Presidential Series: Volume 7

DATE December 1790 – March 1791

Volume 7 of the Presidential Series presents documents written during the final sessions of the First Congress, a period of intense activity for Washington and his administration. Between December 1790 and March 1791, Congress passed legislation that established a national bank and a federal excise, increased the size of the army, and provided for the admission of Vermont.

Filling the offices created by these and other acts occupied much of Washington’s attention; the excise service alone was one of the largest bureaucracies created during the Early Republic. The Indian war on the northwest frontier continued to be a major concern. Washington also devoted a large part of his time to the new Federal City on the Potomac. All of these activities were set against a background of increasing partisan division within the government, brought into high relief in February 1791 by the controversy over the bill to incorporate the Bank of the United States.

George Washington also devoted a part of his time during these months to planning his upcoming tour of the southern states. The volume closes on 21 March 1791, the day Washington left Philadelphia on the first leg of his triumphal Southern Tour.


Jack D. Warren, ed., The Papers of George Washington: Presidential Series volume 7, December 1790 – March 1791. Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 1998.

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