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So it was resolved in the affirmative, as follows:
Whereas the convention assembled in Philadelphia, pursuant to the resolution of Congress of the 21st of February, 1787, did, on the 17th of September in the same year, report to the United States in Congress assembled a Constitution for the people of the United States; whereupon Congress, on the 28th of the same September, did resolve, unanimously, “That the said report, with the resolutions and letter accompanying the same, be transmitted to the several legislatures, in order to be submitted to a convention of delegates, chosen in each State by the people thereof, in conformity to thc resolves of the convention made and provided in that case.” And whereas the Constitution so reported by the convention, and by Congress transmitted to the several legislatures, has been ratified in the manner therein declared to be sufficient for the establishment of the same, and such ratifications, duly authenticated, have been received by Congress, and are filed in the office of the secretary; therefore
Resolved, That the first Wednesday in January next be the day for appointing electors in the several States, which, before the said day, shall have ratified the said Constitution; that the first Wednesday in February next be the day for the electors to assemble in their respective States, and vote for a President; and that the first Wednesday in March next be the time, and the present seat of Congress (New York) the place, for commencing the proceedings under the said Constitution.
The elections in the several States were held conformably to the above resolution ; on Wednesday, the 4th of March, 1789, proceedings commenced under the Constitution; and on the 30th of April, of the same year, George Washington, elected by the unanimous suffrage of the electors, was inaugurated as President of the United States.
The succeeding Laws and parts of Laws, constituting the 4th chapter, relating to the continued organization of the Government, and providing the authorities and means of executing the Constitution, are inserted here for public convenience, as they would otherwise have to be sought for among the mass of laws, a copy of which might not always be accessible.
An act to regulate the time and manner of administering certain
Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the oath or affirmation required by the sixth article of the Constitution of the United States, shall be administered in the form following, to wit: “I, A. B. do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States.” The said oath or affirmation shall be administered within three days after the passing of this act, by any one member of the Senate, to the President of the Senate, and by him to all the Members, and to the Secretary; and by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to all the Menbers who have not taken a similar oath, by virtue of a particular resolution of the said House, and to the Clerk: And in case of the absence of any member from the service of either House at the time prescribed for taking the said oath or affirmation, the same shall be administered to such member when he shall appear to take his seat.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That at the first session of Congress after every general election of representatives, the oath or affirmation aforesaid shall be administered by any one member of the House of Representatives to the speaker; and by him to all the members present, and to the clerk, previous to entering on any other business; and to the members who shall afterwards appear, previous to taking their seats. The President of the Senate for the time being, shall also administer the said oath or affirmation to each Senator who shall hereafter be elected, previous to his taking his seat: 'And in any future case of a President of the Senate, who shall not have taken the said oath or affirmation, the same shall be administered to him by any one of the members of the Senate.
Sec. 3. Anil be it further enacted, That the members of the several State legislatures, at the next sessions of the said legislatures respectively, and all executive and judicial officers of the several States, who have been heretofore chosen or appointed, or who shall be chosen or appointed before the first day of August next, and who shall then be in office, shall, within one month thereafter, take the same oath or affirmation, except where they shall have taken it before ; which may be administered by any person authorized by the law of the State, in which such office shall be bolden, to administer oaths. And the members of the several State legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers of the several States, who shall be chosen or appointed after the said first day of August, shall, before they proceed to execute the duties of their respective offices, take the foregoing oath or affirmation, which shall be administered by the person or persons, who, by the law of the State, shall be authorized to administer the oath of office ; and the person or persons so administering the oath hereby required to be taken, shall cause a record or certificate thereof to be made, in the same manner as, by the law of the State, he or they shall be directed to record or certify the oath of office.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That all officers appointed, or hereafter to be appointed, under the authority of the United States, shall, before they act in their respective offices, take the same oath or affirmation, which shall be administered by the person or per
sons who shall be authorized by law to administer to such officers their respective oaths of office; and such officers shall incur the same penalties in case of failure, as shall be imposed by law in case of failure in taking their respective oaths of office.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of the Senate, and the Clerk of the House of Representatives, for the time being, shall, at the time of taking the oath or affirmation aforesaid, each take an oath or affirmation in the words following, to wit: “I, A. B. Secretary of the Senate, or Clerk of the House of Representa atives (as the case may be) of the United States of America, do solemnly swear or affirm, that I will truly and faithfully discharge the duties of my said office, to the best of my knowledge and abilities.”
Approved, June 1, 1789.
An act supplemental to the act “establishing the Treasury Depart
ment," and for a farther compensation to certain officers. Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That each and every clerk, and other officer already appointed in any of the Departments of the United States, (and who have not, since their appointment, taken the oath or affirmation hereafter mentioned) shall, within fifteen days after the passing of this act, and those who shall hereafter be appointed, shall, before they enter upon the duties of such appointment, take an oath or affirmation, before one of the justices of the Supreme Court, or one of the judges of a district court of the United States, to support the Constitution of the United States, and also an oath or affirmation, well and faithfully to execute the trust committed to him, which oaths or affirmations, subscribed by such clerk, and certified by the person administering the same, shall be filed in the office of the person employing such clerk.
Approved, 3 March, 1791.
CHAP. 109. (VIII.) An act relative to the election of a President
and Vice President of the United States, and declaring the officer who shall act as President in case of vacancies in the offices both of President and Vice President. [Sec. 1.) Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of
the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, except in case of an election of a President and Vice President of the United States, prior to the ordinary period, as hereinafter specified, electors shall be appointed in each State for the election of a President and Vice President of the United States, within thirty-four days preceding the first Wednesday in December, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, and within thirty-four days preceding the first Wednesday in December in every fourth year succeeding the last election, which electors shall be equal to the number of senators, and representatives to which the several States may, by law, be entitled at the time when the President and Vice President, thus to be chosen, should come into office. Provided always, That where no apportionment of representatives shall have been made after any enumeration, at the time of choosing electors, then the number of electors shall be according to the existing apportionment of senators and representatives.
[Sec. 2.] And-be it further enacted, That the electors shall meet and give their votes on the said first Wednesday in December, at such place, in each State, as shall be directed by the legislature thereof; and the electors in each State shall make and sign three certificates of all the votes by them given, and shall seal up the same, certifying, on each, that a list of the votes of such State, for President and Vice President, is contained therein, and shall, by writing, under their hands, or under the hands of a majority of them, appoint a person to take charge of, and deliver to the President of the Senate, at the seat of government, before the first Wednesday in January then next ensuing, one of the said certificates ; and the said electors shall forth with forward, by the post office, to the President of the Senate, at the seat of government, one other of the said certificates; and shall, forth with, cause the other of the said certificates to be delivered to the judge of that district in which the said electors shall assemble.
(Sec. 3.) And be it further enacted, That the executive authority of each State shall cause three lists of the names of the electors of such State to be made, and certified, and to be delivered to the electors on or before the said first Wednesday in December; and the said elec