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1st Congress (1789–1791)

Congressional Profile

Total Membership:

  • 65 Representatives

Party Divisions:*

  • 37 Pro-Administration
  • 28 Anti-Administration

*Party division totals are based on election day results.

Congress Overview

The 1st Congress (1789–1791) finished what the Founders started: filling out the U.S. Constitution’s skeletal framework by addressing concerns raised during ratification and by creating the federal architecture—a revenue system, the first executive departments, and the judiciary. Congress also assumed state Revolutionary War debts and decided the location of the future capital. Under the leadership of Representative James Madison of Virginia, this Congress authored the constitutional amendments which eventually became the Bill of Rights. Amid this activity Congress moved from New York to Philadelphia in 1790.

Historical Highlights

See more Historical Highlights on the First Federal Congress.

Member Information

Learn more about the People of the People's House

Leadership & Officers

Speaker of the House:
Frederick A.C. Muhlenberg, Pennsylvania
Clerk of the House:
John Beckley
Sergeant at Arms:
Joseph Wheaton
Chaplain of the House:
William Linn – Presbyterian
Doorkeeper:
Gifford Dalley

To view complete lists of individuals who have served in these leadership and official positions since the 1st Congress, visit the People section