17 February 2014

The Forgotten Presidents

The Articles of Confederation was the first constitution of the United States of America and was in effect from 1781-1789.  There were eight individuals appointed by Congress for a one-year term in office, and each was referred to as “President of the United States in Congress Assembled.” 





John Hanson (1715-1783), Maryland

John Hanson was the 1st appointed American President of the United States in Congress Assembled and served from November 5, 1781 to November 4, 1782.
While in office he approved the Great Seal of the United States that is still in use today.
 
 
 
Elias Boudinot (1740-1821), New Jersey
Elias Boudinot was the 2nd appointed American President of the United States Assembled and served from November 4, 1782 to November 3, 1783.
He was a supporter of the rights of Native Americans a/k/a American Indians.



Thomas Mifflin (1744-1800), Pennsylvania
Thomas Mifflin was the 3rd appointed American President of the United States Assembled and served from November 3, 1783 to June 3, 1784
During the Revolutionary War, Mifflin served as a Major and the chief aide-De-camp to General George Washington.
 
 
Richard Henry Lee (1732-1794), Virginia
Richard Henry Lee was the 4th appointed American President of the United States in Congress Assembled and served from November 30, 1784 to November 23, 1785.
He was most noted for introducing the resolution for independence in June 1776.                                             
John Hancock (1737-1793), Massachusetts

John Hancock was the 5th appointed American President of the United States in Congress Assembled and served from November 23, 1785 to June 6, 1786. However, because of poor health he could not successfully serve his term. His presidential duties were performed by David Ramsay (November 23, 1785 - May 12, 1786) and Nathaniel Gorham (May 15 - June 5, 1786) who were two chairman of the Congress of the Confederation. 

He was one of the original "fathers" of U.S. independence. Easy to remember because of his bold signature. Even today one is often told to sign your "John Hancock".                                                                                 
Nathaniel Gorham (1738-1796), Massachusetts
Nathaniel Gorham was the 6th appointed American President of the United States in Congress Assembled and served from June 1786 to November 13, 1786.
He was ruined financially in a questionable land deal between New York and Massachusetts.
He died at the age of 58 of a possible stroke maybe caused by a fit of extreme temper (apoplexy).

 
Arthur St. Clair (1737-1818), Pennsylvania
Arthur St. Clair was 7th appointed American President of the United States in Congress Assembled and served from February 2, 1787 to October 29, 1787.



Cyrus Griffin (1748-1810), Virginia
Cyrus Griffin was the 8th and final appointed American President of the United States in Congress Assembled and served from January 22, 1788 to March 4, 1789. He was the last president to serve prior to the adoption of the Federal Constitution. 
 
 
 
 
 
Fort-six years ago, in 1968, Congress amended the federal holiday provisions of the US Code into sort of a Dempsey Dumpster of Monday holidays that took effect in 1971 in order that federal employees would have several 3-day weekends over the course of a year. Originally Veterans Day was included but it was later...1978...decided that the defenders of our country were worthy of their own day for honor and remembrance rather than a dust bin of Mondays. Sometimes Congress can do something honorable...not often...but sometimes.
Recently I ran across...or maybe it was emailed to me...some information that claimed that George Washington was not...repeat not...the first POTUS. Not only was the information misleading, but incomplete. George Washington was the first POTUS elected under the current Constitution. His was elected by a unanimous electoral vote (69 in 1789) along with John Adams as VPOTUS for both first and second terms.

I hope I have the facts, but I do not recall the "forgotten presidents" from any history class. See more detail with regard to the 8 forgotten presidents appointed prior to the current United States Constitution.

A total of forty-four US Presidents, from G. Washington to B. Obama, have comprised the the most exclusive...but not necessarily prestigious and honorable...club in this country. The entire membership made the list simply by having been voted into office by often uninformed voters and electoral college. Gerald Ford was the only POTUS not elected to the office.

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