Birth of the Nation: The First Federal Congress, 1789-1791 | Next Page
An Imperial Presidency?
Electoral votes of South Carolina
Electoral votes of the state of South Carlina
(Courtesy of the National Archives)

Click on the image above to see a larger version.

One of the first tasks of the new Congress was to count the votes that had been cast by the electors in the states and declare the election of George Washington as president and John Adams as vice president. Each elector cast two votes. Washington was elected unanimously, but Adams received only 34 of the 69 votes cast. His closest rival, John Jay, received nine votes. Recognizing the danger of a tie vote, Alexander Hamilton had worked to assure that this did not occur. Federalists and Antifederalists in the New York legislature could not agree on a method for choosing electors, and New York did not participate in the first presidential election. Thus, Hamilton saw to it that the Connecticut electors voted for three, rather than two, individuals. This proved unnecessary because of favorite son candidates, particularly in Maryland and South Carolina.

Previous Topic
Next Topic
Go to Exhibit Home
First Federal Congress Project
  Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page