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FORMATION OF THE ORIGINAL UNION.

ON Monday, the 5th September, 1774, there were assembled at Carpenter's Hall, in the city of Philadelphia, a number of men who had been chosen and appointed by the several colonies in North America to hold a Congress for the purpose of discussing certain grievances imputed against the mother-country. This Congress resolved on the next day that each colony should have one vote only. On Tuesday, the 2d July, 1776, the Congress resolved, "That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, Free and Independent States," etc., etc.; and on Thursday, the 4th July, the whole Declaration of Independence having been agreed upon, it was publicly read to the people. Shortly after, on the 9th September, it was resolved that the words "United Colonies" should be no longer used, and that the "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" should thenceforward be the style and title of the Union. On Saturday, the 15th November, 1777, "Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union of the United States of America " were agreed to by the state delegates, subject to the ratification of the state legislatures severally. Eight of the states ratified these articles on the 9th July, 1778; one on the 21st July; one on the 24th July; one on the 26th November of the same year; one on the 22d February, 1779; and the last one on the 1st March, 1781. Here was a bond of union between thirteen independent states, whose delegates in Congress legislated for the general welfare, and executed certain powers, so far as they were permitted by the articles aforesaid. The following are the names of the Presidents of the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1788:

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Thomas McKean, Delaware.

John Hanson, Maryland..

Elias Boudinot, New Jersey..

Thomas Mifflin, Pennsylvania..
Richard Henry Lee, Virginia..

Nathaniel Gorham, Massachusetts...
Arthur St. Clair, Pennsylvania..
Cyrus Griffin, Virginia...

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6th Jan., 2d Feb., 1787 22d Jan, 1788

The seat of government was established as follows: at Philadelphia, Pa., commencing September 5, 1774, and May 10, 1775; at Baltimore, Md., December 20, 1776; at Philadelphia, Pa., March 4, 1777; at Lancaster, Pa., September 27, 1777; at York, Pa., September 30, 1777; at Philadelphia, Pa., July 2, 1778; at Princeton, N. J., June 30, 1783; at Annapolis, Md., November 26, 1783; at Trenton, N. J., November 1, 1784; and at New York City, N. Y., Jan. 11, 1785.

On the 4th March, 1789, the present Constitution, which had been adopted by a convention and ratified by the requisite number of states, went into operation.

No. of Electors from

each State.

ELECTORAL VOTES

FOR

PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

ELECTION FOR THE FIRST TERM,

COMMENCING MARCH 4, 1789, AND TERMINATING MARCH 3, 1793.

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The first Congress under the Constitution was convened at the Federal Hall," situated at the head of Broad, fronting on Wall street, (where the Custom-House now stands,) in the city of New York, on the first Wednesday, being March 4, 1789-Senators and Representatives having been elected from the eleven states which had ratified the Constitution; but, owing to the absence of a quorum, the House was not organized till the 1st of April, and, for a like reason, the Senate was not organized till the 6th; when the latter body "proceeded by ballot to the choice of a President, for the sole purpose of opening and counting the [electoral] votes for President of the United States." John Langdon, of New Hampshire, was chosen President pro tem. of the Senate, and Samuel Alyne Otis, of Massachusetts, Secretary; after which, proper measures were taken to notify the successful individuals of their election.

George Washington took the oath of office, as President, and entered apon his duties April 30, 1789. (For his Inaugural Address, see p. 24.) John Adams, Vice-President, entered upon his duties in the Senate April 21, 1789, and took the oath of office June 3, 1789.

No. of Electors from

each State.

ELECTION FOR THE SECOND TERM,
COMMENCING MARCH 4, 1793, AND TERMINATING MARCH 3, 1797.

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STATES.

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George Washington, re-elected President, took the oath of office for a second term, and entered upon his duties, March 4, 1793. John Adams, re-elected Vice-President, took the oath of office, and entered upon his duties in the Senate, December 2, 1793.

After the expiration of his second Presidential term, Washington retired to the tranquil shades of Mount Vernon, fondly indulging the hope that the remainder of his days would be peacefully enjoyed in his much-cherished home; but these pleasing anticipations were not allowed to remain long undisturbed. In 1798 the conduct of the French Directory and its emissaries led to frequent difficulties with this country, which were calculated to provoke a war; and the opinion was universally entertained that he who had formerly so well acquitted himself, must be again called to the command of our armies. Accordingly, early in July, the rank and title of "Lieutenant-General and Commander-in-Chief of all the armies raised, or to be raised, in the United States," was conferred upon him; and the Secretary of War, Mr. McHenry, immediately waited upon him to tender the commission. In a letter to President Adams, accepting "this new proof of public confidence," he makes a reservation that he shall not be called into the field until the army is in a situation to require his presence, and adds: "I take the liberty also to mention, that I must decline having my acceptance considered as drawing after it any immediate charge upon the public, and that I cannot receive any emoluments annexed to the appointment, before entering into a situation to incur expense."

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ELECTION FOR THE THIRD TERM,

COMMENCING MARCH 4, 1797, AND TERMINATING MARCH 3, 1801.

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John Adams, elected President, took the oath of office, and entered upon his duties, March 4, 1797.

Thomas Jefferson, elected Vice-President, took the oath of office, and entered upon his duties in the Senate, March 4, 1797.

The administration of Mr. Adams encountered the most virulent opposition, both domestic and foreign. France, still in the confusion following her revolution, made improper demands on our country, which not being complied with, she commenced seizing American property on the high seas. Our people, taking different sides, were about equally divided—some approving and others deprecating the course pursued by France. Letters of marque and reprisal were issued by our government, and a navy was raised with surprising promptitude. This had the desired effect, peace being thereby secured; and the aggressor was taught that the Americans were friends in peace, but were not fearful of war when it could not be honorably averted.

The Indians on our western frontiers also caused much trouble; but at length, being severely chastised by General Wayne, they sued for peace, which was granted in 1795.

In 1800 the seat of government was removed from Philadelphia to Washington City, which had been designated by Washington, under a law of Congress, as the most central situation.

No. of Electors

from each State.

ELECTION FOR THE FOURTH TERM,

COMMENCING MARCH 4, 1801, AND TERMINATING MARCH 3, 1805.

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STATES.

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The electoral vote for Thos. Jefferson and Aaron Burr being equal, no choice was made by the people, and on the 11th of February, 1801, he House of Representatives proceeded to the choice of President in the manner prescribed by the Constitution. On the first ballot eight states voted for Thomas Jefferson, six for Aaron Burr, and the votes of two states were divided. The balloting continued till the 17th of February, when the thirty-fifth ballot, as had all previously, resulted the same as the first. After the thirty-sixth ballot, the Speaker declared that the votes of ten states had been given for Thomas Jefferson, the votes of four states for Aaron Burr, and the votes of two states in blank; and that, consequently, Thomas Jefferson had been elected for the term of four years.

Thomas Jefferson, thus elected President, took the oath of office, and entered upon his duties, March 4, 1801.

In his inaugural address, Mr. Jefferson used the following memorable expression: "We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all republicans: we are all federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union, or to change its republican form, let them stand, undisturbed, as monuments of the safety with which ERROR OF OPINION MAY BE TOLERATED, WHERE REASON IS LEFT FREE TO COMBAT IT."

Aaron Burr, elected Vice-President, took the oath of office, and entered upon his duties in the Senate, March 4, 1801.

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