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THE

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

IN THE

CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES;

WITH

AN APPENDIX,

CONTAINING

IMPORTANT STATE PAPERS AND PUBLIC DOCUMENTS

AND ALL

THE LAWS OF A PUBLIC NATURE

WITH A COPIOUS INDEX.


VOLUME I,

COMPRISING (WITH VOLUME II) THE PERIOD FROM MARCH 3, 1789, TO MARCH 3, 1791, INCLUSIVE.


COMPILED FROM AUTHENTIC MATERIALS

BY JOSEPH GALES, SENIOR


WASHINGTON:

PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY GALES AND SEATON.


1834.




And thus begins the Annals of Congress, which cover the 1st Congress (which began March 3, 1789) through the first session of the 18th Congress (which ended on May 27, 1824). The Annals attempt to provide a record of the debate that occured in both the Senate and the House. At one time the Annals of Congress were called The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, but both titles refer to the same publication. The Annals were not published at the time, but rather they were "compiled from authentic materials", between 1834 and 1856, mainly newspaper accounts, and published by Gales and Seaton in 1856. By and large, the speeches and debates in the annals are not the actual full text of what was said, but merely summarizations. In any case, the record of debate is generally better than what is available from the respective House Journal and Senate Journal. However it should be noted that the journals are the "official" records of the legislative bodies (as mandated by the Constitution). Only the journal records are generally allowed to be used as evidence in court cases.

After the Annals of Congress, the records were published in the Register of Debates, and after that in the Congressional Globe, and then finally in the Congressional Record, which is what they are still published in today.

The debates from the Senate during 1st Congress up to February 27, 1784 in the 3rd Congress are generally not available in the Annals, since the Senate met behind closed doors during its legislative and executive meetings. It was during the 3rd Congress that a proposition to open the doors and the gallery of the Senate at the beginning of the next session of Congress passed, after numerous similar measures had failed previously. It is suspected that this change greatly affected the operation of the Senate from the 4th Congress onward.

The Annals are divided up into 42 volumes. Oftentimes, a volume will abrubtly end in the middle of a debate (always the House debates since they appear before the Senates and are much longer) and the reader will have to get the next volume to finish reading it. The dates covered by the individual volumes:

  • Volume 1: March 4, 1789 to February 10, 1790
  • Volume 2: February 10, 1790 to March 4, 1791
  • Volume 3: October 24, 1791 to March 4, 1793
  • Volume 4: December 2, 1793 to June 26, 1795
  • Volume 5: December 7, 1795 to June 1, 1796
  • Volume 6: December 5, 1796 to March 4, 1797
  • Volume 7: May 15, 1797 to July 19, 1798
  • Volume 8: March 5, 1798 to March 2, 1799
  • Volume 9: December 3, 1798 to March 3, 1799*
  • Volume 10: December 2, 1799 to March 5, 1801
  • Volume 11: December 7, 1801 to May 3, 1802
  • Volume 12: December 6, 1802 to March 3, 1803
  • Volume 13: October 17, 1803 to March 27, 1804
  • Volume 14: November 5, 1804 to March 3, 1805
  • Volume 15: December 2, 1805 to April 21, 1806
  • Volume 16: December 1, 1806 to March 3, 1807
  • Volume 17: October 26, 1807 to January 13, 1808
  • Volume 18: January 13, 1808 to April 25, 1808*
  • Volume 19: November 7, 1808 to March 7, 1809
  • Volume 20: May 22, 1809 to January 23, 1810
  • Volume 21: January 23, 1810 to May 1, 1810*
  • Volume 22: December 3, 1810 to March 3, 1811
  • Volume 23: November 4, 1811 to March 9, 1812
  • Volume 24: March 9, 1812 to July 6, 1812*
  • Volume 25: November 2, 1812 to March 3, 1813
  • Volume 26: May 24, 1813 to February 16, 1814
  • Volume 27: February 16, 1814 to April 18, 1814*
  • Volume 28: September 19, 1814 to March 3, 1815
  • Volume 29: December 4, 1815 to April 30, 1816
  • Volume 30: December 2, 1816 to March 6, 1817
  • Volume 31: December 1, 1817 to March 12, 1818
  • Volume 32: March 12, 1818 to April 20, 1818*
  • Volume 33: November 16, 1818 to February 17, 1819
  • Volume 34: February 17, 1819 to March 3, 1819*
  • Volume 35: December 6, 1819 to February 12, 1820
  • Volume 36: February 12, 1820 to May 15, 1820*
  • Volume 37: November 13, 1820 to March 3, 1821
  • Volume 38: December 3, 1821 to March 11, 1822
  • Volume 39: March 11, 1822 to May 8, 1822*
  • Volume 40: December 2, 1822 to March 3, 1823
  • Volume 41: December 1, 1823 to February 27, 1824
  • Volume 42: February 27, 1824 to May 27, 1824*
*House chamber only.

One may view scanned images of the annals at the following website: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwac.html

I didn't bother creating hard links to any of the volumes, because there is too much text in the Annals to fit in a single node, typically ~1500-2500 pages each

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