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5th United States Congress

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Senate President  Thomas Jefferson (DR)
Senate Majority  Federalist
House Speaker  Jonathan Dayton (F)
House Majority  Federalist
5th United States Congress
Senate Pres. pro tem  William Bradford (F) Jacob Read (F) Theodore Sedgwick (F) John Laurance (F) James Ross (F)
Members  32 Senators 106 Representatives

The Fifth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met at Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from March 4, 1797 to March 4, 1799, during the first two years of John Adams's presidency.


The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the First Census of the United States in 1790. Both chambers had a Federalist majority.

Major events

  • March 4, 1797 – John Adams and Thomas Jefferson became President and Vice President of the United States
  • July 8, 1797 - The Senate expelled Tennessee Senator William Blount for conspiring with the British
  • July 11, 1798 - The United States Marine Corps was established
  • XYZ Affair in the U.S., followed by naval skirmishes but no war is declared
  • Major legislation

  • April 30, 1798: The U.S. Department of the Navy was established, Sess. 2, ch. 35, 1 Stat. 553
  • June 18, 1798: Alien and Sedition Acts: ("An Act to establish a uniform rule of naturalization") (Naturalization Act of 1798), Sess. 2, ch. 54, 1 Stat. 566
  • June 25, 1798: Alien and Sedition Acts: ("An Act concerning Aliens"), Sess. 2, ch. 58, 1 Stat. 570
  • July 6, 1798: Alien and Sedition Acts: ("An Act respecting Alien Enemies"), Sess. 2, ch. 66, 1 Stat. 577
  • July 9, 1798: Act Further to Protect the Commerce of the United States, Sess. 2, ch. 68, 1 Stat. 578
  • July 11, 1798: The United States Marine Corps was established, Sess. 2, ch. 72, 1 Stat. 594
  • July 14, 1798: Alien and Sedition Acts: ("An Act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States") (Sedition Act), Sess. 2, ch. 74, 1 Stat. 596
  • July 16, 1798: Marine Hospital Service Act ("An Act for the relief of sick and disabled Seamen"), Sess. 2, ch. 77, 1 Stat. 605
  • Territories organized

  • April 7, 1798 - Mississippi Territory was organized, Sess. 2, ch. 28, 1 Stat. 549. It was formerly a portion of Georgia and South Carolina
  • Treaties ratified

  • June 7, 1797: Treaty of Tripoli between the United States and Tripoli.
  • July 7, 1797: Existing treaties with France were rescinded, Sess. 2, ch. 67, 1 Stat. 578
  • Party summary

    Details on changes are shown below in the "Changes in membership" section.


  • President: Thomas Jefferson (DR)
  • President pro tempore: William Bradford (F), elected July 6, 1797
  • Jacob Read (F), elected November 22, 1797
  • Theodore Sedgwick (F), elected June 27, 1798
  • John Laurance (F), elected December 6, 1798
  • James Ross (F), elected March 1, 1799
  • House of Representatives

  • Speaker: Jonathan Dayton (F)
  • Members

    This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed in order of seniority, and Representatives are listed by district.


    Senators were elected by the state legislatures every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election. In this Congress, Class 1 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1802; Class 2 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1798; and Class 3 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1800.

    Changes in membership

    The count below reflects changes from the beginning of this Congress


    There were 9 resignations, 2 deaths, 1 expulsion, 1 late selection, and 2 elections to replace appointees. Neither party had a net gain of seats.

    House of Representatives

    There were 9 resignations and 3 deaths. The Federalists had a 1-seat net loss and the Democratic-Republicans had a 1-seat net gain.


    Lists of committees and their party leaders.


  • Whole
  • House of Representatives

  • Claims
  • Commerce and Manufactures
  • Elections
  • Revisal and Unfinished Business
  • Rules (Select)
  • Standards of Official Conduct
  • Ways and Means
  • Whole
  • Joint committees

  • Enrolled Bills
  • Employees

  • Architect of the Capitol: William Thornton
  • Senate

  • Secretary: Samuel A. Otis of Massachusetts, elected April 8, 1789
  • Doorkeeper: James Mathers of New York, elected April 7, 1789
  • Chaplain: William White, Episcopalian, elected December 9, 1790
  • House of Representatives

  • Clerk: Jonathan W. Condy of Pennsylvania, elected May 15, 1797
  • Sergeant at Arms: Joseph Wheaton of Rhode Island, elected May 15, 1797
  • Doorkeeper: Thomas Claxton, elected May 15, 1797
  • Chaplain: Ashbel Green, Presbyterian, elected May 15, 1797
  • References

    5th United States Congress Wikipedia

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