July 28, 2004
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v2.1 Reference

Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791, Volume 15

Correspondence: First Session, March - May 1789

Winner of the 2004 Jefferson Prize given by the Society for History in the Federal Goverment

Three new volumes in this acclaimed series present letters written by and to members of the First Federal Congress and communications from other informed individuals at the seat of government in New York City by 1789. The letters bring the official record to life by providing details about the political process through which Congress began to accomplish its daunting agenda by establishing the first federal revenue system, fleshing out the executive and judicial branches outlined in the Constitution, drafting the Bill of Rights, and beginning to tackle the divisive issue of locating the permanent federal capital. The documents supply a rich source of information about the members' opinions on issues, lives in New York and concerns about their distant families, and the services they provided for constituents, as well as constituent opinions about issues. They also make available for the first time in English the frank and insightful letters of the French minister on the subject of the new federal government.

About the Authors

Charlene Bangs Bickford is director and coeditor of Documentary History of the First Federal Congress, 1789–1791. Kenneth R. Bowling serves as coeditor of the DHFFC. William C. diGiacomantonio and Helen E. Veit are associate editors of the DHFFC.


"This complete and well-edited record of the First Federal Congress is a model documentary edition. Historians of the early republic owe thanks to the editors and publisher of this exemplary collection."

- Kenneth R. Stevens - Journal of the Early Republic


"A monument of careful yet easily usable scholarship. The formal legislative record always needs to be supplemented by the evidence of personal correspondence. This correspondence is in its own important way a memorial to a crucial moment in the translation of the constitution from founding text into functioning document, because it helped to establish the links necessary to maintain loyalty to the new government. The completion of the DHFFC will fill in one of the most exciting and momentous chapters in American political history."

- Jack Rakove, Stanford University

"One of the most imaginative and valuable editorial projects ever undertaken for any aspect of American history."

- John M. Murrin, Princeton University

"A wealth of materials. For the first time, a significant part of the early history of Congress will be made accessible to legal scholars, a fact that I believe will significantly inform their discourse."

- Christine Desan, Harvard University Law School

9780801871603 : documentary-history-of-the-first-federal-congress-of-the-united-states-of-america-march-4-1789-march-3-1791-volume-15-united-states-congress-bickford-bowling
760 Pages
$137.00 USD