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Tliere have been two distinot penods ia the history of Congre3s, that of the Colonial Congress and that of the present iorm, providëd fór in tbe constitution. The first continued from Sept. 5, 1774, until 1789, part of a year later than the date of the adoption of the Federal constitution in 1789. There have boen forty-four Congresses of tho new form, of which the seoond seseion of the forty-fourth began to-day. The Continental Congress was coinpoSerl of delegates from the original colonies. It was a creature of oircumstanees, and held its meetings at different places, according to the changing exigencies in the uneertain days of the infancy of the new republio. It was held at Philadelphia, at New York, at Baltimore, at Lancaster and Yorktown, Pa., at Annapolis, Trenton, and Princeton. From several of these places it fkd before armed opposition, or was removed to preserve it from the assaults of a f oreign foe. The Colonial Congress had for the most part but one work to do - to provide the ways and means for the creation of the new Government which it in its infant stages vepresehted. That work saw the beginning of its end in the signing of the Articles of Conf ederation on July 9, 1778, by the then fortyeight Eepresentatives of the Colonial States. This was followed in the same year by the ratiflcation, in popular convention, composed of delegates from these Colonial States, of the constitution which was so long discussed. Gen. Washington presided at this constitutional Convention. The original Constitution adopted by this convention (September, 1787) consisted of seven articles. It was speediiy approve by Congreis and submitted to the severa] State Lsgislatures for ratification. It was returned from these Legislatures with several important amendments. Under its own provisions the first President of the United States and the members of the first Congress of the new era were elected. THE FIBST FKDEBAL COKGBESS. The first Congress of the new era, a Congress of the Federal constitution, assembled in New Vork, March 4, 1789. There were three sessions of this Congreas, of which the two first were held in New York and the last in Philadelphia. Congress continued to assemble in Philadelphia until the second session of the Sixth Congress, when, Nov. 17, 1800, in accordance with an act which had been passed ten years before that day, fising Washington city as the home of the new Government, the Sixth Congress reassembled at the present national capital. The circumstanoes attending the passage of the act providing for the permanent location of the capital at Washington city were peculiar. Congress since its first removal here has continued its sessions in the Capitol building, with the excoptioB of the period from 1814 to 1819, wben, owing to the partial destruction of the Capitol building by the British invaders, temporary quarters were f ound in the building now imrnediately faeing the east Oapitol Park, which is used as a boardinghouse. OHANGES IN THE OAPITOIi. ïhere have been as many ehanges in the form and appearance of the Oapitol building itself since its early days as there have been in the outward appearance and in the politica! complications of the nation itself. The present chambers of the two houses of Congress are of comparatively modern date. They are located in the new wings, which were first ooeupied ia 1856. The sessions of the earlier Congreeses were held in the oíd hall now forming a part of the central portion of the present building, the Senate chamber being occupied by the United States Supreme Court rooms, and the old hall of the House of Representatives being devoted to collections of statuary, and designated "Statuary Hall." VANDAIilSM. This last hall, until this sumnier, contained a striking reminder of the old period in the ancient' gallery and the antique iron railing at one end. The architect of the Capítol during the present summer, instigated by the spirit of modern iconoclasm, but ostensibly for the sake of greater haruiony in the proportions of the new Statuary Hall, has caused this old gallery to be destroyed, and has removed the anoient railing. For thirty-nine years the Oongresses of the Federal constitution assemblad in these old halls, when they were removed to their nsw quarters. INGBEA8E OF KEPRESENTATION. The second session of the Forty fourth Oongress commenced to-day. The First Oongress was composed of sixty-five members, representing the thirteen original States. In the Seeond Congress three States, Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee, were added to the number of representatives from the original territory, and the membership increased to 107. There were no ch nges in the number of States or membership uutil the Seventh Congress, when Ohlo and Louisiana entered the Union, and the number was increased to 142. In 1816 the number of Representatives had I come 182 - the ratio of representation remaining the same aa it had been from the beginning, one Representativo to 33,000 people. At this time the basis of representation was increased to 35,000, and Indiana was admitted. From that date, new States were admitted at almost every Congress. The Twenty-third Congress increased to 213 members. The increase of population in the States was so great, and the number of the States themselves was so speedily increasing, that Congress then threatened to be the unwieldy body which it already has become, and the basis of representation was changed in 1836 to 47,000. This change prevented any considerable increase in the sentation until the Twenty-sixth Congress. In 1845 the basis of representation was again changed to 70,(580, and nnder this basis Florida, Texas, Iowa, and California were admitted to the Union. In 1850 again the ratio of rtpresentation was increased to 93,420, and the membership was kept at 246 un'il the' seventh Congress. In this Congrtss the war of secession began, and there were but 181 members left in Congres. THE SPBAKEBSHIP. In the bistory of Congress the Speakership has been geographically dintributed as follows : It bas been held by Pennsylvania three times ; by Connectiout once ; by New Jersey three time? ; by Maryland once, a pro tempore Speaker ; by Massachuaetts six times ; by North Carolina thrte times, for three successive Congresses, and by one man, Nathaniel Macon ;by Kentucky eight times, Henry Ciay being six times Speaker ; by New York twiee ; by Virginia eeven times ; by New Hampshire once, pro tempore; by Tennessee three times, James K. Polk being twice Speaker ; by Indiana tive times, Sohuyler Colfax being Speaker three of these five times ; by South Carolina once, and byMaine three times. DENOMINATIONS AND THE OHAFLAINOY. The various religious denominations havo at different times been representad in the Chaplaincy of the two houses. During the early poriod of the history of the new Congress the Episcopalian Ohurch controlled the Chaplaincy of the Senate for eighteen Oongresses. Since that time the office has been given to the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists and Congregationalists. There was at one time a Boman Oatholic Ghaplain of the Senate. In the House, on the contrary, the Episcopalians have had but two Ohaplains. The remainiag Congresses have been divided betwten Methodists, Baptists and Oongregationalists, the Methodists haying the office nearly twice as many times as any other denomiüatiOn


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