Birth of the Nation: The First Federal Congress, 1789-1791 | Next Page
Setting Precedent
Speaker of the House Muhlenberg
Speaker of the House Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg
by Joseph Wright (Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution)

The House of Representatives chose Pennsylvania's Frederick A. Muhlenberg as its speaker. Muhlenberg's reputation as the impartial presiding officer of both the Pennsylvania Assembly and the Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention made him an ideal choice for the job. His selection probably also came about because of the desire to give this leadership position to a Pennsylvanian to balance the president from Virginia and vice president from Massachusetts.


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