Through decades of searching, the First Federal Congress Project has collected primary material documenting the debates, decisions, and thoughts of the members of the First Federal Congress. The volumes of the "Documentary History of the First Federal Congress" permit Congress and its staff, historians, political scientists, jurists, educators, students, and others to understand the most important and productive Congress in United States history. Three new volumes present letters written by and to members of the First Federal Congress during its Second Session, as well as communications from other informed individuals at the seat of government in New York City during late 1789 and 1790.
The correspondence brings the official record to life by providing details about the often informal political means by which Congress accomplished its agenda. During this session, the Congress addressed the two most divisive issues facing the young nation: funding the debts from the Revolutionary War (particularly the debts incurred by the individual states) and determining locations for both the temporary and permanent seats of the federal government. It resolved these difficult issues through the Compromise of 1790, silencing sectional threats of disunion for the immediate future.
A rich source of information about the members of Congress, their lives in New York, their concerns about their families, and the services they performed for their constituents, the documents from these three new volumes will also be incorporated into "The Early Republic," an innovative online reference hosted by the Johns Hopkins University Press.