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A FOUNDING PRESIDENTIAL EXHIBIT


Most Recently Exhibited

Spring 2004 -
The Smithsonian’s
A Glorious Burden, The American Presidency

Summer 2004 - Republican National Convention
President Who? Forgotten Founders

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit is available for display at your community. The costs range from $2500 to $25,000 depending on length of time and the rarity of artifacts chosen. All exhibits include a two hour lecture by the author and training for docents. For more information call us at 1-800-620-1776 or just e-mail us with your name and address to receive our informational packet. The online-exhibit continues below.

Thank you for the opportunity to bring the exhibit “President Who? Forgotten Founders” to your community. The stories of the four Continental Congress Presidents and the ten Presidents of the United States serving before George Washington are inspiring narratives that are most appropriate to the events of the 21st Century. The account of the 1st US President, Samuel Huntington, is especially relevant as it focuses on an era when the United States Army and Congress met their greatest challenges in the Revolutionary War campaigns of 1780-1781.

Amidst military mayhem (the loss of the Southern States to the British, former Continental Congress President Henry Middleton swearing his allegiance to the King George III, and Benedict Arnold burning Richmond after accepting a general’s commission in the British Army) the States managed to rally and finally ratify the first constitution in 1781 – The Articles of Confederation. The United States was established as a Perpetual Union just in time as our friends and foes alike accepted the unanimously ratified Articles of Confederation as evidence of one united country. Almost immediately France threw her military might behind General Washington enabling the decisive Victory at Yorktown.

In 1781, despite winning our Independence militarily - "Mission Accomplished”, many 18th Century families whose sons made the greatest sacrifice were forced to suffer through an almost helpless unicameral (one branch) government that effectively failed to govern the United States. The monetary system nearly collapsed and by the summer of 1783 unpaid and unfed Pennsylvania Soldiers mutinied holding the entire United States in Congress Assembled with President Elias Boudinot hostage at Independence Hall. Even more remarkable, the Pennsylvania Militia refused a direct order from the President, Congress, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Council, whom were also held hostage, to free the founders from the new nation's most historic building. It was only through the efforts of future President Arthur St. Clair and Col. Alexander Hamilton that the mutineers finally acquiesced. On that fateful day a released Congress was force to flee from Philadelphia and reconvene in Princeton where they were protected by the NJ militia. The 1783 letter from President Boudinot of “thanks” to Arthur St. Clair is on display at this exhibit (Chapter 10).

In 1784 through 1786 the courts, taxes, voting irregularities, intrastate duties and laws were so rife with injustices that most citizens spoke of dissolving the Perpetual Union of the United States of America. The year 1786 also saw the collapse of an Annapolis Convention to revise the Articles of Confederation and a citizen insurgence which will be forever known as Shays’s Rebellion which was not put down until March 1787.

The United States Military, as in Iraq, managed to keep the peace after the war was won in these turbulent years of American Democracy. It was the military that provided the precious time, for the United States in Congress Assembled, to gather their best minds to revise the Articles of Confederation in Philadelphia in May of 1787. This time, when the confederation seemed doomed, George Washington accepted the Presidency of the Constitutional Convention and produced an entirely New Plan for the Federal Government - The United States Constitution which is on display at this Exhibit (Chapter 14). This new government was finally established in 1789 a full thirteen years after independence was declared in 1776.

Today our leaders, Republican and Democrat alike, have taken a war started by our enemies in the 1789 and current US Federal Capitols, to their shores, and swiftly defeated them in a mission. Like Yorktown, the mission was soundly accomplished. Like the forefathers of 1781 our military is now expected to keep the peace until the politicians, statesmen and stateswomen can form governments' representative of all the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. Unlike the forefathers of 1781 our military is expected to accomplish their mission in a foreign land rife with hatred and mistrust of the United States despite our national intent to replace tyranny with freedom and justice. Be assured, thinking critics and friends alike, if you take the time to tour this exhibit, or read our book, and ascertain what the facts are behind the founding years of the confederation government, one conclusion will be clear. Both the Iraq’s and Afghanistan’s democracy, “timetables for independence”, are remarkably more stable and have been more expeditiously executed then the US cause in 1778 America.

It is my hope that stories interwoven throughout President Who? Forgotten Founders will  inspire you as this  was an era when Statesmen and Philosopher Kings were the rule and not the exception in politics. The sacrifices these patriots made to secure the freedoms we now enjoy are immeasurable and in many cases most incomprehensible.  Today, in a different era, we as a people are at the crossroads of freedom once again in the Iraq and Afghanistan Republics. No longer protected by the great oceans the US finds itself in an era of nuclear proliferation and terrorism so vile that it threatens the peace, freedom, and prosperities  won and preserved by 11 generations of patriots over 228 years. The United States, whether you agree or disagree with the mission in Iraq, must now take the time and resources necessary to guide these two new republics along the road of self-government.  The stories of the birth and 13 formative years after the United States declared its independence are most appropriate to the challenges facing a free Iraq and Afghanistan.  We must never forget that it was the third constitution, not the first, enacted by our leaders that finally established a body of law capable (with many amendments and a civil war) governing the United States of America. 

Stanley L. Klos
 


1. Which Continental Congress president did George Washington call the “Father of Our Country?”

2. Which U.S. president wrote and introduced the resolution that declared U.S. Independence on July 2, 1776?

3. Which Continental Congress president signed George Washington’s commander-in-chief commission?

4. Which U.S. president conspired in the Conway Cabal to replace George Washington as commander-in-chief with General Horatio Gates?

5. Which U.S. president persuaded holdout Maryland to ratify the Article of Confederation in 1781, thereby creating the “Perpetual Union” known as the United States of America?

6. Which Continental Congress president was imprisoned in the Tower of London and later ex changed for General Cornwallis?

7. Which Continental Congress president persuaded John Adams and Benjamin Franklin to ignore the direct order of the United States in Congress Assembled demanding that France be included in the negotiations of the Treaty of Paris?

8. Which U.S. president negotiated the peaceful release of President Elias Boudinot and the entire Continental Congress from Independence Hall in the summer of 1783?

9. Which U.S. president’s signature ratified the treaty that ended the war with England?

10. Which U.S. president sponsored the legislation to hold the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia after the Annapolis Convention failed to reach a quorum in 1786?

The answers are listed below

The Foundational Proofs  supporting official recognition of a pre-1789 US Presidency by both the 21st Century US Congress and US President are summarized as follows:

1. The Journals of Congress clearly indicate that there were six Presidents of the Continental Congress and ten Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled before George Washington's Inauguration in 1789. Two of the Presidents, John Hancock and Samuel Huntington served in both offices.

2. These fourteen Presidents, aside from Secretary Charles Thomson, were the only members of the confederation freely elected by Congress to represent the United Colonies/States in their entirety.

3. The First State to ratify The "Perpetual Union" of the United States was Virginia (not Delaware) on December 16 1777. However, it wasn't until March 1, 1781 when Maryland agreed to the mandatory unanimous ratification of the Articles of Confederation, that first “Constitution” of the United States legally bound the 13 States into one united country.

US Statehood Order
Articles of Confederation - 1 to 13 States
US Constitution - 37 to 50 States

State

State Passes

Reported to

Delegates Sign

Ratification

Congress

1

Virginia

16 December 1777

25 June 1778

9 July 1778

2

South Carolina

5 February 1778

25 June 1778

9 July 1778

3

New York

6 February 1778

23 June 1778

9 July 1778

4

Rhode Island

16 February 1778

23 June 1778

9 July 1778

5

Georgia

26 February 1778

25 June 1778

9 July 1778

6

Connecticut

27 February 1778

23 June 1778

9 July 1778

7

New Hampshire

4 March 1778

23 June 1778

9 Jul 1778 - 8 Aug 1778

8

Pennsylvania

5 March 1778

25 June 1778

9 Jul 1778 - 22 Jul 1778

9

Massachusetts

10 March 1778

23 June 1778

9 July 1778

10

North Carolina

24 April 1778

25 June 1778

21 July 1778

11

New Jersey

20 November 1778

25-26 Nov. 1778

26 Nov 1778

12

Delaware

1 February 1779

16 February 1779

22 Feb 1779 - 5 May 1779

13

Maryland

2 February 1781

12 February 1781

1 March 1781

Sources: The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution: Vol. 1: Constitutional Documents and Records, 1776-1787, ed. Merrill Jensen, Madison, Wis.: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1976; Encyclopedia of American History: Bicentennial Edition, ed. Richard Morris, New York; Harper & Row, 1976; Documents of American History, ed. Henry Steele Commanger, Englewood Cliffs, NJ; Prentice-Hall, 1973

4. The President of the United States in Congress Assembled on March 1, 1781 was Samuel Huntington of Connecticut who by virtue of the Articles' rati­fication became the 1st President of the United States in Congress Assembled.

5. Nine more Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled under the Articles of Confederation were duly elected after Samuel Huntington. The Presidents on many occasions used their office to exercise much influence on United States public affairs and legislation.

6. These 10 US Presidents in Congress Assembled presided over the unicameral government of the United States of America from 1781 to 1788 under the Articles of Confederation. The word “President” is derived from “to preside” which was just one function of the US Presidency under the Articles of the Confederation.

7. The Presidents signed congressional laws, treaties, and military orders. They called for Congressional assembly and adjournment. Presidents signed military commissions including George Washington’s commander-in-chief appointment, received foreign dignitaries, received, read, answered, and at their own discre­tion held or disseminated the official mail addressed to Congress and the President of the United States in Congress Assembled. The Presidents each had one vote in the Unicameral Congress. The Presidents presided, much like the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, over judicial Congressional Cases. The current US President conducts many of the same duties today but is not permitted, under the 1787 Constitution, to vote, act as a presiding judge or to receive, open, and hold Congress' mail or serve as a judiciary official of the United States.

8. The government of the United States provided for the President’s expenses, servants, clerks, housing, and transportation. Their home state was expected to provide for their salary.

9. In 1788 the President of the United States in Congress Assembled official duties were replaced by President George Washington (executive branch), Chief Justice John Jay (judicial branch), President of the US Senate John Adams and Speaker of the US House of Representatives Frederick A.C. Muhlenberg (legislative branch) under the new US Constitution.

10. In 1861 President Abraham Lincoln refused to recognize the secession of South Carolina and the other Southern States claiming they were legally bound to the United States not by the US Constitution but by the "Perpetual Union" they ratified under the Articles of Confederation in 1781.

"The express plighting of faith by each and all of the original thirteen in the Articles of Confederation, two years later, that the Union shall be perpetual is most conclusive." – (Abraham Lincoln's Address to Congress in Special Session 4 July 1861.)

A "Perpetual Union" of the United States that was first governed by President Samuel Huntington.

Clearly these points  make a "stars and stripes" case that George Washington, who was the 1st President of the United States under the Constitution of 1787, was not the 1st President of the United States. The Articles of Confederation clearly created the Perpetual Union of the United States and established an office – President of the United States in Congress Assembled. Although many of us believe that George Washington is actually the 11th US President and George W. Bush the 53rd we realize this re-numeration is simply avoidable with an actual, rather then implied, footnote “under the US Constitution of 1787”. We do believe, however, these Forgotten Presidents should gain the same annual recognition as the successors by amending the Presidential Wreath Laying Order. To help us honor these Forgotten Presidents please take a moment and review the bi-partisan Presidential Request, led by Rep. Congressman Rob Simmons (R), US Senator Christopher Dodd (D), and supported by institutions like the James Monroe Memorial Foundation, Norwich Historical Society, and James Madison’s Montpelier, to have the US Military lay an wreath of thanks, each year, at their gravesites on the anniversary of their birth.

US Presidential Request

Whereas a Presidential Executive Order requires that a wreath-laying ceremony is conducted for all US President gravesites on the anniversary of their birthday.

Whereas the Presidential Executive Order does not include the Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled under the Articles of Confederation whose office holders were:

Samuel Huntington, 1st President of the United States in Congress Assembled, March 1, 1781 to July 6, 1781

Thomas McKean, 2nd President of the United States in Congress Assembled July 10, 1781 to November 5, 1781

John Hanson, 3rd President of the United States in Congress Assembled, November 5, 1781 to November 4, 1782

Elias Boudinot, 4th President of the United States in Congress Assembled, November 4, 1782 to November 3, 1783

Thomas Mifflin, 5th President of the United States in Congress Assembled, November 3, 1783 to June 3, 1784

Richard Henry Lee, 6th President of the United States in Congress Assembled,

November 30, 1784 to November 23, 1785

John Hancock, 7th President of the United States in Congress Assembled, November 23, 1785 to June 6, 1786

Nathaniel Gorham, 8th President of the United States in Congress Assembled, June 1786 - November 13, 1786

Arthur St. Clair, 9th President of the United States in Congress Assembled, February 2, 1787 to October 29, 1787

Cyrus Griffin, 10th President of the United States in Congress Assembled, January 22, 1788 to March 4, 1789

Whereas the Presidential Executive Order does not include the Presidents of Congress under the Declaration of Independence’s Continental Congress whose office holders were:

John Hancock, July 2, 1776 to October 29, 1777;

Henry Laurens, November 1, 1777 to December 9, 1778

John Jay, December 10, 1778 to September 28, 1779

Samuel Huntington, September 28, 1779 to February 28, 1781

Whereas the Presidential Executive Order does not include the Presidents of Congress under the United Colonies of America’s Continental Congress whose office holders were:

Peyton Randolph, September 5, 1774 to October 22, 1774 and May 20 to May 24, 1775

Henry Middleton, October 22, 1774 to October 26, 1774

John Hancock, October 27, 1775 to July 1, 1776

Whereas these Presidents presided over the United Colonies/States of America’s unicameral government executing congressional laws, treaties, and military orders; called for Congressional assembly and adjournment; signed military commissions including George Washington’s commander-in-chief appointment; received foreign dignitaries; received, read, answered, and at their own discretion held or disseminated the official mail addressed to them as the President of the United States and President of Congress.

Whereas These Presidents on numerous occasions used their office to exercise much influence on United States military, public affairs and legislation.

Whereas The United States in Congress Assembled provided for the President’s expenses, servants, clerks, housing, and transportation recognizing that they were the only elected official representing all the states.

Therefore, the undersign respectfully request that the President of the United States, George W. Bush, amend the Presidential wreath-laying Order to honor the following Presidents of Congress and Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled:

President Peyton Randolph of Virginia, President Henry Middleton of South Carolina, President John Hancock of Massachusetts, President Henry Laurens of South Carolina, President John Jay of New York, President Samuel Huntington of Connecticut, President Thomas McKean of Pennsylvania, President John Hanson of Maryland, President Elias Boudinot of New Jersey, President Thomas Mifflin of Pennsylvania, President Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, President Nathaniel Gorham of Massachusetts, President Arthur St. Clair of Pennsylvania, and President Cyrus Griffin of Virginia.

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Name
Address Comment or Affiliation

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Address Comment or Affiliation

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Address Comment or Affiliation

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Address Comment or Affiliation

Mail to: President Who Forgotten Founders, PO Box 12617, Upper St. Clair, PA 15241

The President Who? Forgotten Founders  Exhibit is available for display at your community. The costs range from $2500 to $25,000 depending on length of time and the rarity of artifacts chosen. All exhibits include a two hour lecture by the author and training for docents. For more information call us at 1-800-620-1776 or just e-mail us with your name and address to receive our informational packet.

The on-line exhibit begins with:

Peyton Randolph
1st President of the Continental Congress
United Colonies of America
September 5, 1774 to October 22, 1774
and May 20 to May 24, 1775

A Five Pound Virginia Colonial Note dated March 4, 1773 and signed by Continental Congress President Peyton Randolph, US Constitution Signer and Supreme Court Justice John Blair on the front. It is also signed on the reverse by Virginia Treasurer Robert Carter Nicholas. This historic note is in exceptional condition measuring 5 x 6 1/2 inches.

Peyton Randolph traveled to Pennsylvania and Continental Congress was officially formed on September 5, 1774 in Philadelphia's Carpenters Hall to petition King George III after England passed the Intolerable Acts. The first unofficial meeting of delegates actu­ally took place the day before in The City Tavern just down the street (yes the true birthplace of the Continental Congress and the Presidency was in a Philadelphia tavern). The debates at this tavern meeting were significant as the decision was made to hold the First Continental Congress in a private, rather than public hall. When Congress convened the next day, South Carolina delegate Thomas Lynch nominated Peyton Randolph to be chairman. Peyton was elected by unanimous vote.

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit
http:www.presidentwho.com

1773 Colonial Note was authenticated by Stanley L. Klos – Estoric.com


Henry Middleton
2nd President of the Continental Congress
United Colonies of America
October 22, 1774 to October 26, 1774


A Printing of the October 24th, 1774 Address to the People of Great Britain and To the Inhabitants of the Colonies signed by Henry Middleton and the other founding members of the Continental Congress.

In 1774 he was sent as a delegate to the Continental Congress and was one of the most conservative members of the entire delegation. For that reason, among others, he was elected President of the Continental Congress in October 1774. Although Middleton's tenure as President was only four days and Peyton Randolph was re-elected in 1775, the following Petition of Congress to King George III passed during his Presidency and was unanimously approved and sent to Great Britain

The President Who? Forgotten Founders Exhibit
http:www.presidentwho.com

This Peter Force 1849 American Archives printing was authenticated by Stanley L. Klos – Estoric.com


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