2nd United States Congress

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2nd United States Congress
1st ← → 3rd
Congress Hall exterior.jpg
Congress Hall (2007)

Duration: March 4, 1791 – March 4, 1793

Senate President: John Adams
Senate Pres. pro tem: Richard Henry Lee
John Langdon
House Speaker: Jonathan Trumbull, Jr.
Members: 28–30 (two additions) (with one vacancy) Senators
67–69 (two additions) (with 1-3 vacancies) Representatives
Senate Majority: Pro-Administration,
then Anti-Administration
House Majority: Pro-Administration

Sessions
Special: March 4, 1791 – March 4, 1791
1st: October 24, 1791 – May 8, 1792
2nd: November 5, 1792 – March 2, 1793 (lame duck)
Modern tour group visiting the House of Representatives chamber at Congress Hall
Senate chamber at Congress Hall

The Second United States Congress, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, met at Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from March 4, 1791 to March 4, 1793, during the third and fourth years of George Washington's Presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the provisions of Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution. Additional House seats were assigned to the two new states of Vermont and Kentucky. Both chambers had a Pro-Administration majority.

Major events[edit]

Main articles: 1791, 1792 and 1793
  • April 5, 1792: President George Washington used the veto for the first time, vetoing a bill designed to apportion representatives among U.S. states.
  • October 13, 1792: Foundation of Washington, D.C.: The cornerstone of the United States Executive Mansion, now known as the White House, was laid.

Major legislation[edit]

States admitted[edit]

Constitutional amendments[edit]

Party summary[edit]

There were no political parties in this Congress. Members are informally grouped into factions of similar interest, based on an analysis of their voting record.[1]

Details on changes are shown below in the "Changes in membership" section.

Senate[edit]

During this congress, two new Senate seats were added for each of the new states of Vermont and Kentucky.

Party
(Shading shows control)
Total Vacant
Anti-
Administration

(A)
Pro-
Administration

(P)
End of the previous congress 8 18 26 0
Begin 8 17 25 1
End 12 29
Final voting share 41.4% 58.6%
Beginning of the next congress 13 16 29 1

House of Representatives[edit]

2ndHouse.svg

During this congress, two new House seats were added for each of the new states of Vermont and Kentucky. (Sess. 3, ch. 9, 1 Stat. 191)

Party
(Shading shows control)
Total Vacant
Anti-
Administration

(A)
Pro-
Administration

(P)
End of the previous congress 28 36 64 1
Begin 29 39 68 1
End 32 40 72
Final voting share 44.4% 55.6%
Beginning of the next congress 55 50 105 0

Leadership[edit]

President of the Senate
Vice President
John Adams

Senate[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

Members[edit]

This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed in order of seniority, and Representatives are listed by district.

Senate[edit]

Senators were elected by the state legislatures every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election. In this Congress, Class 1 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1796; Class 2 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1792; and Class 3 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1794.

House of Representatives[edit]

The names of members of the House of Representatives are preceded by their districts.

Membership changes[edit]

There were no political parties in this Congress. Members are informally grouped into factions of similar interest, based on an analysis of their voting record.[2]

Vermont and Kentucky were newly admitted as states and are first represented in this Congress.

Senate[edit]

There were 3 resignations, 1 contested election, and 4 new seats of admitted states, resulting in a 4 seat net gain of the Anti-Administration Senators.


State
(class)
Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation
Pennsylvania
(1)
Vacant Credentials of Albert Gallatin were presented February 28, 1793, but not approved until the next Congress Vacant Not filled this congress
Connecticut
(3)
William S. Johnson (P) Resigned March 4, 1791 Roger Sherman (P) Elected June 13, 1791
Vermont
(1)
New seat Vermont was admitted to the Union on March 4, 1791 Stephen R. Bradley (A) Elected November 4, 1791
Vermont
(3)
Moses Robinson (A) Elected November 4, 1791
Kentucky
(2)
New seat Kentucky was admitted to the Union on June 1, 1792. John Edwards (A) Elected June 18, 1792
Kentucky
(2)
John Brown (A) Elected June 18, 1792
Virginia
(2)
Richard Henry Lee (A) Resigned October 8, 1792 John Taylor (A) Elected October 18, 1792
Maryland
(1)
Charles Carroll (P) Resigned November 30, 1792 Richard Potts (P) Elected January 10, 1793

House of Representatives[edit]

There were 3 resignations, 1 vacancy of a member-elect, 1 contested election, and 4 new seats of admitted states, resulting in a 3 seat net gain of the Anti-Administration members and a 1 seat net gain of the Pro-Administration members.


District Vacator Reason for change Successor Date successor
seated
New York 1st Vacant Representative-elect James Townsend died on May 24, 1790, before Congress assembled. Thomas Tredwell (A) October 24, 1791
Vermont 1st New seat Vermont was admitted to the Union on March 4, 1791. Israel Smith (A) October 24, 1791
Vermont 2nd Nathaniel Niles (A) October 24, 1791
Maryland 3rd William Pinkney (A) Resigned November 1791 John Francis Mercer (A) February 6, 1792
Virginia 2nd John Brown (A) Resigned June 1, 1792, to become U.S. Senator from Kentucky. Vacant Seat went with Kentucky
Kentucky 2nd New seat Kentucky was admitted to the Union on June 1, 1792. Alexander D. Orr (A) November 8, 1792
Kentucky 1st Christopher Greenup (A) November 9, 1792
Georgia 1st Anthony Wayne (A) Anthony Wayne served until March 21, 1792, when seat declared vacant because the election was contested John Milledge (A) November 22, 1792
Maryland 2nd Joshua Seney (A) Resigned December 6, 1792. William Hindman (P) January 30, 1793

Employees[edit]

Senate[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Martis, Kenneth C. The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. 
  2. ^ Martis, Kenneth C. The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. 
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. 
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. 

External links[edit]