Clerks of the House

Edward McPherson/tiles/non-collection/i/im_peop_clerk_2009_116_006.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Edward McPherson was the seventh former Member of the House to serve as Clerk.
On April 1, 1789, the House of Representatives convened with its first quorum. Its initial order of business was the election of the Speaker, Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg, a Representative from Pennsylvania. The next order of business was the election of the Clerk, John Beckley, Esquire, a citizen of Virginia. Although the Clerk’s title is derived from that of the Clerk of the British House of Commons, the duties are similar to those prescribed for the Secretary of the Continental Congress in March 1785.

A total of 35 individuals have served as Clerks of the House. Thirteen Clerks also served as Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate either prior to or after their service as a House officer.

Congress and Years Name State or TerritoryDate Elected
1st (1789–1791) BECKLEY, John VA Apr 01, 1789
2nd (1791–1793) BECKLEY, John VA Dec 24, 1791
3rd (1793–1795) BECKLEY, John VA Dec 02, 1793
4th (1795–1797) BECKLEY, John VA Dec 07, 1795
5th (1797–1799) CONDY, Jonathan W. PA May 15, 1797
6th (1799–1801) CONDY, Jonathan W. 1 PA Dec 02, 1799
6th (1799–1801) OSWALD, John H. PA Dec 09, 1800 2
7th (1801–1803) BECKLEY, John VA Dec 07, 1801
8th (1803–1805) BECKLEY, John VA Dec 17, 1803
9th (1805–1807) BECKLEY, John VA Dec 02, 1805
10th (1807–1809) MAGRUDER, Patrick MD Dec 26, 1807
11th (1809–1811) MAGRUDER, Patrick MD May 24, 1809
12th (1811–1813) MAGRUDER, Patrick MD Nov 04, 1811
13th (1813–1815) MAGRUDER, Patrick 3 MD May 24, 1813
13th (1813–1815) DOUGHERTY, Thomas KY Jan 20, 1815 4
14th (1815–1817) DOUGHERTY, Thomas KY Dec 04, 1815
15th (1817–1819) DOUGHERTY, Thomas KY Dec 01, 1817
16th (1819–1821) DOUGHERTY, Thomas KY Dec 06, 1819
17th (1821–1823) DOUGHERTY, Thomas 5 KY Dec 04, 1821
17th (1821–1823) CLARKE, Matthew St. Clair PA Dec 03, 1822 6
18th (1823–1825) CLARKE, Matthew St. Clair PA Dec 01, 1823
19th (1825–1827) CLARKE, Matthew St. Clair PA Dec 05, 1825
20th (1827–1829) CLARKE, Matthew St. Clair PA Dec 03, 1827
21st (1829–1831) CLARKE, Matthew St. Clair PA Dec 07, 1829
22nd (1831–1833) CLARKE, Matthew St. Clair PA Dec 05, 1831
23rd (1833–1835) FRANKLIN, Walter S. PA Dec 02, 1833
24th (1835–1837) FRANKLIN, Walter S. PA Dec 07, 1835
25th (1837–1839) FRANKLIN, Walter S. 7 PA Sep 04, 1837
25th (1837–1839) GARLAND, Hugh A. VA Dec 03, 1838 8
26th (1839–1841) GARLAND, Hugh A. VA Dec 21, 1839
27th (1841–1843) CLARKE, Matthew St. Clair PA May 31, 1841
28th (1843–1845) MCNULTY, Caleb J. 9 OH Dec 06, 1843
28th (1843–1845) FRENCH, Benjamin B. NH Jan 18, 1845 10
29th (1845–1847) FRENCH, Benjamin B. NH Dec 02, 1845
30th (1847–1849) CAMPBELL, Thomas Jefferson TN Dec 07, 1847
31st (1849–1851) CAMPBELL, Thomas Jefferson 11 TN Jan 11, 1850
31st (1849–1851) YOUNG, Richard M. IL Apr 17, 1850 12
32nd (1851–1853) FORNEY, John W. PA Dec 01, 1851
33rd (1853–1855) FORNEY, John W. PA Dec 05, 1853
34th (1855–1857) FORNEY, John W. 13 PA -
34th (1855–1857) CULLOM, William TN Feb 04, 1856 14
35th (1857–1859) ALLEN, James Cameron IL Dec 07, 1857
36th (1859–1861) ALLEN, James Cameron 15 IL -
36th (1859–1861) FORNEY, John W. PA Feb 03, 1860 16
37th (1861–1863) ETHERIDGE, Emerson TN Jul 04, 1861
38th (1863–1865) MCPHERSON, Edward PA Dec 08, 1863
39th (1865–1867) MCPHERSON, Edward PA Dec 04, 1865
40th (1867–1869) MCPHERSON, Edward PA Mar 04, 1867
41st (1869–1871) MCPHERSON, Edward PA Mar 05, 1869
42nd (1871–1873) MCPHERSON, Edward PA Mar 04, 1871
43rd (1873–1875) MCPHERSON, Edward PA Dec 01, 1873
44th (1875–1877) ADAMS, George Madison KY Dec 06, 1875
45th (1877–1879) ADAMS, George Madison KY Oct 15, 1877
46th (1879–1881) ADAMS, George Madison KY Mar 18, 1879
47th (1881–1883) MCPHERSON, Edward PA Dec 05, 1881
48th (1883–1885) CLARK, John Bullock, Jr. MO Dec 04, 1883
49th (1885–1887) CLARK, John Bullock, Jr. MO Dec 07, 1885
50th (1887–1889) CLARK, John Bullock, Jr. MO Dec 05, 1887
51st (1889–1891) MCPHERSON, Edward PA Dec 02, 1889
52nd (1891–1893) KERR, James PA Dec 08, 1891
53rd (1893–1895) KERR, James PA Aug 07, 1893
54th (1895–1897) MCDOWELL, Alexander PA Dec 02, 1895
55th (1897–1899) MCDOWELL, Alexander PA Mar 15, 1897
56th (1899–1901) MCDOWELL, Alexander PA Dec 04, 1899
57th (1901–1903) MCDOWELL, Alexander PA Dec 02, 1901
58th (1903–1905) MCDOWELL, Alexander PA Nov 09, 1903
59th (1905–1907) MCDOWELL, Alexander PA Dec 04, 1905
60th (1907–1909) MCDOWELL, Alexander PA Dec 02, 1907
61st (1909–1911) MCDOWELL, Alexander PA Mar 15, 1909
62nd (1911–1913) TRIMBLE, South KY Apr 04, 1911
63rd (1913–1915) TRIMBLE, South KY Apr 07, 1913
64th (1915–1917) TRIMBLE, South KY Dec 06, 1915
65th (1917–1919) TRIMBLE, South KY Apr 02, 1917
66th (1919–1921) PAGE, William Tyler MD May 19, 1919
67th (1921–1923) PAGE, William Tyler MD Apr 11, 1921
68th (1923–1925) PAGE, William Tyler MD Dec 05, 1923
69th (1925–1927) PAGE, William Tyler MD Dec 07, 1925
70th (1927–1929) PAGE, William Tyler MD Dec 05, 1927
71st (1929–1931) PAGE, William Tyler MD Apr 15, 1929
72nd (1931–1933) TRIMBLE, South KY Dec 07, 1931
73rd (1933–1935) TRIMBLE, South KY Mar 09, 1933
74th (1935–1937) TRIMBLE, South KY Jan 03, 1935
75th (1937–1939) TRIMBLE, South KY Jan 05, 1937
76th (1939–1941) TRIMBLE, South KY Jan 03, 1939
77th (1941–1943) TRIMBLE, South KY Jan 03, 1941
78th (1943–1945) TRIMBLE, South KY Jan 06, 1943
79th (1945–1947) TRIMBLE, South 17 KY Jan 03, 1945
79th (1945–1947) MEGILL, Harry Newlin DC Aug 02, 1946 18
80th (1947–1949) ANDREWS, John MA Jan 03, 1947
81st (1949–1951) ROBERTS, Ralph R. IN Jan 03, 1949
82nd (1951–1953) ROBERTS, Ralph R. IN Jan 03, 1951
83rd (1953–1955) SNADER, Lyle O. IL Jan 03, 1953
84th (1955–1957) ROBERTS, Ralph R. IN Jan 05, 1955
85th (1957–1959) ROBERTS, Ralph R. IN Jan 03, 1957
86th (1959–1961) ROBERTS, Ralph R. IN Jan 07, 1959
87th (1961–1963) ROBERTS, Ralph R. IN Jan 03, 1961
88th (1963–1965) ROBERTS, Ralph R. IN Jan 09, 1963
89th (1965–1967) ROBERTS, Ralph R. IN Jan 04, 1965
90th (1967–1969) JENNINGS, William Pat VA Jan 10, 1967
91st (1969–1971) JENNINGS, William Pat VA Jan 03, 1969
92nd (1971–1973) JENNINGS, William Pat VA Jan 21, 1971
93rd (1973–1975) JENNINGS, William Pat VA Jan 03, 1973
94th (1975–1977) JENNINGS, William Pat 19 VA Jan 14, 1975
94th (1975–1977) HENSHAW, Edmund L., Jr. VA Nov 17, 1975 20
95th (1977–1979) HENSHAW, Edmund L., Jr. VA Jan 04, 1977
96th (1979–1981) HENSHAW, Edmund L., Jr. VA Jan 15, 1979
97th (1981–1983) HENSHAW, Edmund L., Jr. VA Jan 05, 1981
98th (1983–1985) GUTHRIE, Benjamin J. VA Jan 03, 1983
99th (1985–1987) GUTHRIE, Benjamin J. VA Jan 03, 1985
100th (1987–1989) ANDERSON, Donnald K. CA Jan 06, 1987
101st (1989–1991) ANDERSON, Donnald K. CA Jan 03, 1989
102nd (1991–1993) ANDERSON, Donnald K. CA Jan 03, 1991
103rd (1993–1995) ANDERSON, Donnald K. CA Jan 05, 1993
104th (1995–1997) CARLE, Robin H. ID Jan 04, 1995
105th (1997–1999) CARLE, Robin H. 21 ID Jan 07, 1997
105th (1997–1999) TRANDAHL, Jeff SD Jan 01, 1999 22
106th (1999–2001) TRANDAHL, Jeff SD Jan 06, 1999
107th (2001–2003) TRANDAHL, Jeff SD Jan 03, 2001
108th (2003–2005) TRANDAHL, Jeff SD Jan 07, 2003
109th (2005–2007) TRANDAHL, Jeff 23 SD Jan 04, 2005
109th (2005–2007) HAAS, Karen L. MD Nov 18, 2005 24
109th (2005–2007) HAAS, Karen L. MD Dec 06, 2005 25
110th (2007–2009) HAAS, Karen L. MD Jan 04, 2007
110th (2007–2009) MILLER, Lorraine C. TX Feb 15, 2007 26
111th (2009–2011) MILLER, Lorraine C. TX Jan 06, 2009
112th (2011–2013) HAAS, Karen L. MD Jan 05, 2011
113th (2013–2015) HAAS, Karen L. MD Jan 03, 2013

Footnotes

1Resigned on December 4, 1800. House Journal, 6th Congress, (December 9, 1800): H736.

2Elected on December 9, 1800. House Journal, 6th Congress, (December 9, 1800): H736.

3Resigned on January 28, 1815. House Journal, 13th Congress, (January 28, 1815): H694.

4Elected on January 30, 1815. House Journal, 13th Congress, (January 30, 1815): H1113-1114.

5Died in 1822.

6Elected on December 3, 1822. House Journal, 17th Congress, (December 3, 1822): H18.

7Died on September 20, 1838.

8Elected on December 3, 1838. House Journal, 25th Congress, (December 3, 1838): H14.

9Dismissed from office on January 18, 1845. House Journal, (January 18, 1845): H230-233.

10Elected on January 18, 1845. House Journal, (January 18, 1845): H233.

11Died on April 13, 1850. House Journal, (April 15, 1850): H788-789.

12Elected on April 17, 1850. House Journal, (April 17, 1850): H804-805.

13Presided over deadlocked election of the Speaker.

14Elected on February 4, 1856. House Journal, (February 4, 1856): H452.

15Presided over deadlocked election of the Speaker.

16Elected on February 3, 1860. House Journal, 36th Congress, (February 3, 1860): H174.

17Died on November 23, 1946.

18H. Res. 753, passed by Congress on August 2, 1946, authorized the "appointment of an acting Clerk." Harry Newlin Megill was designated that same day. See, House Journal, 79th Cong., 2nd sess., (August 2, 1946): H799; H918.

19Resigned on November 15, 1975. House Journal, 94th Cong., 1st sess., (November 17, 1975): H1790.

20Appointed acting Clerk on November 16, 1975, "to act as and to exercise temporarily" the duties of Clerk of the House. See, House Journal, 94th Cong., 1st sess., (November 17, 1975): H1790

21Resigned on December 21, 1998. See, Roll Call, "House Clerk's Office Shake-Up Continues," (January 7, 1999): 1, 21.

22Appointed by the Speaker effective January 1, 1999. See, "Appointment by the Speaker After Sine Die Adjournment," Congressional Record, 106th Cong., 1st sess., (January 6, 1999): H228.

23Resigned on November 18, 2005. See Congressional Record, House, 109th Cong., 1st sess., (November 18, 2005): H11026.

24Appointed by the Speaker on November 18, 2005. See Congressional Record, House, 109th Cong., 1st sess., (November 18, 2005): H11026.

25Elected by the House of Representatives (H. Res. 582) on December 6, 2005. Congressional Record, House, 109th Cong., 1st sess., (December 6, 2005): H11073.

26Elected by H. Res. 129, on February 6, 2007. See, Congressional Record, 110th Cong., 1st sess., (February 6, 2007): H1230.