George Washington: First Annual Message to Congress

(1790)

George Washington presented his First Annual Message to Congress at the beginning of the second session in early January 1790. In this address, Washington informs Congress, from his firsthand experience in touring the eastern states between October 15 and November 13, that great recovery has been made from the wartime destruction and dislocation. He also states that agriculture, commerce, and manufacturing are prosperous and that both the people and the officers of the states are very supportive of the federal government under the new Constitution. In his First Inaugural Address, delivered eight months earlier, he had asked Congress to consider only one item, a bill of rights. Washington's First Annual Message, however, contains a list of more than six topics for Congress to consider. He lists tasks that the Constitution specifically delegates to Congress to do, such as to provide a uniform currency, set a standard of weights and measures, develop a system of patents for...

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George Washington's First Annual Message to Congress (National Archives and Records Administration)

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