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(LAW.) Journal of the First Session of the Senate of the United States of America. 168 [of 172] pages. Folio, modern buckram; title page worn, toned, and detached, the next 3 leaves coming detached, duplicate gatherings U (pages 77-80) and Aa (pages 93-96) bound in, early marginal repairs to several leaves, long closed tear to leaf Tt2, lacking the final two index leaves; uncut; library bookplate and release stamp on front pastedown. New York: Greenleaf, 1789
The first Senate journal. Besides a very early printing of the proposed 12-article Bill of Rights, which appears on pages 163-164, it contains Washington's opening address to Congress (pages 23-25). It includes sessions from 4 March through 29 September 1789. Modern critics of congressional inaction would be hard-pressed to top the first weeks of the United States Senate. On the first day, 4 March 1789, the roll call revealed only 8 senators in attendance: "the number not being sufficient to constitute a quorum, they adjourned from day to day." The same eight showed up the next week for the second meeting, prompting the first official act of Senate: a letter to the absent members pleading them to show their faces because of "the indispensable necessity of putting the Government into immediate operation." A quorum was not reached until the ninth session, more than a month later. The next order of business was to confirm the election of George Washington as president. They kept up an impressive pace after the initial stumbles, creating the Department of State, Department of War, and Department of the Treasury in the following months. Evans 22207; Sabin 15551.
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