake, and Trenton, on the Delaware; a range of about 180 miles. - Hastings, George Everett, The life and works of Francis Hopkinson, by George Everett Hastings. Chicago, Ill., The University of Chicago press  1926 page 151 

During the course of these discussions the citizens of Trenton called a town meeting at French Arms to “formulate attractive conveniences” to induce the members of Congress to adjourn to their city rather than Annapolis. Rooms and board were offered to the members of Congress by many of Trenton’s most influential citizens, and “Good Hay in any quantity" was promised. - The Papers, Continental Congress, No. 78, Vol. XXII, pp. 283-6. 

In spite of these inducements, Congress adjourned from Princeton, November 4, 1783, to meet at Annapolis on the twenty-sixth of the same month. At Annapolis the question of the federal capital was again reopened, but no definite action was taken.

For more information on the  different Seats of the US Government please view the video below:

 After ten years of hotly contested debates centering on state western land claims in the Continental Congress  and United States in Congress Assembled (USCA), the time was right for the approval of an ordinance for governing the Northwest Territory. The treasury was utterly empty, the United States had defaulted on its loan payments to France opting to pay Holland or risk impressments of its ships.  

TREATY OF PARIS 1783 MAP entitled ETATS UNIS DE L'AMERIQUE SEPTENTRIONALE avec le Canada et la Floride, by Jean Lattre, is on exhibit with the Northwest Ordinance.  This 18th century copperplate engraved map was dedicated and presented to his Excellence Mr. Benjamin Franklin, Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America at the Court of France.  The map clearly shows the States' land claim challenges to the Northwest Territory that were still hotly debated in Congress.  - Loan Courtesy of Klos Yavneh Academy Collection.

On April 14, 1785, the USCA had debated the expanding the Ordinance of 1784 and after much discussion over Thomas Jefferson’s survey method, William Grayson made a motion, seconded by James Monroe, to change seven miles square to six miles square and the current US Survey system was born. Richard Henry Lee, then USCA President, wrote to his friend and colleague Samuel Adams:
I hope we shall shortly finish our plan for disposing of the western Lands to discharge the oppressive public debt created by the war & I think that if this source of revenue be rightly managed, that these republics may soon be discharged from that state of oppression and distress that an indebted people must invariably feel. [23]
The States had relinquish their rights to a "test tract" of land and the USCA's Western Land Ordinance of 1785 was passed on May 20, 1785.

Exhibited is the  Pennsylvania Packett and Daily Advertiser, Monday, May 30, 1785,  full printing of the Western Land Ordinance dated May 20, 1785 and signed in type by Richard Henry Lee as President of the United States in Congress Assembled and Charles Thomson as Secretary of the United States in Congress Assembled. 

 The Western Land Ordinance put the earlier 1784 Land Ordinance into operation by providing a mechanism for selling and settling the land. The federal surveyors divided the land into carefully planned individual square townships. Each side of the township square was to be six miles in length containing thirty-six square miles of territory. The township was then divided into one-square mile sections, with each section receiving its own number and encompassing 640 acres. Section sixteen was to be set aside for a public school and sections eight, eleven, twenty-six, and twenty-nine were to provide veterans of the American Revolution with land as payment for their service during the war thus greatly reducing the war debt. The government would then sell the remaining sections at public auction at the minimum bid of 640 dollars per section or one dollar for an acre of land in each section.

The Federal Government under the Western Land Ordinance of 1785 lacked the resources to manage the newly surveyed Northwest Territorial lands because Native Americans refused to relinquish a large percentage of the plotted land and most of the territory remained too dangerous for settlement. This situation required either troops to eject the Native Americans or capital to purchase their land "fairly," insuring the peaceful sale and settlement. Additionally, the small amount of federal land that was not in dispute by the Native Americans was enthusiastically being occupied by western settlers who had no faith in or respect for the USCA operation as a federal authority. The settlers just claimed the land as squatters and the USCA was unable to muster the capital for magistrates let alone troops to enforce the $1.00 per acre fee required for a clear federal land title. With the States no longer in control of the lands and no federal magistrates or troops to enforce the laws, a tide of western squatters flowed into the Northwest Territory.  Tract sales were meager and the plan of revenue flowing from the Northwest Territorial land sales became another liability. 

By 1787 the USCA was in the right frame of mind to consider plans for bringing the government lands into market because the Ohio Company was willing to purchase millions of acres for private development. Additionally, earlier in the month Delegate James Monroe’s committee on the western government proposed the replacement of Jefferson’s 1784 eleven states’ plan with a system that would result in no less than three or more than five states.[36]

Earlier that year, the Ohio Company replaced Parsons with the Reverend Manasseh Cutler, who aligned himself with William Duer,[37] secretary of the U.S. Treasury Board. Pressures on the U.S. Treasury were dire and Duer and his associates formed a steadfast group of New York speculators determined for the settlement of the Northwest Territory. It was the economic strain added to the influence of Duer and Massachusetts Delegate Nathan Dane [38] that persuaded President Arthur St. Clair and key delegates to permit Dr. Cutler [39] to work directly with the committee assigned the task of drafting the Northwest Ordinance.  

The Committee consisted of only Virginia Delegate Edward Carrington [40] and Massachusetts Delegate Nathan Dane because committee members James Madison and Rufus King were in Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Convention. In the afternoon, the USCA appointed three new members, former President Richard Henry Lee, John Kean, [41] and Melancton Smith [42] to replace the three absent delegates. 

The new delegates outnumbered the old delegates who had been working on the measure for over a year. Additionally, Carrington was elected as the Chairman and they with Ohio Company Agent Cutler took up James Monroe’s plan. This committee did not merely revise the ordinances of 1784 and 1785; they began to draft an entirely new plan for the territory northwest of the Ohio government.

The committee, animated by the presence of Lee, went to its work in good earnest. Dane, who had been actively employed on the colonial government for more than a year, and for about ten months, had served on the committee which had the subject in charge, acted the part of scribe. Like Smith and Lee, he had opposed a federal convention for the reform of the constitution. The three agreed very well together, though Dane secretly harbored the wish of finding in the West an ally for " eastern politics." They were pressed for time, and found it necessary finally to adopt the best system they could get. At first they took up the plan reported by Monroe; but new ideas were started; and they worked with so much industry that on the eleventh of July their report of an ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States north-west of the river Ohio was read for its first time in congress.[43]

Cutler added an educational provision which was revised by the committee and became part of Article III. Other revisions were made after input from the President. Dr. Cutler, satisfied with the changes, did not remain in New York for the vote in Congress and left for Philadelphia that evening.

The ordinance required seven votes to pass and the States were divided four South and five North. The reading by Chairman Nathan Dane on the 11th did not include the provision abolishing slavery. The Chairman who has been credited, along with Cutler, with the primary drafting of the ordinance thought it best to leave the anti-slavery language out. He and other anti-slavery delegates believed this would enable the southern delegations to focus more clearly on the favorable attributes of the ordinance. On July 12th, the ordinance was read again by Dane but this time the anti-slavery provision was added.

In a strange twist of events on July 12th, as the all-important Northwest Ordinance bill was being debated on the floor, President St. Clair decided to take a three-day leave of Congress along with what surely would have been a yes vote from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Eight states remained, evenly divided and neither the President nor the Ohio Company was present to effectuate the required seven state passage of the ordinance. On July 13th to Dane’s surprise, the ordinance passed unanimously.[44] 

[NORTHWEST ORDINANCE] – Exhibited here is the full printing of “An ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States, north west of the river Ohio". The American Museum, or Repository of Ancient and Modern Fugitive Pieces, &c. prose and poetical. For August, 1787. Volume II., Number II. Philadelphia: Mathew Carey, 1787., This is the first US Magazine printing of the ordinance appearing in print only two weeks after it was enacted.

The "Northwest Ordinance", based on an area originally laid out in 1784 by USCA Delegate Thomas Jefferson in his "Report of Government for Western Lands", concerned the land north of the Ohio River, and east of the Mississippi (now the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin). It was one of the most significant achievements of the United States in Congress Assembled. 

In its six "Articles of Compact", largely written by Rufus King and Nathan Dane of Massachusetts, the ordinance contained provisions for the advancement of education through land grants, the maintenance of civil liberties and the exclusion of slavery. It provided a legal mechanism for citizens to formulate the state of Ohio in 1803 thus accelerating the westward expansion of the United States. The ordinance, in fact established the laws for the admission of all US states since 1787. 

Also in this August 1787 "the American Museum" are published "Resolutions of congress for the establishment of a new money of account for the united States.""An ordinance for the establishment of the mint of the united States of America; and for regulating the value and alloy of coin"; and a number of letters by scientist and politician Hugh Williamson (1735-1819) as "Sylvius", an ".effective analysis of the domestic economy, the federal debt, the problems of paper currency, the necessity for industrial development, and the need for an excise tax"    - Loan Courtesy of Klos Yavneh Academy Collection.

It has been charged that both Arthur St. Clair and Dr. Cutler left New York to cover-up their back room dealings of the President’s appointment to the governorship. St. Clair’s biographer writes:

On the 13th of July he [President Arthur St. Clair] did not preside. He had gone the day before to New Jersey to visit a friend, and he did not return until two days after the passage of the Ordinance. Only eight States out of thirteen voted for that instrument: Pennsylvania was one of the five not represented. When St. Clair returned to New York, he was accompanied by General Irvine, one of his colleagues. In a letter of the latter, written 19th July, and addressed to Colonel Richard Butler, he refers to the Ordinance which had passed two days before his return, and adds: "Who the officers of that government will be I have not heard, nor inquired."

If the name of General St. Clair had been canvassed, or, if he had had any understanding with the New England people, as is alleged, it would have been known to a friend as intimate as General Irvine. But, furthermore, we have his own testimony, which is of the best, to sustain us. In a letter to the Hon. William B. Giles, he says that the office of Governor was, in a great measure, forced upon him by his friends, who thought there would be in it means to compensate for his sacrifices to his country, and provide for his large family. But it proved otherwise. He had "neither the taste nor genius for speculation in land; nor did he consider it consistent with the office." He declared the accepting of the Governorship the most imprudent act of his life, for he was then in possession of a lucrative office, and his influence at home was very considerable. But he had the "laudable ambition of becoming the father of a country, and laying the foundation for the happiness of millions then unborn."[45]

On the day of the ordinance’s passage, Chairman Dane, transmits a copy to Rufus King with this letter shedding more light on the negotiations on the land purchase:

We have been much engaged in business for ten or twelve days past for a part of which we have had eight States. There appears to be a disposition to do business, and the arrival of R. H. Lee is of considerable importance. I think his character serves, at least in some degree, to check the effects of the feeble habits and lax modes of thinking in some of his Countrymen. We have been employed about several objects; the principal ones of which have been the Government enclosed and the Ohio purchase.

The former you will see is completed and the latter will be probably completed tomorrow. We tried one day to patch up M; Systems of W. Government; Started new Ideas and committed the whole to Carrington, Dane, R. H. Lee, Smith, & Kean; we met several times and at last agreed on some principles at least Lee, Smith & myself. We found ourselves rather pressed, the Ohio Company appeared to purchase a large tract of the federal lands, about 6 or 7 million of acres; and we wanted to abolish the old system and get a better one for the Government of the Country; and we finally found it necessary to adopt the best system we could get.

All agreed finally to the enclosed except A. Yates; he appeared in this Case, as in most other not to understand the subject at all. I think the number of free Inhabitants 60,000, which are requisite for the admission of a new State into the Confederacy is too small, but having divided the whole territory into three States, this number appeared to me to be less important, each State in the Common Course of things must become important soon after it shall have that number of Inhabitants. The eastern State of the three will probably be the first, and more important than the rest; and, will no doubt be settled chiefly by Eastern people, and there is, I think, full an equal chance of it adopting Eastern politics. When I drew the ordinance which passed (in a few words excepted) as I originally formed it, I had no idea the States would agree to the sixth Article prohibiting Slavery; as only Massa. of the Eastern States was present; and therefore omitted it in the draft; but finding the House favorably disposed on this subject, after we had completed the other parts I moved the article; which was agreed to without opposition.

We are in a fair way to fix the terms of our Ohio sale, &c. We have been upon it three days steadily. The magnitude of the purchase makes us very cautious about the terms of it, and the security necessary to ensure the performance of them.[46]

The passage of the Northwest Ordinance under Arthur St. Clair's Presidency was rightfully praised, in the 19th Century, by U.S. Senator Daniel Webster:

We are accustomed to praise lawgivers of antiquity ... but I doubt whether one single law of any lawgiver, ancient or modern, has produced the effects of more distinct, marked, and lasting character than the Ordinance of 1787.[48]

The world was now put on notice that the land north and west of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi would be settled and utilized for the creation of "… not less than three nor more than five territories." Additionally, this plan for governing the Northwest Territory included freedom of religion, right to trial by jury, the banishment of slavery, and public education as asserted rights granted to the people in the territory. This ordinance was and still remains one of the most important laws ever enacted by the government of the United States.

Specifically, this ordinance was an exceptional piece of legislation because Article Five permitted the people North and West of the Ohio River to settle their land, form their own territorial government, and take their place as a full-fledged state, equal to the original 13. The Northwest Ordinance's Article Five became the principle that enabled the United States rapid westward expansion, which ended with the inclusion of Alaska and Hawaii as our 49th and 50th states. This ordinance also guaranteed that inhabitants of the Territory would have the same rights and privileges that citizens of the original 13 States enjoyed.

Equally important, Article Six provided that slavery and involuntary servitude were outlawed in the Northwest Territory. 
There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted: Provided always, that any person escaping into the same, from whom labor or service is lawfully claimed in any one of the original States, such fugitive may be lawfully reclaimed and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labor or service, as aforesaid. [50]

Article Six was the first federal law that finally gave some merit to "... all men are created equal...” written 11 years earlier in the Declaration of Independence. In 1865, when Abraham Lincoln succeeded in passing through Congress the 13th Amendment that finally abolishing United States slavery, he changed only one word in Article Six, “territory” became “states.” 

Slave Emancipation Signed - Manuscript emancipation signed with the mark of David Enlow, dated September 20, 1810, Harrison County, Indiana Territory.  Manuscript is 12 ½” x 7 ½” on laid rag-content paper which is toned with tiny holes framed and in fine condition.  In part Enlow's emancipation of  Sara reads:

… a my right, title, and interest in and to the said Negro woman Sarah … in consequence of her voluntarily bound herself to serve me and during the term of four years commencing from the first day of January in the year Eighteen hundred and Seven…

The Northwest Ordinance required Enlow to free Sarah and also forbade involuntary servitude.  Whether's Sarah agreeing to "voluntarily bound herself to serve me and during the term of four years" as a condition of her freedom was legally enforceable is a matter of debate.

Theism was also openly expressed in the legislation as Article Three of the Ordinance stated:
Religion, Morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, Schools and the means of education shall be forever encouraged.[51]

This measure essentially legislated that religion and morality were indispensable to good government but it was not carried out by the federal government because the United States confederation was financially insolvent in 1788 and faded away in 1789. A second constitution emerged from Philadelphia that laid the legal foundation that Jefferson would refer to as "thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”[52] Several western state governments adopted similar legislation to Article Three and provided financial assistance to the churches up and until the early 19th Century. 

On October 5, 1787 the USCA turned west and elected a territorial Governor and Secretary:
Congress proceeded to the election of a governor for the western territory pursuant to the Ordinance of the 13th of July last and the ballots being taken the honorable Arthur St Clair was elected. Congress proceeded to the election of a secretary pursuant to the said Ordinance and the ballots being taken Mr. Winthrop Sargent was elected.[67]

On October 21st, the USCA approved the sale of over one million acres to the Ohio Company. Governor St. Clair was now responsible for governing, settling and subdividing the territory of what are now Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota whose lands, at that time, comprised more than one half the geographic area of the United States of America. 

Arthur St. Clair would serve his country as governor for 13 years amidst controversy and the disgrace of losing more men in a battle against Native Americans than George Custer lost at Little Big Horn. By 1801, St. Clair would be the last federalist to wield any real power at the turn of the 19th Century. In his arrogance, he would challenge Republican President Thomas Jefferson on Ohio Statehood. It was Delegate Jefferson, whose committee in 1784 wrote the original ordinance for the vast territory proposing a mechanism for new States. President Jefferson would disregard Governor St. Clair's protest letters and heartedly back fellow Virginian Thomas Worthington who championed Ohio Statehood. In a sad end to St. Clair’s service, President Jefferson dismissed the Governor with this letter written by his from Secretary of State, James Madison:
The President observing, in an address lately delivered by you to the convention held at Chillicothe, an intemperance and indecorum of language toward the Legislature of the United States, and a disorganizing spirit and tendency of very evil example, and grossly violating the rules of conduct enjoined by your public station, determine that your commission of Governor of the Northwestern Territory shall cease on the receipt of this notification.[69]
On February 19, 1803, the Republican United States Congress approved Ohio's constitution and admitted Ohio as the 17th state. Thomas Worthington was hailed as the hero of the Ohio Constitutional Convention and usurped forever the moniker: "The Father of Ohio's Statehood" its founder. Arthur St. Clair returned to his farm in Western Pennsylvania and resided there for 15 years with his wife Phoebe as a private citizen.

St. Clair’s biographer wrote that in August, 1818:

… the venerable patriot, in his eighty- fourth year, undertook to go to Youngstown, three miles distant, for flour and other necessaries. He bade good-bye to his Louisa and started off with his pony and wagon, in good spirits. The authorities had changed the Stage road so that it passed along the Loyalhauna Creek, several miles north of the St. Clair residence, and the route to Youngstown was rough and dangerous. Pony and wagon moved safely along until within a mile of the village, when a wheel falling into a rut, the wagon was upset, and the aged General thrown with great force upon the rocky road. In the course of the day he was discovered lying where he had fallen, insensible, and the pony standing quietly at a short distance, awaiting the command of his old master — faithful to the last. He was carried tenderly back to the house, but neither medical skill nor the tender care of loved ones could restore him, and, on the thirty-first, Death came with his blessed message of peace forevermore.

On September 17th, 1787, the Constitution Convention delegates in Philadelphia completed their new Plan of The New Federal Government and sent it by stagecoach to the United States in Congress Assembled (USCS) who were in session in New York City.  Unlike the Articles of Confederation which required the unanimous ratification of all the States to be enacted, the new U.S. Constitution required only 2/3rds or nine States to form a new government of the United States of America. The convention delegates, however, had overstepped the authority granted by the USCA on February 21st, 1787, by first discarding the Articles instead of revising that constitution and second, by completely dismissing the modification requirements set forth in Article XIII of the federal constitution that stated:

Every State shall abide by the determination of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation are submitted to them. And the Articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the Union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State.[1]

[UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION] –The American Museum was published by Mathew Carey and existed from January, 1787 through the end of 1792. This September 1787 issue has the very distinguished honor of being the first magazine to print the US Constitution of 1787.  Additionally, the publication hails from the city where the Plan for the new Federal Government was created, Philadelphia. The Constitution appears in the back third of the issue, complete with a prefacing paragraph which includes: "The constitution framed for the united states of America by a convention of deputies from the states of.....at a session begun May 14, and ended September 17, 1787." followed by the memorable Preamble which begins: "We, the people of the united states, in order to form a more perfect union..." "Article I" and the balance of the U.S. Constitution follows, taking eight pages. At its conclusion are the signatures in type of George Washington and other members of the Constitutional Convention, listed by state.  - Loan Courtesy of Klos Yavneh Academy Collection.

The proposed obliteration of the Articles of Confederation by convention was to be accomplished without the unanimous approval by the States. It was a constitutional crisis that, to this day, has not been equaled in the United States save by the southern secession of the 1860’s forming the Confederate States of America.[2]

Only sketches of the great New York City debate that ensued in the 1787 USCA exist due to the veil of secrecy that surrounded the Confederation Congress sessions. We do know from the notes of New York delegate Melancton Smith, which became available to the public in 1959, that most USCA Delegates believed they had the authority to alter the new proposed Constitution of 1787 before it was sent on to the States. James Madison, Rufus King, and Nathaniel Gorham argued, however, to the contrary.

Since there was no Supreme Court, the USCA was the final authority on the new constitution judicially as well as legislatively. Virginia Delegate Richard Henry Lee would lead the “9-13 opposition” that insisted on unanimous 13 State convention ratification rather than 9. Lee also sought to amend the new constitution. Melancton Smith writes of Lee:

RH LEE -- The convention had not proceeded as this house were bound; it is to be agreed to by the States & means the 13; but this recommends a new Confederation of nine; the Convention has no more powers than Congress, yet if nine States agree becomes supreme Law. Knows no instance on the Journals as he remembers, opposing the Confederation the impost was to be adopted by 13. This is to be adopted & no other with alteration Why so? good things in it; but many bad; so much so that he says here as he will say everywhere that if adopted civil Liberty will be in eminent danger.[3]

Despite such arguments, Rufus King, James Madison, and Nathaniel Gorham – all delegates to both the Philadelphia Convention and the USCA – maintained that Congress must keep the new constitution intact, sending it on to the States without any changes or amendments despite the unanimous requirement in Article XIII. Smith records Richard Henry Lee’s reaction to their position:
Strangest doctrine he ever heard, that referring a matter of report, that no alterations should be made. The Idea the common sense of Man. The States & Congress he thinks had the Idea that congress was to amend if they thought proper. He wishes to give it a candid enquiry, and proposes such alterations as are necessary; if the General wishes it should go forth with the amendment.; let it go with all its imperfections on its head & the amendments by themselves; to insist that it should go as it is without amendments, is like presenting a hungry man 50 dishes and insisting he should eat all or none.[4]

The debate continued but opinions of James Madison and Rufus King were earnestly supported by President Arthur St. Clair who, surprisingly, was and remains the only foreign-born President of the United States — a circumstance outlawed by the new constitution. On September 28th, 1787, the USCA passed the following resolution:

Congress having received the report of the Convention lately assembled in Philadelphia: Resolved Unanimously that the said Report with the resolutions and letter accompanying the same be transmitted to the several legislatures in Order to be submitted to a convention of Delegates chosen in each state by the people thereof in conformity to the resolves of the Convention made and provided in that case. [11]

By the convening of the 1788 USCA session, the delegates were already aware that five states (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut) had approved the Constitution of 1787.  The “Federalist Papers,”[12] authored by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, made a most persuasive case for ratification. Massachusetts would ratify the constitution on February 6th, 1788, but Rhode Island, a month later, rejected ratification by popular referendum. Maryland and South Carolina stayed the federalist course and voted for ratification.  

FEDERALIST PAPERS V & VI] - American Museum, Or Repository of Ancient and Modern Fugitive Pieces, Prose and Poetica, for December 1787, Federalist Papers -  Federalist No. V – US Foreign Secretary John Jay essay published on November 13, 1787 under the pseudonym Publius (the name under which all the Federalist Papers). Jay argues that the American people can learn a lot from the troubles Great Britain had when it was divided up into individual states. When divided, envy and jealousy ran rampant. Federalist No. VI - A November 17, 1787 published as Publius in which Alexander Hamilton enumerates different instances of hostility among nations, and suggests that should the States remain separate, such hostilities will befall them as well.

This set the stage for New Hampshire,[13] which became the ninth state to ratify the new constitution on June 21, 1788, to lay claim to the 57 to 47 vote that effectively terminated the Articles of Confederation and its government. 

[US CONSTITUTION NINTH STATE RATIFICATION] – USCA Massachusetts Delegate George Thatcher’s newspaper  reports on ratification parade: “THURSDAY being the day appointed to celebrate the RATIFICATION of the Federal Constitution by the State of New-Hampshire, a numerous concourse of the inhabitants of Portsmouth, and the neighboring towns being assembled on the Parade, about eleven o'clock an armed ship was espied from the State-House.”  The Independent Chronicle and Universal Advertiser, Thursday July 3, 1788, Boston: Published by Adams and Nourse, page three with marked on the front page in iron gall ink “Hon. George Thatcher, Esq.”  - Loan Courtesy of Klos Yavneh Academy Collection.  

Despite New Hampshire’s ratification meeting the new constitution’s 2/3rds requirement, the USCA was unable to implement the new government the following day as the Continental Congress did on March 2nd, 1781 after it had adopted the Articles of Confederation.  The unicameral USCA was to be replaced by a complex tripartite government with new officials. The ratifying states, by virtue of the Constitution of 1787s mechanisms, required action by the USCA to establish a plan for the national election of President as well as state elections of U.S Senators and House of Representatives members.  Additionally, a start date and location for the new Constitution of 1787 government had to be established by the USCA. The plan to dissolve the confederation and implement the Constitution of 1787 government became the primary objective of the now lame-duck USCA government.   Meanwhile three states (Virginia, New York, and North Carolina) had yet to vote on ratification so the USCA bided its time adopting the 9th state’s ratification of the new constitution.

In the Virginia ratification convention, James Madison found himself in direct opposition to Patrick Henry, George Mason, William Grayson, and future President James Monroe. These men and other anti-federalists believed that the new constitution did not protect the individual rights of citizens and created a central government that was too powerful.  On June 26, 1788 Madison and his colleagues were able to secure the necessary votes by including  in the ratification resolution: 
“That there be a Declaration or Bill of Rights asserting and securing from encroachment the essential and unalienable Rights of the People in some such manner as the following…”. [14] These recommended Virginia amendments to the second U.S. Constitution would eventually become the framework for what we now call the “Bill of Rights,” [15] the first ten amendments to the Constitution.
Shortly after receiving the good news of the Virginia ratification, the largest and 10th state to adopt the new constitution, the USCA acted on New Hampshire’s ratification resolution, resolving on July 2nd, 1788:

The State of New Hampshire having ratified the constitution transmitted to them by the Act of the 28 of Sept. last and transmitted to Congress their ratification and the same being read, the president reminded Congress that this was the ninth ratification transmitted and laid before them, whereupon, on Motion of Mr. Clarke seconded by Mr. Edwards - Ordered That the ratifications of the constitution of the United States transmitted to Congress be referred to a committee to examine the same and report an Act to Congress for putting the said constitution into operation in pursuance of the resolutions of the late federal Convention.[16]

The committee consisted of Edward Carrington, Pierpont Edwards, Abraham Baldwin, Samuel Allyne Otis and Thomas Tudor Tucker.  They reported and made recommendations to Congress on July 8th, 9th, 14th and 28th but no plan was adopted for the transition. The July USCA deliberations on how to implement the new U.S. Constitution were overshadowed by their host state’s ratifying convention being held in Poughkeepsie, New York.  If the convention failed to ratify the Constitution of 1787, the USCA could not consider convening the new government in their current seat, New York City.  Thus a plan could not be debated, let alone adopted, until the ratification votes from the New York Convention were tallied.

Federalist leaders, John Jay, Robert R. Livingston, and Alexander Hamilton encountered stiff opposition to the new constitution in Poughkeepsie.  Jay advocated ratification, reminding the Convention that:

the direction of general and national affairs is submitted to a single body of men, viz. the congress. They may make war; but are not empowered to raise men or money to carry it on. They may make peace; but without power to see the terms of it observed. They may form alliances, but without ability to comply with the stipulations on their part. They may enter into treaties of commerce; but without power to enforce them at home or abroad. They may borrow money; but without having the means of re-payment. They may partly regulate commerce; but without authority to execute their ordinances. They may appoint ministers and other officers of trust; but without power to try or punish them for misdemeanors. They may resolve; but cannot execute either with dispatch or with secrecy. In short, they may consul & deliberate and recommend and make requisitions; and they who please, may read them.  From this new and wonderful system of government, it has come to pass, that almost every national object of every kind is, at this day, unprovided for; & other nations, taking the advantage of its imbecility, are daily multiplying commercial restraints upon us.   [17] 

Livingston, upon learning of New Hampshire’s ratification remarked, “The Confederation was now dissolved. The question before the committee was now a question of policy and expediency.”[18] News that Virginia, the home state of George Washington, had also ratified the new constitution all but assured the demise of the Articles of Confederation Republic with or without New York.  Jay, Livingston, Hamilton, and their supporters therefore were able to eke out a razor thin victory with a 30 to 27 ratification vote whose convention also proposed amendments to the new constitution including:

That the People have an equal, natural and unalienable right, freely and peaceably to Exercise their Religion according to the dictates of Conscience, and that no Religious Sect or Society ought to be favored or established by Law in preference of others. That the People have a right to keep and bear Arms; that a well-regulated Militia, including the body of the People capable of bearing Arms, is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free State; … That the People have a right peaceably to assemble together to consult for their common good, or to instruct their Representatives; and that every person has a right to Petition or apply to the Legislature for redress of Grievances.-That the Freedom of the Press ought not to be violated or restrained.[19]

Exhibited here is Cyrus Griffin July 1788 autographed invitation stating  "The President of Congress presents his compliments to Mr. Greenleaf and begs the pleasure of his company to a family dinner tomorrow about  o'clock, Saturday."   James Greenleaf, who recently married Dutch Baroness Antonia Scholten van Aschat, was the junior partner in an Import business named Watson and Greenleaf with offices in Philadelphia and New York City.  Although President Griffin, a supporter of the new constitution, would be the last President to serve under the Articles of Confederation.- Loan Courtesy of Klos Yavneh Academy Collection.  

During the New York Convention, North Carolina delegates had assembled in Hillsborough to consider ratifying the Constitution of 1787. Federalists, led by James Iredell, Sr., struggled to mitigate Antifederalists' fears that the Constitution of 1787 would ultimately concentrate power at the national level permitting the federal government to chip away at states' rights and individual liberties. The abuse of power arising from empowering a central government to levy taxes, appoint government officials, and institute a strong court system was of particular concern to Antifederalists leaders Willie Jones, Samuel Spencer, and Timothy Bloodworth. Antifederalist William Gowdy of Guilford County summed up the majority’s opinion in the debates, stating:

Its intent is a concession of power, on the part of the people, to their rulers. We know that private interest governs mankind generally. Power belongs originally to the people; but if rulers be not well guarded, that power may be usurped from them. People ought to be cautious in giving away power.[20]

The North Carolina delegates, who overwhelming distrusted the proposed centralized authority, adjourned on August 4th after they had drafted a "Declaration of Rights" and a list of "Amendments to the Constitution."  Unlike New York and Virginia, these members voted "neither to ratify nor reject the Constitution proposed for the government of the United States."  James Madison reported to his father:

We just learn the fate of the Constitution in N. Carolina. Rho. Island is however her only associate in the opposition and it will be hard indeed if those two States should endanger a system which has been ratified by the eleven others. Congress has not yet finally settled the arrangements for putting the new Government in operation. The place for its first meeting creates the difficulty. The Eastern States with N. York contend for this City. Most of the other States insist on a more central position.[21] 

The dies were now cast, eleven states, not thirteen, would form a new United American Republic, We The People of the United States of America.

[US CONSTITUTION 11 STATES’ RATIFICATION] – Eleven State Ratification table, along with ratification resolutions of New Jersey, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia and New York.  Also printed are numerous State amendments to the US Constitution of 1787, including New York’s 32 Amendments  and Virginia’s Declaration of Rights  with  21 proposed Amendments to the Constitution of 1787.  Pamphlet., American Museum, Mathew Carey, August 1788,  Volume IV,. Philadelphia, Pa.,

All throughout August and into September, the USCA debated the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution.  James Madison wrote Thomas Jefferson, who was serving in France as U.S. Minister:

Congress have not yet decided on the arrangements for inaugurating the new Government. The place of its first meeting continues to divide the Northern & Southern members, though with a few exceptions to this general description of the parties. The departure of Rhode Island, and the refusal of North Carolina in consequence of the late event there to vote in the question, threatens a disagreeable issue to the business, there being now an apparent impossibility of obtaining seven States for any one place. The three Eastern States & New York, reinforced by South Carolina, and as yet by New Jersey, give a plurality of votes in favor of this City [New York]. The advocates for a more central position however though less numerous, seemed very determined not to yield to what they call a shameful partiality to one extremity of the Continent.[22]

On September 13th, 1788 the USCA finally agreed to keep the Constitution of 1787 United States seat of government in New York.  The USCA then approved a plan to dissolve itself and implement the Constitution of 1787.  Congress resolved that March 4th, 1789 would be the starting date of the current and Fourth United American Republic:

Whereas the Convention assembled in Philadelphia pursuant to the resolution of Congress of the 21st of Feb., 1787 did on the 17th. of Sept of the same year report to the United States in Congress assembled a constitution for the people of the United States, whereupon Congress on the 28 of the same Sept did resolve unanimously "That the said report with the resolutions and letter accompanying the same be transmitted to the several legislatures in order to be submitted to a convention of Delegates chosen in each state by the people thereof in conformity to the resolves of the convention made and provided in that case" And whereas the constitution so reported by the Convention and by Congress transmitted to the several legislatures has been ratified in the manner therein declared to be sufficient for the establishment of the same and such ratifications duly authenticated have been received by Congress and are filed in the Office of the Secretary therefore Resolved That the first Wednesday in January next be the day for appointing Electors in the several states, which before the said day shall have ratified the said constitution; that the first Wednesday in February  next be the day for the electors to assemble in their respective states and vote for a president; and that the first Wednesday in March next be the time and the present seat of Congress the place for commencing proceedings under the said constitution.[23]

Although the start date of the Fourth American Republic was set by the USCA as March 4th, 1789, the first bicameral congress of the new republic did not convene due to quorum challenges. It would not be until April 1st, 1789, that the U.S. House of Representatives was able to achieve a quorum. Five days later, on April 6th, the U.S. Senate achieved a quorum and elected its officers. The Senate also tallied and certified the electoral votes from ten states[24] for President and Vice President. Washington vote counts in Delaware (John Jay), Maryland (Robert H. Harrison), New Hampshire (John Adams) and Massachusetts (John Adams) all resulted in a tie because each elector was able to vote for two Presidents. Washington, however, handily won the election with 69 electoral votes. John Adams came in second with 34 votes and under the Constitution of 1787 was awarded the office of Vice President.[25]

On April 16th, George Washington, now President-elect, began his journey from Mount Vernon to New York City.  The trek took seven days and his route was transformed into celebrations by citizens and officials who turned out in large numbers to receive him along the way. 

On April 30th, 1789, George Washington was escorted to the newly-renovated Federal Hall located at Wall and Nassau Street that

… came richly laden with historical associations, having hosted John Peter Zenger’s trial in 1735, the Stamp Act Congress of 1765 and the Confederation Congress from 1785 to 1788. Starting in September 1788, the French engineer Pierre-Charles L’Enfant had remodeled it into Federal Hall, a suitable home for Congress. L’Enfant introduced a covered arcade at street level and a balcony surmounted by a triangular pediment on the second story. As the people’s chamber, the House of Representatives was accessible to the public, situated in a high-ceilinged octagonal room on the ground floor, while the Senate met in a second-floor room on the Wall Street side, buffering it from popular pressure. From this room Washington would emerge onto the balcony to take the oath of office. In many ways, the first inauguration was a hasty, slapdash affair. As with all theatrical spectacles, rushed preparations and frantic work on the new building continued until a few days before the event. Nervous anticipation spread through the city as to whether the 200 workmen would complete the project on time. Only a few days before the inauguration, an eagle was hoisted onto the pediment, completing the building. The final effect was stately: a white building with a blue and white cupola topped by a weather vane.[26]

There was, as yet, no U.S. Chief Justice so the oath was administered by New York Chancellor Robert R. Livingston on Federal Hall’s second floor balcony, overlooking a crowd assembled in the streets. 

After the Inaguration, President Washington, Vice President Adams, and the members of Congress retired to the Senate Chamber. Here the President delivered the first inaugural address that was drafted by James Madison. Washington explained his disinclination to accept the presidency and highlighted his own shortcomings, including “frequent interruptions in health,” “unpractised in the duties of civil administration,” and intellectually “inheriting inferior endowments from nature.” Washington left the presidential prerogative "to recommend to your consideration, such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient” to Congress except for suggesting they consider amendments to the constitution that were proposed by the states’ conventions.  

After the inauguration, each branch of Congress went about establishing its own rules for conducting the nation’s business. The House and the Senate also established joint committees drawing up conference rules.  They dealt with the logistics of communication with the President and between the two legislative bodies.   There was much for everyone to do in forming this new republic ranging from immediately raising revenues for funding the federal government to reformulating existing departments and passing laws, including the Northwest Ordinance, that were enacted under the Articles of Confederation.

Exhibited are two separate signed documents by Rhode Island Governors John Collins and Arthur Fenner.  

In 1789, when George Washington took the oath as the first President and Commander-in-Chief under the new Constitution, Rhode Island, along with North Carolina, chose to be a sovereign state separate from the United States of America.  John Collins at this time was serving as the Governor, thus becoming Rhode Island’s head of state.  In November of 1789. North Carolina joined the Union.  Five months later, Governor Collins cast the tie-breaking vote to convene a ratifying Rhode Island convention for the U.S. Constitution. This vote cost him his political career, as public sentiment remained strongly opposed to ratification.  

The General Assembly refused to back Collins for another term as Governor. Arthur Fenner, an avid Anti-Federalist was proposed by the Newport Committee as his replacement and on May 5, 1790, the general assembly declared Fenner governor.  

Following Fenner's election, the Rhode Island ratification Convention convened and concluded with a vote 34 to 32 in favor of adopting the US Constitution on Rhode Island held the Convention and ratified the Constitution of 1787 thus joining the union on May 1790. 

Governor Fenner who opposed the Constitution remained very popular serving until the time of his death, October 15, 1805.  Collins was elected to Congress in 1790 but never took his seat and died on March 4, 1795, in Newport, Rhode Island.

By: Stanley Yavneh Klos
Edited By: Naomi Yavneh Klos, Ph.D.

  • First United American Republic: United Colonies of North America: 13 British Colonies United in Congress was founded by 12 colonies on September 5th, 1774 (Georgia joined in 1775)  and governed through a British Colonial Continental Congress.  Peyton Randolph and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief;
  • Second United American Republic: The United States of America: 13 Independent States United in Congress was founded by 12 states on July 2nd, 1776 (New York abstained until July 8th), and governed through the United States Continental CongressJohn Hancock and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Third United American Republic: The United States of America: A Perpetual Union was founded by 13 States on March 1st, 1781, with the enactment of the first U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and governed through the United States in Congress Assembled.  Samuel Huntington and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Fourth United American Republic: The United States of America: We the People  was formed by 11 states on March 4th, 1789 (North Carolina and Rhode Island joined in November 1789 and May 1790, respectively), with the enactment of the U.S. Constitution of 1787. The fourth and current United States Republic governs through  the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in Congress Assembled, the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  George Washington served as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief.

Capitals of the United States and Colonies of America

Sept. 5, 1774 to Oct. 24, 1774
May 10, 1775 to Dec. 12, 1776
Dec. 20, 1776 to Feb. 27, 1777
March 4, 1777 to Sept. 18, 1777
September 27, 1777
Sept. 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778
July 2, 1778 to June 21, 1783
June 30, 1783 to Nov. 4, 1783
Nov. 26, 1783 to Aug. 19, 1784
Nov. 1, 1784 to Dec. 24, 1784
New York City
Jan. 11, 1785 to Nov. 13, 1788
New York City
Nov. 1788 to March 3,1789
New York City
March 3,1789 to August 12, 1790
December 6,1790 to May 14, 1800
Washington DC
November 17,1800 to Present

The exhibit is free and open to the public from Flag Day, June 14th, 2013 until August 2, 2013, the day prescribed by the Continental Congress for Delegates signed the engrossed Declaration of Independence. The exhibit can be viewed from 9am until 7pm at the Loyola University Honors Suite at the Monroe Library in New Orleans.

Stan Klos lecturing at the Republican National Convention's PoliticalFest 2000 Rebels With A Vision Exhibit  in Philadelphia's Convention Hall 

Primary Source exhibits are available for display in your community. The costs range from $1,000 to $25,000 depending on length of time on loan and the rarity of artifacts chosen. 


Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos hosting the Louisiana Primary Source Exhibit at the State Capitol Building for the 2012 Bicentennial Celebration.

Book a primary source exhibit and a professional speaker for your next event by contacting Historic.us today. Our Clients include many Fortune 500 companies, associations, non-profits, colleges, universities, national conventions, pr and advertising agencies. As the leading exhibitor of primary sources, many of our clients have benefited from our historic displays that are designed to entertain and educate your target audience. Contact us to learn how you can join our "roster" of satisfied clientele today!


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Primary Source Exhibits

727-771-1776 | Exhibit Inquiries

202-239-1774 | Office

202-239-0037 | Fax

Dr. Naomi and Stanley Yavneh Klos, Principals


Primary Source exhibits are available for display in your community. The costs range from $1,000 to $35,000 depending on length of time on loan and the rarity of artifacts chosen. 

Website: www.Historic.us


Middle and High School Curriculum Supplement
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U.S. Dollar Presidential Coin Mr. Klos vs Secretary Paulson - Click Here

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