The Documents

The Development of the American Character

First Acts of Congress 1789

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

Short Description

The Acts of the first U.S. Congress include officially ratifying the Constitution as well as George Washington’s election, making him the first U.S. president. The first Congress also passed much of the basic legislation for the machinery of government, regulating such functions as customs, judiciary, postal service, and the mint.

Remnant Trust Description

The Acts of the first Congress of the United States, containing much of the legislation fundamental to the establishment of government under the Constitution. The first Congress met in New York on March 4, 1789, and continued until the end of September. It officially ratified the Constitution and Washington’s election as first U.S. president, and passed much of the most basic legislation for the machinery of government, regulating the Customs, Judiciary, Post Office, Mint, and the like. Much time was spent on the Bill of Rights, which appears here in what is the first octavo public printing, still including twelve amendments (the first two, relating to the numbers in a congressional district and congressional salaries, were later omitted). All of these things make this volume a foundation work in the history of American government.