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About the First Federal Congress Project

First Federal Congress Project
documenting the history of the First Federal Congress, 1789-1791

About the
First Federal Congress Project

Mission | The FFC | FFCP as Research Center | Co-sponsors and Funders

Mission:  The First Federal Congress Project (FFCP), a chartered University Research Center affiliated with the Department of History in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at The George Washington University, has a dual mission: collecting for, researching, editing and publishing the universally acclaimed and well reviewed Documentary History of the First Federal Congress, l789-l791 (DHFFC), and serving as a research/education center on the most important and productive Congress in U.S. history. The Johns Hopkins University Press (JHUP) has published twenty volumes of the DHFFC; two volumes of FFC Third Session correspondence remain to be published, as well as addenda and corrections. In 2009 the JHUP launched "The Early Republic", a subscription website. The 20 volumes of the DHFFC published to date are the centerpiece of this site.  The project has also published Creating the Bill of Rights: the Documentary Record from the First Federal Congress (JHUP), and Birth of the Nation: the First Federal Congress, 1789-1791 (Rowman and Littlefield).

The FFC:  This seminal Congress acted as a virtual second sitting of the Federal Convention, addressing issues that the Convention found too potentially divisive to handle, such as the jurisdiction and structure of the federal judiciary, the funding of the Revolutionary War debt, and the location of the federal seat of government. It fleshed out the structure of the federal government outlined in the Constitution and provided stability for the new nation.

FFCP as Research Center: In order to help researchers, teachers, students, jurists and others to understand the importance of this Congress, the FFCP's staff  responds to research questions and encourages visits to the Project's office (2120 L St. N.W., Suite 255, Washington, DC, 20052).  The offices houses copies of nearly all the known primary documentary record of and relating to the FFC.. In addition, the FFCP has an extensive Revolutionary War--Early National period library, particularly modern documentary editions and other primary sources. The FFCP has hosted numerous researchers of all ages and education level working on everything from monographs to legal cases to lesson plans to National History Day projects. The editors have taught several institutes for secondary school teachers, participated in many professional conferences, and consulted for media productions.

The FFCP participated in the Model Editions Partnership, exploring ways to present high quality historical editions in electronic formats. FFCP's mini-edition on the subject of creating the first three executive departments is available on this site.

Co-sponsors and Funders (since inception):
  The National Historical Publications and Records Commission
  The George Washington University
  The Johns Hopkins University Press
  National Endowment for Humanities
  The William Nelson Cromwell Foundation 

  The MARPAT Foundation
  The H. W. Wilson Foundation
  The U.S. Capitol Historical Society



First Federal Congress Project
The George Washington University
Washington, DC 20052
Phone: 202-676-6777

Comments or questions should be sent to: bickford@gwu.edu




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