USCA President Samuel Huntington

Samuel Huntington
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There was no known major letter or Speech by the President of his thoughts about the constitution’s ratification or his role as the nation’s first constitutional President.  Nevertheless, the President of the United States in Congress Assembled office was now established by the Articles, and the term was limited to one year by the appointment (election) of the delegates:

to appoint one of their members to preside, provided that no person be allowed to serve in the office of president more than one year in any term of three years; [21]

In 1781 Samuel Huntington, had already served as President of the Continental Congress for 17 months. Even though the  Articles limited all presidencies to a term of one year, the constitution  was not in effect until March 1, 1781.   Therefore he remained eligible to serve as an Articles of Confederation President until February 28th, 1782.  Additionally,  Article V of the new constitution stated that “… the United States, delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislatures of each State shall direct, to meet in Congress on the first Monday in November, in every year."  Huntington, who was elected as President in September 1780 had already agreed to stay on until September 1781.  Therefore, the delegates all agreed it would be best for Huntington to serves as President until a new USCA  Congress convened on Monday, November 5, 1781 as prescribed by the Articles of Confederation.

  March 1, 1781 Articles of Confederation ratification entry,  from the The Journals of Congress and the United States in Congress Assembled, For the Year 1781,  Published By Order of Congress,  Volume VII New York: Printed by John Patterson - Collection  Notice Article 1 names the Perpetual Union's Confederacy The United States of America.  Moreover Article 2 names the new constitutional governing body 'The United States in Congress Assembled." 

Samuel Huntington and his nine predecessors under the Articles of Confederation presided over an office that, in many ways, was much more complex and challenging then the current constitutional presidency. It is hard to imagine how any one person was able to cope with the leadership of a unicameral government combining legislative, judicial and executive with constitutionally undefined and therefore quite fluid and changing duties bundled in the presiding U.S. Presidency.  

Entry recording the start of the United States in Congress Assembled's Journal and  "His excellency Samuel Huntington, delegate for Connecticut, President"  from the The Journals of Congress and the United States in Congress Assembled, For the Year 1781,  Published By Order of Congress,  Volume VII New York: Printed by John Patterson - Collection
President Huntington led the effort to form a committee to address the constitutional requirements, as well as reframing a new set of Congressional Rules, to meet the requirements of the Constitution of 1777. The first constitutional provision addressed by the United States, in Congress Assembled was, for instance, whether a member who already served three years in the former Continental Congress may now retain their seat in the new United States government. As with the new Presidency of the United States in Congress Assembled the delegates decided, in their judicial capacity with Huntington presiding, that their services as Continental Congress Delegates were not subject to or to be counted under the term limitations as they served under the Articles of Association and its subsequent resolutions. The United States in Congress, Assembled resolved that the term of all delegates, including President Huntington's, began at the time of the ratification of the new Confederation Constitution which formed the Perpetual Union known as the United States of America.

With the U.S. Continental Congress dissolved and the first U.S. Constitution now in effect, the United States in Congress Assembled government  was immediately challenged with the fact that the Articles of Confederation required that both the New Hampshire and Rhode Island, states with only one delegate present in the USCA, to be excluded from voting in the new assembly. This was particularly dicey because the day before the two delegates voted, as members of the Continental Congress, on numerous Treasury and Board of War resolutions required to conduct the war against Great Britain. Delaware Delegate Thomas Rodney, in his diary’s entry dated March 2nd, 1781, explained the conundrum faced by the USCA on Delegate voting in the new Congress:

The States of New Hampshire and Rhode Island having each but one Member in Congress, they became unrepresented by the Confirmation of the Confederation-By which not more than Seven nor less than two members is allowed to represent any State  -Whereupon General Sullivan, Delegate from New Hampshire moved  - That Congress would appoint a Committee of the States, and Adjourn till those States Could Send forward a Sufficient number of Delegates to represent them-Or that they would allow their Delegates now in Congress To give the Vote of the States until one More from each of those States was Sent to Congress to Make  their representation Complete.

He alleged that it was but just for Congress to do one or the other of them-for that the act of Congress by completing the Confederation ought not to deprive those States of their representation without giving them due notice, as their representation was complete before, & that they did not know when the Confederation would be completed. Therefore if the Confederation put it out of the power of Congress to allow the States vote in Congress because there was but one member from each them, they ought in justice to those States to appoint a Committee of the States, in which they would have an Equal Voice. This motion was seconded by Genl. Vernon from Rhode Island and enforced by arguments to the same purpose.

 But all their arguments were ably confuted by Mr. Burke of N.C. and others, and the absurdity of the motion fully pointed out, So that the question passed off without a Division. But it was the general opinion of Congress that those members might continue to sit in Congress, and debate & serve on Committees though they could not give the vote of their States.

It was unanimously agreed by the USCA that the Articles of Confederation was in full force and for a State to have a vote in the new Congress, unlike the U.S. Continental Congress, two or more delegates were required in accordance with Article V:  "No State shall be represented in Congress by less than two, nor more than seven members."   

The Articles of Confederation government was thus deemed to be in full force by the USCA and Samuel Huntington, not John Hanson as claimed by the State of Marylandwas its President.  As irrefutable proof that Samuel Huntington's USCA was obliged to comply with the Articles of Confederation below is an image of two different Journals of Congress entries.  The first entry is from the December 24th, 1778, Continental Congress vote tally that was taken while President Henry Laurens was presiding. The states of New Hampshire, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Georgia all had only one delegate present, and the States' votes of "ay" were registered as "ay" in the tally.

Thursday, December 24, 1778 Journals of Congress entry of the US Continental Congress vote on " the support of the charge against Brigadier Thompson, be rejected, and that the deposition of Colonel Noarth, produced last night by Brigadier Thompson in his own exculpation from the charge, be also rejected ... passed in the negative" Journals of Congress Containing the proceedings from January 1st, 1779 to Jan. 1st, 1780 PUBLISHED BY ORDER OF Congress, Philadelphia, by David Claypoole, VOLUME V. -- Image courtesy of the Collection.
The second entry is from the March 22nd, 1781, United States in Congress Assembled vote tally taken while President Samuel Huntington was presiding. The states of New Hampshire, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Georgia all had only one delegate present, and the States' votes of "ay" were registered as * having no effect in the tally.

Thursday, MARCH 22, 1781 Journals of Congress entry of the USCA vote "Resolved, That there be one deputy director of the military hospitals,in the Southern district subject to the general control of the director... So it passed in the negative." The Journals of Congress and the United States in Congress Assembled, For the Year 1781, Published By Order of Congress, Volume VII New York: Printed by John Patterson. -- Image courtesy of the Collection.
As a final "voting proof" that President Samuel Huntington presided as the first USCA President, here is a third entry from November 14th, 1781, United States in Congress Assembled vote tally taken while President John Hanson was presiding. The states of Connecticut and North Carolina had only one delegate present, and the States' votes of "ay" were also registered as * having no effect in the tally demonstrating that the USCA's votes, under President Hanson, were tallied just as the first USCA.

Wednesday, November 14, 1781 Journals of Congress entry of the USCA vote "That the first Tuesday of December next, be assigned for the consideration of the report of the committee, to whom were referred the cessions of New York, Virginia, Connecticut, and the petitions of the Indiana, Vandalia, Illionois, and Wabash companies.A motion was made by Mr. Smith, seconded by Mr. Varnum, to amend, by adding, "provided that eleven states shall be then represented." On the question to agree to the amendment, the yeas and nays being required by Mr. Varnum, ... So it passed in the negative." The Journals of Congress and the United States in Congress Assembled, For the Year 1781, Published By Order of Congress, Volume VII New York: Printed by John Patterson. -- Image courtesy of the Collection.

March 12, 1781 Treasury letter referring to Samuel Huntington a
President of the United States in Congress Assembled

The next issue to face the USCA was how many states had to be represented to conduct business under the new constitution. Article IX required nine states must assent for coinage, certain powers of War, treaties, and alliances, which was a near impossibility with the poor attendance. Even the old 1776 House Rules stated that nine states were required to conduct the people's business but during times of crisis many crucial decisions were made by seven states with a vote 4 to 3. The United States, in Congress Assembled under its "Judicial Hat" with Samuel Huntington presiding (there was no "Supreme Court" or Chief Justice under the Confederation Constitution) decided the presence of nine was required for a quorum but only seven for an affirmative vote on Article IX issues. The debate in the spring and summer of 1781 continued as the United States, in Congress Assembled attempted to interpret the new constitution while they were legislating and issuing executive war orders.  It became apparent to all the delegates that the final constitutional article borrowed from Psalm’s "Incline thou heart" required more heady thought than heart while they struggled with the complex Judicial responsibilities of interpreting the first U.S. Constitution.

"And whereas it hath pleased the great Governor of the world to incline the hearts of the legislatures we respectfully represent in Congress, to approve and authorize us to ratify the said articles….[23]

On March 9th, Congress issued the following resolutions honoring the General Morgan and others for their military success at Cowpens.
Resolutions of Congress Voting Medals to General Morgan and to Lieutenant-Colonels Washington and Howard, etc.
By the United States in Congress Assembled.

Considering it as a tribute due to distinguished merit to give a public approbation of the conduct of Brigadier-General Morgan, and of the officers and men under his command, on the 17th day of January last, when with 80 cavalry and 237 infantry of the troops of the United States, and 553 militia from the States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, he obtained a complete and important victory over a select and well appointed detachment of more than 1,100 British troops commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Tarleton; do therefore resolve:—

That the thanks of the United States in Congress assembled be given to Brigadier-General Morgan, and the officers and men under his command, for their fortitude and good conduct displayed in the action at the Cowpens, in the State of South Carolina, on the 17th day of January last:

That a medal of gold be presented to Brigadier-General Morgan, and a medal of silver to Lieutenant-Colonel Washington (William), of the cavalry, and one of silver to Lieutenant-Colonel Howard, of the infantry of the United States; severally with emblems and mottoes descriptive of the conduct of those officers respectively on that memorable day:

That a sword be presented to Colonel Pickens, of the militia, in testimony of his spirited conduct in the action before mentioned:

That Captain Edward Giles, aid-de-camp of Brigadier-General Morgan, have the brevet commission of major; and that Baron de Glasbuch, who served with Brigadier-General Morgan as a volunteer, have the brevet commission of captain in the army of the United States; in consideration of their merit and services.

Ordered, That the commanding officer in the southern department communicate these resolutions in general orders.
Friday, March 9, 1781.

BRIGADIER-GENERAL DANIEL MORGAN GOLD MEDAL, Victory of the Cowpens - DANIELI MORGAN DUCI EXERCITUS COMITIA AMERICANA. (The American Congress to General Daniel Morgan.) America, personified as an Indian queen, standing, places with her right hand a crown of laurel upon the head of General Morgan, while her left rests on a bow. To the left are seen trophies of the enemy's arms; against a cannon is the American shield, upon which lies a branch of laurel; to the right is a forest. dupré, fecit. VICTORIA LIBERTATIS VINDEX. (Victory, the vindicator of liberty) General Morgan is leading his troops, who advance with colors flying, and put to flight the British army; in the foreground, a combat between an Indian and a dismounted cavalry soldier. Exergue: FVGATIS CAPTIS AVT CAESIS AD COWPENS HOSTIBVS XVII. JAN. MDCCLXXXI. (Fugatis captis aut cæsis ad Cowpens hostibus, 17 Januarii, 1781: The enemy put to flight, taken, or slain at the Cowpens, January 17, 1781.) dupré inv et fecit (Dupré invenit et fecit) Obverse  

The legend of the exergue of this medal, as originally proposed by the French Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres, was CÆSIS AUT CAPTIS AD COWPENS HOSTIUM * * SIGNIS RELATIS * * 17 JAN. 1781. The change was made at the suggestion of Delegate Thomas Jefferson.

Daniel Morgan was born in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, in 1736. In early life he served as a teamster in General Braddock's army, and afterward settled in Frederick (now Clarke) County, Virginia. In 1775 he was captain of a rifle company, and served under Washington. He accompanied General Arnold to Canada, and was made prisoner at Quebec; he served again under Washington, as colonel of a rifle regiment, in 1776, and greatly distinguished himself under General Gates at Saratoga. He was brigadier-general in 1780, served in the South under Generals Gates and Greene, and won the brilliant victory of the Cowpens, January 17, 1781, for which Congress gave him a vote of thanks and a gold medal. Soon afterward he resigned from ill health, and retired to his plantation. He was a member of Congress from 1795 to 1799. In 1780 he removed to Winchester, Virginia, where he died July 6, 1802.

Augustin Dupré was born in St. Etienne, France, October, 1748. He began life as a workman in a manufactory of arms. In 1768 he went to Paris as apprentice to an engraver, and became one of the most distinguished medal engravers of the latter part of the 18th century. Among his works are the celebrated five franc piece known as "à l'Hercule," the five centime and one decime pieces, on which the head of Liberty is the profile of Madame Récamier, and seven medals relating to America: John Paul Jones, General Morgan, General Greene, Libertas Americana, the Diplomatic medal, and two of Franklin. Dupré was engraver-general of the Paris Mint from July, 1791, to 1801, when he was dismissed by General Bonaparte, then first consul. He died at Armentières, January 31, 1833.

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL WILLIAM AUGUSTINE WASHINGTON sSILVER MEDAL, Victory of the Cowpen, GULIELMO WASHINGTON LEGIONIS EQUIT. (equitum) PRÆFECTO COMITIA AMERICAN. (Americana.) (The American Congress to William Washington, commander of a regiment of cavalry.) Lieutenant-Colonel Washington, at the head of his men, is pursuing the enemy's cavalry. A winged Victory hovers above him, holding in her right hand a crown of laurel, and in her left a palm branch. Duvivier. Within a crown of laurel: QUOD PARVA MILITUM MANU STRENUE PROSECUTUS HOSTES VIRTUTIS INGENITÆ PRÆCLARUM SPECIMEN DEDIT IN PUGNA AD COWPENS XVII. JAN. (Januarii) MDCCLXXXI.(Because in vigorously pursuing the enemy with a handful of soldiers he gave a noble example of innate courage at the battle of the Cowpens, January 17, 1781)

William Augustine Washington, a distant relation of General Washington's, was born in Stafford County, Virginia, February 28, 1752. He was educated for the church, but entered the army as captain of infantry, and fought in the battles of Long Island, Trenton, and Princeton. In 1778 he was lieutenant-colonel of dragoons, and served in the South under Generals Lincoln, Greene, and Morgan. He distinguished himself at the victory of the Cowpens, for which he received from Congress a silver medal; was made a prisoner at Eutaw Springs, and remained in captivity in Charleston, South Carolina, till the close of the war, when he settled in that city. He served for some time in the South Carolina Legislature; was appointed on General Washington's staff with the rank of brigadier-general, in 1797, and died in Charleston, March 6, 1810.
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL JOHN EAGER HOWARD SILVER MEDAL, Victory of the Cowpens, JOH. (Johanni) EGAR. (sic) HOWARD LEGIONIS PEDITUM PRÆFECTO COMITIA AMERICANA. (The American Congress to John Eager Howard, commander of a regiment of infantry.) Lieutenant-Colonel Howard, on horseback, is in pursuit of a foot-soldier of the enemy who is carrying away a standard. A winged Victory hovers over him, holding in her right hand a crown of laurel, and in her left a palm branch. Duvivier.  Within a crown of laurel: QUOD IN NUTANTEM HOSTIUM ACIEM SUBITO IRRUENS PRÆCLARUM BELLICÆ VIRTUTIS SPECIMEN DEDIT IN PUGNA AD COWPENS XVII. JAN. (Januarii) MDCCLXXXI. (Because by rushing suddenly on the wavering lines of the enemy, he gave a brilliant example of martial courage at the battle of the Cowpens, January 17, 1781)

John Eager Howard was born in Baltimore County, Maryland, June 4, 1752. On the breaking out of the Revolution he was appointed captain, and took part in the battle of White Plains. He was promoted to the rank of major in 1777, and fought at Germantown and Monmouth. He became lieutenant-colonel of the 5th Maryland regiment of infantry in 1779, and served in the South under Generals Gates, Greene, and Morgan, taking a brilliant part in every engagement. At the victory of the Cowpens he held in his hands at one time the swords of seven British officers who had surrendered to him. For his services in this battle Congress awarded him a silver medal. He was colonel of the 2d Maryland regiment at Eutaw Springs. At the close of the war he retired to Baltimore, and was governor of Maryland, 1789-1792, and United States senator, 1796-1803 When a war with France was expected in 1797, he was selected by General Washington for one of his brigadier-generals. He organized the defence of Baltimore in 1814, and died in that city, October 12, 1827.
The United States in Congress Assembled, March 20th, 1781, Proclamation signed by Samuel Huntington as President, calling for the first National  "Day of Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer" under the Articles of Confederation - in part: The United States in Congress assembled, therefore do earnestly recommend, that Thursday the third day of May next, may be observed as a day of humiliation, fasting and prayer, that we may, with united hearts, confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure, and through the merits of our blessed Saviour, obtain pardon and forgiveness:
On March 20th, 1781 President Huntington issued a Fast Day Proclamation on behalf of the United States in Congress Assembled that implored God for his wisdom, favor and protection:

In times of calamity and impending danger when a vindictive enemy pursues with unrelenting fury a war of rapine and devastation to reduce us by fire and sword, by the savages of the wilderness and our own domestics to the most abject and ignominious bondage; it becomes the indispensable duty of the citizens of these United States with true penitence of heart publicly to acknowledge the over ruling Providence of God, to confess our offences against him, and to supplicate his gracious interposition for averting the threatened danger and preparing our efforts in the defense and preservation of our injured country.

At all times it is our duty to acknowledge the over-ruling providence of the great Governor of the universe, and devoutly to implore his divine favor and protection. But in the hour of calamity and impending danger, when by fire and the sword, by the savages of the wilderness, and by our own domestics, a vindictive enemy pursues a war of rapine and devastation, with unrelenting fury, we are peculiarly excited, with true  penitence of heart, to prostrate ourselves before our great Creator, and fervently to supplicate his gracious interposition for our deliverance.

The United States in Congress assembled, therefore do earnestly recommend, that Thursday the third day of May next, may be observed as a day of humiliation, fasting and prayer, that we may, with united hearts, confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure, and through the merits of our blessed Saviour, obtain pardon and forgiveness: that it may please him to inspire our rulers with wisdom and uncorruptible integrity, and to direct and prosper their councils: to inspire all our citizens with a fervent and disinterested love of their country, and to preserve and strengthen their union: to turn the hearts of the disaffected, or to frustrate their devices: to regard with divine compassion our friends in captivity, affliction and distress, to comfort and relieve them under their sufferings, and to change their mourning into grateful songs of triumph: that it may please him to bless our ally, and to render the connection formed between these United States and his kingdoms a mutual and lasting benefit to both nations: to animate our officers and forces by sea and land with invincible fortitude, and to guard and protect them in the day of battle, and to crown our joint endeavors for terminating the calamities of war with victory and success: that the blessings of peace and liberty may be established on an honourable and permanent basis, and transmitted inviolate to the latest posterity: that it may please him to prosper our husbandry and commerce, and to bless us with health and plenty: that it may please him to bless all schools and seminaries of learning, and to grant that truth, justice and benevolence, and pure and undefiled religion, may universally prevail. And it is recommended to all the people of these states, to assemble for public worship, and abstain from labour on the said day.

Samuel Huntington, President   Atts: Charles Thomson, Secretary [24]
On April 5, 1781 Huntington's Congress passed an ordinance, which declared Congress' "sole and exclusive right and power (inter alia) of appointing courts for the trial of piracies..." and empowered "the justices of the supreme or superior courts of judicature, and judge of the Court of Admiralty of the several and respective states, or any two or more of them" [25] to hear and try offenders charged with such offences.

 In late April, President Huntington’s health began to falter due to the duties of the office and being the only delegate for Connecticut, he represented 1/13th to 1/7th of the votes of Congress depending on the size of the quorum.  On April 30th, 1781 Huntington wrote to Governor Trumbull,

I hope, before this, some delegates from Connecticut are on the way to Congress, a I am once more left alone from the state and shall not be able to attend any consid­erable time longer myself. [26]

On May 8th, Huntington applied for official leave as President and Congress designated the 10th of May for electing his successor.  No candidate, however, was able to garnish more than two votes and Huntington continued in the chair.  On May 19th John Witherspoon wrote Richard Henry Lee about the expected length of Huntington’s tenure as President on:

The President of Congress asked Leave lately to go home and a Day was fixed for the Choice of another. The Ballots being taken upon that Day no one had more than two Votes so that we requested the President to continue & it was postponed sine die and I  think it probable he will continue till the Fall.

On May 4th, 1781, after three months of committee work and a final debate, the United States in Congress Assembled (USCA) approved the thirty-five rules for conducting the nation’s business under the Articles of Confederation. [27]   The new rules stripped the Presidential office of its political powers including the duty to choose when and what matter came before Congress:

Rules for Conduction Business, May 4th, 1781,  entry of The Journals of Congress and the United States in Congress Assembled, For the Year 1781, Published By Order of Congress, Volume VII New York: Printed by John Patterson. This entry reports the that new governing entity, The United States in Congress Assembled, now governs the United States of America -- Image courtesy of the Collection.
Rules for Conducting Business in the United States in Congress Assembled.
1. As soon as seven states are met the President may assume the chair, upon which the members shall take their seats.  
2. The minutes of the preceding day shall then be read, and after that the public letters, petitions and memorials, if any have been received or presented. 
3. Every letter, petition or memorial read, on which no order is moved, shall of course be considered as ordered to lie on the table, and may be taken up at any future time.
4. After the public dispatches, &c., the reports of committees which may have been delivered by them to the secretary during that morning or the preceding day shall, for the information of the house, be read in the order in which they were delivered, and, if it is judged proper, a day be assigned for considering them.
5. After the public letters, &c., are read, and orders given concerning them, the reports of the Board of Treasury and of the Board of War, if any, shall be taken into consid­eration; but none of those subjects for the determination of which the assent of nine states is requisite shall be agitated or debated, except when nine states or more are assembled. When a doubt is raised whether any motion or question is of the number of those for the determination of which in the affirmative the articles of confederation require the assent of nine states, the votes and assent of nine states shall always be necessary to solve that doubt, and to determine upon such motions or questions.
6. When a report, which has been read and lies for consideration, is called for it shall immediately be taken up. If two or more are called for, the titles of the several reports shall be read, and then the President shall put the question beginning with the first called for, but there shall be no debate, and the votes of a majority of the states pres­ent shall determine which is to be taken up.
7. An order of the day, when called for by a State shall always have the preference and shall not be postponed but by the votes of a majority of the United States in Congress assembled.  
8. When a report is brought forward for consideration it shall first be read over and then  debated by paragraphs and each paragraph shall be subject to amendments. If it relates only to one subject being in the nature of an ordinance it shall be subject to such additions as may be judged proper to render it complete and then it shall be read over as it stands amended and a question taken upon the whole: But if it com­prehends different subjects, independent one of another, in the form of distinct acts or resolutions a question shall be taken on each and finally a question on the whole.
9. No motion shall be received unless it be made or Negatived, seconded by a state. When any ordinance is introduced by report or otherwise, it shall be read a first time for the information of the house without debate. The President shall then put the following question "Shall this ordinance be read a second time." If it passes in the affirmative then a time shall be appointed for that purpose when it shall be read and debated by paragraphs and when gone through, the question shall be "Shall this ordinance be read a third time"; if agreed to, and a time appointed, it shall be accordingly read by paragraphs, and if necessary debated, and when gone through the question shall be "Shall this ordinance pass", if the vote is in the affirmative, a fair copy shall then be made out by the Secretary, either on parchment or paper and signed by the President and attested by the Secretary in Congress and recorded in the Secretary's office.
10. When a motion is made and seconded it shall be repeated by the President or If he or any other member desire being in writing it shall be delivered to the President in writing and read aloud at the table before it, shall be debated.
11. Every motion shall be reduced to writing and read at the table before it is debated if the President or any member require it.
12. After a motion is repeated by the President or read at the table it shall then be in the possession of the house, but may at any time before decision, be withdrawn, with the consent of a majority of the states present.
13. No member shall speak more than twice in any one debate on the same day, with-out leave of the house, nor shall any member speak twice in a debate until every member, who chooses, shall have spoken once on the same.   
14. Before an original motion shall be brought before the house, it shall be entered in a book to be kept for the purpose and to lie on the table for the inspection of the members, and the time shall be mentioned underneath when the motion is to be made, that the members may some prepared and nothing he brought on hastily or by  surprise. 
15. When a question is before the house and under debate, no motion shall be received unless for amending it, for the previous question, or to postpone the consideration of the main question or to commit it.  
16. No new motion or proposition shall be admitted under color of amendment as a substitute for the question or proposition under debate until it is postponed or disagreed to.   
17. When a motion is made to amend by striking out certain words, whether for the purpose of inserting other words or not, the first question shall be "Shall the words moved to be struck out stand?"   
18. The previous question (which is always to be understood in this sense that the main question be not now put) shall only be admitted when in the judgment of two states at least, the subject moved is in its nature or from the circumstances of time or place improper to be debated or decided, and shall therefore preclude all amendments and farther debates on the subject, until it is decided.  
19. A motion for commitment shall also have preference and preclude all amendments and debates on the subject until it shall be decided.  
20. On motions for the previous question for committing or for postponing no member  shall speak more than once without leave of the house.  
21. When any subject shall be deemed so important as to require mature discussionor deliberation before it be submitted to the decision of the United States in  Congress assembled, it shall be referred to the consideration of a grand committee consisting of one member present from each State, and in such case each State shall nominate its member. But the United States in Congress assembled shall in no case whatever be resolved into a committee of the whole. Every member may attend the debates of a grand committee and for that purpose the time and place of its meeting shall be fixed by the United States in Congress assembled. 
22. The states shall ballot for small committees, but if upon counting the ballots, the number required shall not be elected by a majority of the United States in Congress assembled, the President shall name the members who have been balloted for, and the house shall by a vote or votes determine the committee. 
23. If a question under debate contains several points any member may have it divided. 
24. When a question is about to be put, it shall be in the power of any one of the states  to postpone the determination thereof until the next day, and in such case, unless it shall be further postponed by order of the house the question shall, the next day immediately after reading the public dispatches, &c. and before the house go upon other business, be put without any debate, provided there be a sufficient number of states present to determine it; if that should not be the case, it shall be put without debate as soon as a sufficient number shall have assembled. 
25. If any member choose to have the yeas and nays taken upon any question, he shall move for the same previous to the President's putting the question and in such case every member present shall openly and without debate declare by ay or no his assent or dissent to the question. 
26. When an ordinance act or resolution is introduced with a preamble, the ordinance, act or resolution shall be first debated, and after it is passed, the preamble if judged necessary shall be adapted thereto: But if the preamble states some matter or thing as fact to which the house do not agree by general consent, and the ordinance, act or resolution is grounded thereon, the preamble shall be withdrawn or the fact resolved on as it appears to the house previous to any debate on the ordinance act or resolution; and if the fact shall not be established to the satisfaction of a majority of the United States in Congress assembled, the ordinance, act or resolution shall fall of course. 
27. Every member when he chooses to speak shall rise and address the President. When two members chance to rise at the same time, the President shall name the  person who is to speak first. Every member both in debate, and while the states are assembled shall conduct himself with the utmost decency and decorum. If any member shall transgress, the President shall call to order. In case the disorder be continued or repeated the President may name the person transgressing. Any member may call to order.                
28. When a member is called to order, he shall immediately sit down. If he has been named as a transgressor, his conduct shall be inquired into and he shall be liable to a censure.               
29. When a question of order is moved, the President if he is in doubt may call for the  judgment of the house, otherwise he shall in the first instance give a decision, and an appeal shall lie to the house, but there shall be no debate on questions of order,except that a member called to order for irregular or unbecoming conduct or for improper expressions may be allowed to explain.  
30. A motion to adjourn may be made at any time and shall always be in order, and the question thereon shall always be put without any debate.               
31. No member shall leave Congress without permission of Congress or of his constituents.               
32. No member shall read any printed paper in the house during the sitting thereof.
33. On every Monday after reading and taking order on the public dispatches a committee of three shall be appointed, who shall every morning during the week report to Congress the orders necessary to be made on such dispatches as may be received during the adjournment or sitting of Congress, upon which no orders shall have been made. The members of such Committee not to be eligible a second time until all the other members have served.                
34. The habit of a member of Congress in future shall be a plain purple gown with open-sleeves, plaited at the bend of the arm. And that no member be allowed to sit in Congress without such habit.    
35. The members of each state shall sit together in Congress, for the more ready conference with each other on any question above be taken that the house might not be disturbed by the members moving Postponed. from one part to another to conferone the vote to be given. That for the better observance of order, New Hampshire shall sit on the left hand of the President and on every question be first called, and each state from thence to Georgia shall take their seats in the order that their states are situated to each other. The delegates of the respective states to sit in their order of seniority.

The rules were passed and the first U.S. Constitution was now in full force so President Samuel Huntington and his fellow Delegates turned to conducting the new country's business on a solid legal footing.   With his power in setting the congressional agenda limited by the new rules, the next major issue to be addressed was monetary policy and the deteriorating state of the United States Army.

Samuel Huntington strongly supported Robert Morris' financial plan for the maintenance of the army, which was ready to disband by its own act. It was perceived by many states that Congress had no power to enforce taxation. Morris proposed the establishment of a Bank at Philadelphia with a capital of four hundred thousand dollars, the promissory notes of which should be a legal-tender currency to be received in payment of all taxes, duties and debts, due the United States. The plan was approved by Congress, as seen below:

Resolved, That Congress do approve of the plan for establishing a national bank in these United States, submitted to their consideration by Mr. R. Morris, the 17 day of May, 1781; and that they will promote and support the same by such ways and means, from time to time, as may appear necessary for the institution and consistent with the public good:

That the subscribers to the said bank shall be incorporated agreeably to the principles  and terms of the plan, under the name of The President, Directors and company of the bank of North-America, so soon as the subscription shall be filled, the directors and president chosen, and application for that purpose made to Congress by the president and directors elected. So it was resolved in the affirmative. [28]

Resolved that Congress do approve the plan for establishing a national bank in these United States, Submitted to their consideration by Mr. R. Morris the 17th May 1781... So it was Resolved in the Affirmative. The Journals of Congress and the United States in Congress Assembled, For the Year 1781, Published By Order of Congress, Volume VII New York: Printed by John Patterson. - Image courtesy of the Collection

With the able guidance of Superintendent of Finance Morris that corporation furnished the means for saving the Continental army from disbanding. He collected the taxes as well as using his private fortune freely for the public welfare. Renewed with funds, the French alliance and 13 states united under a constitution George Washington now prepared a major offensive of the British in New York.  On May 22nd Washington and the Comte de Rochambeau, commander of the French army stationed in Rhode Island, met in Wethersfield, Connecticut.  Together they requested that Admiral Francois Joseph Paul, Count de Grasse come north for a combined campaign against the British in New York.

Meanwhile, Marquis de Lafayette was in Virginia opposing British raiding parties, some of which were commanded by Benedict Arnold. Major General Nathanael Greene was fighting desperately to contain Lt. General Charles Cornwallis in the Carolinas. Cornwallis's troops successfully controlled southern state ports as well as the backcountry of South Carolina after the capture of Charleston on May 12, 1780. General Cornwallis had easily defeated the hero of Saratoga, General Horatio Gates in the Battle of Camden, South Carolina on August 16, 1780. It wasn't until the arrival of George Washington's new southern commander, General Greene, on December 3, 1780 that the campaign turned formidable against the seasoned British General.
General Greene split his army, sending General Daniel Morgan southwest of the Catawba River to cut British supply lines and operations in the backcountry. On January 17th Cornwallis engaged Brigadier General Daniel Morgan at the Battle of Cowpens and suffered large cavalry and mounted troop losses. In an attempt to capture Morgan and the new southern commander Cornwallis decided to burn his baggage wagons to out run and catch Greene during the "Race to the Dan River" towards the Virginia border.  Cornwallis was unsuccessful at this attempt thanks to tactics devised by the "Swamp Fox".

On March 15, 1781, Cornwallis successfully engaged General Greene winning the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina but suffered huge losses in doing so. General Cornwallis decided to abandon the Carolinas after that pivotal engagement. Cornwallis headed into Virginia to join up with General Clinton at New York hoping their combined might would crush George Washington's Continental Army and end the rebellion.

Cornwallis avoided Greene's guerilla war tactics by encamping his troops on the Virginia plantation of William Byrd. General Greene, whose mission was to disrupt Cornwallis military conquest of the Carolinas did his duty and was responsible for the British General's flight northward into Virginia. Cornwallis was relieved that Greene did not follow as he had orders to remain in the Carolina's and protect the citizenry from the British occupation.

When Lt. General Henry Clinton learned of Cornwallis' movements he was furious that Greene had driven the British General out of the Carolinas. Despite this disregard for Clinton's earlier orders to protect the Ports of Charleston and Savannah, Cornwallis received reinforcements in Virginia.  His beleaguered numbers swelled from 1600 to over 7,000 men along with new orders.

Cornwallis, in an attempt to decapitate the Virginia State, dispatched British Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton with a command of men northward and on June 4th they nearly captured Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. Forewarned of Tarleton's Party keened eyed lookouts the Governor and other state officials fled unscathed to the Shenandoah Valley.  In Southern Virginia Cornwallis was raiding General Lafayette's poorly manned lines at will. This activity ceased when the French General was finally reinforced by Major General Anthony Wayne and one thousand fresh troops. 

In the northern campaign, Commander Rochambeau and the French Army joined Washington and his army at Dobb's Ferry, New York. Washington planed a combined assault on the British on Manhattan Island while Clinton’s forces were strained in Charleston and Virginia.

In the early days of July General Clinton learned of Admiral de Grasse and the French fleet plans on New York.  He sent an urgent request to General Cornwallis who was now encamped in Williamsburg to send 3,000 men back to New York. Cornwallis with this order, having failed to destroy Lafayette and Wayne, gave up on holding Williamsburg and began to prepare for crossing the James River to ship the men to New York. General Cornwallis also sent a dispatch to General Clinton requesting permission to return to Charleston, South Carolina. Marquis de Lafayette capitalized on the situation of Cornwallis’ retreat to the river. He engaged General Cornwallis along the river on July 6, 1781 at Green Spring, Virginia.

Back in Philadelphia, President Huntington's health, like Hancock and Laurens before him, began to fail. The President, despite the pleadings of the delegates, tendered his resignation on July 6, 1781. The day before his resignation Huntington found time to transmit orders to his foreign ministers on how to conduct Treaty Negotiations with Great Britain as President of the United States in code:

Copyright © Stan Klos, President Who? Forgotten Founders 2004 & 2008

Samuel Huntington to John Adams dated July 5, 1781 just days before his resignation with explicit instructions in “Cyphers” ordering the Foreign Minister “You will immediately communicate the receipt of these Dispatches to Dr. Franklin and Mr. Jay.” – Courtesy of the Library of Congress  

On July 6th, the United States in Congress Assembled Journals reported:

"The President having informed the United States in Congress assembled, that his ill  state of health" ... not permit him to continue longer in the exercise of the duties of that office".[29]

USCA Secretary Charles Thomson letter to Major General Greene
informing him of President Samuel Huntington's resignation.
Congress held off electing a new President until July 9th in the hope that Huntington would recover and reconsider.  He did not return and Congress also resolved:

"That the thanks of Congress be given to the hon. Samuel Huntington, late President of Congress, in testimony of their approbation of his conduct in the chair and in the execution of public business.[30]

The College of New Jersey’s (now Princeton University) President, John Witherspoon wrote Huntington on his retirement from the Presidency:

"With great satisfaction I observe by the public papers, the joyful and honorable recep­tion you met with on your arrival, so expressive of that affection and approbation which to you will be the most grateful tribute of praise your country can bestow, and next to your consciousness of your having labored how to establish liberties of America, will be the greatest happiness you can enjoy."[31]

The first presidential election under the Articles of Confederation occurred on July 9th, 1781, and North Carolina Delegate Samuel Johnston was chosen the successor to the ailing Samuel Huntington.  The following day, however, Johnston refused the office.

The handwritten July 9th, 1781, Journals of the USCA do record that the following measure was passed after Johnston’s election and thus, if he took the chair, he was technically USCA President for a day:

The honble. Samuel Johnston was elected. 
A letter of this day, from the superintendant of finance was read:  
Ordered, That it be referred to a committee of three:
The members, Mr. Mathews, Mr. Carroll, Mr. Sullivan.

Historians, however, conclude that Samuel Johnston did not take the chair after his election on July 9th, 1781, as the business was so brief that it was not recorded in numerous print issues of the Journals.  The chair, they reason, must have remained with the Delegate or the USCA Secretary that was designated to preside over the election. This conclusion is substantiated by the Journals of the USCA reporting that, the following day, Samuel Johnston declined rather than "resigned" the office of President: 
Mr. [Samuel] Johnston having declined to accept the office of President, and offered such reasons as were satisfactory, the House proceeded to another election; and, the ballots being taken, the Hon. Thomas McKean was elected. [17]  
Delegate Thomas McKean  accepted the USCA Presidential office and began to preside over Congress on July 10th, 1781, four months before John Hanson was elected to the USCA Presidency.

USCA Journals 1781 printing open to the  July 9 & 10th, 1781 entries recording the elections of Samuel Johnston and Thomas McKean as Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled four months before John Hanson's Presidency. - Image courtesy of the Collection.

Samuel Huntington, in true country lawyer fashion, was more concerned about returning his borrowed horses basking in any accolades. He wrote President Thomas McKean on August 27th:

"… will herewith deliver your Excellency the two coach horses which are kept for the use of the President of Congress. After they had brought me home, their shoes were immediately taken off, and I ordered them kept in the best manner.  They are now in very good order."[32]

On October 19, 1781, three months after Huntington stepped down from the Presidency, Generals George Washington and Comte de Rochambeau trapped General Cornwallis in Yorktown, Virginia effectively ending the Revolutionary War. The Chronology of the Continental and United States, in Congress Assembled reports the following chronology of Samuel Huntington’s Presidency:

1779 - September 28 Elects Samuel Huntington president of Congress; adopts commissions and instructions for John Adams and John Jay.

October 1 Orders preparation of a plan for reorganizing the conduct of naval affairs. October 2 Requests Vermont claimants to authorize Congress to settle Vermont claims. October 4 Adopts instructions for minister to Spain (John Jay). October 6 Admonishes Benedict Arnold on treatment of Pennsylvania officials. October 7 Calculates and apportions 1780 state fiscal quotas. October 9 Adopts circular letter to the states on meeting fiscal quotas. October 13 Authorizes Arthur Lee to return to America. October 14 Commends John Sullivan for conduct of expedition against the Indians; resolves to emit an additional $5 million; sets day of thanksgiving. October 15 Adopts instructions for minister to Spain; resolves to seek a loan in Holland. October 20 Adopts thanksgiving day proclamation. October 21 Appoints Henry Laurens to negotiate Dutch loan. October 22 Rejects appeal for Continental intervention against state taxation of Continental quartermasters. October 26 Adopts instructions for negotiation of Dutch loan and treaty of amity and commerce. October 28 Creates Board of Admiralty, ending management of naval affairs by congressional committee. October 30 Urges Virginia to reconsider decision to open land office for sale of unappropriated lands.

November 1 Appoints Henry Laurens to negotiate Dutch treaty of amity and commerce. November 2-3 Adjourns because of expiration of President Huntington's credentials as Connecticut delegate. November 5 Notified of evacuation of Rhode Island; appoints committee to plan an executive board to supervise Continental officials. November 8 Requests correspondence files of former presidents of Congress. November 9 Elects Treasury officers. November 10 Orders deployment of three frigates to South Carolina. November 11 Orders reinforcement of southern department; observes funeral of Joseph Hewes. November 13 Rejects resignation of Gen. John Sullivan; approves parole of Gens. William Phillips and Baron Riedesel of the Convention Army. November 16 Undertakes care of Spanish prisoners held at New York, rejects Massachusetts' appeal to retain Continental taxes to defray Penobscot expedition costs; recommends that states compel persons to give testimony at Continental courts-martial. November 17 Holds audience with the newly arrived French minister, the chevalier de La Luzerne; resolves to emit an additional $10 million. November 18 Gives General Washington free hand to coordinate operations with the French armed forces. November 19 Recommends state adoption of price regulations. November 23 Resolves to draw bills of exchange to £100,000 sterling each on John Jay and Henry Laurens. November 25 Adopts new regulations for clothing Continental Army; discharges committee for superintending the commissary and quartermaster departments. November 26 Appoints Admiralty commissioners. November 29 Commemorates General Pulaski's death- resolves to emit an additional $10 million; accepts resignation of commissary general Jeremiah Wadsworth. November 30 Appoints committee to confer with Washington at headquarters; accepts resignation of Gen. John Sullivan.

December 2 Receives notification of Spanish declaration of war against Britain; appoints Ephraim Blaine commissary general of purchases. December 3 Resolves to move Congress from Philadelphia at the end of April 1780; appoints Admiralty commissioners. December 6 Reinforces armed forces in southern department. December 9 Observes day of thanksgiving. December 15 Recommends that states extend provisions embargo to April 1780. December 16 Authorizes Gen. Benjamin Lincoln to coordinate southern operations with Spanish officers at Havana. December 20-24 Debates proposal to borrow $20 million abroad. December 24 Authorizes use of depositions of witnesses at courts martial in non-capital cases. December 27 Recommends moratorium on granting lands in region of Pennsylvania-Virginia boundary dispute; orders Post Office to institute twice-weekly in place of weekly deliveries. December 28 Authorizes Continental reimbursement of militia expenses incurred defending Connecticut against invasion. December 31 Endorses Board of War plan to employ greater secrecy to reduce procurement expenses.

1780 - January 3 Postpones decision on selecting a new site for Congress. January 4-8 Debates plan for creating a court of appeals. January 8 Reorganizes Georgia's Continental regiments. January 10 Dismisses Charles Lee, second ranking Continental general; debates plan for reducing the army to curtail expenses. January 12 Sends emergency appeal to the states for provisioning the army; abolishes mustermaster's department. January 13 Adopts new regulations for negotiation of prisoner exchanges. January 14 Recommends that states make provision for guaranteeing the privileges and immunities of French citizens recognized in the Franco-American treaty of amity and commerce. January 15 Creates Court of Appeals in admiralty cases. January 17 Endorses export of grain to French forces by the French agent of marine. January 18 Resolves to print the journals of Congress monthly, but ends practice of printing the yeas and nays. January 20 Orders investigation into the expenses of the staff departments; abolishes barrackmaster's department. January 22 Elects judges to Court of Appeals. January 24 Adopts new measures for recruitment of Continental troops. January 25 Halts pay of inactive naval officers. January 26 Appoints committee to confer with the French minister on joint Franco-American operations. January 27 Authorizes inflation adjustment in the salaries of Continental officials. January 31 Pledges to wage a vigorous campaign in conjunction with French forces during 1780.

February 4-5 Debates Continental Army quotas for 1780. February 9 Sets state quotas and adopts recruitment measures for an army of 35,000 by April 1, 1780. February 11 Affirms commitment to the re-conquest of Georgia. February 12 Confirms sentence in the court-martial of Gen. Benedict Arnold. February 16-24 Debates proposals for a system of in-kind requisitions from the states. February 22 Debates congressional privilege issue arising from the complaint of Elbridge Gerry. February 25 Adopts system of in-kind requisitions from the states. February 28 Postpones decision on selecting a new site for Congress.

March 2 Postpones debate on Vermont controversy. March 3 Sets "day of fasting, humiliation and prayer." March 4 Commends John Paul Jones and crew of Bonhomme Richard for victory over Serapis. March 8 Orders reinforcements for the southern department. March 13-18 Debates proposals for fiscal reform. March 18 Repudiates Continental dollar, adopting measures for redeeming bills in circulation at the ratio of 40 to 1. March 20 Recommends state revision of legal tender laws. March 21 Postpones debate on Vermont controversy. March 24 Observes Good Friday. March 26 Observes funeral of James Forbes. March 27 Rejects proposals for a new site for Congress; receives plan for reorganizing quartermaster department. March 29-31 Debates proposals for adjusting Continental loan office certificates for inflation.

April 1 Debates plan for reorganizing quartermaster department. April 3 Rejects motion to hear Elbridge Gerry appeal. April 4 Authorizes defense of New York frontier at Continental expense. April 6 Resolves to send a committee to confer with Washington at headquarters. April 8 Authorizes partial reimbursement to Massachusetts for Penobscot expedition expenses. April 10 Authorizes depreciation allowances for Continental troops. April 12 Adopts instructions for Committee at Head quarters. April 13 Appoints Committee at Headquarters. April 15 Appoints Joseph Ward commissary general of prisoners. April 17 Rejects proposal to appoint a "resident" at the Court of Versailles. April 18 Authorizes depreciation allowances for holders of Continental loan office certificates; authorizes issuance of commissions to Delaware Indians. April 20 Resolves to draw bills of exchange on John Jay in Spain. April 21 Adopts measures for the relief of prisoners of war. April 24 Adopts appeal to the states to meet fiscal quotas. April 28 Appoints Cyrus Griffin to Court of Appeals, William Denning to Board of Treasury.

May 2 Revises commissions, bonds, and instructions for privateers. May 5 Doubles rates of postage. May 10 Adopts regulations for replacing destroyed loan office certificates. May 15 Three Georgia delegates attend, representing the state for the first time in more than a year. May 17 Considers Committee at Headquarters report presented by John Mathews. May 18-20 Debates La Luzerne memorial on Franco American cooperation. May 19 Urges states to remit quota payments immediately. May 20 Urges states to meet troop quotas immediately. May 22 Urges Delaware to extend provisions embargo indefinitely. May 23 Debates Vermont controversy. May 26 Requests states to receive Continental certificates in payment of taxes. May 29 Debates Vermont controversy. May 30 Rescinds Committee at Headquarters instruction on the propriety of reducing the-Continental Army.

June 1 Adopts measures for defense of New York and New Hampshire frontiers. June 2 Censures Vermont settlers and pledges final de termination of the Vermont controversy when ever nine "disinterested" states are represented in Congress. June 5 Adopts plans for cooperating with anticipated French forces. June 6 Orders arms for southern defense. June 9 Postpones Vermont inquiry to September 12. June 12 Orders restrictions on the issuance of Continental rations; creates two extra chambers of accounts to facilitate settlement of staff department accounts. June 13 Appoints Horatio Gates to southern command. June 14 Adopts measures for the defense of the southern department. June 15 Issues circular letter to the states to reinforce the appeals of the Committee at Headquarters. June 19 Adopts measures to prevent and punish counterfeiting. June 20 Empowers John Adams to seek Dutch loan. June 21 Reaffirms commitment to Franco-American military cooperation; appoints an agent to transact U.S. affairs in Portugal. June 22 Endorses plan to establish a private bank for provisioning and supplying the Continental Army. June 23 Orders inquiry into the fall of Charleston, S.C.; reaffirms support for Georgia and South Carolina. June 28 Adopts plan for paying depreciation allowances to holders of Continental loan office certificates.

July 3 Orders Admiralty Board to implement intelligence gathering plan. July 5-6 Debates plan to reform quartermaster department. July 7 Endorses La Luzerne's request to permit the shipment of provisions to Spanish forces in the West Indies. July 11 Orders publication of Congress' May 1778 resolution requesting that Articles 11 and 12 of the Franco-American treaty of commerce be revoked. July 13 Orders Washington to seek the exchange of General du Portail, chief of engineers. July 15 Reorganizes quartermaster department; continues Nathanael Greene in office as quarter master general. July 17 Receives announcement of arrival of French fleet at Rhode Island. July 19 Opens debate on the court-martial of Dr. William Shippen, Jr., director general of hospitals. July 20 Suspends deputy quartermaster Henry Hollingsworth . July 25 Appoints Charles Pettit assistant quartermaster general. July 26 Orders deployment of Continental frigates to cooperate with French fleet; orders reforms in the department of military stores. July 27 Transfers responsibility for issuing privateer commissions and bonds to the office of the secretary of Congress.

August 2 Lifts restrictions on Washington's operational authority; chides Committee at Headquarters. August 3-4 Debates Quartermaster Greene's resignation request. August 5 Appoints Timothy Pickering quartermaster general to succeed Nathanael Greene; orders Washington to confer with French officers to plan the expulsion of the enemy from Georgia and South Carolina. August 7 Instructs Washington on exchanging prisoners of war and on reinforcing the southern department. August 9 Authorizes drawing bills of exchange on Benjamin Franklin for the relief of the southern department. August 11 Dismisses Committee at Headquarters. August 12 Reforms department of military stores; responds to general officers' grievances. August 17 Commends General Rochambeau and the conduct of the French forces. August 18 Confirms court-martial acquittal of William Shippen, Jr. August 22 Orders punishment of abuses in the staff departments. August 23 Adopts regulations for the issuance of certificates in the commissary and quartermaster departments; authorizes drawing additional bills of exchange on Benjamin Franklin. August 24-25 Extends additional benefits to general officers. August 26 Exhorts states to implement Congress' March 18 resolves for exchanging Continental currency. August 29 Appoints committee to plan a "new arrangement of the civil executive departments." August 31 Receives news of General Gates' defeat at Camden.

September 1 Receives informal invitation to trade with Morocco. September 5 Authorizes issuance of loan office certificates to $1 million specie value at 6 percent interest. September 6 Urges states to cede western land claims and Maryland to ratify Articles of Confederation. September 8 Orders reinforcement of southern military department. September 13 Sets salary schedule for the Continental establishment. September 14 Reopens debate on Vermont dispute. September 15 Appoints Abraham Skinner commissary general of prisoners; adopts plan to supply meat to Continental Army. September 19 Convenes evening session to continue Vermont dispute debate. September 21 Approves enlistment of troops for one year in absence of sufficient "recruits enlisted for the war. " September 22 Authorizes drawing additional bills of exchange on Benjamin Franklin. September 25 Adopts new plan for the inspecting department, consolidating mustering functions under the inspector general. September 26 Resolves to instruct commanders of ships to observe principles conforming to the Russian declaration on neutral rights. September 27 Postpones Vermont dispute debate. September 28 Resolves to limit presidential terms to one year. September 30 Receives account of the treason of Gen. Benedict Arnold; adopts new plan for the medical department.

October 2 Authorizes drawing additional bills of exchange on Franklin and John Jay. October 3 Adopts new establishment for the Continental Army. October 4 Adopts instructions for John Jay on navigation of the Mississippi River and southwestern boundaries. October 6 Elects officers for hospital department. October 10 Adopts Virginia proposal to reimburse state expenses related to cession of western lands and to require that ceded lands "be disposed of for the common benefit of the United States." October 13 Appoints Daniel Morgan brigadier general; creates third chamber of accounts. October 14 Votes memorial for Baron de Kalb; commends various officers and troops for bravery at the battle of Camden. October 16 Receives proceedings of the Hartford convention of New England states. October 17 Adopts letter of instruction for John Jay. October 18 Instructs John Adams on peace negotiations; sets day of prayer and thanksgiving. October 21 Endorses proposal to receive Cherokee delegation; revises Continental Army establishment. October 23 Receives report on the victory at King's Mountain . October 24 Sends urgent appeal to the states on the present distresses of the army. October 25-31 Debates ways and means proposals. October 30 Confirms Nathanael Greene's appointment to command of the southern department. October 31 Orders cavalry reinforcement to southern department.

November 1 Authorizes drawing additional bills of exchange on Benjamin Franklin. November 3 Rewards captors of Maj. John Andre. November 4 Apportions $6 million specie tax, to be collected chiefly in kind; appoints William Palfrey consul to France. November 7 Authorizes prisoner-of-war exchange. November 9 Adopts letter of appeal to the states on present emergency. November 10 Adopts measures to curtail enemy fraudulent use of American privateer commissions; directs steps for reducing forage expenses. November 13 Commends troops engaged in the victory at King's Mountain November 14 Authorizes capital punishment for persons supplying the enemy with provisions or military stores. November 16 Receives Committee at Headquarters report; confers with Pennsylvania officials on provisions embargo. November 17 Resolves to appeal to France for 25 million livres in aid. November 22 Adopts appeal to the king of France; appoints William Geddes paymaster general. November 23 Rescinds election of William Geddes as paymaster general. November 24 Receives report on treasury inquiry. November 27 Adopts measures for outfitting Continental ships; adopts additional privateer instructions. November 28 Extends half-pay provisions to general officers; instructs Franklin on procuring aid from France and cultivating commerce with Morocco. November 30 Adopts revised commissary regulations.  

December 1 Adopts statement endorsing Arthur Lee's conduct abroad. December 4 Prohibits unauthorized military purchases; appoints Simeon De Witt Geographer to the Continental Army. December 6 Commends Benjamin Tallmadge's troops for Long Island raid; halts removal of Convention Army from Virginia. December 7 Observes day of prayer and thanksgiving. December 9 Adopts instructions for Consul to France, William Palfrey. December 11 Appoints John Laurens "envoy extraordinary" to France. December 15 Resolves to appoint a minister to Russia. December 19 Appoints Francis Dana Minister to Russia. December 21 Debates impact of John Laurens' appointment on Benjamin Franklin's mission in France; launches study of the conditions of Henry Laurens' imprisonment. December 22 Appeals to the states to fulfill Continental troop quotas. December 23 Adopts instructions for Special Envoy to France, John Laurens. December 27 Instructs Benjamin Franklin on John Laurens' mission to France. December 29 Commissions John Adams to negotiate a treaty of amity and commerce with the United Provinces.  

1781 - January 3 Appoints committee to confer with Pennsylvania officials on the mutiny of the Pennsylvania Line. January 5 Empowers the mutiny committee "to take such measures as may appear necessary to quiet the disturbances"; threatens retaliation for British mistreatment of American prisoners. January 6 Revives committee for the reorganization of the executive departments. January 8 Endorses proposal to receive Delaware Native American delegation. January 9 Recommends prosecution of former clothier general, James Mease, for "a high abuse of office. " January 10 Authorizes establishment of a permanent office for the Department of Foreign Affairs. January 12 Endorses treasury inquiry report acquitting commissioners of the chambers of accounts. January 15 Adopts new fiscal appeal to the states from New Hampshire to Pennsylvania. January 17 Appoints John Cochran Director of the Hospital Department and John Pierce Paymaster General. January 19 Opens debate on fiscal crisis. January 24 Receives report on the mutiny of the Pennsylvania Line. January 31 Receives committee of the whole recommendation for a 5 percent impost.  

February 2 Rejects Pennsylvania appeal for an emergency pay response for the Pennsylvania Line. February 3 Recommends state action to empower Congress to levy a 5 percent impost. February 5 Commends General Parsons' troops for the attack at Morrisania; defines alien property rights under the Franco-American treaties. February 7 Adopts plan to create departments of finance, war, and marine. February 8  Receives news of General Daniel Morgan's victory at Cowpens, South Carolina. February 12 Receives Maryland act authorizing ratification of the Articles of Confederation. February 15 Authorizes expenditures for the support of the eastern Native American department; authorizes John Jay to recede from previous instruction insisting on the free navigation of the Mississippi River. February 19 Orders inquiry into the causes of the delay in the shipment of clothing and arms from France. February 20 Orders the reinforcement and re-supply of the southern department; appoints Robert Morris superintendent of finance. February 22 Assigns March 1 for completing and ratifying the confederation. February 23 Debates and recommits report on the Hartford economic convention. February 24 Doubles postage rates; adopts plan for ratifying ceremonies. February 27 Commends John Paul Jones for "distinguished bravery and military conduct, . . . particularly . . . over the British ship of war Serapis"; elects Alexander McDougall secretary of marine. February 28 Postpones election of secretary at war to October 1; imposes restrictions on ornate military uniforms and decorations; refers old business to the new Confederation Congress.

Journals of the United States in Congress Assembled 

March 1 Receives New York cession of western land claims; Maryland delegates sign and ratify Articles of Confederation; celebrates completion of the Confederation. March 2 Debates rules for congressional representation; appoints committee to revise the rules of Congress. March 3 Orders removal of Convention Army prisoners from Virginia. March 6 Orders preparation of a plan for "carrying into execution" all congressional acts and resolutions. March 7 Orders depreciation allowances for staff department officers. March 9 Commends troops for victory at the battle of Cowpens. March 10-14 Debates Continental finances. March 15 Receives Connecticut Act authorizing Congress to levy imposts for a limited time. March 16 Urges states to make Continental bills legal tender; appeals to states to meet fiscal quotas. March 19 Authorizes bills of exchange drawn on Benjamin Franklin in France. March 20 Adopts Fast Day proclamation; accepts Robert Morris's conditions for serving as superinten­dent of finance. March 22 Urges Connecticut to repeal time limitation from its approval of a Continental impost. March 24 Receives pledge of continued French military support with warning of impending end to financial aid. March 27 Adopts ordinance on the capture and condemnation of prizes. March 28 Receives Board of Admiralty report on the delay of supplies from France. March 30 Rejects Alexander McDougall's terms for accepting appointment as secretary of marine. March 31 Rejects motion to grant Robert Morris removal authority in the office of finance.

April 2 Authorizes New York to raise two militia regiments at Continental expense. April 3 Orders recall of General Burgoyne from his parole and preparation of a manifesto condemning British treatment of Henry Laurens. April 4 Resolves against paying interest on bills of new emission. April 5 Adopts ordinance for establishing courts of admiralty. April 7 Adopts new instructions regulating privateers. April 8 Convenes in rare Sunday session to prepare against threatened invasion of Delmarva Peninsula. April 10 Orders limitation on bills of exchange drawn on ministers abroad. April 11 Orders establishment of magazines for provisioning French forces to defray a credit of $400,000 drawn for Benjamin Franklin in France. April 14 Commends John Paul Jones. April 16 Reaffirms prohibition against Continental officers holding civil  appointments. April 18 Orders circulation to the states of a report on the public debt. April 21 Grants Robert Morris removal authority in the office of finance. April 23 Appoints committee to prepare impost ordinance. April 27 Orders immediate steps against drawing bills of exchange on John Jay and Henry Laurens abroad.  

May 1 Fails to convene quorum. May 3 Observes Fast Day. May 4 Adopts revised congressional rules. May 8 Receives report from "committee of the week," inaugurating new procedure for expediting congressional business; refers visiting Catawba Native American delegation to Board of War. May 14 Receives Robert Morris' acceptance as superintendent of finance; adopts “ways and means" measures for defraying costs "of the ensuing campaign." May 16 Authorizes John Jay to sell America (74-gun ship on the Portsmouth stocks) to Spain. May 18 Authorizes General Wayne to impress provi­sions. May 21 Receives Robert Morris proposal for establishing a bank. May 26 Approves plan "for establishing a national bank in these United States." May 28 Authorizes John Jay to recede from demand for free navigation of the Mississippi River; considers report on conference with La Luzerne on Austro-Russian mediation offer. May 31 Issues emergency call for troops for the southern department.

June 1 Appeals to the states to meet quotas. June 4 Authorizes superintendent of finance to allocate French financial aid. June 7-9 Adopts revised negotiating instructions for minister plenipotentiary; rejects motion to appoint additional peace commissioners. June 11 Resolves to appoint two additional peace commissioners. June 13 Elects John Jay additional commissioner to negotiate peace; adopts letter of thanks to King of France. June 14 Authorizes exchange of John Burgoyne for Henry Laurens; resolves to appoint two additional peace commissioners; elects Benjamin Franklin, Henry Laurens and Thomas Jefferson to negotiate peace. June 15 Adopts instructions for minister plenipotentiary. June 16 Rejects motion for more severe corporal punish­ment for Continental troops. June 18 Adopts regulations for clothier general's depart­ment. June 19 Adopts instructions for Benjamin Franklin and rejects his request to resign. June 23 Directs Robert Morris to expedite launching of America. June 25 Rejects motion for appointing appeals judges "during good behaviour." June 26 Appoints John Paul Jones to command America; appoints Francis Dana Secretary to the Peace Commissioners. June 27 Appoints Robert Smith, Agent at Havana.  

July 2 Approves General Washington's request for 300 Pennsylvania riflemen. July 4  Observes Independence Day. July 6 Receives President Samuel Huntington's letter of resignation.[33]

 During this three-month period in 1781, between his resignation and Victory at Yorktown, Huntington recovered his health and served as an associate justice of the Superior Court in Connecticut. In 1785, he became lieutenant governor of Connecticut. A year later he was elected governor and was re-elected to that office for ten consecutive years. 

National Collegiate Honor’s Council Partners in the Park Independence Hall Class of 2017 students at Federal Hall National Historic Park with Ranger holding the 1789 Acts of Congress opened to the 12 Amendment Joint Resolution of Congress issued September 25th, 1789. The only amendment in the "Bill of Rights" that was not ratified is Article the First, which is still pending before Congress. Cintly is holding an Arthur St. Clair signed Northwest Territory document, Imani is holding the First Bicameral Congressional Act establishing the U.S. Department of State and Rachael is holding a 1788 John Jay letter sent to the Governor of Connecticut, Samuel Huntington, transmitting a treaty with France. – Primary Sources courtesy of
In 1788, as Connecticut's chief executive, he firmly advocated the ratification of the new Federal Constitution knowing full well the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. He also served as Connecticut's Delegate to the United States in Congress Assembled in 1788 playing a major part in the implementation of the Constitution of 1787 while dissolving the United States, in Congress Assembled. Huntington voted for and was instrumental in implementing the mechanism for the first elections under the new Federal Constitution.

President Huntington died on January 5, 1796 at the age of sixty-four. He was re-interred at the Old Norwichtown Cemetery, Norwich, New London County, Connecticut, on November 24th, 2003 and the author of this book was given the distinct privilege to keynote the event.  Unlike Washington’s Mt. Vernon, Jefferson’s Monticello or Madison’s Montpelier; Samuel Huntington’s home in Norwich is simple and utilized not as a great edifice to honor his Presidency but as an office for a non-profit corporation that provides health care for struggling Connecticut citizens.      

[1] Rodney, Thomas, "Thomas Rodney's Notes", Letters of Delegates to Congress: Volume 17 March 1, 1781 - August 31, 1781
[2] Sanders, Jennings Bryan, The Presidency of the Continental Congress, 1774-89: ‎ - Page  60
[3] Journals of the Continental Congress, September 28, 1779
[4] Burnett, Edmund Cody,  Letters of Members of the Continental Congress, Published 1931, The Carnegie Institution of Washington, Page 122
[5] Smith,  William George, William Gifford John Taylor Coleridge, John Gibson Lockhart, Whitwell Elwin, William Macpherson, Sir William Smith, John Murray, Rowland Edmund Prothero Ernle, George Walter Prothero,  The Quarterly Review, "The Rise and Progress of Popular Disaffection", Published by John Murray, 1817 page 553
[6] Journals of the Continental Congress, March 18, 1780
[7] Journals of the Continental Congress, September 28, 1780
[8] Letters of Delegates to Congress, Volume 16 September 1, 1780 - February 28, 1781, John Mathews to Nathaniel Peabody, October 3, 1780
[9] Letters of Delegates to Congress: Volume 16 September 1, 1780 - February 28, 1781, Samuel Huntington to George Washington
[10] Letters of Delegates to Congress: Volume 16 September 1, 1780 - February 28, 1781, Samuel Huntington to Jonathan Trumbull, Sr. October 17, 1780
[11] Letters of Delegates to Congress: Volume 16 September 1, 1780 - February 28, 1781, Samuel Huntington to George Washington  November 17, 1780
[12] Washington, George, The George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, George Washington to Anthony Wayne, November 27, 1780
[13] Ibid, George Washington, General Orders, November 6, 1780
[14] Thomas Diggs to Samuel Huntington, September 13, 1788
[15] Smith, Paul H., et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774-1789. 25 volumes, Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1976-2000).  Virginia Delegates to Thomas Jefferson, Jany. 1st. 1781

[16] Washington, George, Worthington Chauncey Ford , "The Writings of George Washington" Published by G.P. Putnam' Sons, 1891,      page 121
[17] Letters of Delegates to Congress, Samuel Huntington to the States, September 10. 1780.
[18] Journals of the Continental Congress, March 1, 1781
[19] Journals of the United States, in Congress Assembled, March 2, 1781
[20] Letters of Delegates to Congress, Samuel Huntington to the States, March 2, 1781
[21] Journals of the United States, in Congress Assembled, Articles of Confederation ratified, March 1, 1781.
[22] Ibid, March 2, 1781
[23] Journals of the United States in Congress Assembled, Articles of Confederation, March 1, 1781
[24] Ibid, Fast Day Proclamation, March 20, 1781
[25] Ibid April 5, 1781
[26] Smith, Paul H., et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774-1789. 25 volumes, “Samuel Huntington to Governor Trumbull – April 30, 1781, Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1976-2000).
[27] Ibid, May 14, 1781
[28] Ibid, May 17, 1781
[29] Journals of the United States in Congress Assembled, July 6, 1781
[30] Journals of the United States in Congress Assembled, July11, 1781
[31] Burnett, Edmund Cody, Letters of Members of the Continental Congress, Published by The Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1933, page 204
[32] Smith, Paul Hubert, Gerard W Gawalt, Ronald M Gephart, Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774-1789, Published by Library of Congress, 1976, page 575 
[33] Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, ed. Worthington C. Ford et al. (Washington, D.C., 1904-37), 19:137. - Chronology 1781.

The Congressional Evolution of the United States of America 

Continental Congress of the United Colonies Presidents 
Sept. 5, 1774 to July 1, 1776

September 5, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 26, 1774
May 20, 1775
May 24, 1775
May 25, 1775
July 1, 1776

Commander-in-Chief United Colonies & States of America

George Washington: June 15, 1775 - December 23, 1783

Continental Congress of the United States Presidents 
July 2, 1776 to February 28, 1781

July 2, 1776
October 29, 1777
November 1, 1777
December 9, 1778
December 10, 1778
September 28, 1779
September 29, 1779
February 28, 1781

Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled
March 1, 1781 to March 3, 1789

March 1, 1781
July 6, 1781
July 10, 1781
Declined Office
July 10, 1781
November 4, 1781
November 5, 1781
November 3, 1782
November 4, 1782
November 2, 1783
November 3, 1783
June 3, 1784
November 30, 1784
November 22, 1785
November 23, 1785
June 5, 1786
June 6, 1786
February 1, 1787
February 2, 1787
January 21, 1788
January 22, 1788
January 21, 1789

Presidents of the United States of America

D-Democratic Party, F-Federalist Party, I-Independent, R-Republican Party, R* Republican Party of Jefferson & W-Whig Party 

 (1881 - 1881)
*Confederate States  of America

Chart Comparing Presidential Powers Click Here

United Colonies and States First Ladies

United Colonies Continental Congress
18th Century Term
09/05/74 – 10/22/74
Mary Williams Middleton (1741- 1761) Deceased
Henry Middleton
05/20/ 75 - 05/24/75
05/25/75 – 07/01/76
United States Continental Congress
07/02/76 – 10/29/77
Eleanor Ball Laurens (1731- 1770) Deceased
Henry Laurens
11/01/77 – 12/09/78
Sarah Livingston Jay (1756-1802)
12/ 10/78 – 09/28/78
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
09/29/79 – 02/28/81
United States in Congress Assembled
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
03/01/81 – 07/06/81
07/10/81 – 11/04/81
Jane Contee Hanson (1726-1812)
11/05/81 - 11/03/82
11/03/82 - 11/02/83
Sarah Morris Mifflin (1747-1790)
11/03/83 - 11/02/84
11/20/84 - 11/19/85
11/23/85 – 06/06/86
Rebecca Call Gorham (1744-1812)
06/06/86 - 02/01/87
02/02/87 - 01/21/88
01/22/88 - 01/29/89

Constitution of 1787
First Ladies
April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797
March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801
Martha Wayles Jefferson Deceased
September 6, 1782  (Aged 33)
March 4, 1809 – March 4, 1817
March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825
March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829
December 22, 1828 (aged 61)
February 5, 1819 (aged 35)
March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841
April 4, 1841 – September 10, 1842
June 26, 1844 – March 4, 1845
March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849
March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850
July 9, 1850 – March 4, 1853
March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1857
March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865
February 22, 1862 – May 10, 1865
April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869
March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1877
March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881
March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881
January 12, 1880 (Aged 43)
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
March 4, 1889 – October 25, 1892
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
March 4, 1897 – September 14, 1901
September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909
March 4, 1909 – March 4, 1913
March 4, 1913 – August 6, 1914
December 18, 1915 – March 4, 1921
March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923
August 2, 1923 – March 4, 1929
March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945
April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963
November 22, 1963 – January 20, 1969
January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974
August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977
January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
January 20, 2009 to date

Capitals of the United Colonies and States of America

Sept. 5, 1774 to Oct. 24, 1774
May 10, 1775 to Dec. 12, 1776
Dec. 20, 1776 to Feb. 27, 1777
March 4, 1777 to Sept. 18, 1777
September 27, 1777
Sept. 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778
July 2, 1778 to June 21, 1783
June 30, 1783 to Nov. 4, 1783
Nov. 26, 1783 to Aug. 19, 1784
Nov. 1, 1784 to Dec. 24, 1784
New York City
Jan. 11, 1785 to Nov. 13, 1788
New York City
October 6, 1788 to March 3,1789
New York City
March 3,1789 to August 12, 1790
Dec. 6,1790 to May 14, 1800       
Washington DC
November 17,1800 to Present

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The United Colonies of North America Continental Congress Presidents (1774-1776)
The United States of America Continental Congress Presidents (1776-1781)
The United States of America in Congress Assembled Presidents (1781-1789)
The United States of America Presidents and Commanders-in-Chiefs (1789-Present)

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