George Washington to the United States Senate, September 24, 1789

Selected images from the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress


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George Washington to the United States Senate, September 24, 1789

As the first president of the United States under its new constitution, President George Washington performed many "firsts." Among the most important of these tasks was the appointment of federal officials. In this letter to the United States Senate, Washington nominates the first members of the Supreme Court and other federal judicial officials. Washington had to act swiftly, prudently, and wisely in his selections, because of the need for the first federal departments to function smoothly and fairly. The need for the people to perceive this equity led Washington to base his decisions on geographic location, support for the new constitution, and past relevant experience. Thus, his nominees for the Supreme Court were from different states and sections of the nation, were strong supporters of the constitution, and had legal and judicial experience.

See Series 2, Letterbook 25, images 100 and 101 for additional images of this document.

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