Historical Highlights

Clerk of the House Matthew St. Clair Clarke

May 31, 1841
Clerk of the House Matthew St. Clair Clarke Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Harper's Weekly image of the interior of the House Chamber, 1850
On this date Matthew St. Clair Clarke of Pennsylvania was named Clerk of the House for the 27th Congress (1841–1843). The sixth individual to serve as Clerk, Clarke held the position during the 17th to the 22nd Congresses (1822–1833) and was re-elected Clerk in 1841. A career civil servant who also served as an auditor for the Treasury of the Post Office, Clarke had the distinction of being the longest-serving Clerk of the House at the time (11 years). In modern practice, as a principal officer of the House, the Clerk’s election (along with the Sergeant at Arms, Chief Administrative Officer, and Chaplain) immediately follows the election of the Speaker. Currently, the Office of the Clerk organizes the legislative operations of the House of Representatives, maintains historic publications and information, acts as caretaker of the House art collection, administers the committee records of the House, and oversees office vacancies.

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