Birth of the Nation: The First Federal Congress, 1789-1791 | Next Page
Locating the United States Capital
Draft of the Residence Act [S-12]
Draft of the Residence Act [S-12], May 31, 1790
 (Courtesy of the National Archives)

An Amendment to the Residence Act, June 29, 1790
 An Amendment submitted by Charles Carroll, June 29, 1790 (Courtesy of the National Archives)

At the opening of the second session Congress killed the troublesome bill for locating the capital by establishing the rule that all business must begin de novo each session, a precedent that remained a Senate rule for half a century. At the end of May 1790 the Senate took up a new residence bill. A month later it named the Potomac River as the site of the permanent capital and Philadelphia as the temporary residence. In July the president signed the Residence Act.

Full text transcript of the Residence Act.

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