House and Senate Journals, Series 1, 1789-1817
A chronicle of the early U.S. Congress' proceedings
Gives “a real flavor for how the daily life of Congress was spent....These early Journal volumes bring alive discussions of early important events in U.S. history.
Barbara Miller, Associate Professor and Documents Librarian

Quick Facts

  • A fully searchable digital edition of the record of floor action from the early U.S. Senate and House of Representatives
  • Chronicles matters considered on the floor, votes and other actions taken, executive department communications and more
  • Digitized from the original printings of the journals

Overview

From their inaugural sessions, both the United States House and Senate have kept journals of their proceedings, as required by the Constitution, to record the minutes of floor action. House and Senate Journals, Series I, 1789-1817, chronicles matters considered on the floor, votes and other actions taken, as well as excerpts from executive department communications and member responses. To create this digital edition, Readex has used the original printings of the House and Senate Journals, rather than the Gales and Seaton reprints from the 1820s.

A variety of historically significant topics
The historically rich House and Senate Journals document important issues, events, organizations and people, including the Constitutional Convention, the Bill of Rights and Constitutional Amendments, Alexander Hamilton and the Fugitive Slave Act. Capturing the U.S. government in its infancy, these fully searchable publications also cover such subjects as:

  • Cotton industry
  • Northwest Ordinance
  • Cabinet Departments
  • Ohio territory
  • Treaty of Greenville
  • Judiciary Act
  • French Revolution
  • Tariff Acts
  • Tobacco and smoking
  • Thomas Paine
  • Jay Treaty
  • United States Navy
  • Alien and Sedition Acts
  • Franco-American Convention
  • Public Land Act
  • Impeachment of William Blount
  • Post-Revolution British-American relations

America’s Historical Government Publications
As an essential part of America’s Historical Government Publications, House and Senate Journals is cross-searchable in full-text with American State Papers, House and Senate Journals, and the U.S. Congressional Serial Set. Additionally, these four collections are also cross-searchable with all other Archive of Americana collections, offering unprecedented depth for research on nearly any topic in American history.

Reviews

“[House and Senate Journals] … give a real flavor for how the daily life of Congress was spent, and are an important primary source for historians. These early Journal volumes bring alive discussions of early important events in US history, including the Constitutional Convention, the Bill of Rights, development of the first Bank of the United States, the early US Navy and early treaties made by the young nation. Those researching early laws such as the Fugitive Slave Act and the Alien and Sedition Act will find information here. And, of course, by reading the Journals the reader can also examine early interaction of several famous American forefathers such as Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, John Adams and John Jay.”
— Barbara Miller, Associate Professor and Documents Librarian, Oklahoma State University in Reference Reviews (2008)

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