1st to 19th Congresses

(March 4, 1789 to March 3, 1827)

DateTypeOccasion, topic, or locationName and position of dignitary
(Where Applicable)
1st Congress (1789–1791)
New York City
Apr. 6, 1789 Joint Session Counting electoral votes N.A.
Apr. 30, 1789 Joint Session Inauguration and church service1 President George Washington;
Right Reverend Samuel Provoost,
Senate-appointed Chaplain.
Jan. 8, 1790 Joint Session Annual Message President George Washington.
Philadelphia
Dec. 8, 1790 Joint Session Annual Message President George Washington.
2nd Congress (1791–1793)
Oct. 25, 1791 Joint Session Annual Message President George Washington.
Nov. 6, 1792 Joint Session Annual Message President George Washington.
Feb. 13, 1793 Joint Session Counting electoral votes N.A.
3rd Congress (1793–1795)
Mar. 4, 1793 Inauguration Senate Chamber President George Washington.
Dec. 3, 1793 Joint Session Annual Message President George Washington.
Nov. 19, 1794 Joint Session Annual Message President George Washington.
4th Congress (1795–1797)
Dec. 8, 1795 Joint Session Annual Message President George Washington.
Dec. 7, 1796 Joint Session Annual Message President George Washington.
Feb. 8, 1797 Joint Session Counting electoral votes N.A.
5th Congress (1797–1799)
Mar. 4, 1797 Inauguration Hall of the House President John Adams.
May 16, 1797 Joint Session Relations with France President John Adams.
Nov. 23, 1797 Joint Session Annual Message President John Adams.
Dec. 8, 1798 Joint Session Annual Message President John Adams.
6th Congress (1799–1801)
Dec. 3, 1799 Joint Session Annual Message President John Adams.
Dec. 26, 1799 Joint Session Funeral procession and oration in memory of George Washington2 Representative Henry Lee.
Washington, D.C.
Nov. 22, 1800 Joint Session Annual Message President John Adams.
Feb. 11, 1801 Joint Session Counting electoral votes3 N.A.
7th Congress (1801–1803)
Mar. 4, 1801 Inauguration Senate Chamber President Thomas Jefferson.
8th Congress (1803–1805)
Feb. 13, 1805 Joint Session Counting electoral votes N.A.
9th Congress (1805–1807)
Mar. 5, 1805 Inauguration Senate Chamber President Thomas Jefferson.
10th Congress (1807–1809)
Feb. 8, 1809 Joint Session Counting electoral votes N.A.
11th Congress (1809–1811)
Mar. 4, 1809 Inauguration Hall of the House President James Madison.
12th Congress (1811–1813)
Feb. 10, 1813 Joint Session Counting electoral votes N.A.
13th Congress (1813–1815)
Mar. 4, 1813 Inauguration Hall of the House President James Madison.
14th Congress (1815–1817)
Feb. 12, 1817 Joint Session Counting electoral votes4 N.A.
15th Congress (1817–1819)
Mar. 4, 1817 Inauguration In front of Brick Capitol President James Monroe.
16th Congress (1819–1821)
Feb. 14, 1821 Joint Session Counting electoral votes5 N.A.
17th Congress (1821–1823)
Mar. 5, 1821 Inauguration Hall of the House President James Monroe.
18th Congress (1823–1825)
Dec. 10, 1824 House Address6 Address Speaker Henry Clay; General Gilbert duMotier, Marquis deLafayette.
Feb. 9, 1825 Joint Session Counting electoral votes7 N.A.
19th Congress (1825–1827)
Mar. 4, 1825 Inauguration Hall of the House President John Quincy Adams.

Footnotes

1The oath of office was administered to George Washington outside on the gallery in front of the Senate Chamber, after which the Congress and the President returned to the chamber to hear the inaugural address. They then proceeded to St. Paul's Chapel for the "divine service" performed by the Chaplain of the Congress. Adjournment of the ceremony did not occur until the Congress returned to Federal Hall.

2The House convened in its chamber in Congress Hall in Philadelphia. Once assembled, the Representatives somberly proceeded to the city's German Lutheran Church to attend a memorial Joint Session for former President George Washington.

3Because of a tie in the electoral vote between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, the House of Representatives had to decide the election. Thirty-six ballots were required to break the deadlock, with Jefferson's election as President and Burr's as Vice President on February 17. The Twelfth Amendment was added to the Constitution to prevent the 1800 problem from recurring.

4During most of the period while the Capitol was being reconstructed following the fire of 1814, the Congress met in the "Brick Capitol," constructed on the site of the present Supreme Court building. This Joint Session took place in the Representatives' chamber on the 2d floor of the building.

5The Joint Session to count electoral votes was dissolved because the House and Senate disagreed on Missouri's status regarding statehood. The Joint Session was reconvened the same day and Missouri's votes were counted.

6While this occasion has historically been referred to as the first Joint Meeting of Congress, the Journals of the House and of the Senate indicate that Lafayette actually addressed the House of Representatives, with some of the Senators present as guests of the House. Similar occasions, when members of the one body were invited as guests of the other, include the Senate address by Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands on Aug. 6, 1942, and the House address by General H. Norman Schwarzkopf on May 8, 1991.

7Although Andrew Jackson won the popular vote by a substantial amount and had the highest number of electoral votes from among the several candidates, he did not receive the required majority of the electoral votes. The responsibility for choosing the new President therefore devolved upon the House of Representatives. As soon as the Senators left the chamber, the balloting proceeded, and John Quincy Adams was elected on the first ballot.