Birth of the Nation: The First Federal Congress 1789-1791 Next Page
The Compromise of 1790
Rep. John Steele's Circular Letter to his constituents
Rep. John Steele of North Carolina, Circular Letter to his constituents, January 27, 1791
(Courtesy of the Library of Congress)


  Part 2
Part 2


Rep. George Thatcher of Massachusetts to William Symmes
Rep. George Thatcher of Massachusetts to William Symmes, January 26, 1791
(Courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society)

The third session of the First Congress was held at Philadelphia. It adopted three measures which confirmed the compromise of 1790: a federally chartered bank, an excise on domestically manufactured liquors, and a supplemental residence act allowing Washington to include his home town of Alexandria within the federal district. In these letters two congressmen discuss some of the issues involved in passage of the bills: George Thatcher in a letter to a constituent in Portland, Maine (then part of Massachusetts), and John Steele in an example of an early printed circular letter.

Full text transcript of Rep. Thatcher's letter.

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